The Most Powerful Comic Book Characters Ever, Ranked

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.

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  • 1
    7,187 VOTES
    One-Above-All
    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
    7,187 votes
  • 2
    5,631 VOTES
    Doctor Manhattan
    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
    5,631 votes
  • 3
    2,609 VOTES

    First Appearance: More Fun Comics #52

    The Presence is the omnipotent omniscient, and omnipresent God and creator of the DC Universe. He appears very rarely, but in his first appearance, he was responsible for the creation of The Spectre.
    • Appears In: DC Universe
    • Powers & Abilities: Omniscience, Shapeshifting, Immortality, Omnipresence
    2,609 votes
  • 4
    3,042 VOTES
    Death
    Photo: Carlo Barberi/Marvel
  • 5
    4,897 VOTES

    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
    4,897 votes
  • 6
    3,834 VOTES

    Superman Prime One Million

    Superman Prime One Million
    Video: YouTube

    First Appearance: DC One Million #4

    Superman Prime One Million is a version of Superman who spent 15,000 years inside Earth's yellow sun, meaning he is much more powerful than the traditional Superman. In addition to amplified Kryptonian characteristics, he can bend reality, give his powers away to future Supermen, and does not die. He is also more tan than the traditional Superman.
    3,834 votes