Who Is Earth’s Mightiest Hero? Ranking The Best Avengers

This list will almost definitely be agreed on by all, yep.

We’re now less than a month away from Avengers: Endgame, a blockbuster that will cap off eleven years worth of cinematic storytelling. In the highly anticipated movie, the Avengers will regroup once more to take on the intergalactic despot Thanos and restore fallen heroes like Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther and the Guardians of the Galaxy back to life.

Endgame will be the 22nd entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the fourth Avengers movie, and most likely the final outing for characters like Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Chris Evans’ Captain America. While the MCU will continue to power on with newer heroes like Spider-Man and Captain Marvel at the forefront, this really is the end of an era.

To celebrate, we’ve decided to look at all the Avengers who have debuted on the big screen, and rank them in their capacity of how good an Avenger they are. Power levels, personalities, commitment to the cause – who comes out on top? Because the Marvel Universe is so sprawling, we’re going to focus on characters who officially joined the team’s roster in the movies (or are expected to in the next outing), as opposed to the likes of Doctor Strange, Black Panther and the Guardians of the Galaxy, who teamed up with Avengers when a situation required their presence. Otherwise, stars such as Groot, Okoye and Wong would obviously take home the top spots.


16. Nebula

Nebula Avengers

Joins Team: Avengers: Endgame(?)

Although a very capable fighter, Nebula will most likely be the worst Avenger (sorry Karen Gillan, I loved you in Doctor Who). For one, she spent most of her time on our screens fighting for the side of evil, first serving Thanos, and then trying to kill her sister Gamora.

You could argue that she is wholly a product of bad upbringing, but even after switching to the side of the angels, what drives her is exclusively her desire for revenge. As of yet, she hasn’t shown any inkling of caring about looking out for civilians or saving the world, and as a result, Nebula takes the bottom spot on our list.


15. Hawkeye

Hawkeye Infinity War

Joins Team: The Avengers

One of the original team members, Hawkeye has proven himself time and time again as an Avenger. But time and time again Hawkeye has also made it clear that he’s more than happy to leave the world-saving to his peers. He’ll show up if he’s called on, but what’s most important to him is being a dad. It’s admirable and understandable, but his clear desire to be elsewhere doesn’t make him the best person to be out Avenging. Plus, how sad would it be if all this Avengers business had an effect on his family dynamic (or rather, how sad will it be when we see his family’s been ‘snapped’ in Endgame)?


14. Ant-Man

Ant-Man Avengers 4

Joins Team: Avengers: Endgame

Similarly to Hawkeye, Ant-Man is very family orientated, predominantly motivated by his desire to remain the ‘World’s Greatest Grandma’. However, unlike Hawkeye, Ant-Man does things out of the good of his heart, not because of any obligation. He wasn’t friends with the Avengers when he stepped into their Civil War. He’s just a good bloke who’s made a few wrong choices.

However, he is a bit of a goofball, and while he does often have the best intentions, his tendency to act before he’s fully thought things through can often end up getting others in trouble, as evidenced by his numerous near-murderous blunders in Civil War, and the opening events of Ant-Man and the Wasp.


13. Hulk


Joins Team: The Avengers
The Hulk is no doubt a critical component of the original Avengers, and a great guy to have on your side in any fight. He’s the strongest Avenger (don’t tell Thor) and perhaps the best brawler, with very few people actually capable of winning a one-on-one fight against him.

Unfortunately, while the lumbering beast does have a good heart, he’s never really on the same page as all of his teammates. The first two Avengers films showed us he’s just as willing to wreak wanton havoc on his teammates and surroundings as he is the bad guys, and after the events of Infinity War, he’s taken a stand against being used as a weapon – refusing to even help out when his alter-ego, Bruce Banner’s life is in danger. Pretty reckless.


12. Rocket

Rocket Raccoon

Joins Team: Avengers: Endgame (?)

Rocket is definitely not a better person than those on the list who have come before. In a lot of cases, he’s a real jerk. However, as he’s demonstrated continuously during his time with the Guardians of the Galaxy, he’s a very crafty, capable guy.

In the same way Tony Stark was able to make a functioning suit of armour in a cave with a ‘box of scraps’, Rocket can forge some pretty devastating weaponry out of whatever he finds lying around. If he’s in the mood for it, having him on your team can guarantee you’re able to bring the heavy firepower that will likely wipe out whatever threat is ahead of you. Unfortunately, you just have to deal with him being an ass about it the entire time.


11. Scarlet Witch

Scarlet Witch

Joins Team: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Despite originally opposing the Avengers alongside her brother, Scarlet Witch has wholly embraced her role as a hero. She’s become a prominent Avenger, integrating herself into the team by building good relationships with her peers (as evidenced by her romance with Vision), but will also sacrifice her allies for the greater good if needs be (as seen, again, with Vision). But at the end of the day, not only does she need numerous pep talks to get into gear, she also lacks the experience of heroes like Captain America and Black Widow, and can often falter as a result. After all, her mistakes did help kickstart the Sokovia Accords and set hero against hero during Civil War.


10. Falcon

Falcon Avengers

Joins Team: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Bringing us into the top ten is Falcon. Although very underpowered compared to a lot of the other Avengers, Falcon has shown himself to be a truly good individual. He started out helping veterans deal with PTSD and continues to help those in need, albeit now on a much larger scale. His time in the military means he’s both experienced and able to keep his cool, but since becoming a superhero, he’s shown a blind devotion to Steve Rogers (not that it isn’t warranted), and through that, it’s clear that he’s more into Avenging because Captain America asked him to, rather than because he’s eager to save the world.


9. Spider-Man

Spider-Man: Homecoming
Note: image from Homecoming

Joins Team: Avengers: Infinity War

The youngest Avenger (ignoring Vision) and also the newest (pre-Endgame), Spider-Man’s radioactive spider-powers make him a match for most other heroes on this list in terms of pure strength, and his genius level intellect means he’ll probably develop into a very tech-savvy hero who will be a beneficial member of the team in future.

At the moment though, his youth and inexperience constantly shine through, and when he’s not making pop culture references, he has a tendency to make ill-informed decisions. Sure, Spider-Man always does the right thing in the end, but there are quicker ways to get there and without all the teenage angst.


8. Nick Fury

Nick Fury Avengers

Joins Team: The Avengers

Nick Fury may never have marched into battle alongside the rest of the Avengers roster, but he has been an integral part of their assemblage. As Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Fury was the one who brought the Avengers together.

Furthermore, even after losing his position at S.H.I.E.L.D., Fury continues to not only aid the team, but also protect the world in whatever way he can. Age of Ultron saw him assisting the Avengers in the evacuation of Sokovia, while Infinity War sees him call in the Avengers’ heaviest hitter, Captain Marvel, when all seems lost. We also know that post Endgame, whatever state the world will be in, Fury will still be fighting the good fight alongside Spider-Man. Unlike more famous heroes such as Iron Man, Fury seemingly has no time for civilian life, as he is instead consumed by his desire to protect the Earth.


7. War Machine

War Machine Avengers

Joins Team: Avengers: Age of Ultron

He may not be as powerful or as beloved as his armoured amigo, but War Machine is definitely deserving of the title Avenger. As a military man, War Machine is disciplined and experienced when it comes to combat, and his large variety of armaments make him more than a match for most villains. He is also not above combating regular, non-superhuman threats with the military, something that generally flies under the radar of most other Avengers.

Unfortunately, his ties to the military are also what holds him back, as in the Marvel Universe, putting all your faith in an institution isn’t necessarily the best idea, especially since they have more of a tendency to turn corrupt on you.


6. Black Widow

Black Widow

Joins Team: The Avengers

While she once tried to abandon team life in favour of running away with the Hulk, the ensuing heartbreak has only strengthened Black Widow’s resolve. Despite being hilariously outmatched in most situations, this highly experienced spy is usually one of the first on the front-line, taking on superhumans and alien monsters alike.

Her plans of eloping with the Hulk aside, she’s also fiercely loyal and will do anything for her friends, even if that means turning against the government or other superheroes (as Black Panther found out in Civil War). Capable and connected, Black Widow is one of the most ardent Avengers, but her dark past and lack of any powers hold her back from being one of the top five.


5. Vision

The Vision
Source: Esquire

Joins Team: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Despite being technically the youngest Avenger (and also now – the deadest), Vision is among the Avengers’ main heavy hitters. His unique origin grants him a wealth of powers that let him outclass many of his peers, and his robotic mind allows him to assess the various factors in any given situation to discern the most logical outcome.

As a ‘child’ of Ultron, Vision proved that his allegiance isn’t necessarily to the Avengers, so much as it is to life itself. While having an ally who doesn’t consider themselves your ally may sound bad, it does mean that he doesn’t get hung up being emotionally invested in the quarrels other Avengers find themselves in, and as evidenced in Infinity War, is willing to put his life on the line for the greater good.


4. Iron Man

Iron Man
Source: MoviePilot

Joins Team: The Avengers

Iron Man has been described by Captain America as the Earth’s ‘best defender’. He helped found the original team, and later funded them even after he stepped down from the roster. His armours make him one of the most powerful Avengers and was the only hero other than Thor – a literal god – able to make Thanos bleed.

While the character is immensely popular and definitely deserves our respect; he’s a bit too much of a trouble maker to make the top of the list. Tony Stark’s antics have spawned just as many bad guys as Iron Man has helped stop, with the Mandarin, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Ultron, Zemo, Vulture and Shocker all being byproducts of Stark’s failings.


3. Captain Marvel

Captain marvel

Joins Team: Avengers: Endgame (?)
We may not have seen Captain Marvel as much as some of the other heroes occupying the upper end of this list, but what we have seen (and heard), speaks volumes. Captain Marvel is one of the few heroes on the list who revels in her abilities, having fun while fighting the good fight and not being weighed down by a dire sense of responsibility.

Furthermore, her immense power means that she’s not reliant on others, as an early bit of dialogue from Endgame confirms that she’s spent the last twenty years protecting other planets who lack their own superpowered heroes. And thus far, there’s only one other hero who protects whole planets by themselves.


2. Thor

Thor Infinity War
Credit: Disney/Marvel

Joins Team: The Avengers

Another original Avenger and one of the most powerful. Despite the fact that his status as a god means that human lives are rather fleeting from his perspective, Thor will still muck in and do his bit.

He’s grown a lot since we first met him – originally the arrogant prince of Asgard and now their troubled King, Thor has learned over the years that serving his own self-interest isn’t what makes a good hero, and has devoted himself now not only to protecting the Earth but the entire universe from mad Titans and fire demons alike. But while he is great, he often lets anger get the better of him, stopping him from claiming the top spot.


1. Captain America

Infinity War Captain America
Credit: Disney/Marvel

Joins Team: The Avengers

While even he may think the top spot belongs to Iron Man, Captain America is without a doubt the greatest Avenger. He’s their leader, a symbol of hope and yet grounded enough that he can relate to the common bystander. Despite being significantly underpowered compared to other heroes, he never gives up – having fought Nazis, aliens and robots. And his tendency to make the morally right decisions mean he’ll even fight his own country if they threaten to get in the way of him saving the world.

While many dismissed the righteous Captain as less interesting than the likes of Iron Man, Thor and the Hulk, Steve Rogers has managed to win the hearts of both the denizens of the Marvel Universe and the audiences watching these movies, and it’ll be heartbreaking to see him bow out when Endgame comes to a close.

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