Captain Marvel has been around Marvel Comics for decades. However, the character surged in popularity after Brie Larson’s portrayal of Carol Danvers in the MCU. She’s one of the most powerful Avengers, but as comics fans know, though, Carol Danvers is just one of the characters who held the Captain Marvel mantle over the years.
There was Captain Mar-Vell, the original, Monica Rambeau, later known as Spectrum, Genis-Vell, Marvel Boy, and many others. A character with such incredible powers, of course, fought some incredible villains along the way. Here’s a ranked list of the fifteen most powerful Captain Marvel villains. I’ll focus on Carol Danvers but include other Captain Marvels as well.
15. Tiger Shark
Tiger Shark is not that well-known villain and probably not among the biggest threats Captain Marvel had ever faced. However, Todd Arliss’ character is simply too cool and weird not to be on this list. He first appeared in Prince Namor #5 and was usually seen in underwater battles, but Tiger Shark and Captain Marvel fought more than once.
Arlis was an Olympic swimmer with a kind heart. He once tried to save a guy from drowning in the sea. However, the strong waves push Todd against a ship so hard that the impact breaks his back. Frustrated and depressed about the situation, Todd opts for an experimental procedure, mixing his DNA with a tiger shark and the superhero Namor, the Submariner.
The procedure gave Todd Arlis superhuman strength and speed, fixed his back, but gave him somewhat of an odd appearance. Plus, his suit is just way too funny. Also, Arlis can breathe underwater, and his superpowers are the strongest when he’s in the sea. Tiger Shark became more aggressive and chose to be a villain instead of a hero.
Mystique was a hero for a while, but she was more of an antagonist for the X-Men than she was their ally. While she’s not Captain Marvel’s villain, per se, the two had collided several times. One of those encounters happened when Mystique recruited another mutant, Rogue, to her Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
It resulted in one of the best Carol Danvers storylines to date, as far as I’m concerned, but more on that when we talk about Rogue higher on this list. Although Mystique and Captain Marvel haven’t fought head-to-head too many times, Mystique is certainly a notable villain that impacted Carol’s life far more than many characters above her on this list.
For those who might not know, Mystique’s name is Raven Darkhölme. She’s a mutant with incredible shapeshifting powers, capable of replicating any matter, including replicating her surroundings so perfectly that she becomes invisible. Jennifer Lawrence portrayed Mystique on the big screen.
Now, Nitro might not be the most notable supervillain in Marvel history, but he had a huge impact on the original Captain Mar-Vell’s life. Well, his death, actually. You see, Nitro is known as the man who killed Captain Marvel.
So, basically, Nitro’s power is to literally explode and then recover a while later. However, it’s his horrible, psychotic nature that made Nitro such a great villain. His name is Robert Hunter, and he was experimented upon by the Kree, giving him the odd powers. While trying to steal nerve gas from the military, Captain Marvel fought him and prevented Nitro from his plan.
However, the exposure to the nerve gas during the fight with Nitro eventually caused terminal cancer that killed Mar-Vell. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg for this guy. To prove just how evil he is, Nitro caused an explosion that leveled an entire neighborhood, including an elementary school full of kids. He’s a villain definitely worthy of a spot on this list.
12. Ronan The Accuser
Ronan the Accuser caused a lot of trouble throughout the galaxy, and he did not miss Carol Danvers in the process. Ronan was the public accuser of the Kree and the right-hand man to the alien race’s leader, the Supreme Intelligence. They fought a couple of times, but none was more epic than when two Captain Marvels teamed up to take Ronan down.
Captain Mar-Vell and Carol Danvers, who was Ms. Marvel at the time, took down the Accuser then in an epic team-up of the student and the mentor. He later returned to fight Danvers during the Black Vortex incident, who was alongside the X-Men and the Guardians of the Galaxy at the time. The fight ended in a lot of animosity from Ronan toward Carol.
The character also appeared in the MCU, most notably as the main antagonist of the first Guardians of the Galaxy films.
Now, A.I.M. is a well-known supervillain organization that is notable in the rogue galleries of many different superheroes. Captain Marvel is certainly one of them, as she fought A.I.M. and its members numerous times throughout the years.
One particular member was the Doomsday Man; a super-powerful, sentient droid sent into deep space as a destructive machine. However, after A.I.M. acquired control over Doomsday Man, it became even more dangerous than ever. It may be just a weapon, but it’s a highly powerful weapon A.I.M. used against Captain Marvel numerous times.
The most notable A.I.M. supervillain that Captain Marvel regularly fought was M.O.D.O.K. George Tarleton was a scientist that underwent the procedure that unfathomably grew his intelligence but transformed him into a giant egg-head. Still, his mind made him a worthy foe to anybody despite his movement ability- or inability, if you will.
Controller’s powers were epic, but I didn’t particularly like the character. Still, he fought four different versions of Captain Marvel, so I think him breaking the top ten is just perfect. His real name is Basil Sandhurst, and due to being a very sickly and weak child, Basil spent most of his time in bed, reading books, learning, and being alone.
Basil became a phenomenal scientist and one of the greatest minds on Earth, but he never developed the social skills needed to keep his aggressive personality in check. Sandhurst worked at an experimental research facility, where he fell into a bath of chemicals that left Basile severely injured and deformed.
He then developed an exoskeletal suit, along with discs he could use for mind control, and started using the name Controller. It worked incredibly well, and the Controller would be far more dangerous if he weren’t so self-centered and egoistic. It’s not the lack of skill or power that leads to Basil’s miserable fail against every Captain Marvel – it’s his personality.
Not everyone with the right skills and powers is capable of becoming a true superhero – not even those who have the right ingredients in their blood. Such is the case with Genis-Vell, the son of Mar-Vell, who looked to inherit his father’s mantle of Captain Marvel after Mar-Vell died.
Genis-Vell didn’t like that Monica Rambeau was the new Captain Marvel instead of him, so he took the mantle from her, as Monica believed Genis-Vell was worthy of his father’s legacy, at least. Of course, that wasn’t the case, as Genis-Vell got corrupted very quickly and started using his powers for evil, not good.
At one point, Genis-Vell’s powerful cosmic awareness pushed him into insanity, so much so that he literally destroyed and then recreated the universe. He went by several names throughout the years, including Legacy and Photon, but one thing is certain – he was never half the hero his father once was.
Now, Titannus might not be the brightest bulb in the room, but he’s certainly one of the mightiest wherever he goes. Just like the human race experimented on supersoldier serums, resulting in guys like Captain America to exist, the Skrull race did the same, only with better technology.
It led to the creation of Titannus, a Skrull supersoldier that hauntingly resembles Thanos, the Mad Titan, only green. He has incredible superhuman strength, speed, agility, and durability and fought Captain Marvel numerous times.
As you know, Carol Danvers fought and helped the Skrulls numerous times, even in the Captain Marvel MCU movie. I could’ve easily put the entire Skrull race on the list, but I guess it’s better to pick one of the most powerful Skrulls instead.
7. The Brood
If you asked me personally, I’d put the Brood at the number one spot on this list, hands down. However, this is an objective list of the most powerful villains Captain Marvel ever faced, so number seven sounds about right. So, the Brood is not one being or a single enemy – it’s an entire species of aliens that are awfully a lot like the aliens from, well, Alien.
So, the Brood is a semi-parasitic species that attacks its prey not to eat but to implant eggs into you and reproduce. The Brood is incredibly powerful, fast, and resistant, and it took the whole X-Men team alongside Carol Danvers to take the disgusting creatures down and prevent them from killing the entire planet. And they didn’t even have Ellen Ripley on their side.
Deathbird is a uniquely powerful and cunning supervillain that fought Captain Marvel numerous times. She’s primarily an X-Men enemy, but Carol Danvers was her first adversary when Deathbird came to Earth – and the fight proved to be insanely tough for Captain Marvel.
Deathbird was the heir to the throne of the huge galactic Shi’ar Empire. However, after a prophecy predicted she’d cause great evil, Deathbird was instead banished, and her claim to the throne was deleted. That only pushed her to do more harm, eventually creating an army of sadistic villains to claim her throne forcefully.
Deathbird has superhuman strength, speed, agility, and even flight, but the reason why she could match Captain Marvel in their fights is her amazing fighting skills. During her time in Sh’Ar as a member of the Royal Family, Deathbird taught martial arts to numerous powerful individuals, such as the Gladiator, and was known as the best combatant in the Empire.
Yon-Rogg is quite powerful, but that’s not the reason why he’s so high on this list. The reason why he’s so high on the list is the impact he had on Carol Danvers – he’s the one responsible for her obtaining the powers she now has.
Yon-Rogg was a Kree commander who worked tightly with Mar-Vell, the original Captain Marvel. They shared a love interest, and Yon-Rogg was extremely jealous of Mar, so he planned to leave him stranded on Earth.
The plan backfired, though, as Mar-Vell gathered a big superhero follower base on Earth. Also, instead of leaving the planet forever, the Kree deemed it worthy of research and gathering intelligence, which infuriated Rogg even more.
Yon-Rogg eventually caused an accident that activated Carol’s Kree heritage and eventually turned her into the next Captain Marvel. He returned years later with superpowers of his own, more violent and dangerous than ever, but Danvers managed to defeat him once again.
Rogue’s fate is forever intertwined with Carol Danvers, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Remember I mentioned Rogue when I talked about Mystique? Here’s the whole story.
Rogue was a talented but unstable young mutant that Mystique recruited for her Brotherhood of Evil. She could absorb and steal anyone’s powers, abilities, and memories for a while after touching them. Eventually, Rogue and Captain Marvel fought, and the entire situation had huge effects on both.
You see, Rogue was still inexperienced with her powers. She held onto Danvers for too long, so she basically “stole” Carol’s entire mind and memories. The consequences of not having her powers and her entire life basically removed from her brain caused Carol to fall into a deep depression and turn to alcohol.
On the other hand, Rogue went insane from all of that flooding inside her brain, and she tossed Captain Marvel off of a bridge. Later, the guilt made her reform and turned to the good side. If the rumors are true, Rogue will be the main villain in the MCU’s Captain Marvel 2, and I hope it will be just as epic as this epic Carol Danvers comic book storyline.
I’d be crazy not to put Moonstone at least in the top three of Captain Marvel’s most powerful villains. Not only does she have awesome powers of her own, but her actions during the Dark Reign event almost shattered Carol’s legacy to pieces.
Norman Osborn chose Moonstone to be his Ms. Marvel on the Dark Avengers, who, of course, did all they could to make the real Avengers look like horrible, evil villains. The fight between Carol and Moonstone was incredibly tough and personal, but Danvers eventually won.
Even before that, Captain Marvel and Moonstone regularly fought, as the villain’s powers came from a stolen moonstone and Kree technology – similar to how Carol’s powers came to be. Moonstone could manipulate gravity and had superhuman strength, speed, etc.
Karla Sofen, which is her real name, was a psychologist before all that, which served her well in her manipulative ways as a supervillain. She was also on Baron Zemo’s Masters of Evil for a while and proved o be an extremely tough adversary for any hero, including Captain Marvel.
2. Supreme Intelligence
As you might’ve noticed, many of these characters are the Kree – Ronan, Genis-Vell, Yon-Rogg… Heck, even Mar-Vell himself was a Kree. So, it’s only logical that the Kree leader would be one of the most powerful enemies Captain Marvel had ever faced – especially in Carol Danvers’ case.
The Supreme Intelligence, as the name suggests, is a highly intelligent being with epic cosmic awareness and the power to influence the entire Kree race, along with their decisions, actions, and overall behavior. Every time that Captain Marvel’s life was impacted by the Kree, in one way or another, it happened at the behest of the Supreme Intelligence.
Although they haven’t really fought face-to-face too many times, the Supreme Intelligence is certainly one of the most powerful villains Captain Marvel ever faced, not just based on individual powers, but the control of the entire Kree Empire that adheres to its every command.
Last but not least, Thanos was a no-brainer for me when it came to the most powerful villain Captain Marvel ever fought. We’ve seen them go head-to-head in the MCU, but the two fought in the comics as well, and Thanos was never an easy foe – even without the Infinity Gauntlet.
If Thanos has the Gauntlet and at least one or two Infinity Stones – let alone all six – he becomes one of the most powerful beings in the universe. However, even without the Stones (or Gems, as they are referred to in the comics), Thanos is among the most powerful enemies Captain Marvel has ever faced.
The Mad Titan is a super-genius, even for the Eternals standards. He’s strong enough to win a fistfight with the Hulk and spent most of his life trying to find ways to become even more powerful, which led to him becoming almost invulnerable, and nigh-immortal.
Captain Marvel had faced many incredibly powerful enemies, but I don’t think any of them can match Thanos, the Mad Titan.