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The Most Powerful Comic Book Characters Ever, Ranked 

Ranker Comics
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Updated March 11, 2020 136.2k votes 13.5k voters 5.9M views 161 items

The problem with ranking the most powerful characters in the history of comic books is that writers always want to top the top dog and add a more powerful character. Many of the characters on this list (and even some that aren't) have been called "the most powerful being in the galaxy."

Though new and more powerful characters are sure to be written in the future, as of writing, this list represents a ranking of the most powerful comic book characters ever - from villains like Thanos and Darkseid to heroes like Superman and Captain Marvel. From the strongest DC characters to the mightiest of Marvel characters, this list has them all. 

These beings possess more than mere physical strength. Instead, they wield the broader ability to make, destroy or influence worlds. Many of them achieve their goals without lifting a finger and have never needed a weapon. Others excel at long-term planning or finding and wielding the strongest weapons. No matter how they achieved their power, each of them has earned a place on the list of the comic kingdom's most powerful players. Have a favorite character? Vote them up!

Want more? Check out 15 small comic book characters who are super strong.

One-Above-All is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Powerful Comic Book Characters Ever, Ranked
Photo: Michele Lamberti/flickr/CC-BY 2.0

First Appearance: Doctor Strange #13

The One-Above-All is the creator of everything in the Marvel omniverse. He represents all of the creators (or the efforts of all the creators) who have contributed to the Marvel legacy. In his rare appearances, he's been drawn with an appearance similar to that of legendary artist Jack Kirby.

Powers & Abilities: Omniscience, Omnipresence

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Doctor Manhattan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Powerful Comic Book Characters Ever, Ranked
Photo: Dave Gibbons/DC Comics

First Appearance: Watchmen #1

In the world of Watchmen, Doctor Manhattan is the only super-powered character and it's the implications of his powers that make him so frightening. The most shocking of his powers is on display after his body is disintegrated and he is able to reform his atoms in under a minute. He can also teleport, manipulate matter with his mind, project energy, disintegrate people, duplicate himself, and exist outside of time. He can do almost anything except identify with the rest of humanity. 

Appears In: Watchmen, Watchmen

Powers & Abilities: Flight, Precognition, Teleportation

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Phoenix is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Powerful Comic Book Characters Ever, Ranked
Photo: Marvel

First Appearance: X-Men #101

The Phoenix Force embodies the primal potential of life and is a cosmic entity of unbridled power in the Marvel Universe. Its fiery desire has burnt planets and laid waste to civilizations and will do so again. Its most notable host was the X-Men's Jean Grey, who wore much tighter outfits after becoming possessed. 

Powers & Abilities: Flight, Psychokinesis, Teleportation

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Living Tribunal is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Powerful Comic Book Characters Ever, Ranked
Photo:  Marvel Comics

First Appearance: Strange Tales #57

The Living Tribunal is Marvel's cosmic arbiter and subservient only to The One-Above-All. He is responsible for judging realities and enforcing justice throughout the Marvel multiverse. Though he doesn't appear very often he is feared and revered enough that he doesn't even care if his three-faced head is connected to his body.

Powers & Abilities: Omniscience

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