We may be well into Phase Three of the Marvel film universe, but I think way more interesting stuff is going on in the comic book universe, as there is a ton of weird experimentation allowed in the comic books. Of course, sometimes that experimentation can go awry, and my biggest pet peeve in that area is character strength — I hate overpowered super heroes. That’s why Superman is so hard to write. What adversary could ever prove formidable? And so, I wanted to highlight some Marvel comic book characters, heroes and villains alike, that are just too damned powerful.
Iceman is an “omega” level mutant, which means he is in the most powerful tier. This should’ve been obvious to pretty much everyone, considering he has the power to turn water, including simply the moisture that is in the air at all times, into ice. Why does this make him too powerful? Because he could just turn all the vapor in the air to ice, killing everyone in any given area. He could freeze the air around anyone’s head, and BAM. Dead. Also, he can freeze water into like slides and stuff, which he rides around in what is essentially the power of wingless flight. His ice manipulation is so strong that he can essentially do anything.
This one’s a little ironic considering he’s dead, but do you know why editors at Marvel probably had him killed? Because he was incredibly powerful and super boring. Like, The Sentry was so powerful that he very casually tore Ares, the literal god of war, in half. Also, he had an EVIL SIDE which was even more powerful than the already all-powerful Sentry, and would occasionally rampage uncontrollably. Essentially, The Sentry was the Hulk, but like way, way, way more powerful. And when you’re that powerful, you gotta get killed to restore balance to the Marvel U.
The combined powers/personalities/selves of Magneto and Professor X (which apparently occurred because Professor X had a boner for Jean Grey??? The ’90s were a bleak time for comic books), the extremely powerful psychic entity Onslaught could only be stopped by sacrificing every Marvel hero who wasn’t a mutant or Spider-Man, because those were the only two Marvel heroes that moved units. It was as cheap and obvious ploy to reboot an entire line (“HEROES REBORN” promised the covers of the quickly shown to be terrible new Marvel titles). These all-powerful guys aren’t even interesting; they essentially just bellow about how powerful they are, and Onslaught was no different.
Molecule Man has the power to “manipulate molecules”. Like, what? Who the hell thought that wouldn’t end up being a story problem? “How could someone beat Molecule Man if he could literally rearrange their molecules so that they were just a pile of mush?” “Listen, we already have the first four covers drawn up. Write the damn book!” Just an absolutely bonkers idea.
There’s a whole crew of X-Men characters who have vague unclear mutant abilities, and Apocalypse is one of them. He’s apparently both immortal and indestructible, he can change his shape/size, and is also very beholden to his theme of “Apocalypse” (the dude has had SO many horsemen; like, get a new gimmick, guy). He’s been killed and brought back so many times, and there have also been “chosen ones” that have been prophesied to defeat him. At various points, Cable, Cannonball, and Nate Summers/X-Man have all been said chosen one. And yet, here Apocalypse is, still being into the end of Homosapiens, while being fine with killing tons of mutants.
Thanos with The Infinity Gauntlet
I have a sneaking suspicion the Infinity War movie will not be a retelling of “The Infinity Gauntlet”, because that story involves pretty much every hero on Earth (as well as half of the entire universe) dying, sometimes more than once. Also, the Infinity Gauntlet gives Thanos control over all elements of existence. At one point, he defeats all the cosmic entities at once, including the physical embodiment of death. He only loses because, later on in the journey of Thanos, we find out there is a part of himself that wants to fail, and thus, he unknowingly sabotages himself. This robs everyone else of any agency, which is a boring end to a super hero story. But what other options do you have when one character is able to bend all elements of reality to his will?
Eternity/The Living Tribunal/The Other Cosmic Entities
Speaking of which, Marvel’s entire cosmic god situation is too much. I’m a huge fan of Guardians of the Galaxy and Nova and that whole side of the Marvel universe, but once we start getting into the living embodiment of the idea of “eternity”, or the Living Tribunal (who makes all decisions about what can function in the universe; at one point it “turns off” the infinity gauntlet), it’s suddenly too big for the writers to wrap their stories around. And the rare times when these characters go to battle, they just end up punching/kicking/firing the same blue/yellow/red energy blasts out of their hands and eyes that everyone else does. It’d be one thing if we actually got to see some sort of unique actualization of these powers (Thanos does do some cool stuff during his entire Infinity Gauntlet saga, to be fair), but it just ends up looking like generic comic book action, just like everything else.
Did I miss some final-level ass kickers that throw comic book balance out of whack, or do you think I nailed this one? I NEED VALIDATION! Let us know on Twitter!