The 10 Smartest Heroes In The Marvel Universe, Ranked
The heroes featured in the pages of Marvel Comics have a variety of amazing and spectacular powers. While some can lift a building with one hand and others are able to fly on command, there are some within the universe who boast a superpower that isn't so visually impressive, but is nonetheless vital to the heroes' cause: incredible intelligence.
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There are some truly smart heroes across Marvel, too many to fit on to this list. There are a few honourable mentions including Professor Xavier, T'Challa, Jennifer Walters and Peter Parker, but here we've ranked a hand-picked selection of the Marvel universe's smartest heroes.
10 RIRI WILLIAMS
Iron Man's successor, Riri Williams is a relatively new character in the Marvel world. She's a 15-year-old student at MIT and has an amazing level of intellect. She was actually said to be a super genius by the time she was 5, which is why the college accepted her at the age she is. The Iron Heart armour that she used to battle crime was entirely designed and made by her, boasting technology rivalling Tony Stark's after reverse-engineering the process.
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She may be young and brash, but what she lacks in experience she makes up for in optimism and enthusiasm. Riri is quite the mechanic and there's a lot of potential for her future superhero career (or whatever else she chooses to do with her IQ).
9 AMADEUS CHO
Amadeus Cho has had an interesting journey over his years as a Marvel character. From becoming best pals with Hercules and battling alongside the God Squad to becoming a newer, smarter version of the Hulk, Amadeus really has done it all.
Cho's intelligence is an ongoing joke across the many titles he's been featured in. Most people older than him claim that he isn't as clever as he thinks, often putting him as the 8th or 7th most intelligent person in the world. He's number 9 on this list, but as Cho grows more experienced he also becomes wiser.
The sister of T'Challa, the Black Panther, Shuri is one of the smartest people in Wakanda. She's their resident inventor and is able to do many incredible things with the Vibranium that is mined in their African country. She's not only made some great additions to the Black Panther's suit but has actually become a Wakandan hero in her own right on a number of occasions.
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Her combat ability is improving with age, as is her intelligence. At such a young age, Shuri really is a child prodigy and she's going to continue to put Wakanda on the map with her inventions. In the comics, she also has a variety of other abilities (including being able to transform into birds) but the focus is really on her brain here.
7 HANK PYM
One of Marvel's oldest heroes and a member of the original Avengers team, Hank Pym is a complicated character whose mental capacity is both a gift and a curse. He has suffered from many mental health problems and has made many mistakes due to his intelligence, including creating Ultron.
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It cannot be denied, though, that Pym's greatest achievement is the creation of the Pym particles, which allow their user to shrink or grow. Through these, he has discovered the Microverse (Quantum Realm) and gone on many heroic missions across his career.
6 HANK MCCOY
A mutant and key member of the X-Men, Hank McCoy (also known as Beast) is one of Marvel's smartest men. When he isn't protecting the rights of mutants both on and off the battlefield, he is using his vast intellect to solve the many problems the team faces.
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He had a PhD in biochemistry and is the medic out on the field when the X-Men need him to be. He's investigated mutant cures many times, as well as developing ways for himself to turn from Beast to human again. In addition, his proficiency extends beyond this field into many other sciences and he can speak over 8 languages.
5 DR. BRUCE BANNER
Bruce Banner may be famous for his alter ego, the Hulk, but underneath the green exterior is an amazingly intelligent man. Banner is, of course, responsible for creating the Hulk, due to the use of gamma radiation during the course of his research. He has since learnt a lot more about the green goliath and gamma itself.
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Bruce is known for his many inventions, which come under the brand of Bannertech. He is so smart that there may be no way to measure it and he has used his mind just as much as his brawn when helping the Avengers. Banner is so intelligent that he can actually sometimes control the mind of the Hulk, having created alternate versions including Professor Hulk (who we then saw in the MCU).
4 TONY STARK
The son of Howard Stark, Tony is well and truly a genius. He's one of the smartest people on the planet, has more successful businesses than you can count and has made some truly wondrous contraptions. Above all of this, though, he managed to create the first Iron Man armour in a cave using just some junk and scraps.
This technology has evolved in all sorts of ways over the years, all the while being powered by a tiny arc reactor developed by Stark. His intelligence goes beyond just this, though, as he is one of the most advanced scientific minds the Avengers can call upon. He even created an A.I. version of himself.
3 REED RICHARDS
One of the key members of the Fantastic Four, Reed Richards is one of Marvel's first family's brightest minds. Not only is he partially responsible for the powers they gained, but they owe much of their success to him. The Fantastic Four are heavily immersed in the scientific world and Reed Richard's intelligence really helps them.
His inventions are incomparable, from flying cars to a robot that helps them with their superhero duties. His scientific prowess has bettered humanity in countless ways, as have his many side projects such as the Future Foundation (which also included Peter Parker).
2 VALERIA RICHARDS
How many people are smarter than Reed Richards? Only two, arguably, and he's responsible for one of them. Valeria Richards is the daughter of Sue Storm and Reed and she is maybe even smarter than her dad. Having inherited his intellect, she has shown a high level of intelligence from a young age.
Valeria's history is confusing, but what is clear is that she is incredibly smart. At some points she has even rivalled Dr. Doom, who is widely considered to be one of the smartest people in the Marvel Universe. Having been re-invented a few times and been featured at various ages, she may have been smarter than Reed at the age of two!
1 LUNELLA LAFAYETTE
This may come as a surprise to some readers, bu Lunella Lafayette has been established as the smartest Marvel hero. Going by the name Moon Girl, she has Inhuman ancestry and a telepathic link to Devil Dinosaur. The two fight crime together, but when she isn't being a hero, Lunella is experimenting.
She's been dubbed smarter than everyone else on this list and her creations back up that claim. All of her gadgets are then used in battle, so she can continue to improve and be the hero she wishes to be. She takes a lot of risks but this makes up for her lack of experience, as she makes many new discoveries. She's actually so smart that she can talk when she's in the body of Devil Dinosaur!
NEXT: Montclare & Reeder Explain How "Moon Girl" Became The Smartest Person in the Marvel U
NextMarvel: 10 Powers That Corrupted Their UsersAbout The Author
Politics graduate, freelance writer and all around film geek. If George isn't lecturing someone on the history of the MCU, he's probably ranting about the political consequences of Putin's latest horse riding trip.
Whenever we talk about superheroes, the first few things that pop into our minds are physical strength and supernatural abilities that make them so destructive and dominant. But the thing about physical strength is that it cannot be the only determinant of their true powers.
In a universe where heroes (and villains) are given unmatched fighting skills, superhuman strength, invisibility, and abilities to manipulate their surroundings, some characters are known for their sheer intelligence and mental prowess. Some of the most powerful and scary characters in the Marvel universe are often the most intelligent ones.
Among them is a neurosurgeon who learned mystic arts, a brilliant nuclear physicist exposed to gamma radiation, and a teenage girl whose intelligence is acknowledged by some of the greatest minds. So, who are the most intelligent heroes, or villains, in the Marvel universe? Let’s find out.
12. Peter Parker
Abilities: Gifted intellect and talented engineer
As one of the most admired heroes of the Marvel Universe, we are all familiar with Parker’s insane strength (after mutation), especially when enraged. His powers are shown to further increase to new levels while wearing special armor.
Furthermore, as a compliment to his superhuman strength, Peter’s martial arts abilities are so refined that he was able to defeat tougher opponents such as Black Panther, Hawkeye, and Wolverine on different occasions.
But what makes Peter Parker a formidable opponent is his gifted intelligence and vast knowledge of science and engineering skills. After realizing his new powers, Peter designed several gadgets and utility items to enhance his abilities. It includes the sophisticated Web-Shooters, nano-spider tracers, and some of the most advanced Spider suits that we have seen. Showing his hacking skills, Peter Parker once breached Stark Industries network to take control over his Iron Spider Armor from Tony Stark.
His intellect has been widely acknowledged in the superhero community and some greatest minds in the Marvel Universe, including Hank Pym and Tony Stark. Peter’s IQ scores during his college years are almost identical to that of Dr. Reed Richards.
Abilities: Genius Intelligence, tactician, and inventor
T’Challa, the protector and king of the most advanced nation on Earth, Wakanda, is one of Marvel’s most formidable heroes. Not only does he possess supernatural powers, which enhances his abilities to near-superhuman levels, have access to a vast amount of wealth, and powerful diplomatic connections, but he is also a genius intellect.
T’Challa, or Black Panther, has a photographic memory and is adept in physics, engineering, psychology, and economics. He holds a Ph.D. in physics from Oxford University.
With his advanced scientific knowledge, T’Challa developed an entirely new field of study called Shadow Physics, which allowed him to create several effective weapons against vibranium. He is also an expert engineer and has created several advanced gadgets and weaponry, including the original Quinjet and Falcon suit (comics).
10. Nathaniel Essex
Abilities: Genius intelligence, geneticist, expert surgeon, and engineer
Dr. Nathaniel Essex, widely known by his alter-ego, Mister Sinister, is one of the greatest geneticists, if not the greatest, in the Marvel Universe. His expertise in the fields of DNA mutations and cloning is almost second to none.
From a young age, Nathaniel was obsessed with Charles Darwin’s philosophy of ‘Survival of the Fittest.’ He believed that the human race is going through extensive mutations that would make future generations racially superior. It was the foundation of his more than two centuries long villainous career. He received his doctorate in genetics from Stanford University and was a member of the Royal Society.
Dr. Essex was genetically transformed by Apocalypse, an Eternal mutant, after the death of his family. Subsequently, he was granted access to Celestial technology, allowing him to excel as an engineer. From time-to-time, he conducts mutation experiments on himself to obtain the abilities of other mutants.
Being a skilled psychologist and superior strategist, Mr. Sinister can often outsmart his arch-rivals, the X-Men, including Professor X and Magneto. Mr. Sinister was the one who orchestrated the intimate relationship between Cyclopes and Madelyne Pryor (a clone of Jean Grey that he created) for the sole purpose of conceiving a mutant offspring that would later destroy Apocalypse.
Mr. Sinister’s ability to create clones and giving them superpowers at will makes him one of Marvel’s most dangerous villains.
9. Amadeus Cho
Abilities: Super-genius intelligence, Hulk-like powers, hacking
Invention: An A.I suit that enables him to take flight and produce energy barrier
Amadeus Cho is perhaps one of the brilliant minds in the Marvel universe. A teenager, who is incredibly smart for his age, Cho’s intelligence has impressed the likes of Bruce Banner, with whom he would team up frequently. One of the Eternals, Ajak, even acknowledged that Cho is more intelligent than many of his own kind.
Cho’s hypercomputing mind allows him to run any number of complex calculations simultaneously. He can quickly grasp a multitude of information, accurately analyze them, and then adjust his tactics, all in a short time.
Apart from his insane tactical analysis and decision-making skills, Amadeus Cho has an almost unmatched pattern recognition/solving ability and observation skills, which helps him get out of any situation. Cho also boasts a photographic memory.
Amadeus once hacked into the Fantastic Four headquarters’ network to discover that a secret of earth’s most powerful heroes, known as ‘Illuminati‘ had tricked Hulk into exile on a distant planet.
8. Hank Pym
Hank Pym as Gaint Man
Field of expertise: Biochemistry, physics, robotics, entomology
Abilities: Super-Genius Intelligence
Inventions: Discovered Pym particles, Ant-Man’s suit, Ultron
No list of smartest Marvel characters is complete without the mention of Dr. Henry “Hank” Pym. Not only that, he is the greatest biochemist to have ever lived, Dr. Pym’s mastery in other fields of science, such as genetics, entomology, robotics, and physics, is on par with some of the earth’s greatest minds.
Early in his scientific career, Pym discovered an unknown group of subatomic particles, which he later named Pym particles. After finding out their near-magical ability to shrink a living body to the level of an ant, he developed an entire technology around it and became the original Ant-Man. The technology includes a unique cybernetic helmet that allows him to communicate with ants via electrical waves.
One of his greatest, and perhaps most diabolic, inventions is perhaps Ultron, an intelligent and self-aware robot that lives to destroy humanity as it is. Sometime later, to defeat Ultron, once and for all, Dr. Pym created a powerful virus.
But as it turns out, the virus evolved into a sentient being, naming himself Dimitrios, and started attacking military installations. To counter his creation, Pym designed a group of an A.I powered heroes with different abilities, called Avengers Artificial Intelligence Squad.
Alongside Tony Stark, Dr. Pym has created most of the equipment used by the Avengers.
7. Bruce Banner
Field of expertise: Physics, gamma radiation, biology
Abilities: Super-genius intelligence, superhuman strength (Hulk)
Inventions: Several BannerTech equipment such as Gamma Dome generator
The hulk, perhaps one of the most destructive superhero entities on Earth, is almost unstoppable once filled with rage and anger, almost to the level of insanity. In contrast, his alter ego, Bruce Banner, is shy, physically weaker, and Marvel’s one of the most intelligent minds.
Dr. Banner’s expertise in nuclear physics, more specifically, gamma radiation, remains uncontested. His skills are extended to other fields such as biology, chemistry, and engineering. Tony Stark, a physics genius himself, hail Banner as one of the most brilliant minds in the field.
Regarding his engineering skills, Banner has developed a technology that includes gadgets and tools that protect him from a multitude of dangers (when he cannot hulk up). The technology, called BannerTech, is on par with those created by Door Doom and Tony Stark.
One of the devices he developed is the gamma shield generator that could stop relentless attacks from powerful foes such as juggernaut. Then there is a taser that uses the combined energy of the oldstrong power and Gamma rays to toss opponents like wolverine a few feet away.
Dr. Bruce Banner, and his alter-ego, the Hulk, was introduced in the Marvel universe in the May 1962 edition of the Incredible Hulk #1.
6. Tony Stark
Tony Stark in Avengers Assemble (2012) Issue #2
Field of Expertise: Physics, mechanical and electrical engineering
Abilities: Super-genius level intelligence, master tactician, multilingual
Inventions: Iron Man suit, J.A.R.V.I.S
Anthony “Tony” Stark is, without a doubt, one of the most complicated characters in the Marvel universe. He showed signs of brilliance from an early age and a strong affinity to electronics. Tony’s intelligence can be assessed by the fact that he graduated from MIT at the mere age of 17.
After the death of his adoptive parents, Tony inherited the Stark Industries in his early 20s. Showing his exceptional business skills, he turned his father’s firearm company into a major corporation with interests in almost every advanced tech industry.
Stark is also a tactical genius, a quality that he has shown countless times during the battles. He can quickly adapt to change his tactics based on the situation and the opponent. His tactical prowess bested even Mister Fantastic a couple of times on a chessboard. Reed Richard has acknowledged Tony as the world’s best multitasker.
Using his advanced mechanical skills and intelligence, Tony has created many formidable weapons over the years. His state-of-the-art suits are more than capable of battling some of Marvel’s mightiest characters.
The Phoenix-Buster armor, which Tony created with Hank Pym, was able to blast Phoenix Force into pieces; with the Thorbuster, Tony was able to put up a fight with ‘the god of thunder’ Thor face-to-face; and was able to hold Hulk with the Hulkbuster.
5. Herbert Wyndham
Abilities: Super-Genius Intelligence, mental invisibility, telepathic communication
Creations: Counter-Earth, genetically-engineered creatures, New Immortals (clones of Thor)
Herbert Wyndham, aka the High Evolutionary, is a brilliant scientist whose prowess in the field of genetics is matched or surpassed by only a few. Wyndham started advanced genetic engineering trials during his time at Stanford University. The nature of his researches was so controversial that he was expelled from the university.
With the help of a fellow scientist, Jonathan Drew, Wyndham established his base on Wundagore Mountain in Transia. It’s the place where the Scarlet Witch (Wanda) would be born years later. His exceptional knowledge in genetics allowed him to create an entire race of artificial mutant animals called ‘New Men.’ These genetically engineered creatures possess human-like intelligence.
After gaining the ability to evolve himself at will, the High Evolutionary created “Counter-Earth,” a fully evolved version of the Earth but without corruption and evil. He used his advanced bio-rays technology to alter elements from the original planet to build a perfect Earth.
When Galactus and the Beyonders discovered Counter-Earth’s existence, the High Evolutionary found himself battling the cosmic entities for control over the planet and was easily overpowered.
Following his captivating encounter with the Beyonders, Wyndham decided to surpass them. To do that, he gathered and sterilized genetic data of various mutants and alien species in the Marvel Universe and a ‘genetic bomb.’ It was responsible for the demi-god Hercules and the High Evolutionary himself to hyper-evolve to a point where they turn disembodied.
4. Doctor Doom
Field of Expertise: Virtually scientific field
Abilities: Super-genius intelligence, magic
Doctor Victor Von Doom is a ruthless, egomaniacal supervillain who crushes his opponents (or toy with them) using his brute intelligence. Over the years, Doctor Doom has created several powerful weapons (not necessarily with evil intentions).
Among these are “Doombots,” sophisticated robotic replicas of his own self. Powered by artificial intelligence, these robots individually act as real Dr. Doom whenever he is not around. They have allowed Doom to re-surface time and time again after a seemingly imminent death. Another such creation of Doctor Doom is Servo-Guards, the robotic soldiers of Latveria, who once defeated the Fantastic Four members.
At the beginning of the Secret Wars (2015 comic book), Doom joined the team of Doctor Strange and Molecule Man to try and stop the Beyonders in their track to destroy the multiverse.
Doctor Doom, with the help of his two associates, devise a plan to not only defeat the Beyonders but salvage the remaining fragments of the multiverse to create an entirely new planet called ‘Battleworld.’ He later became the ‘God Emperor’ Doom and ruled the planet.
The closest comparison to Dr. Doom’s intellect is that of Reed Richards, who is also his arch-nemesis. Like Reed, Doom is proficient in almost every scientific field, most of which is self-taught as he was expelled out of college before graduating. What separates the two is the latter’s natural skills in politics, strategy, manipulation, and magic.
3. Reed Richards
Reed Richards of Earth-81551
Fields of Expertise: Almost all fields of engineering and physics; biology; chemistry
Abilities: Super-genius intelligence and hypnotism
Dr. Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic, can extend his body to any extent, alter his physical features for effective disguise, or contain an explosion with his malleable body. But his most valuable power is his unparalleled intelligence.
Mr. Fantastic and his group of mutated superheroes have been to many impossible situations, and, in most cases, it was Reed’s sheer intellect that made the difference.
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Reed Richards was born in a family of scientists. His father, Nathaniel Richards, was a prominent physicist and an inspiration for young Reed to pursue science. After graduating from CalTech at the age of fourteen, he attended other prestigious universities such as Harvard and the University of Vienna. He obtained multiple doctorates in the fields of physics, engineering, and math.
Reed is adept in almost every scientific discipline known to humans, be it aviation, robotics, information technology, quantum physics or biochemistry, mutations, and molecular engineering. His knowledge in the fields of extra dimensions and time travel is unparalleled.
2. Lunella Lafayette
Lunella Lafayette with her partner Devil
Abilities: Neuralkinesis, Super-genius intelligence
Lunella Lafayette, also known as Moon Girl, is a nine-year-old girl who is known for her unparalleled intelligence and her ability to ‘connect’ with her partner, Devil Dinosaur, a mutant Tyrannosaurus rex with above-human intelligence.
Lafayette, despite her young age, is proficient in computer programming and advanced hacking techniques. She developed a complex algorithm that would detect and track Terrigen Mist, a mutation-causing vapor, by analyzing local weather patterns. Lafayette showed her superior hacking skills when she snooped into NYPD servers to find and rescue her dinosaur partner.
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She is also a gifted engineer and inventor. Some of her most advanced creations are Inversion-Gravity boots and Moonbots, which she created by reverse engineering Doombots. Moreover, she built a unique tracking device that allows her to find Kree technologies such as Omni-Wave Projector.
1. Valeria Richards
Abilities: Genius-level intellect
Valeria Richards, aka Brainstorm, is the second and youngest child of Dr. Reed Richards and Susan Storm. Being conceived by her radiation-muted parents in the Negative Zone, an antimatter universe discovered by Dr. Reed, Valeria appeared to be stillborn. Eventually, she was saved by Dr. Doom with his magical and scientific knowledge.
Unlike her elder brother, Franklin Richards, Valeria lacks Omega level mutant powers such as reality-altering. But she more than makes up for her lack of superhuman strength and power with extraordinary intellect.
Sometime after the events of the Civil War, Valeria’s intelligence went through a sudden leap, reaching the levels that would match her father’s. After witnessing her advanced intelligence, Reed even allowed her to work in his laboratory.
There are many instances where Valeria has shown her intellectual abilities to get herself out of seemingly impossible situations. During the “Dark Reign,” when Valeria and her brother found themselves surrounded by Norman Osborn and his H.A.M.M.E.R agents, she was able to lure Osborn into a trap alone, allowing both siblings to escape.
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Through her genius-level intellect, Valeria was able to recognize Tabitha Deneuve, who was her nanny at that time, was the future self of her mother, Susan (Death of the Invisible Woman).
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The 10 Smartest Superheroes in Marvel
In the world of superheroes, knowledge really is power, whether it’s to tackle alien invasions or build new tech. Among thousands of characters in the Marvel Universe, these are the smartest of them all.
In contrast to his superhuman powers, Hank McCoy a.k.a Beast is a medical and technological genius with six PhDs. Hank is an expert in genetics, biochemistry, and electronics. What makes Hank one of the smartest superheroes is his ability to recall complex mathematical or chemical formulae with little to no research. Hank used his intellect in upgrading the Blackbird, the Danger Room, and he created a scrambler tool that could scramble all communication devices.
Many may know Jennifer Walters, a.k.a She-Hulk for her super-strength and combat skills, but she is also a skilled and experienced attorney and alumnus of UCLA School of Law. While at UCLA, she was a member of a national merit society for top legal scholars known as the Order of the Coif. As one of the best defense attorneys in the Marvel Universe, when heroes need to go to court, they approach Jennifer for advice. Though she is a supporter of Tony Stark, as an attorney, she advised individuals on both sides of the Civil War.
Amadeus Cho is a man with the mind of a supercomputer and power of Hercules. He can process multiple streams of information around him which allows him to find solutions to tactical challenges faster. He has shown himself capable of doing anything from redirecting a laser-guided missile with a wing mirror or tracking the Hulk based on his trajectory and jump height. Amadeus also got the name “Totally Awesome Hulk” for his ability to draw the entire gamma radiation from Bruce Banner himself.
Hank Pym is a scientist, researcher, and superhero. He is a pioneer in quantum physics and his other fields of expertise include robotics, cybernetics, entomology, and biochemistry. In the comics, Hank is the creator of robot Ultron and repaired Vision often. He even constructed a flying jet with artificial intelligence named Rover, used by the Avengers.
Besides her ability to walk through walls, Kitty Pryde is one of the best hackers in the Marvel universe. Kitty is capable of programming, modifying, and diagnosing almost any computer system: even those of unfamiliar human and extraterrestrial origin. When Ogun had taken control of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier’s computer system, Kitty regained control of the computers. She also hacked into the systems at Murderworld so she could escape.
The “genius, billionaire, playboy, and philanthropist,” Tony Stark, is a successful scientist, skilled engineer, and an expert multitasker. Stark used his proficiency in science to build his hallmark Iron Man suits. Each suit has its own specialty, including space travel, stealth, flight, and more. Tony also has the ability to work with 3D imaging and artificial intelligence. He and his A.I computer J.A.R.V.I.S form a formidable team.
With his extraordinary telepathic abilities and genius intellect, Charles Xavier a.k.a Professor X is undoubtedly one of the smartest characters in the Marvel Universe. His educational background includes PhDs in Genetics, Biophysics, Psychology, and Anthropology, and an MD in Psychiatry. Charles is known as the world’s most powerful telepath with his ability to create telepathic illusions and mask his presence with a telepathic cloak. His other powers include mind control, mind transferal, and astral projection. Charles is also the inventor of Cerebro, a super cool mutant tracking machine.
T’Challa is the ruler of world’s most technologically advanced nation, Wakanda. Due to the tremendous deposits of the metal vibranium, Wakanda emerged as the most civilized and richest nation on the planet.
With genius-level intellect and power from the Panther God, T’Challa is undoubtedly one of the smartest. He has a photographic memory and is a genius in physics. He also combined alchemy with science to create a field called Shadow Physics, which allowed him to track Vibranium on a quantum level, craft weapons, and create a teleportation device.
Reed Richards a.k.a Mr. Fantastic was the man behind countless inventions and theories in Marvel. The founding member of the Fantastic Four is the mastermind behind inter-dimensional travel and aerospace engineering. Reed’s super-intelligence has allowed him to invent everything from rocket ships to explosive staircases. One interesting creation that he created with Doctor Doom was the Transporter — a machine that allows travel to the afterlife to communicate with the dead. Reed’s abilities allow him to solve every problem in the world.
This entry might come as a bit of a surprise but yes, Lunella Lafayette, a.k.a Moon Girl, is among Marvel’s smartest superheroes. This nine-year-old black girl’s intellect surpasses that of Reed Richards. Lunella is part human, part Inhuman, which means she’s stronger and smarter than the average person. Lunella quickly completed the Banner B.O.X competence test, which was intentionally intended to be unsolvable. She is also a skilled inventor and an expert hacker. Thus, she has one of the sharpest minds in the entire Marvel universe.
Movie Buff. Marvel Fanatic. Abstract Artist. Fan Contributor
Comic Book Character I.Q.
Posted onOctober 30, 2013byCian Beirdd
Here is my rough idea, based on a previous article on intelligence/perceptual proportionality. My guideline is that there are ten types of intelligence, conveniently categorized into creativity, wisdom, analytical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, linguistic, mechanical, natural, wit, and symbolic. In calculating each separate intelligence, 10 equaled average (100) for a person aware of four dimensions, 12 was above average (115), 15 was genius level (130), 20 was 145, 25 was an ultra genius (160), 32 was equal to 175, 40 meant a 190, and 50 was the pinnacle of human possibility (205). I adjusted accordingly if a being perceived more than four dimensions. I’ll try to update these as I work through them. I have separated by universe.
- Norma Cenva (8) 2995
- Leto Atreides (7) 1178
- Paul Atreides (6) 472
- Galadriel (6) 571
- Sauron (6) 538
- Saruman (6) 484
- Mxyzptlk (14) 211,051
- Doctor Manhattan (10) 13,441
- J’onn J’onzz (7) 1389
- Raven (7) 1076
- Parallax (6) 555
- Wonder Woman (5) 301
- Aquaman (5) 246
- Vandal Savage (5) 242
- Superman 205
- Bane 199
- Batman 199
- Captain Marvel 198
- Batgirl/Oracle 193
- Lex Luthor 187
- Joker 184
- Penguin 183
- Gorilla Grod 178
- Cyborg 170
- Miracle Man 170
- John Constantine 162
- Darkseid 161
- Ra’s al Ghul 158
- Rorschach 155
- Harley Quinn 154
- Hawkman 147
- Supergirl 146
- Brainiac 145
- Starfire 145
- Beast Boy 144
- Nightwing 144
- Poison Ivy 144
- Vixen 140
- Two-Face 139
- Cable 134
- Plastic-Man 132
- Deathstroke 131
- Enchantress 130
- Mr. Freeze 130
- Jonah Hex 126
- Dick Tracy 125
- Zatanna 125
- The Flash (Barry Allen) 124
- Catwoman 121
- Robin 121
- Green Arrow 119
- Talia al Ghul 119
- Hawkwoman 117
- Green Lantern 113
- Black Adam 111
- Sinestro 105
- General Zod 104
- Black Canary (Dinah Drake) 102
- Bizarro 92
- Beyonder (10) 9865
- Galactus (8) 2365
- Thanos (7) 1150
- Swamp Thing (6) 766
- Loki (6) 476
- Gideon (6) 462
- Thor (6) 447
- Apocalypse (5) 359
- The Leader (5) 295
- Mister Fantastic 204
- Black Panther 196
- Ironman 195
- Hulk 183
- Cypher 175
- Ultron 167
- The Wasp 163
- Green Goblin 162
- Professor Xavier 162
- Ant-Man 160
- Beast 160
- Magneto 157
- Dr. Strange 156
- Red Skull 140
- Spider-Man 138
- The Flash (Wally West) 132
- Aaron Stack 131
- Emma Frost 129
- Nick Fury 129
- Invisible Woman 125
- Silver Surfer 125
- Lightspeed 124
- Colossus 123
- Black Cat 121
- Daredevil 119
- Mystique 118
- Quake 118
- Captain America 117
- Star-Lord 117
- She-Hulk 114
- Wolverine 114
- Storm 113
- Solo 112
- Cable 111
- Cyclops 111
- Namor 109
- Jean Grey 107
- Moon Knight 107
- Empath 104
- Rogue 104
- Ghost Rider 103
- Sabertooth 103
- U.S. Agent 103
- Blazing Skull 100
- Blade 99
- Luke Cage 99
- Bullseye 95
- Hercules 92
- Tarot 89
- The Blob 75
- Ood Bnar (7) 1091
- T’ra Saa (7) 1052
- Garnoo (7) 954
- Volfe Karko (6) 554
- Urai Fen (6) 483
- Rakatan Warrior (6) 462
- Darth Vitiate (5) 332
- Belia Darzu (5) 230
- Willm Lywin (5) 243
- Firkrann (5) 242
- Ilum (5) 242
- Nikkos Tyris (5) 222
- Rokur Gepta (5) 222
- Beldorion (5) 215
- Revan 182
- Gaege Xarran 172
- Marka Ragnos 167
- S’ybll 165
- Fay 164
- Tenebrous 164
- Valara Saar 164
- Kaan 162
- Kadaan 161
- Cron 158
- Kit Fisto 157
- Thon 157
- Dathka Graush 156
- Jerec 154
- Lumiya 153
- Yarael Poof 153
- Freedon Nadd 151
- Qui-Gon Jinn 151
- Jaalib Brandl 150
- Sidious 150
- Yoda 150
- Onimi 148
- Vodo-Siosk Baas 147
- Ooroo 145
- Kreia 144
- Ben Skywalker 142
- Tyvokka 141
- Loomi Plo 140
- Mira 139
- Coleman Trebor 137
- Jacen Solo 137
- Satele Shan 136
- Vandar Tokare 136
- Adalric Brandl 135
- Yaddle 135
- Naga Sadow 134
- Darth Rivan 133
- Ludo Kresch 133
- Jaden Korr 132
- Nomi Sunrider 132
- Triclops 132
- Mical 131
- Saesee Tiin 131
- Haazen 130
- Oppo Rancisis 130
- Awdrysta Pina 129
- Kirlocca 129
- Kyle Katarn 129
- Vergere 129
- Zuckuss 129
- Bodo Baas 128
- Scourge 128
- Plo Koon 127
- Xendor 127
- Andeddu 126
- Depa Billaba 126
- Ikrit 126
- Tyrannus 126
- Cilghal 125
- Luminara Unduli 125
- Kazdan Paratus 124
- Maladi 124
- Shaak Ti 124
- Anakin Solo 123
- Jagged Fel 123
- Jolee Bindo 123
- Obi-Wan Kenobi 123
- Sev’rance Tann
- Ajunta Pall 122
- Granta Omega 122
- Kueller 122
- Lowbacca 122
- Brakiss 121
- Cop Shykrill 121
- Foul Moudama 121
- K’Kruhk 121
- Meetra Surik 121
- Naga Sadow 121
- Saba Sebatyne 121
- Set Harth 121
- Ysanne Isard 121
- Ahsoka Tano 120
- Empatojayos Brand 120
- Krynda Draay 120
- Luke Skywalker 120
- Mace Windu 120
- Quinlan Vos 120
- Callista Ming 119
- Eeth Koth 119
- Jaina Solo 119
- Kith Kark 119
- Kol Skywalker 119
- Naga Sadow 119
- Phanius 119
- Soontir Fel 119
- Tionne Solusar 119
- Visas Marr 119
- Anakin Skywalker 118
- Darth Vader 118
- Dorsk 81 118
- Dorsk 82 118
- Dorsk 83 118
- Kavar 118
- Leia Organa-Solo 118
- Zayne Carrick 118
- Atris 117
- Atton Rand 117
- Bultar Swan
- Kyp Durron 117
- Aayla Secura 116
- Grael 116
- Halbret 116
- Phobos 116
- Stass Allie 116
- Voolvif Monn 116
- Wolf Sazen 116
- Kas’im 115
- Sar Agorn 115
- Antares Draco 114
- Plagueis 114
- Roni von Wasaki 114
- Shado Vao 114
- Ulaha Kore 114
- Valenthyne Farfalla 114
- Zuckuss 114
- Kirana Ti 113
- Maris Brood 113
- Silri 113
- Tahiri Veila 113
- Wicket Warrick 113
- Allya 112
- An’ya Kuro 112
- Celeste Morne 112
- Even Piell 112
- Exar Kun 112
- Jarael 112
- Kam Solusar 112
- Krayt 112
- Bao-Dur 111
- Tallisebeth Enwandun 111
- BoShek 110
- Ferus Olin 110
- Boshek 110
- Dasariah Kothos 110
- Ferus Olin 110
- Grievous 110
- Komari Vosa 110
- Sly Moore 110
- Sora Bulq 110
- Tenel Ka Djo 110
- Vil Kothos 110
- Wyyrlok III 110
- Zekk 110
- Cay Qel-Droma 109
- Oss Willum 109
- Raynar Thul 109
- Roan Fel 109
- Antares Draco 108
- Barriss Offee 108
- Carnor Jax 108
- Dev Sibwarra
- Guun Hun Saresh 108
- Keyan Farlander 108
- Tulak Hord 108
- Zannah 108
- Zayne Carrick 108
- Asajj Ventress 107
- Brianna 107
- Ganner Rhysode 107
- Irek Ismaren 107
- Jocasta Nu 107
- Marasiah Fel 107
- Charal 106
- Cin Drallig 106
- Ephant Mon 106
- Nihilius 106
- Sedriss 106
- Vrook Lamar 106
- Bastila Shan 105
- Hethrir 105
- Alora 105
- Duron Qel-Droma 104
- Ganner Krieg
- Jorus C’Baoth
- Mara Jade Skywalker 104
- Cade Skywalker 103
- Desann 103
- Tyria Sarkin-Tainer 103
- Lucien Draay 102
- Siri Tachi 102
- Nihl 102
- Aurra Sing 101
- Flint 101
- Ki-Adi-Mundi 100
- Wurth Skidder 100
- Amanoa 99
- Anoon Bondara 99
- Antinnis Tremayne 99
- Nahdar Vebb 99
- Rosh Penin 99
- Tavion Axmis 99
- Tesar Sebatyne 99
- Tholme 99
- Darth Malak 98
- Lord Hoth 98
- Uliq Qel-Droma 98
- Yun 98
- Vima-Da-Boda 97
- Rahm Kota 97
- Corran Horn 96
- Teebo 96
- Arden Lyn 95
- Darth Talon 95
- Dustil Onasi 95
- Etain Tur-Mukan 95
- Force Vampire 95
- Galen Marek 95
- Jax Pavan 95
- Roron Corobb 95
- Agen Kolar 94
- Darth Bandon 94
- Juhani 94
- Kaox Krul 94
- . Darth Bane 93
- Logray 93
- Deja 92
- Kenth Hamner 92
- Darth Maul 90
- Ved Kennede 88
- Savage Oppress 86
- Maw 81
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10 Smartest Characters In Marvel Comics, Ranked
The Marvel Universe has some of the most powerful characters in comic books, but more than that, it also has some of the smartest heroes and villains. From the start of Marvel Comics, scientists and inventors operated as some of the world's greatest heroes, in opposition to the godlike heroes in DC.
RELATED: 15 Smartest Characters In The MCU
From teenage scientist hopefuls bit by radioactive spiders to industrialist geniuses who created a suit of armor to save his life, scientists ruled the day. This was no more evident than in the Fantastic Four comics, where Reed Richards was the smartest man in the world. However, as time moved on, new geniuses popped up and the smartest people in Marvel have changed throughout the years.
10 Amadeus Cho
Amadeus Cho added his name to the list of the smartest people in Marvel Comics as a child. He has a supercomputer brain and his original superpower was seeing everything happening around him and finding a way to solve any problem instantly. Then, he became a Hulk and added brawn to his brains.
Many characters in the comics called Amadeus Cho the eighth smartest man on Earth, but there are many things that keep him under others in the entire universe. Cho is more intelligent than almost anyone he battles, but he is also somewhat immature and impulsive, which holds him under many others in Marvel Comics.
9 Hank Pym
Hank Pym was one of the smartest characters in early Marvel Comics. He first appeared in Tales to Astonish #27 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby as a scientist who created a way to alter his body's size but keep the same strength and power. He also created the robot Ultron, which backfired in a big way.
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At one time, Pym learned that while Doctor Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth, it is Pym who is the Scientist Supreme. Pym has a Ph.D. in biochemistry and nanotechnology and is an expert at almost every scientific area of study. What holds him down is that he has dealt with emotional issues in his life that limited what he could accomplish with his brain.
8 Bruce Banner
Bruce Banner was an intelligent child, which caused problems in his household. His father Brian thought that Banner was a monster because he was so smart and often bullied and degraded his son as a result. When Brian killed Banner's mother, the child created mental blocks in his mind and that resulted in a split personality when he ended up becoming Hulk.
As Banner, he is an expert in biology, chemistry, engineering, medicine, physiology, and nuclear physics. He is an expert in gamma technology, but his intelligence never allowed him to cure himself of the gamma radiation that turned him into Hulk. The MCU had Bruce Banner and Tony Stark as science bros, playing on his comic intelligence.
7 Tony Stark
Tony Stark is a small step ahead of Bruce Banner in the comics. While Banner is an expert in biological sciences, Stark mastered mechanical and electrical engineering, and he is an expert in chemistry, computer science, and physics. While in a cave with little technology, he created the first Iron Man suit, proving Tony Stark was one of Marvel's smartest characters.
Stark is also a quick thinker and can solve problems in the middle of a battle. He has invented almost more tech to use in battle than anyone outside of Reed Richards and is one of the greatest tech inventors in Marvel Comics.
6 The High Evolutionary
The High Evolutionary evolved beyond most humans. After learning from Mister Sinister, Hubert Wyndham eclipsed everything his mentor ever did and became godlike as a result. The High Evolutionary created new lifeforms and has mastered the technique to the point where he can create anything new without problems.
The High Evolutionary is the smartest geneticist in the universe and is an expert at most forms of scientific technique. He also has cosmic awareness, which puts him on another level from mere mortals.
5 Victor Von Doom
Victor Von Doom believes he is the smartest man on the planet and has stated more than once that he is smarter than his greatest rival, Reed Richards. However, Doom made mistakes in his early scientific research, which Richards pointed out to him. Since that time, Doom has always strived to better Richards.
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While Doom is a super-genius, he still ranks below Richards, as the Fantastic Four leader has always bested him in battles that relied on their brains. Doom has magic on his side, which helps him match up with the FF, but in terms of brainpower, he falls below Richards.
4 Lunella Lafayette
Lunella Lafayette, also known as Moon Girl, is the youngest super genius in Marvel Comics. She also knows she is smart and has no problem flaunting her brainpower to anyone from Amadeus Cho and Peter Parker to Reed Richards himself. She has every reason to remain unhumbled.
She has created some amazing inventions with little to no resources, helping her match Tony Stark without access to the same equipment he possesses. She also solved the Banner Brain Omnicompetence Examiner, which was supposed to be unsolvable, in seconds.
3 Reed Richards
For many years, Reed Richards was considered the smartest person in the Marvel Universe. Reed was the first true explorer in Marvel Comics, but it ended up transforming the Fantastic Four into superheroes due to an accident. Since that time, Reed has created more inventions and discovered more previously unknown things than anyone else on Earth.
Reed discovered the Negative Zone and created a portal to enter it. Reed created Unstable Molecules, which heroes have used to keep their costumes from destruction when using their powers. Reed has mastered space travel, time travel, and extra-dimensional travel. When someone on Earth needs scientific help, they go to Reed Richards.
2 Valeria Richards
Reed Richards said that his daughter Valeria Richards eclipsed him in intelligence when she was only three years old. She was so smart that she hid her intelligence, at the age of three, because she knew at that time it would destroy her family in the future if they knew.
In recent issues of Fantastic Four, Reed said that Valeria had come up with inventions that he couldn't have created himself. By surpassing her father, Valeria is the smartest person in Marvel Comics when it comes to those on Earth.
Most people look at Thanos and see his power levels. He is one of the strongest beings in the universe, and his use of the Infinity Gauntlet made him the deadliest as well. However, there is more to Thanos than his power levels. He is one of the most intelligent beings in the entire universe.
Thanos is a genius, even by Eternals standards. He has immense scientific and tactical knowledge and used his genius to genetically enhance himself to strengthen his power levels. He created the chair he uses to teleport, fly, and travel through dimensions. His inventions in comics were greater than anything an Earthling ever created.
NEXT: 10 Best Variants Of Thanos In Marvel Comics
NextNightwing's Best Mentors In DC ComicsAbout The Author
Shawn S. Lealos is a senior writer on ScreenRant who fell in love with movies in 1989 after going to the theater to see Tim Burton's Batman as his first big screen experience.
Shawn received his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma with a minor in Film Studies. He has worked as a journalist for over 25 years, first in the world of print journalism before moving to online media as the world changed. Shawn is a former member of the Society of Professional Journalists and current member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle. He has work published in newspapers such as Daily Oklahoman and Oklahoma Gazette and magazines such as Vox Magazine, Loud Magazine, and Inside Sports Magazine. His work on the Internet has been featured on websites like The Huffington Post, Yahoo Movies, Chud, Renegade Cinema, 411mania, and Sporting News.
Shawn is also a published author, with a non-fiction book about the Stephen King Dollar Baby Filmmakers and has begun work on a new fiction series as well. Visit Shawn Lealos' website to learn more about his novel writing and follow him on Twitter @sslealos.
Dangerous Minds: The 25 Smartest Characters In The Marvel Universe, Officially Ranked
From mutant masterminds to tech geniuses and cosmic titans, join CBR as we count down the most dangerous minds the Marvel Universe has ever seen!
When used correctly, intelligence can be a truly scary thing. Some of the most powerful people in the world are like that because they have the capacity for meticulous planning and great intelligence. The same thing can be said for characters in the comics. Except, because of the nature of the medium, comics tend to be far more fantastic with examples of intelligence, which in turn, makes these characters even more dangerous than anyone in the real world. We can dream, but it’s highly unlikely that anyone will be as smart as the characters near the top of this list.
So many characters in Marvel Comics are able to be involved in this world of gods and magic and superpowers simply because their intelligence and will outclass their opponents. Iron Man is one of Marvel's most powerful heroes because of his intelligence and affinity for technology, and Doctor Doom may be the greatest villain that the Marvel Universe faces because of his extreme intelligence and immovable determination. From genetic engineering to creating planetary superweapons, these people do the impossible as a part of their daily routine. With that being said, here’s our official ranking of the 25 most dangerous minds in the Marvel Universe.
25 RED GHOST
While he may not be the most well-known character, the Red Ghost was one of the Fantastic Four's first villains and has an's incredible intellect deserves to be recognized. Ivan Kragoff and his Super-Apes premiered in Fantastic Four #13 in 1963, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. He was a Soviet rocket scientist who was determined to win the space race and claim the Moon in the name of Communism. He trained three apes to be his crew (instead of regular people) and shot himself into space. He put himself in the path of the cosmic storm that gave the Fantastic Four their superpowers because he correctly theorized that exposure to the storm would empower him. And on this day, the Red Ghost was born.
Red Ghost’s main power is the ability of intangibility, however his incredible intelligence may be more of a benefit than his powers. Kragoff is an expert in rocketry, engineering, genetics, robotics, physics, and hypnotism and he also possesses a Ph.D. in radiology. On top of that, he’s become somewhat of an expert at training simians due to the circumstances of his origin. He’s invented numerous weapons and machines that have aided him in his evil plans and was even considered smart enough to join Intelligencia, an organization of the smartest supervillains on the planet. This was a group that consisted of the Leader, M.O.D.O.K., and even Doctor Doom, so Kragoff is in good company.
24 NORMAN OSBORN
Unhinged, sociopathic, and far more lethal than one might give him credit for, Norman Osborn may just be Spider-Man’s archenemy. However, Osborn managed to go beyond a simple Spider-Man villain and became a Marvel Universe villain during the events of Dark Reign. Osborn was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and debuted in The Amazing Spider-Man #14 in 1964. He’s a self-made man who created his own company, Oscorp Industries. However, greed caused him to oust his business partner and use his notes to try and perfect an experimental performance-enhancing drug. The chemical increased his physical and mental abilities at the cost of his sanity.
Osborn may be outclassed on this list, but his intelligence is more about application than just knowing facts.
Osborn may be the most cunning individual on the entire planet. Like Ultron, he is an incredible planner. But unlike Ultron, he has a businessman’s mindset, allowing him to play the long game. And also unlike Ultron, he’s human, which makes it easier for him to manipulate emotions and convince others to do what he wants. He’s essentially a slightly less- smart Lex Luthor. He’s successfully tormented Spider-Man for years. And during Dark Reign, he maneuvered himself into a position of power that essentially let him do whatever he pleased. He’s no slouch in science either. He was knowledgeable in chemistry and electrical engineering, even before the Goblin Formula gave him a genius level intellect in genetics, robotics, engineering, physics and applied chemistry.
The Black Panther is a title that generally stays within the royal family and, because of that, it was inevitable that T’Challa’s younger sister, Shuri, would eventually take on the mantle of Black Panther, even if it was temporary, and have her time in the spotlight. Shuri was created by Reginald Hudlin and John Romita Jr. and premiered in Black Panther vol. 4 #2 in 2005. In the 2018 MCU blockbuster, Black Panther, Shuri was shown to actually be the most intelligent person on Earth, even smarter than Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. She serves as Wakanda’s resident tech genius and is the brain behind some of the most advanced technology on Earth.
Shuri in the comics may not be quite the genius that her MCU counterpart is, but she does possess intelligence comparable to her brother, T’Challa. Shuri went through very similar training to T’Challa as she had to become the Black Panther once he was exiled from Wakanda. During this training, she also studied until she could be classified as a genius, though she has fewer feats of intelligence to display than her older brother. She has, however, proven to be a skilled tactician, commanding Wakanda’s army during her time as queen and using unconventional tactics to root out insurrectionists.
22 ARNIM ZOLA
Most of the people on this list made their name off of their mechanical inventions or their knowledge of any of the branches of physics, but Arnim Zola is different. He may be the world’s foremost expert in biological sciences. Zola premiered in Captain America #288 in 1977. He was created by Jack Kirby and served (chronologically at least) as one of the first evil geniuses and also as one of the first scientists to truly experiment with genetic engineering after he found data left behind by the ancient Deviants.
He fought Captain America during World War II and survived into now by putting his consciousness in a robot body.
Zola is an exceptional biochemist, best known for creating genetic experiments that can challenge superhumans such as Primus (a shapeshifting android), Doughboy (a mass of extremely malleable, living bioform), Man-Fish (a fish.. man) and Vermin (a man with rat-like abilities). He also has a talent for neurosciences, as he has shown an ability to transfer consciousnesses easily and his robotic body always possesses an ESP box which can control the minds of his creations and others, transfer minds, and attack them. His genius is a big part of why the Red Skull is so dangerous.
21 DOCTOR OCTOPUS
Doc Ock is one of the most recognizable mad scientists in the Marvel Universe. Doctor Otto Octavius premiered in The Amazing Spider-Man #3 in 1963, created by the classic team of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. He was the third villain Spider-Man has ever faced and has evolved into one of the most recognizable and devious villains in Spider-Man’s rogues gallery. Only Norman Osborn could possibly challenge him for the mantle of Spider-Man’s archenemy. His scientific genius and the four mechanical arms on his back, that he has full control over, make him more than a match for Spider-Man, who always struggles to defeat Doctor Octopus.
Octavius is one of the leading experts in atomic physics and has a PhD. in nuclear science. His knowledge in radiation is so great that Mister Fantastic asked for his advice when Sue had complications with her pregnancy due to cosmic radiation. His expertise may be in physics, but he’s also a talented engineer and inventor. Doc Ock has invented a great number of devices over the years and seems to have a new one every time Spider-Man encounters him. His most triumphant device, however, was the one that switched his consciousness with that of Spider-Man’s. So while Octavius gained the strength and identity of his greatest foe, he stuck Peter in his old, dying body and Peter was actually unable to switch back, prompting Ock to keep the body and become the Superior Spider-Man.
Ultron has long been one of the Avengers’ greatest foes. Though he’s remarkably powerful, most of his strength comes from his incredible intelligence and planning. He was created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema and premiered in The Avengers #54 in 1968. In-universe, Ultron was invented by Hank Pym and modeled him after his own brain patterns. Ultron almost immediately developed an Oedipus complex and rebelled against his creator, eventually turning against the whole world as well. His first action against the world was to reform the Masters of Evil to take out the Avengers.
A super-robot created by one of the smartest men in the world definitely has a place on this list.
Ultron has consistently been a worldwide threat since his creation. He’s one of the Avengers’ greatest foes and a lot of that has to do with his ability to create nearly foolproof plans. He’s pushed the Avengers to their limits by engineering situations where they’re designed to fail at stopping him. And he does it better than many villains. Also, as a robot, he was created with the entire world’s knowledge at his disposal. He’s a skilled inventor as well, with his greatest creation being the synthezoid Vision who possesses sentience and was powerful enough to take on the Avengers in his first appearance.
19 ADAM BRASHEAR
What can’t this guy do? Adam Brashear, or Blue Marvel, is one of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Universe. He’s able to trade blows with the likes of Thor and the Sentry. But unlike those two, he’s also a genius. Blue Marvel premiered in Adam: Legend of Blue Marvel in 2008, and was created by Kevin Grevioux. However, he’s been a hero since the 1960s. He was convinced to retire by the United States government once his costume was damaged in battle, and it was revealed that he was black.
After that, Brashear put his intelligence to good use and became a physics professor at the University of Maryland. But his intelligence can be used for things beyond teaching. Brashear possesses a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics and a Masters in Electrical Engineering, both from Cornell University. What he’s most well known for, however, is his expertise on the relatively unknown phenomenon of Anti-Matter, which is created via the interaction between the Negative Zone and the regular universe. He and his partner, Conner Sims, invented a Negative Reactor to create a stable portal to the Negative Zone and they planned to use this event horizon to draw on Anti-Matter. His knowledge of this phenomenon allowed him to defeat the more powerful Sims who gained incredible abilities in the same accident that gave Brashear his powers.
When about 75% of your body is made up of a head, you’re bound to have a formidable intelligence. M.O.D.O.K premiered in Tales of Suspense #93 where he was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby as a Captain America villain. He was originally born George Tarleton until mutagenic experimentations by A.I.M. turned him into the villainous M.O.D.O.K or Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing (initially, the "K" was a "C" that stood for Computing). A.I.M. planned to use Tarleton’s incredible intellect to study and improve the Cosmic Cube that they recently created but barely understood.
However, M.O.D.O.K. rebelled against his masters and took over A.I.M. for himself.
M.O.D.O.K was created to be intelligent. His mind is essentially a supercomputer, as he’s able to analyze large amounts of complex data, retain it seemingly forever, and perform complicated calculations instantaneously. He also possesses the ability to calculate the probability of events so effectively that he seems to know what people are going to do before they do it. However, M.O.D.O.K. does not possess any creativity beyond that of a normal person, making him easy to predict and counter if you’ve dealt with him before.
17 PROFESSOR XAVIER
If his powers were taken into consideration, Professor Charles Xavier would easily be near the top of this list. However, even without his powers, Xavier is still very intelligent. He was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and, obviously and made his first appearance in X-Men #1 in 1963. He is the person who plucked the original five X-Men out of their lives of fear and isolation and brought them to his school for mutants. From there, Xavier has been a fixture, not just for the X-Men but in the entire Marvel Universe.
Xavier has been acknowledged several times as the world’s foremost expert on mutations. Though he might not abuse his knowledge to the extent that Mister Sinister and the High Evolutionary do, he has learned all there is to learn about mutants. But he has knowledge of other fields as well, with applicable knowledge in life sciences, engineering, and psionics. He’s the person who invented Cerebro and has invented numerous devices that can enhance and regulate psionic abilities. On top of that, Xavier has proven to be a master strategist, as he’s shown to be able to deploy the X-Men in the most efficient way possible and develops long-term plans that rival those of Mister Sinister.
Being a teenager is hard enough. But being smart enough to attend M.I.T. at the age of 11 and then invent your own Iron Man armor from scraps is a whole new level of difficult. But Riri Williams managed to do so and then eventually carved out a role for herself as the young hero: Ironheart. She was created in 2016’s Invincible Iron Man Vol. 2 #7 by Brian Michael Bendis. She is a tech prodigy whose intelligence created behavioral problems at a young age. However, that changed when she attended M.I.T. and, at the ripe old age of 15, constructed her own Iron Man armor after reverse engineering parts from Iron Man’s Mark 41 armor and stealing additional parts from on campus.
Riri is an incredibly bright young woman who was identified as a genius by the age of 11.
She may not have any degrees, but she’s a master engineer just like her mentor, Tony Stark. Her first Iron Man suit was built from outdated and subpar parts, yet she still managed to stop a truck with a single punch. Then, under the tutelage of an A.I Tony Stark, she developed the Ironheart armor which is powerful enough to punch out the Rhino. She’s so smart that she was able to create two viruses in combat situations and repair the Fantasticar in a few seconds. Ironheart has a bright future in the Marvel Universe as one of the premier scientific minds in the world.
As Marvel’s flagship character, almost everybody knows about Spider-Man. Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Spider-Man, or Peter Parker, first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 when Lee wanted a hero who could crawl on walls. Spider-Man’s everyman approach proved popular and he eventually grew to be Marvel’s most definitive hero.
Everybody knows that Peter Parker was a science nerd that secretly dressed up as the smart-mouthed Spider-Man. Since his M.O. isn’t to use technology to solve every situation, people assume that he’s smart but not that smart. Quite simply, those people are wrong. Peter is a genius in numerous scientific disciplines and has had his intelligence acknowledged by some of the smartest men in the entire world. On top of that, he’s easily one of the most creative thinkers in Marvel Comics. Spider-Man is frequently outmatched by his foes: Sandman is as powerful as the amount of sand he has around him, Venom is stronger and faster than him with the added benefit of being able to hide from his Spider-Sense, Rhino can trade blows with the thing. However, Peter beats all of them on a daily basis because he’s able to combine scientific knowledge and quick thinking to create plans on the fly. He very rarely wins because of his raw strength.
14 BLACK PANTHER
People usually associate the Black Panther with stealth and martial arts skill. But the training to become the Black Panther includes striving for mental perfection in addition to physical perfection. T’Challa was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and first premiered in Fantastic Four #52 in 1966. From there, T’Challa has quickly become one of the most important players in the Marvel Universe.
Combined with his physical skills, T'Challa's genius and quick-thinking make him an invaluable ally in any conflict.
T’Challa worked very hard for his intelligence, and Wakanda places a great emphasis on education. But on top of the world-class Wakandan education he received, T’Challa went out into the world and studied at Oxford University, earning a Ph.D. in Physics. He’s also a master engineer and inventor. His inventions include the Quinjet, Falcon’s new flight suit, a life raft to survive the Incursion and a planet-busting interdimensional bomb to name a few. He’s also been trained in tactics since he knew what plans were and now has access to all of the knowledge and experience of the previous Black Panthers. Eventually, his own studies took him to a realm beyond that of simple Earth sciences. By combining his knowledge of science and mysticism, T’Challa developed a brand new scientific discipline known as shadow physics which allows him to create shadow weapons that are very effective against vibranium, track vibranium at the quantum level and render vibranium inert.
13 AMADEUS CHO
Having a supercomputer for a brain ensures that you belong on a list like this. Amadeus Cho premiered in Amazing Fantasy #2 in 2005 and was created by Greg Pak and Takeshi Miyazawa. He participated in a genius contest as a young man one day. Once the person behind the contest found out how intelligent Cho truly was, he tried to kill him out of jealousy, which resulted in an explosion that killed his parents. After being forced to go on the run, he encounters the Hulk and is thrust into the world of superheroes and fantastic powers. But his incredible intelligence allows him to keep up.
Cho is most often referred to as the eighth smartest man in the world by other characters, but that ranking has been altered so much that it hardly seems accurate anymore. Cho’s greatest asset is his ability to recognize patterns and run mental calculations instantaneously, which is referred to as a "natural ability to identify the variables and quantum possibilities in any situation." He has often gotten by in superpowered battles via his skill in using this ability to run advanced calculations and use deductive reasoning to design plans and exploit weaknesses with the tools available to him, whether the tools are technological or environmental; he’s very resourceful. His encounter with the Greek Gods has led to many of them commenting that Cho is more intelligent than both Athena and Hephaestus who are both super-geniuses.
12 THE LEADER
Both Bruce Banner and Samuel Sterns are gamma ray-enhanced beings but while Banner became the musclebound creature known as the Incredible Hulk, Sterns went another route. A dose of gamma rays enhanced Sterns, but instead of the unfathomable strength of the Incredible Hulk, he gained the nearly unmatched intelligence of the Leader. He was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and premiered in 1964’s Tales to Astonish #62.
The Leader's greatest skill is his ability to recognize patterns and predict the probability of almost any event before it happens.
He has incredible intuition, pattern recognition skills, deductive reasoning and memory. The Leader has perfect recall, allowing him to remember every character trait a person may have and then he uses that knowledge to predict his opponent’s next moves and formulate plans that anticipate everything his opponent might try. On top of this remarkable ability, Sterns is also a genius in many scientific disciplines, but the most prominent ones are biochemistry, engineering and physics. He has invented numerous devices and robots to help him with his plans and he is particularly skilled at genetic engineering and manipulating and utilizing radiation. With a mind powerful enough to counter the Hulk’s strength, Sterns belongs high on this list.
People like to leave the X-Men’s resident super genius out of the conversation of the smartest men in the world, but he deserves respect. Hank McCoy, or Beast, was a founding member of the X-Men, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, premiering in X-Men #1 in 1963. He actually didn’t start out with a blue fur that he’s so famous for, instead he initially looked totally human except for a pair of extra large feet. But even then, he was still an integral part of the team, serving as their resident genius as they faced off against threats like Magneto and his Brotherhood of Mutants.
McCoy might be referred to as a renaissance man, with knowledge in numerous fields, including literature, a favorite of his. Beast possesses Ph.D.s in biophysics and genetics. However, he’s also an electronics expert who regularly repairs Cerebro and upgrades the Danger Room. He also is knowledgeable enough in microbiology to develop a cure to the Legacy Virus from Moira McTaggert’s notes. Beyond that, he has a working knowledge of an extraordinary amount of scientific fields including theoretical physics, quantum mechanics, nanotechnology, anatomy and mechanical engineering. On top of that, he’s multilingual and knows more than most about literature, music, anthropology and other social sciences. As someone with as diverse a skillset as McCoy has, he may seem a little low, but it’s hard to put him above the entries in front of him.
10 MISTER SINISTER
Anybody who was considered the greatest scientific mind of his/her generation deserves to be on this list. Nathaniel Essex was, then just happened to also become one of the most recognizable villains in X-Men history. Essex, or Mister Sinister as he’s known, premiered in 1987’s The Uncanny X-Men #221. He was revealed as a major player behind the scenes who had been manipulating Cyclops’ life for many years. He was the one who created a clone of Jean Grey, known as Madelyne Pryor, for the sole reason of conceiving Scott’s child who eventually went on to become Cable. Sinister remained behind the scenes until the events of Inferno in which he confronted the X-Men and battled them and X-Factor.
Sinister lived through the 1830s and was regarded as one of the greatest scientific minds of his generation.
He had radical ideas about genetics and pursued them no matter what. This drew him and Apocalypse together where Essex was granted access to Celestial technology and empowered by Apocalypse. This allowed him to live for well over a century, accumulating knowledge and learning from the advanced Celestial technology. Mister Sinister emerged as one of the smartest men in history. He’s an expert in genetics, cloning, biology, physics and engineering. He can create clones on a whim, give people superpowers without a second thought and create machines that can do extraordinary things like negate or transfer mutant powers.
9 HANK PYM
If you can create something with the longevity and power of Ultron, you’re a shoo-in for this list. He may have his issues, but nobody can deny that Hank Pym is one of the most intelligent people on Earth. Henry “Hank” Pym premiered in 1962 in Tales to Astonish #27 as a scientist who discovers particles that compress his mass and allow him to shrink to the size of an ant. The story did well, so Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Larry Lieber, and Dick Ayers brought him back a few issues later as the Ant-Man. From there, Pym and his wife Janet van Dyne, or the Wasp, became founding members of the Avengers and helped them battle the machinations of Loki.
Though Pym might be most infamous for creating the nearly unstoppable Ultron, he’s actually much more well-known as the premiere biochemist in the world. Pym has a Ph.D. in biochemistry and nanotechnology and is an expert in quantum physics, robotics, cybernetics, artificial intelligence and entomology. He discovered Pym Particles and figured out how to use them to shrink himself, shrink others and shrink objects with no ill effects. His control over Pym Particles is so advanced that he can shrink or grow into different universes: the Microverse and Macroverse. On top of that, he developed a cybernetic helmet that allowed him to communicate with ants and other insects, he created the powerful Ultron, and he’s invented a number of useful gadgets to help him and the Avengers.
8 IRON MAN
Tony Stark may be the snarkiest man you’ve ever encountered but don’t cross him or his technology because he’s become one of the most formidable minds in the Marvel Universe. Tony Stark, also known as Iron Man, premiered in 1963 in Tales of Suspense # 39, created by the dynamic duo of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. He was a founding member of the Avengers and has served in a leadership/mentorship role for much of his history. He is one of Marvel’s most important and recognizable characters but none of this would be possible without his incredible intellect.
Tony Stark is the world's premier mechanical and electrical engineer and is an expert in chemistry, computer science and physics.
He has a history as a weapons developer, but when he became a superhero, his creativity was able to shine through and he’s invented some of the most powerful and intriguing weapons to ever exist in the Marvel Universe’s history. Who else can create a weapon to disperse the Phoenix Force or crafted mythical weapons that allowed the Avengers to take on the Serpents (who were all comparable to Thor). Tony is also a quick-thinker who is able to use technology in creative ways to help him escape from situations that seem bleak. Tony Stark is considered one of the world’s smartest men and he is inarguably the world’s foremost tech genius and inventor.
7 BRUCE BANNER
Bruce Banner may turn into the raging Incredible Hulk when he gets angry, but he’s just as useful when he’s calm because of his incredible intelligence. Banner premiered in The Incredible Hulk #1 in 1962, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. He (as the Incredible Hulk) was one of the first batch Marvel heroes and was a founding member of the Avengers. Banner gained powers after being accidentally bathed in gamma rays during the detonation of a gamma bomb which gave him the monstrous alter-ego known as the Incredible Hulk.
Though Banner’s big, green alter ego is more well-known, Banner, himself, has still been a major player in the wider Marvel Universe. He is the unchallenged expert in the field of gamma radiation, but his skill extends far beyond that one specialty. He is an expert in numerous fields including biology, chemistry, engineering, medicine, physiology and nuclear physics. On top of that, he’s shown capable of creating a technology called Bannertech that is on par with the technology used by Tony Stark and Victor von Doom in combat. He created a force-field-generator that took blows from numerous Hulk-level threats like Skaar and Juggernaut; a taser that sent Wolverine flying and knocked Skaar down; and a hologram generator that can create a convincing Galactus disguise him as others, to name a few of his inventions. He even had his intelligence recognized by Doctor Doom, and we all know how vain Doom is.
The Mad Titan may be mad, but he’s certainly not dumb. Thanos has been an Avengers villain for quite a while and he’s only lasted that long because of his unique combination of strength and intelligence. Created by Jim Starlin, Thanos premiered in 1973’s Iron Man #55 along with Drax the Destroyer. His quest for power to impress Mistress Death led him to battle the Avengers numerous times over his history.
Thanos' most famous exploit was in 1991's Infinity Gauntlet when he wiped out half of all life in the universe with a single snap.
People don’t credit Thanos enough for his intelligence. Maybe it’s because of his hulking figure. But regardless, Thanos is a super-genius, even by Eternals standards. He, like Ultron, is excellent at making plans that are only undone by his hubris, but he also has incredible scientific and tactical knowledge. Thanos designed the augmentations that made him the physically strongest Eternal to ever live; strong enough to battle Odin and stagger Galactus. His most famous invention, however, is his chair. Which sounds odd, but this is the fanciest chair in the universe. It’s capable to teleportation, space flight, force field projection, time travel, and interdimensional travel. His inventions far exceed anything found on Earth. On top of that, his tactical genius is virtually unmatched. He was able to defeat the Grandmaster, the literal King of Games, at a game in order to obtain the Mind Gem.
5 REED RICHARDS
As the leader of the adventurous Fantastic Four, Reed Richards has seen some incredible things and been in some dangerous situations. And, many times, the only thing that has gotten them out of these situations has been his prodigal intelligence. Reed Richards, or Mr. Fantastic, premiered in 1961’s Fantastic Four #1 and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby as they had a desire to create a team of superheroes who are also a family. The Fantastic Four went on some truly incredible cosmic journeys as they tend to be labeled as explorers more than traditional superheroes. They are only able to do this and survive because of Mr. Fantastic’s incredible intellect.
Reed has stated before that the usefulness of his intelligence far outstrips the usefulness of his powers, and he’s not wrong. Reed was a child prodigy with a super-genius for a father. He was taking college-level courses when he was 14 and he graduated from M.I.T., California Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Columbia University, and Empire State University by the time he was 20. Reed has been portrayed as the smartest man in the Marvel Universe for much of the Marvel’s history. He is an inspired physicist, theoretician, and inventor who has made breakthroughs in virtually all forms of science such as space travel, time travel, extra-dimensional travel, biochemistry, robotics, computers, synthetic polymers, communications, mutations, transportation, holography, energy generation, spectral analysis and even more. There seems to be almost nothing that Reed can’t do with his brain.
4 DOCTOR DOOM
Victor von Doom has done some awe-inspiring things with his intelligence. He may be one of the most arrogant characters in fiction, but he has the strength, will, and power to back it up. Doom was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and premiered in The Fantastic Four #5 in 1962.
Doom was created to be the archenemy of the Fantastic Four, but he's become so much more than that.
Doom’s intelligence is so vast that he’s done things that should be impossible. When the final Incursion was happening at the beginning of 2015’s Secret Wars, Doom was chosen along with Molecule Man and Doctor Strange to confront the Beyonder and try to stop him, and keep in mind that the Beyonder is virtually omnipotent. Not only was Doom able to devise a plan to kill him, but he also found out how to steal his power and become God Emperor Doom. And a case can be made for Reed Richards being as or more intelligent than Doom, but Doom has something that Reed doesn’t: magic. Doctor Doom is also an incredibly accomplished sorcerer, believed to be comparable in strength to Doctor Strange. So on top of his apocalyptic intelligence, diplomatic immunity and the resources of a small country, he also has vast mystical knowledge to draw on as well. It’s almost not fair.
3 VALERIA RICHARDS
For a long time, it’s been acknowledged that the title of the most intelligent man in the world was between Reed Richards and Victor von Doom. Then, Reed had a kid, and now that title may be in danger. Valeria Richards is the daughter of Reed Richards and Susan Storm. She was created by Chris Claremont and Salvador Larroca and premiered in Fantastic Four Vol. 3 #15 in 1999, hailing from an alternate timeline where she was the daughter of Susan Storm and Victor von Doom. She was born in her current form in Fantastic Four Vol. 3 #54.
Valeria’s powerless, but she doesn’t need them to have a bright future ahead of her. According to Reed, by the age of 3, Valeria already surpassed him in intelligence. An acknowledgment of this means that she’s going to develop an intelligence that will rival anything ever experienced before. She’s so smart that she felt the need to hide her intelligence after she calculated that it would cause a massive rift in the family 82 months into the future. Keep in mind that she did this while she was 3. She dropped the ruse, though, and has actually invented a very advanced toy that makes use of artificial intelligence that Reed and Franklin plan to sell to Disney.
2 LUNELLA LAFAYETTE
Lunella may not have a lot of feats, but when the company that created someone says that they’re the smartest in their world, you have to listen to the creators. Lunella Lafayette, or Moon Girl, is a nine-year-old girl with a red Tyrannosaurus Rex as a best friend. She was created in 2016’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1 by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare and Natacha Bustos. In addition to Lunella’s incredible intelligence, she also possesses the Inhuman power to switch consciousnesses with Devil Dinosaur, her Tyrannosaurus Rex companion from the Savage Land. She’s only nine years old, but she’s already made an impression on the Marvel Universe, joining Daisy Johnson’s Secret Warriors, meeting Carol Danvers,and impressing Amadeus Cho.
Lunella has already invented some incredible devices with virtually no resources.
As we alluded to before, Lunella doesn’t have a lot of feats, but her biggest was her ability to solve a Banner B.O.X, or Brain Omnicompetence Examiner, in seconds. This was created by Bruce Banner to test intelligence and nobody in the entire world had been able to solve it up to that point, something pointed out by Amadeus Cho. She has invented numerous gadgets, including a battlesuit, that enable her to battle superhumans, she has a lab underneath the city and she built a craft that is able to traverse space. Since she did all of this with extremely limited resources, it's no wonder the Kree designated her a 100% threat to their empire.
1 HIGH EVOLUTIONARY
Being able to do the work of a god definitely makes you worthy of the number one pick. The High Evolutionary went down the path he did because he was inspired by Nathaniel Essex, better known as Mister Sinister. However, he took it even further than his inspiration, becoming a being that transcended humanity. Before he was the High Evolutionary, Herbert Edgar Wydham first appeared in The Mighty Thor #134 in 1966, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
The High Evolutionary isn’t just smart, he’s as smart as it is possible to be. He can and has evolved his own genome at will which has pushed his intelligence to levels previously thought unimaginable. When confronted by Galactus, he was deemed to be the opposite of Galactus: Galactus was the Devourer of worlds while the High Evolutionary was considered the World Builder. He can create life with no effort and then create whole worlds for that life. He can evolve and devolve lifeforms and manipulate or create matter, including the armor he invented that made him functionally immortal. He once tried to end his existence by goading the Hulk, and even an enraged Hulk was unable to kill him. He is the universe’s leading geneticist and is extremely knowledgeable in biology, chemistry, medicine, physics, engineering, human psychology, computer science and cybernetics. Finally, his research and cosmic adventures have, at times, granted him a sort of extra-sensory awareness that allowed him to see cosmic beings even when they weren’t manifested.
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After Reed Richard who is known as the Smartest Prodigy ever, David Alleyne also received the same title.
Part of New Mutants, David aka Prodigy holds innate mutant powers to impersonate the skills of others around him. Thus, he possessed Super-Genius Intelligence, fighting skills, strategic mind, etc. Even he had the possession of it; it was hidden deep inside of his body until he manifested it eventually.
Why he’s been given codename as Prodigy its because he surprisingly completed all college-level courses in his high school times.
Even without his mutant powers, David built the Danger Cave, a holographic room to aid training.
In his heroic career, Prodigy absorbs abilities and skills from Beast, Professor Xavier, Iceman, Shadowcat. Thus he owns knowledge of science, biology, mastered several subjects, mathematical comprehension, computer prowess respectively from mentioned mutants.
For you, it may look like he took all the genius powers without doing nothing, but still, Prodigy is known to be one of the Smartest Marvel Characters ever.