The Marvel Characters Most Likely To Defeat Thanos In The MCU

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Vote up the MCU characters you think are most likely to snap back at Thanos.

The ending of Avengers: Infinity War left fans everywhere asking a lot of tough questions. How many well-loved characters are gone? Is their condition temporary or permanent? And most importantly, who will defeat Thanos now? There are a ton of Avengers 4 fan theories already floating around that try to make sense of the MCU post-snap. Thanos is incredibly strong, and many self-proclaimed nerds are attempting to figure out which characters are capable of defeating the Mad Titan in Avengers: Endgame.

There are plenty of heroes (and villains) in the MCU who have either the power or the cunning to succeed, but which of them is the most motivated? Which of them will have the drive and fortitude to do so? In comic books, there are some characters who have defeated Thanos, but the movies don't always stick very close to the source material. How Avengers 4 will end is anyone's guess.

  • 1
    341 votes


    Why he wants to beat Thanos:

    Thor has lost pretty much everything at this point. Avengers 3 opens with Loki, Heimdall, and most of the remaining citizens of Asgard losing their lives. His father has passed and his world has been eliminated. All this happened so quickly and (mostly) at the hands of Thanos, so it makes sense that Thor would want the villain gone.

    At the end of Avengers 3, he also loses more friends and teammates and sees countless others turn to dust. He also misses the opportunity to off the Mad Titan when he delivers a blow from Stormbreaker to Thanos's chest instead of his head

    How he could defeat him:

    The upside here is that Thor does have a shiny new toy. Stormbreaker, his new axe, is forged by Eitri in Avengers 3. The dwarf makes the axe for the sole purpose of taking out Thanos. Thor might be able to land a more terminal blow the next time he runs into the villain. 

    Going by the comic books, Thor has a decent chance of being able to defeat Thanos. In Thor Vol. 2 #25, Thor uses his hammer to end Thanos's life. Unfortunately, Thor learns he only defeated a clone of Thanos, so he has to do it all over again. Thor also takes down Thanos with the help of Earth's Mightiest Heroes in Avengers Assemble. All of the original Avengers are safe from the snap, so this could be a likely avenue to Thanos's undoing. 

  • 2
    Doctor Strange
    Photo: Doctor Strange / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    Why he wants to beat Thanos:

    Doctor Strange has been in the "let's stop Thanos" camp from the get-go. As a sworn protector of the universe (who is also briefly in possession of the Time Stone), Doctor Strange knows the cataclysmic impact Thanos's snap is going to have before it even happens.

    Altruism aside, Strange has some personal reasons as to why he may want to take down Thanos. The Mad Titan sends Ebony Maw to brutalize him, and while Doctor Strange doesn't seem like the type to go into insane vengeance mode like Star-Lord and Drax, he may be eager to fight someone who caused him so much pain. 

    How he could defeat him:

    Doctor Strange may have already taken steps to defeat Thanos. While he is one of the many dusted, Doctor Strange is very careful about his actions. He says there is only one way to win against Thanos, and the fact that he gives up the Time Stone in exchange for Tony Stark's life suggests he knows that massive losses are necessary to ultimately win the fight. 

    If he comes back, he becomes even more valuable. Doctor Strange has seen the one future in which Thanos is defeated. He knows how it happens and what he needs to do in order for it to happen. If he's alive, he may pull even more strings in the next film. 

  • 3
    292 votes

    Iron Man

    Why he wants to beat Thanos:

    Tony Stark is emotionally battered by the events of the first two Avengers films. It seems like Stark is already at his lowest, but then he loses Peter Parker in what many have said is the most heartbreaking moment in Avengers 3. It's a real punch in the gut for Stark, who tries to protect his protégé from the perils of heroics. This might be enough to send Stark down a dark path.

    How he could defeat him:

    While it's unclear exactly how Iron Man could defeat Thanos, there's a strong hint that Stark is at least in part responsible for bringing him down. Doctor Strange looked into every possible future he could manage, and he only saw one where they were triumphant. He could have fought to keep his Time Stone, but he gave it up for Stark to survive instead. When asked why, Strange says they are in the endgame now. Doctor Strange's sacrifice suggests Stark is integral to Earth's survival, even if it costs millions of other lives.

    Stark is more brain than brawn, which means if he is going to defeat Thanos, it is going to be a strategic strike. Stark may not physically land the final blow, but a plan of his may put an end to Thanos. 

  • 4

    Why she wants to beat Thanos:

    Captain Marvel made her MCU debut just in time for Avengers: Endgame, and with the Mad Titan's snap taking out her friend Nick Fury, she'll definitely be in the "let's defeat Thanos" camp. The post-credits scene of Avengers 3 shows Fury paging Captain Marvel on his beeper moments before he turns into dust, notifying her of the events unfolding post-snap. 

    How she could defeat him:

    Captain Marvel is one of the most powerful heroes in the MCU. Her solo film proves she can go toe-to-toe with an entire fleet of spaceships, and her energy-manipulation abilities have likely only grown in the decades since she left Earth.

    Like in the movies, Captain Marvel's powers are truly off the charts in the comics. She can fly at six times the speed of light, has a premonition-like sense that helps her detect things about to happen, possesses superhuman strength, and can put even the toughest of baddies down with her hand-to-hand combat skills. She's also very knowledgeable of other cultures and worlds, which may be key when it comes to bringing down Thanos. 

  • 5
    245 votes

    Scarlet Witch

    Why she wants to beat Thanos:

    Scarlet Witch makes the ultimate sacrifice when she takes out her partner, Vision, in order to keep the Mind Stone away from Thanos. The Mad Titan then reverses time, brings Vision back to life, and removes the Stone from his head himself, all while Scarlet Witch watches. Scarlet Witch is one of the many who turns to dust with Thanos's snap, but if she returns, chances are she'll be hell-bent on avenging her dear Vision.  

    How she could defeat him:

    Scarlet Witch is an ideal warrior in this fight because she can do something none of the other Avengers can: eliminate Infinity Stones. In Avengers 3, she succeeds in taking out one, although her efforts turn out to be in vain. If she is alive, she may be able to focus that power on the other Stones. This may not stop Thanos, but it could weaken him enough to allow a quick defeat. 

  • 6
    224 votes


    Why he wants to beat Thanos:

    Bruce Banner has a lot to prove right now. During Avengers 3, he has trouble becoming the Hulk after he is whooped by Thanos in the opening scene. Banner tries multiple times to Hulk out, but the green guy refuses. Banner is forced to use a suit to join in the fight with the rest of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, and it is definitely an ego blow for him.

    Banner helplessly watches as half the Earth's population turns into dust before his eyes. Discovering how to become the Hulk again and defeat Thanos may be his only shot at redemption. 

    How he could defeat him:

    Hulk smash? The series has pulled this trick more than once before, using the Hulk against villains like Loki. While he is not the most focused fighter, the films have shown he has some level of self-control and intelligence, so he can still be useful in combat. Mind you, he has already lost to Thanos before, but when paired with the right team, he may have a fighting chance. 

    In the comics, the Hulk defeats Thanos on several occasions. He completely wipes out Thanos as Zombie Hulk and beats him to a pulp in What If? Newer Fantastic Four.