Hulk is one of the few characters that survived Endgame and is still part of the supervillain fighting business. Although he’s become more passive now, he’s one of the biggest contributors to humanity’s numerous victories against forces of evil.
Very few characters can match his strength, and the same can be said about his intellect. While Tony Stark (Iron Man) was the one who figured out time travel, Hulk has been immaterial in fighting the Chitauri and bringing the Chitauri to life.
However, the superhero is not invincible and can be defeated by a few heroes and villains in the MCU. So, here’s a list of the top 10 characters that can defeat Hulk in a battle, either by physical strength or with their minds.
List of Characters Physically Stronger than Hulk
To kick us off, we have a list of characters who can smash! better than Hulk. Let’s jump right in.
Thanos, Captain Marvel, Wanda, Hela, and Thor are the top 5 characters who are physically stronger than Hulk and can defeat him.
Thanos is far stronger than Hulk both in the comics and the films. We all saw merely a glimpse of this in Avengers: Infinity War when the Mad Titan manhandled Hulk. It began with the latter throwing a few punches and trying so hard to take Thanos down.
But as Ebony Maw said, let the man have his fun, in his usual eerily calm voice. After this, Thanos beat the Hulk to a point where he couldn’t stand up. In fact, this turned him into Bruce Banner, and he remained in that avatar for the rest of the film.
What was scary about this scene was the agility and ease with which Thanos defeated Hulk. It was almost as if he let Hulk beat him and didn’t try to counter-attack at the beginning.
Captain Marvel is an embodiment of the Tesseract. The Tesseract inhabited the Space stone, and its powers reside within the character. This is essentially why the superhero doesn’t ever run out of power.
Although Captain Marvel and Hulk never went toe-to-toe in a face-off, it is obvious that the former would defeat the latter. One instance that can prove this is Marvel’s brief fight with Thanos in Endgame.
She could hold his fist from closing; even though the Titan tried to headbutt her, she was immovable. If you remember, he had to use the power stone to lay her off. This shows that she had some chance of overpowering Thanos without the infinity stones, which means she could easily overpower Hulk if they were ever in a fight.
3Wanda AKA The Scarlet Witch
Wanda is yet another character who fought Thanos but never fought Hulk. In Endgame, she ripped his body armor apart. In fact, he was so overwhelmed with her powers that he ordered his ship to start shooting missiles everywhere without caring about his own army on the battlefield.
This was much before she gained new powers as The Scarlet Witch. Once she held the Darkhold, she became almost invincible. The infamous scene from Multiverse of Madness where she kills off the Illuminati within minutes is a testimony to this fact.
So, if there were a hypothetical battle between Hulk and The Scarlet Witch, the question wouldn’t be about who will win but how long Hulk would last.
Hela, the Goddess of Death, is one of the most menacing supervillains of the MCU. She not only held Thor’s hammer but obliterated it into tiny pieces. The simple fact that Hulk, Loki, Thor, and Valkyrie weren’t enough for this devious figure tells us how strong she is.
She was destroyed by Surtur, who devoured Asgard, and that’s how the heroes won. Without Surtur, her defeat was impossible.
If we compare the powers of the two characters, you’ll see that on one hand, we have regenerative healing, superspeed, reflexes, weapon summoning, and armor creation. On the other hand, we have superhuman strength and endurance. I guess there’s no need to spell out who the clear winner would be.
While other characters are far superior to Hulk, Thor is one such character that Hulk might have any chance of defeating on a good day. The two have squared off against each other in The Avengers and Thor: Ragnarok.
In the first case, the battle ended in a stalemate, after which Hulk ran after Black Widow without any control over his senses, thoughts, or emotions. In the second case, too, the battle ended in a stalemate, but Thor had practically won by then.
If not for The Grandmaster and his shock-inducing chips in Thor and Hulk’s bodies, the God of Thunder would’ve defeated the green gladiator, fair and square.
List of Characters Smarter than Hulk
Now that we’ve looked at physical strength, it’s time to witness the battle of wits. Hulk isn’t considered an intelligent creature, despite Banner’s impeccable knowledge of nuclear physics. Although Hulk was born out of a failed experiment, Banner learned to put the brain and the brawn together to become who he was in Avengers: Endgame.
While Tony Stark is deemed a genius for all his inventions and innovations, including the Mobius strip, Bruce Banner hasn’t been given enough credit. If not for him, Vision might not exist in the MCU.
But, even with abundant knowledge, Bruce Banner/Hulk still falls short compared to a few characters in the MCU.
The Ancient One, Doctor Strange, Ego, Vision, and Hank Pym are intellectually superior to Hulk and can defeat him with their knowledge.
1The Ancient One
The Ancient One possessed the knowledge of the universe and even the multiverse. She knew of Doctor Strange because she had looked at the future with the help of Dormammu’s dark magic.
The character’s ability to warp reality, induce astral projection, and cast powerful spells would be enough to capture Hulk without breaking a sweat. Besides this, her expertise with inter-dimensional travel and dark dimension magic can be leveraged to take Hulk to another dimension and fight him in a place where he’s rendered powerless.
So, to put it in simple terms, The Ancient One could defeat Hulk with her mastery over different forms of mystic arts and knowledge about the multiverse.
Doctor Strange didn’t become The Sorcerer Supreme due to the blip, but his powers now far succeed that of The Ancient One. So it is evident that he can defeat Hulk in a hypothetical match and even kill him once and for all.
In Multiverse of Madness, the character attains new powers as he returns from the multiverse and possesses the Eye of Agamotto. This allows him to see his enemies’ intentions and can potentially predict Hulk’s moves much before he has consciously thought of them. This ability alone makes him stronger than Hulk, and the latter doesn’t stand a chance against the Master of Mystic Arts.
Ego is a celestial and essentially a form of energy that doesn’t have a human form. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, he built himself a human body and an entire planet to protect his core.
His powers include manipulating molecules, energy, matter, cosmic energy, and mental and biological states. It’d take him a single moment to destroy the Hulk if he wishes to, without blinking an eye.
Although Bruce Banner and Tony Stark created Vision, he is far superior to Hulk in intellect. This is because he is an ever-evolving creature who learns, senses, and absorbs the universe’s various facets. For instance, he had sensed the arrival of Thanos on multiple occasions and wanted the Mind Stone destroyed.
The fact that he can lift Thor’s hammer and fight with it is just another example of how strong and noble his mind is. If you think about it, he would even be a good match-up for Captain Marvel if he understood the Mind Stone completely and learned how to harness its powers. All this and perhaps a lot more shows why Vision is mentally stronger than Hulk.
Ebony Maw is one of those characters who can shift the tide in a battle and decide who will win. While he’s known for his telekinetic and levitation abilities, his genius-level intellect is pretty underrated and barely depicted in the Infinity War.
He was one of Thanos’ four children and his second-in-command. Thanos chose him not for his physical abilities but his knowledge and war tactics. In a one-on-one face-off with Hulk, he would stall the green monster with telekinesis and eventually incapacitate him by understanding his weaknesses and using the surroundings in the most lethal ways.
So, with this, we arrive at the end of the list of top 10 MCU characters who can defeat Hulk by brawn and brain.
About Marvel Cinematic Universe
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is an American media franchise and shared universe centered on a series of superhero films and TV series, independently produced by Marvel Studios and based on characters that appear in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.
The franchise includes comic books, short films, television series, and digital series. The shared universe, much like the original Marvel Universe in comic books, was established by crossing over common plot elements, settings, cast, and characters.