When you think of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), who comes to mind? You probably think of names like Hulk, Captain Marvel or Thanos. Perhaps after “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania”, it might be Kang the Conqueror or his many, many variants. With the MCU having wrapped up Phase 4 and now entering Phase 5, it seems like only a matter of time before we’re introduced to a new plethora of powerhouse characters before “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty”. That being said, there have been a number of incredible characters in the MCU that haven’t exactly gotten the spotlight they deserve. They range from characters who would easily qualify to be an Avenger to those capable of annihilating the multiverse.
It’s been a minute since they’ve appeared, so we’re here to count down some of the most insanely powerful beings in the MCU that you (and apparently Marvel Studios) have forgotten exist!
1. Nico Minoru
Kicking off our list is Nico Minoru from the Hulu series “The Runaways”, officially set within the MCU. Don’t let her age fool you. In spite of her being a teenager, sinister forces have long desired to seize control of her magical acumen. This includes King Arthur’s sorceress, Morgan le Fay who was banished into the Dark Dimension where Dormammu resides. With the use of a magical artefact called the Staff of One, Minoru is able to control the weather, electricity, air, fire, minds and even technology. She’s also capable of drawing power from the Dark Dimension for that extra boost. She also leads a group of superpowered kids in their battle against evil, the Runaways.
With young heroes like Kamala Harris and Riri Williams being marketed as the next generation of the Avengers, it seems that Nico Minoru and her ragtag team have been left on the sidelines. While not quite on par with Stephen Strange, she would have made a valuable member of the team. Perhaps we’ll get to see her and the Runaways fight alongside the Avengers in the next big battle.
2. Ghost Rider
When it comes to supernatural heroes in the world of Marvel, Ghost Rider is easily one of the most iconic ones out there. On top of looking incredibly badass with a flaming skull and dressed in a blacked-out biker suit, the Ghost Rider’s powers are even more terrifying. He has the ability to damn wicked souls to Hell, he cannot be killed and wields the fire of perdition itself. When he roams the streets, demons and sinners quake at the mere sight of him. We first got our introduction to him when Robbie Reyes appeared in “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”. We then learned that Johnny Blaze passed the Spirit of Vengeance, which empowers the Riders, to Reyes after a fatal shooting.
That’s right, we’ve seen Johnny Blaze and Robbie Reyes appear in the MCU! And what does Marvel Studios do with them after “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”? Nada. Nothing. We can understand sidelining characters like Daisy Johnson or even Phil Coulson, but to leave the Ghost Rider out of the main films, especially the ones involving demonic activity and magic is an utter sin. He could have easily made an awesome cameo in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” hunting the Scarlet Witch alongside the Sorcerer Supreme. Honestly, what a waste of an amazing character!
3. Daimon Helstrom
Speaking of hell-bound characters, let’s also remember the time the MCU tried branching into a supernatural crime-horror series called “Helstrom”. The son of a human woman and a powerful demon called Marduk Helstrom, Daimon possesses superhuman strength and speed, telekinesis and can summon a flaming trident at his command. Unlike his father though, Daimon has a pure heart and desires to help the innocent by exorcising demons from mortals. Through his demon blood and lineage, he is more than a match for any demon of Hell.
Unfortunately, after the cancellation of “Helstrom”, the story of him and his sister Ana Helstrom seems to have come to a permanent end. This is a shame because, in the comics, Daimon would eventually rise to become one of the rulers of Hell. While the MCU has done a relatively decent job of expanding on its cosmic frontier, we find that it’s been lacking in the magical and spiritual side of things. Hopefully with the release of “Blade”, we could see a revival of some of the spookier characters in Marvel.
4. Arishem and the Celestials
While “Eternals” might not exactly be ranked t the top of the list of the MCU’s Phase 4, it certainly did the most to establish the lore of the main Earth-616 universe. We learnt the true history of how all life in the MCU came to be. In the beginning, before the Infinity Stones were formed, before the Big Bang, existed the first beings in the universe: the Celestials. Giant energy-based creatures that held planets in the palm of their hands. Led by Arishem the Judge, they created habitable worlds and seeded life all across the universe. For all intents and purposes, they are the true creators of Earth-616.
They’re also responsible for altering the evolution of various lifeforms in the universe, which led to the creation of the Eternals and the Deviants. So in light of their monumental contribution to the creation of the MCU we know today…they get a brief cameo in “Thor: Love and Thunder”. Yay, fantastic. You’d think the immortal gods who crafted all organic life in the universe would play some role in the grand cosmic drama of the impending multiversal crisis. Nope, not a word since “Eternals” and judging by the tepid response of critics and audience members alike, it looks like we’ll probably never hear from the again.
5. The Living Tribunal
We know there are beings like Loki, Ronan the Accuser and Thanos who would like to think of themselves as gods. We know that there certainly are gods within the MCU, of Greek and Asgardian origin. However, does God, yes the one with capital G, exists within the MCU? A being who transcends time, space and the multiverse itself? The answer: yes and he is known as The One Above All. While they have yet to show up or be mentioned in the MCU, we did hear the mention of their second-in-command. A being who answers only to The One Above All. In 2016’s “Doctor Strange”, we hear Baron Mordo demonstrate the use of a weapon called the Staff of the Living Tribunal to Stephen Strange. Thus, confirming his existence in the MCU. He appeared in a split-second cameo in “Multiverse of Madness” and a statue of him was shown in “Thor: Love and Thunder”.
The Living Tribunal is on a power level so far above everyone else, he makes Arishem and the Celestials look like ants next to him. He has the power to wipe out entire universes, hell even the whole multiverse if The One Above All sanctions it. You might be wondering at this point: if this guy’s so powerful…how come he hasn’t stepped in to save the day? Well, it’s the same reason why you don’t send in the army to get a cat out of a tree. It’s not important enough. For the Living Tribunal to show his face in the MCU it would have to mean someone must have truly done something truly devastating to upset the multiversal balance. Perhaps a certain naughty 31st-century scientist or two may get his attention in “Avengers: Secret Wars”. Till then, he’s around but inactive.