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Total Nerd

The Smartest Characters In The MCU

List Rules
Vote 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.

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  • 1
    368 VOTES

    Tony Stark

    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?

  • 2
    323 VOTES
    Bruce Banner
    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.

  • 3
    281 VOTES

    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.

  • 4
    301 VOTES
    Doctor Strange
    Photo: Avengers: Endgame / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    Doctor Stephen Strange began his career in heroics as a dashing and brilliant neurosurgeon, albeit a complete jerk of a dashing and brilliant neurosurgeon. After suffering a crippling car accident, he traveled to Kamar-Taj where he trained with the Ancient One to heal his hands.

    The Ancient One taught Strange the ways of the mystic arts, allowing him to add to his scientific knowledge with that of the unknown. It's this combination of science and magic that allows Strange to be such a fierce and intelligent hero.

    Strange's intelligence is most apparent when he's dueling with other magical beings - especially those who not only have more power than Strange but who are barely even physical beings. While going toe-to-toe with Dormammu (figuratively speaking), Strange uses both magic and logic to outsmart the elder being.