I won’t deny the appeal of an alien God of Thunder raining hell on a battlefield, but things truly hit different when a human is worthy of wielding Mjölnir.
Besides, at the end of the day, some of our strongest heroes are mere mortals. And I think it’s about damn time we pay these heroes some respect.
So in honor of that, here’s a list of the strongest humans in the MCU. These are humans who’ve relied on their intellect, abilities, and virtues more than they’ve relied on divine intervention or any other assistance to prove that they have what it takes.
But before we start, if you want to know why Doctor Strange and such won’t be in this list (and I know you will), remember that the heroes in this list are strictly human — which means that though exceptional, they still haven’t surpassed the human realm of possibilities. The likes of Strange and Wanda have long overcome that barrier, so we’re going to exclude them altogether.
10Clint Barton — Hawkeye
The city is flying, we’re fighting an army of robots, and I have a bow and arrow.Hawkeye
Now now, Hawkeye has his skillset; no need to be rude.
Just kidding! Hawkeye may be underplayed in the MCU (given the Gods and aliens roaming around), but his skills with the bow are far superior to even the best archers at the Olympics.
Nick Fury described Barton as one of the sharpest men he knew, and the fact that Barton hasn’t missed a single arrow all this time is proof. So far, he is also one of the only ones to have defeated Nat, and that’s something to brag about for sure.
Apart from that, Barton is also a skilled spy and an exceptional martial artist. As Ronin, he was able to take out God knows how many men before Nat brought him back— seriously, messing with him is the last thing I recommend.
9Bucky Barnes — Winter Soldier
Who the hell is Bucky?Winter Soldier
Bucky is, by all means, Steve Rogers’s equal.
After being injected with the serum, Bucky fought one fight after the other as the revered Winter Soldier, gaining battle experience that most heroes could only dream about.
I’ve gone from one fight to another for 90 years.Bucky
The battle experience, combined with his training as the world’s most dangerous assassin, makes Bucky one of the strongest humans in the MCU. Like Steve, Bucky is a supersoldier with superhuman strength and speed, and his vibranium arm is virtually indestructible.
8Peter Quill — Starlord
I HEARD OF A MAN FROM EARTH WHO HELD AN INFINITY STONE IN HIS HAND WITHOUT DYING.EGO TO STARLORD
Before you argue that Peter Quill is half-celestial, let me remind you that he lost his celestial superpowers since Ego died.
And sure, maybe he’s not that strong since the planet-exploding incident, but he’s definitely up there.
One of Quill’s most significant advantages in a fight is his equipment — his arsenal consists of deadly weaponry from all over the galaxy. And I know that one scene in Infinity War suggests otherwise, but Peter is an outstanding strategist. The plan that brought Thanos on his knees (during their fight on Titan) was Peter’s, and you have to give it to him; it worked pretty well.
Of course, he’s not the epitome of a prime human, but this guy is good in his own way.
7James Rhodes — War Machine
Sorry, Cap. This won’t kill you, but it ain’t gonna tickle either.James Rhodes
Colonel James Rhodes may not be on par with Tony Stark, but he’s powerful enough to avoid the title of “Iron Man’s side-kick.”
Rhodes is the US military’s best aviator and engineer. His skills include extreme combat, marksmanship, and technoforming. He also has an Eidetic Memory, allowing him to store and retrieve data in his brain like a supercomputer. The War Machine suit adds to this genius to make James Rhodes one of the strongest humans in MCU.
I really hope the upcoming War Machine show explores this side of James in-depth. Besides, Don Cheadle on screen is always a good time.
6Natasha Romanoff — Black Widow
AT SOME POINT, WE ALL HAVE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN WHAT THE WORLD WANTS YOU TO BE AND WHO YOU ARE.NATASHA
Until the Black Widow solo film, I don’t think any of us could truly grasp just how strong Natasha was. Even for a spy with her level of training and experience, Nat is beyond the expectations you’d have for a human.
Natasha Romanoff is one of the strongest humans in the MCU. Even without physical enhancements, Nat can overpower men thrice her size. Her skills as a combatant are unrivaled, and so is her endurance.
This was only further proven in the Black Widow solo— in that scene where she urges Dreykov to punch her as hard as he can, hoping he’d break her nose. But ultimately, Dreykov’s most brutal punch couldn’t hurt her. So Nat had to go ahead and break her nose herself (power move, honestly).
Another instance was in Infinity War, where Nat wiped the floor with the Black Order and their Vision-impaling scythes. She also matched well against Proxima Midnight, who was trained her entire life by Thanos. That scene truly went on to show just how insane Nat’s pain tolerance is and how she’s unquestionably one of the best Earth has to offer.
5T’Challa — Black Panther
The Black Panther lives.Okoye
Chadwick Boseman’s portrayal of T’Challa was an honor to witness. For as long as I’m alive, he’s the only Black Panther I will be able to acknowledge.
The Black Panther wasn’t a name T’Challa came up with to go with his superhero powers. That title is a symbol passed on from generation to generation to the reigning King of Wakanda. And may I argue, T’Challa is the best King in the history of the entire nation.
Even without the powers of the Heart-Shaped Herb, T’Challa is an expert martial artist and combatant. The herb enhances his strengths, giving him superhuman strength, reflexes, and agility. The vibranium in the Black Panther armor also makes him indestructible and one of the strongest humans alive.
Also, if I were ranking these heroes based on their suit designs, T’Challa would steal the show — no questions asked.
4Scott Lang — Ant-Man
What, You Haven’t Heard Of Me? No, You Wouldn’t Have Heard Of Me.Scott Lang
What many tend to forget about this guy is that his comedic nature doesn’t mean that he’s dumb.
Scott Lang has a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering, and he’s smart enough to bypass complex security systems. He’s an acrobat and expert engineer, as well as a professional con.
A superhero’s portfolio doesn’t get more diverse than his.
But wait, there’s more: The Ant-Man suit allows Scott to travel inter-dimensionally, make quantum leaps, and bypass the concepts of Space-time altogether. It also gives him superhuman strength due to the increased density of his shrunken form.
As far as we know, there’s no other hero in the MCU with this kind of tech at their fingertips. And I feel like that should equal some serious points.
3Sam Wilson — Captain America/Falcon
WHAT WOULD BE THE POINT OF ALL THE PAIN AND SACRIFICE IF I WASN’T WILLING TO STAND UP AND KEEP FIGHTING?SAM WILSON
Sam Wilson may not be a supersoldier, but you can’t deny his strength. During his time in the military, Sam was one of the best pilots the country had seen. He is also a trained martial artist, expert marksman, and acrobat. His Captain America suit adds to this to give him flight, enhanced vision, and force generation.
But none of that mattered to Steve. The real reason Steve chose Sam to be Captain America was their shared ideals. Steve saw himself in Sam and knew that if anyone could honor Captain America’s legacy, it was him.
I MIGHT FAIL. SHIT, I MIGHT DIE. BUT… WE BUILT THIS COUNTRY. BLED FOR IT. I’M NOT GONNA LET ANYBODY TELL ME I CAN’T FIGHT FOR IT. NOT AFTER WHAT EVERYBODY BEFORE ME WENT THROUGH. INCLUDING YOU.SAM WILSON TO ISAIAH BRADLEY
I’d be lying if this man didn’t make me want to abandon everything and let him lead me into battle.
2Steve Rogers — Captain America
YOU MUST STAY WHO YOU ARE. NOT A PERFECT SOLDIER, BUT A GOOD MAN.ABRAHAM ERSKINE TO STEVE ROGERS
Steve Rogers is the second strongest human hero in the MCU. The supersoldier serum enhanced his physique to give him the peak human form, making him stronger, faster, and deadlier.
Steve is also the only known human in the MCU who is worthy of Mjölnir. And the fact that he was worthy even before he became a supersoldier just makes me so proud for some reason.
Out of every incredible moment in the entire MCU, I find that this scene from Captain America: The First Avenger is by far the most impactful. Steve Rogers is the epitome of the strongest human, yes. But he’s also taught us what it means to be human.
1Tony Stark — Iron Man
YOU CAN TAKE AWAY MY HOUSE, ALL MY TRICKS, AND TOYS. BUT ONE THING YOU CAN’T TAKE AWAY… I AM IRON MAN.TONY STARK
I know I keep saying this, but Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man is a once-in-a-lifetime event. His genius is irreplaceable, and Iron Man is an icon that’s impossible to compete with.
Tony Stark is hands down the strongest human in the MCU. Not only was he the most intelligent man in the MCU, his Mark 50 suit was also at the peak of human technology. His inventions gave him a significant advantage against every other hero; the Iron Man suit alone gave him supersonic flight, strength, and durability.
I suppose being a billionaire helped too. Tony had multiple satellites scattered throughout the Earth’s orbit, and even the brief encounter in Far From Home gave us an idea of just how much damage Tony could do with the blink of an eye.
Of course, you wouldn’t expect anything less from the man who created time-travel overnight and made an arc reactor with scrapes. It’s just classic Tony Stark things at this point.
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.