Marvel's Strongest Heroes

This image shows Marvel's first real attempt to categorize it's heroes according to their strength levels. This was printed in the back of "Amazing Spider-Man Annual" # 15, 1981, which pre-dated (and helped inspire the "Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe" less than two years later. It seems quite inaccurate now, but back then it was pretty close. Most thought the Silver Surfer and Colossus ranked to low, but each ended up with his strength defined at a higher level when the OHOTMU came out in '83.

As of today, marvel has made many versions/updates of the Handbook, but the debates still rage; Who's stronger? Who's the better fighter? Who's more powerful? Etc. Though the editorial staff set out to give us fans answers to these questions, their subsequent inconsistencies have merely fueled the fire. Still, this was a fun chart and the Handbooks have been informative and pretty good overall (imo) as well. I thought putting it atop my list of Marvel's strongest heroes would be appropriate.

I've listed the some of the weight (in Tons) that some of these guys were stated to be able to lift.

MU = Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. The number after the apostrophe is the year that edition started being printed. The number after the colon is the Weight the character was stated to be able to lift in Tons.

If some of these characters don't have info for every edition (or any info at all), I'm still getting to it or the info hasn't yet been decided officially by Marvel.

List items

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Posted by Chesapeake

It’s great to see …. That Hulk gets the respect he deserves!! Same thing apply to Beta Ray Bill    and Gladiator.

Posted by PowerHerc

I know what you mean.  Too often second or third tier characters get no credit or are forgotten in favor of the more well known of popular characters, despite what feats of strength they've performed. 
 
In the Hulk's case it's got to be jealousy or character fatigue that keeps people from admitting his status as Marvel's strongest hero.  Marvel has had an editorial mandate for years stating that the Hulk is and shall always be the strongest.  That's how they market him and that's how he's known.  People don't have to like it, but the fact remains.
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Posted by D00MSMITH

Thor, Juggernaut and Beta Ray Bill should be above Gladiator, also you under ranked silver surfer

Posted by PowerHerc
@D00MSMITH:

You may be right about Thor, Beta Ray Bill and Juggernaut.   
 
I disagree about Silver Surfer.  I think he's one of, and arguably, the most powerful all-around heroes in the Marvel Universe and he can use the power cosmic to amp his strength to the same level.  However, based on his past showings, most of his feats are of overall power and durability, not sheer strength.  I think he's generally ranked to high and I've got him where he belongs. 
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Posted by adamwarner42

Awesome list!
Posted by PowerHerc
@adamwarner42:
Thank you.  I appreciate it.
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Posted by turoksonofstone

Fantastic list.

Posted by PowerHerc
@turoksonofstone:
Many thanks.
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Posted by D00MSMITH

Awesome list, though i would prefer placing thor just below herc, i would also place juggernaut above both of them.
Nevertheless, it is still epic and I recommend it....

Posted by D00MSMITH

You considered Silver Surfer's natural strength, I see....

Edited by PowerHerc
@D00MSMITH:
Ha.  No, not really.  I rate Surfer where he is using his power to amp his strength to it's max.
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Posted by PowerHerc
@D00MSMITH said:
"Awesome list, though i would prefer placing thor just below herc, i would also place juggernaut above both of them. Nevertheless, it is still epic and I recommend it.... "

Thanks for the compliment.  I list Juggy there based on his cumulative strength ratings in the various handbooks, but I understand your point.  I'm glad you agree with Thor being just below Herc.  At their classic power-levels Thor is over-all far more powerful than Herc, but Herc has more (and arguably better) strength feats; so it makes sense that Herc is slightly stronger than Thor.
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Posted by RoninTheFury

Great list Herc, but don't you think that a-bomb and skarr should be in the same general area as red hulk or nova?

Posted by PowerHerc
@RoninTheFury:
Yes, I do.  I didn't put them in before for reasons I can't recall, but I'd put Skaar right above Wonder Man and A-Bomb right above Nova (Rider).
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Posted by gravitypress

Never understood how "Power of a billion exploding suns" translated into more than bravado.

Posted by madrid_san

colossus is stronger than thing. 
 
Thing is Officially listed as Class 90     
 
Colossus Class 100
Posted by Squares

Good call putting Meggan up there! Not sure why Warpath is on the list, though.

Posted by PowerHerc
@Squares:
I'm basing his strength on the level it was at in the 90's and early 2000's before they lowered it.
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Posted by Squares
@PowerHerc: I am actually going to have to look that up...
Yet again, good call.
Posted by AssertingValor

Are these in order??  im sure glads is stronger (most of the time) than hulk
Posted by IncredibleMSJ

Shouldnt Odin and Zeus both be above herc and thor?

Posted by PowerHerc

@IncredibleMSJ:

Only when they use their sky-father power to amp their strength. Their base strength levels are below both Hercules (before being depowered) and Thor.

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Posted by EganTheVile1

Glad to see Death Metal on this list, he and the other UK characters are far too often forgotten, I think he should probably rank higher though, he manhandled Sasquatch and Box, not to even bring up what he did to some of the 9939 realities characters.

Posted by PowerHerc

@eganthevile1: You could be right, manhandling Sasquatch and Box would take a helluva lot of strength. Thanks for looking and commenting.

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Posted by IncredibleMSJ
@PowerHerc: hmmm. I did not know that. Thanks!
Posted by PowerHerc

@IncredibleMSJ: No worries, I'm glad to.

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Posted by EganTheVile1

The obscure Genetix villain Karbon was said to be able to lift between 25 and 50 tons, dunno if that is impressive enough to make this list

Edited by PowerHerc

@eganthevile1 said:

The obscure Genetix villain Karbon was said to be able to lift between 25 and 50 tons, dunno if that is impressive enough to make this list

Karbon's strength would be sufficient and his obscurity wouldn't necessarily disqualify him from inclusion on this list; It's his status as a villain. These are the strongest heroes. The villains mentioned here are high-profile characters who reformed at least long enough to join a recognized superteam; hence Juggernaut and Sandman.

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Posted by primepower53

Kind of late to this, but I reccomended it. And why is Emma Frost in there?

Posted by PowerHerc

Before Marvel officially defined her strength I estimated her strength to be in the 30 range.

I was wrong and I probably should delete her from this list.@primepower53:

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Posted by mettlekm

Great list! Really enjoyed it. Only complaint is that Beast is way too high. Maybe i'm thinking of pre-feline beast, but I always thought of him as being in league with Spidey who you correctly have as not on the list.

Posted by mettlekm

Oh and maybe add Volstagg to the list. But i'm nitpicking now. Thanks again!

Posted by PowerHerc

@mettlekm: You and I agree 100% regarding Spider-Man (he doesn't belong on this or any list of Marvel's strongest characters) and you have a point about the Beast, but I still think he makes the low end of this list - barely.

As for Volstagg; his strength is definitely high enough to place him on this list, probably around Interloper, Karkas and Devlor. I originally didn't put him on this list because I felt he wasn't 'mainstream' enough. Thanks for bringing Volstagg up. It made me reconsider him for this list. Since I can't slide him into the proper slot I just added him on at the end.

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Posted by darkwolverine

Shouldn't Molly Hayes be on this list? Unless i missed her as I was going through the list.

Posted by PowerHerc

@darkwolverine: Yes she should. I added her.

Thanks for reminding me.

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Posted by darkwolverine

No problem.

Posted by darkholder

is Odin really that weak? i kinda feel sorry for him lol being rated weaker than Beast

Edited by PowerHerc

@darkholder: No. Odin is much stronger than Beast. I added him, Zeus, Thor Girl and several others after I had originally made the list stop at Jocasta. The list edit doesn't allow for insertion of new items between/amongst items already listed, so I had to simply add them at the bottom.

That said; Odin has roughly a 60 ton max lift (without using the Odin-Force to increase it) but was much stronger in his physical prime/youth.

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Posted by alexwest

where is ant man/ giant man? should be somewhere in here i always thought he was awesome. love the list by the way, did i miss rogue on here?

Posted by PowerHerc

@alexwest: Ant-Man/Giant-Man an Rogue are both listed on second page. He is listed as "Hank Pym" at number 12 and Rogue is number 8. Glad you love the list. :D

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Posted by SteveRogers

@D00MSMITH said:

Thor, Juggernaut and Beta Ray Bill should be above Gladiator, also you under ranked silver surfer
In my opinion, Gladiator is stronger than BRB, but below Thor. Not by too much tho...
Posted by darktiger

This List Is Awesome And Hulk Is stronger than Glads.

Posted by PowerHerc

@darktiger: Yep. The Hulk is stronger than Gladiator, he's Marvel's strongest.

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Posted by TheAcidSkull

Powerherc, i am happy to tell you that this is a very accurate and pressies list, you obviously know what you're doing, and i am glad that the hulk is getting recognition from you, because he is my favorite character. you are awesome

Posted by PowerHerc

@TheAcidSkull: Thanks for your endorsement!

The Hulk gets the top spot on this list because it's where he belongs.

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Posted by marvelfanboy

I disagree. Thor is stronger than Hulk.

Posted by PowerHerc

@marvelfanboy: He is until the Hulk gets really enraged. A lot of characters are.

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Posted by marvelfanboy

@PowerHerc said:

@marvelfanboy: He is until the Hulk gets really enraged. A lot of characters are.

I agree on that statement.

Posted by Vincie_Pooh

love that old school pix of all the Marvel heroes. What year is that? And what comic is this in?

Posted by PowerHerc

@Vincie_Pooh: That image is from "Amazing Spider-Man Annual" #15 which came out in the summer of 1981. It was a back-up/bonus feature from the back of the double-sized comic.

This was the first time Marvel attempted to categorize their heroes according to their strength levels.

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