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The Smartest Characters In The MCU

List RulesVote up the MCU characters whose brains are as strong as their muscles.

Without a doubt, some of the smartest superheroes of all time can be found in the MCU. Peter Parker, Tony Stark, and Arnim Zola are just a few of the brainiacs who are taking up space and vying for the honor of being the best among the smartest MCU characters, but the entire list is a who's who of superhero royalty.

Determining which Marvel character is the smartest is no simple task. Do you judge based on wisdom? Street smarts? Or good old-fashioned educational accreditation? Many of the smartest Marvel characters ranked here have some, if not all, of those variables bouncing around in their heads. But which one of them is the smartest? Take a look at their achievements and abilities to get a more precise view of who's got the biggest brain in the MCU.

  • 1

    Tony Stark

    Photo: Iron Man / Paramount Pictures

    Tony Stark is not only a bold CEO and unstoppable billionaire industrialist, but he has one of the greatest minds in the MCU. It's one thing to be in charge of a cutting-edge technology company, but to take the lead on the software and hardware designs is next level.

    Stark's most well-known invention is his Iron Man tech, an armored suit with flight and defense capabilities, but his expertise doesn't just end at creating an awesome robot suit. In Avengers: Endgame, he creates a time-space GPS that allows the user to accurately travel through time and space.

    Audiences already know Stark is a hero, but the guy literally solved the paradox of time travel. If that doesn't make him a super-brain, then what does?

    Super genius?
  • 2


    By the time audiences catch up with Shuri in Black Panther, she's spent her entire life embedded within Wakanda's techno-industrial society. Sure, she's a princess, but she's also responsible for developing the futuristic technology used by T'Challa, including the Panther Habit made of woven Vibranium.

    Shuri isn't just good at working with the technology of her homeland, she can adapt and work with pieces created by Tony Stark and even Hydra. She's able to safely remove the Mind Stone from Vision's head, and she was able to deprogram Bucky Barnes.

    Her in-depth knowledge of all things technological gives her the edge over scientists and researchers across the globe, but it also makes her an indispensable member of the Avengers extended family.

    Super genius?
  • Photo: Avengers: Endgame / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    Bruce Banner, or the Hulk if you prefer, is easily the most qualified character in the MCU. He's an M.D. and a Ph.D., and he's a well-known research scientist who zapped himself with gamma radiation. That last thing may not have been a smart move, but he found a way to make it work.

    Throughout the Avengers films and Thor: Ragnarok, Banner has applied his expertise to items both magical and scientific, although he finds more comfort in working in a lab than in another dimensional plane. Still, it's this specific understanding that there's more in the universe than what can be measured in textbooks that makes Banner so intelligent and well-rounded. He's not just a super genius, he has an open mind that allows him to see every side of a problem.

    Super genius?

    #160 of 3,510 The Best Movie Characters Of All Time#27 of 172 The Best Characters In The Marvel Cinematic Universe#41 of 73 The Best Fictional Characters Who Time Travel

  • 4

    Hank Pym

    After making a name for himself through the discovery of Pym Particles, Hank Pym went on to work with S.H.I.E.L.D. as the first version of Ant-Man. After his wife was stuck in the Quantum Realm, he gave up the life of a superhero and founded Pym Technologies, where he made billions in the tech world while burying his research into Pym Particles.

    Or at least, that's what he said he was doing. In Pym's free time, he continued to research the Quantum Realm, not with a team of scientists, but alone. That kind of solo research is next level, it's beyond IQ. Like Tony Stark, Pym works best when he's able to take a germ of an idea and expand on it until he's explored every permutation and variable.

    The thing that's so impressive about Pym isn't that he has an amazing handle on theoretical science, can shrink people, and can enter multiple dimensions, it's that he makes doing it look like a breeze.

    Super genius?