Marvel Comics have been around for more than 80 years now, leaving the publisher with plenty of time to imagine up some uniquely impressive weapons.
A few of these have gained a larger audience in recent years thanks to their inclusion in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but a huge number of impressive Marvel weapons have yet to see their silver screen debut. The MCU could be holding off for a later inclusion, or avoiding these weapons—and their devastating consequences—entirely.
You might think that the Infinity Gauntlet is the most formidable weapon the Marvel world has to offer, but you’d be dead wrong. The comic book world contains a wealth of useful tools, some of which contain the power to be literally world-ending, and the vast majority of them remain a mystery to fans without an encyclopedic knowledge of Marvel lore.
No one is surprised to see Thor’s mighty hammer appear on this list, but you may be shocked at how far down it falls. While Mjolnir is undeniably powerful—and surprisingly versatile, given its presence as a “mere” hammer—it’s honestly pretty weak when stacked up against some of the truly devastating weapons in Marvel Comics. It is nigh unbreakable, and capable of smashing through almost everything—including sturdy Celestial armor. It gives its wielder the ability to fly, manipulate the weather, and blast or redirect energy. It’s boasted a range of other attributes across its appearances in Marvel Comics, but most of them fall far short of the other entries on this list.
9. The Mandarin’s Rings
A set of powerful alien artifacts crafted to look like classic accessories, the Mandarin’s ten rings are deceptively strong. Each one boasts a different set of abilities, from manipulating the minds of others to firing off blasts of ice, fire, or electricity, and they might even contain the souls of long-dead alien warriors. The rings yearn to be together, and thus will attempt to track one another down when separated, and when combined grant their wearer with intimidating power. Even alone, however, these artifacts provide their wielders with enviable abilities, and can be used to massive effect. Just a fraction of their power was on display in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, where the rings made their big-screen debut.
8. All Black the Necrosword
One of several entries on this list to have already made its debut in the MCU, Gorr the God Butcher’s menacing blade recently appeared in Thor: Love and Thunder. The powerful weapon becomes more powerful with each god it cuts down, which means that, by the time it falls into Gorr’s hands, it’s already an object of almost unthinkable power. Anything that can take down an actual god is intimidating, but All Black builds on this by granting its wielders what amounts to immortality, although it comes at a cost. It requires more god slayings to maintain its powers, and the blade gradually twists the mind of its user.
7. Cosmic Cube
It may look like the MCU’s Tesseract, but the Cosmic Cube is actually an entirely different glowing cube of impossible power. Finding it, like the Infinity Stones, was a longtime pursuit of Thanos’, who sought its power for his world-altering needs. The Cosmic Cube is capable of completely rewriting reality, shifting almost anything—including history—to suit its wielder’s needs. It’s not as simple to use as a sword or hammer, requiring intense concentration and an already enviable power level, but once put to use this cube is capable of pulling off essentially anything its user requires.
6. The Darkhold
It takes some serious sacrifice to make use of this particular Marvel artifact, but when properly explored the Darkhold can be an intimidating tool indeed. It is considered the culprit behind the majority of evil throughout history, and corrupts any person who attempts to use it. It doesn’t require a deep well of magical knowledge to utilize, but its overwhelming power is always dangerous to those foolish enough to seek it out. It taints anyone who reads its pages, but in return fills their minds with powerful dark knowledge.
5. The Staff of One
It’s not as commonly known as some of the other items on this list, but the Staff of One has the makings to elevate any magic-wielder to incredible heights. Currently possessed by Nico Minoru from The Runaways, the Staff of One runs on blood, and gets more powerful with each additional drop of blood shed by its user. Like the rings protected by the Green Lanterns, the Staff of One is really only limited by the imagination of its user. It can do almost anything, including standing up to gods, but it does come with a catch. Each spell can only be performed once, and attempting repetition can yield random and sometimes dangerous results.
4. The Casket of Ancient Winters
Its purpose is hyper-specific, but that doesn’t take away from the far-reaching power of the Casket of Ancient Winters. You might not remember it, considering all of the more-impactful weapons to make their debut in the cinematic universe, but its actually even cropped up in the MCU already. The elemental box contains the Fimbuwinter of the Ymir, and when opened can summon a fresh ice age capable of swallowing entire planets in snow. A lengthy winter might not seem like the most impressive weapon to some, but the cold unleashed by this ancient weapon is so cold it can freeze anyone—even frost giants—that fall into its path. It also only has one known fix, once unleashed, leaving those without access to Odin’s secret Gem of Infinite Suns to their icy fate.
3. Infinity Gauntlet
Controversial, we know, but we’re placing the Infinity Gauntlet in third place on our ranking of powerful Marvel weapons. It’s the most powerful tool by far to be introduced in the MCU, but in Marvel Comics the devastating weapon pales in comparison to several of its peers. With all of the Infinity Stones collected, this Marvel tool is still utterly ruinous—and showcases even more power in comics than it does in the MCU. Let that sink in for a moment. With each of the Infinity Gems collected and set in his massive, gaudy gauntlet, Thanos—or any user of the gauntlet—gain the ability to manipulate almost everything imaginable, including reality itself.
2. Ultimate Nullifier
Well described as “the universe’s most devastating weapon,” the Ultimate Nullifier does essentially exactly what it says. It is capable of instantly eliminating anyone—or anything—its user desires. It can’t summon lightning or end half the universe with a snap, but it can take out someone as powerful as Thor with nothing but a thought. If used by a powerful enough wielder, it’s even strong enough to wipe full timelines from existence. The multiverse could see some serious thinning out with the Ultimate Nullifier in the right hands.
1. The Heart of the Universe
At the very peak of Marvel’s most mind-bogglingly powerful weapons is the Heart of the Universe. While not as versatile as weapons like the Infinity Gauntlet or even the Ultimate Nullifier, the Heart of the Universe serves as a trump card that’s all but impossible to beat. It gives its bearer literally unlimited power, allowing them to spawn new universes and alter existing timelines, elevating them to the most powerful being in the Marvel universe. It’s never cropped up in the main Marvel canon, but its use in an alternate universe was plenty impressive. If it’s ever unleashed in the MCU, we’re likely to see more than a few of our favorite heroes perish before its unfathomable might.