The Phoenix is one of the most powerful cosmic beings in Marvel Comics, able to destroy stars and generate destructive power on a scale that’s hard to imagine. The X-Men barely survived their initial and classic encounter with the entity in “The Dark Phoenix Saga,” leading to the question of who else in Marvel Comics would be able to defeat the Phoenix.

Many powerful beings and forces exist within the Marvel Universe, some of which are beginning to emerge in the MCU. The Scarlet Witch’s exploration of chaos magic could potentially lead to a confrontation between chaos magic and the Phoenix Force. It’s one that’s already happened in the comics, with shocking results for readers. But there are plenty of heroes who can go toe-to-toe with Jean Greye’s Phoenix Force, and who have proved it in the comics already.

“The Dark Phoenix Saga” storyline spans
Uncanny X-Men

25 Kang The Conqueror

Kang found the biggest loophole to taking on the Phoenix Force: time travel

In an actual fight where he is left to his own devices, Kang the Conqueror does not stand a chance against the Phoenix Force and he isn’t likely to make for a suitable host either. However, Kang has one loophole that other suitors on this list don’t: he has the power of time travel on his side. He has mastered all of the reality bending implications of time travel.

If Kang ever finds himself in a scenario where he must combat the Phoenix Force, he doesn’t have to risk his life in an unwinnable bout against a cosmic entity. Instead, he can travel back in time to kill its host before said host acquires the Phoenix Force, or even prevent the host from being born altogether. Not even a cosmic being is immune to the complexities the timestream.

24 Echo (AKA Maya Lopez)

Echo has proven she can handle the strongest version of the Phoenix

Echo is one of the more recent hosts to the Phoenix Force and may rank as the most unexpected hosts as well. However, when she acquired the Phoenix Force, it was believed that she could even more powerful than Jean Grey, In due time, this would prove to be the case as she received the biggest upgrade in the history of Phoenix lore. There were concerns from Echo herself that she could become as dangerous to others as Scarlet Witch once was, but she manages to grasp control of the Phoenix Force.

It’s clear that Echo harnesses an untapped potential as a hero, considering that she’s able to handle the strongest version of the Phoenix. Anyone strong enough to control a force that powerful without being overtaken by the Dark Phoenix is powerful enough to defeat it.

23 Legion (AKA David Haller)

Even a being like the Phoenix is unlikely to be able to handle Legion’s power

David Haller, or Legion, is the unstable, yet all-power Omega Level son of Professor Xavier. He suffers from dissociative identity disorder brought apart largely from his mind struggling to contain his level of power. As a result, many of his powers manifest themselves as entirely new personas for David. Some may wonder how someone who can hardly control his own powers could possibly stand a chance against the Phoenix. That’s exactly what gives him an edge in a hypothetical fight with the Phoenix.


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In a worst case scenario where the Phoenix tries to overwhelm David as its host, Legion is one of the more likely candidates who would have it under control. If David can hardly contain himself, surely the Phoenix wouldn’t be able to, and thus David (or one of his personalities) would be the one overwhelming the Phoenix. Plus, in an actual fight with the Phoenix Force, David has reality bending powers on his side that should make things easier.

22 The Stepford Cuckoos (AKA Emma’s Clones)

The clones of Emma Frost could achieve what the Qhite Queeb couldn’t, alone

There was once a time when Emma Frost absorbed the powers of the Phoenix, but it proved too powerful for her to handle, morphing her into the Dark Phoenix. That considered, it’s unlikely that Emma could take on the Phoenix herself on her own accord, despite how powerful she is, but three heads of Emma Frost are better than one.

The trio of Emma Frost clones are typically relegated to the background of X stories as supporting characters at best, but they get a well deserved spotlight in X-Men: Phoenix – Warsong, where the sisters find themselves locked in the crosshairs of the Phoenix. Miraculously, when the Phoenix overwhelms the rest of them, it is Celeste who manages to overpower the beast. One Emma Frost may not be enough to handle the Phoenix, but the clones are the trio that Marvel needs in timely distress such as this.

21 Fongji Wu (AKA The Immortal Iron Fist)

The wielder of the Iron Fist could tame the Phoenix

Hundreds of years before Danny Rand or even Lin Lie would adopt the Iron Fist, the moniker belonged to Fongji Wu. Brian Michael Bendis’ NewAvengers #26 and #27 depicts her origin story, from training to handle the Iron Fist to preparing to tackle the incoming Phoenix Force.

To everyone’s surprise, Fongji Wu is able to face down the Phoenix Force and absorb it whilst remaining in full control, becoming the firebird’s new host. If she can handle the power of the Phoenix Force, she most certainly has a chance to defeat it. Wu may be one of the more obscure people to ever wield the power of the Phoenix Force, but she might also be one of the most powerful knowing she was able to endure the Phoenix Force, presumably for the rest of her life.

20 The Goblin Force

The cosmic force that is equal to, if not stronger, than the famous Phoenix Force

There are not many cosmic entities out there that have the capacity to match the Phoenix Force in power. The Goblin Force comes the closest. The Goblin Force hails from an alternate reality where it was spawned at the beginning of time itself alongside the Big Bang. It carries striking similarities to the Phoenix Force, including holding unlimited power, except the Goblin Force feeds off hunger, not satisfied until its appetite its whet. One has to wondered if its hunger can ever be satisfied considering the depths it has gone to feed itself.

The Goblin Force not only killed The Phoenix Force, but Galactus as well. It could not be defeated or destroyed itself, thus the need for the Celestials to imprison it as a last-ditch effort to contain it. The Goblin Force already proved itself worthy in a fight against the Phoenix Force.

19 The Hunger

The cosmic entity ruled by hunger can swallow the Phoenix Force whole

The Hunger is more than just a cosmic entity – it’s a multiversal parasite that feeds on entire realities and universes. Much like The Goblin Force itself, The Hunger (unsurprisingly, considering the name) is driven by feeding its appetite, an appetite that’s extremely difficult to satisfy. It’s also far more sentient than either the Phoenix Force or the Goblin Force, so when it is in an aggressively hungry mood, it has no problem letting it be known to anyone listening. When it can devour entire realities, the Phoenix doesn’t stand a chance.

Earth-616 was not on The Hunger’s radar until it learned about the Infinity Gauntlet, putting him in conflict with Thanos. It wound up devouring several cosmic beings in the distant future and even destroying Thanos. It took a time-traveling, omnipotent Thanos to finally defeat The Hunger.

18 Moon Knight (AKA Marc Spector)

The Fist of Khonshu is powerful enough to reject the Phoenix Force

Moon Knight actually served as the host of the Phoenix Force for a brief time. But when he realized just how devastating the entity actually was, Moon Knight did something unthinkable: he rejected the Phoenix Force on purpose. While caught up in a fight with the Avengers, Moon Knight allows Thor to knock him out, forcing the Phoenix Force to move on and find a new host.

It’s hard to find someone capable of the sheer willpower it takes to resist the influence of the powerful force. But Marc Spector managed to do it, giving the hero a surprising advantage over the cosmic power.

17 Galactus (AKA The Devourer of Worlds)

The cosmic villain has already taken the Phoenix to the limit

The Devourer of Worlds has actually fought against the Phoenix, in Excalibur #61 from 1993. This was the Rachel Summers version of the character, arguably at the height of her powers. Galactus was at the ebb of his, hungry and weak.

Phoenix was able to defeat him in a truly cosmic battle, but if Galactus had been at full strength, the circumstances would have been very different in this titanic battle.

16 Molecule Man (AKA Owen Reece)

Molecule Man’s cosmic abilities make the Phoenix Force seem like an amateur

As powerful as the Beyonder, Molecule Man has not only saved the entire Marvel universe but also recreated it, proving that he’s more powerful than the Phoenix.

If the Watcher has his eye on you, you know you’re a dangerous threat to the multiverse. Previously, Molecule Man’s powers had been strong but not omnipotent, which later changed as his limitations were lifted over the years. Considering that, after Secret Wars, Molecule Man serves as a hidden architect of the cosmos, he could definitely take on the Phoenix.

15 Nebula (With The Infinity Gauntlet)

The harnessed power of the Infinity Stones is enough to challenge the Phoenix

For a brief moment in The Infinity Gauntlet comic book series in the early 90s, Nebula wielded the power of the Infinity Stones in her hands. The combined power of the stones is truly cosmic and given what has been accomplished with them, presents a major challenge to the Phoenix.

On a pure power level, the Gauntlet and the Phoenix stack up. The difference is willpower, and at least in the comics, Nebula was very driven to get her hands on the Gauntlet. Though her time with it was brief, she proved to be very dangerous with its awesome power.

14 Spider-Man (AKA Peter Parker)

Spider-Man has already proven capable of defeating multiple Phoenix Hosts (at once)

The Amazing Spider-Man managed to defeat not one, but two hosts of the Phoenix Force at once. In Avengers vs. X-Men #9, Peter is forced to confront Colossus and Magik, two members of the Phoenix Five. Spider-Man stands no chance against the powerful siblings and is at a serious disadvantage. However, he tricks Magik and Colossus into attacking one another, knocking them both out and keeping himself alive.

Peter is used to fighting above his weight class, and it seems that even a power like the Phoenix Force isn’t too much for Spider-Man to handle as long as he can think on his feet.

13 Thor (AKA The Odinson)

The god of thunder managed to knockout the Phoenix with the might of Mjolnir

Thor is one of the most powerful Avengers in the comics and the MCU, but even with all his might, the God Of Thunder alone can’t defeat the Phoenix Force. But he has proven that he can best the cosmic entity with the power of Mjolnir, his mystical hammer.

In a battle between King Thor, a future version of the Son of Odin, and the Phoenix Force, Thor knocks the powerful entity out with the hammer. This isn’t enough to destroy it, but it suggests that he has the power at least to go toe to toe with it. Also, it was recently revealed that, shortly after his birth, Thor was imbued with the power of the Phoenix, and he could even command its fire for a while.

12 Doctor Strange (AKA Stephen Strange)

Thanks to his mastery of magic, this isn’t even a fair fight for the Phoenix

The Sorcerer Supreme is one of the most powerful magicians in the Marvel Universe, if not the most powerful. Doctor Strange has proven his power in the MCU, able to trap the interdimensional entity of Dormammu in a time loop and also perceive infinite variations of time to give the Avengers an advantage.

In many respects, the comic book version of Doctor Strange is even more powerful. With near-complete authority over the mystical arts, he has a power the Phoenix simply doesn’t have. He could theoretically exorcise the Phoenix from its host, which would change the parameters of the fight dramatically.

11 Iron Man (AKA Tony Stark)

The Phoenix Buster is just what’s needed to defeat the cosmic entity

While Tony Stark was never able to completely beat the Phoenix Force, he certainly was able to stop the powerful creature when he, along with the Avengers, went up against the Phoenix and the X-Men in the Avengers Vs. X-Men crossover event. As he usually does, Tony Stark built a special armor for the occasion: the Phoenix Buster.

The Phoenix Buster is one of Iron Man’s most powerful armors. It worked, and the Phoenix Force was broken up into different segments. These segments took on hosts of their own, eventually becoming the Phoenix Five, but Tony Stark was able to beat it temporarily.

10 Doctor Doom (AKA Victor Von Doom)

Just like every other being, Doctor Doom has beaten the Phoenix in canon already

While Doom’s victory against the Phoenix Force isn’t conventional, it’s a strong indication of what would happen if he faced it in a normal circumstance.

Victor Von Doom is capable of many things, and yes, he’s even canonically beaten the Phoneix Force before. In Secret Wars #4, a number of heroes attempted to stop the villain from reshaping reality to his will, including Cyclops, who was channeling the Phoenix Force. However, Doom was possessing the power of Molecule Man and the Beyonders, making him too much for the mutant to handle.

Doom is up for any challenge and isn’t afraid to fight any being, regardless of their power. While Doom’s victory against the Phoenix Force isn’t conventional, it’s a strong indication of what would happen if he faced it in a normal circumstance.

9 Death (AKA Lady Death)

The Phoenix can use its force to defeat almost any enemy… but not even it can escape Death

The literal personification of Death in Marvel Comics was at the epicenter of Thanos’ iconic Infinity Gauntlet snap in the comics. She has power in her own right and her status as a fundamental force of the cosmos makes her effectively unassailable to the Phoenix Force.

Death possesses unlimited intelligence and power and operates from a pocket reality that is all her own. In a direct fight, it’s unlikely the Phoenix would be able to defeat Death in any way.

8 Beyonder (Name Unknown)

The Beyonder operates well outside of the Phoenix’s Force

The Beyonder comes from a race of nearly-omnipotent beings who reside outside the Marvel Universe, in the remnants of the Second Cosmos. He was the villain of the iconic original Secret Wars and its less-than-successful sequel, and his brethren were the culprit behind the destruction of the Multiverse that culminated in 2015’s Secret Wars.

As the Beyonders once destroyed the entire Multiverse, that also included cosmic personifications such as the Living Tribunal and (even if it wasn’t shown) the Phoenix Force. While the Phoenix is perhaps the most powerful cosmic force, it’s still constrained by the laws of the Multiverse, while the Beyonder operates outside of them.

7 Thanos (With The Infinity Gauntlet)

The Gauntlet’s most iconic wielder can unleash its full power

Comic fans know Thanos is an Eternal of Titan, making him extremely powerful and essentially immortal. This isn’t enough to put him in the league with the Phoenix Force, though. With the power of the Infinity Gauntlet, he at least has a shot.

He displayed not only its power but his evil nature when he snapped away half of all life in the universe. This was an act far beyond even the Phoenix’s most destructive moments and sets up the possibility that Thanos could defeat the Phoenix with a snap of his fingers.

6 Odin (AKA The Allfather)

As the former lover of the Phoenix, nobody knows her weaknesses better

Odin was the All-Father of Asgard, wielder of the might of the gods, of ancient and forgotten magic, and of his own cosmic power, called the Odinforce. With such a powerful arsenal at his disposal, it’s not unlikely to think that Odin could beat the Phoenix Force, under the right circumstances.

He also shares a strange connection with the Phoenix Force, revealed in the Thor Generations comic. The Odin from the Avengers 10,000 B.C. storyline actually had a romantic relationship with the Phoenix Force, perhaps giving him some insight into its weaknesses.

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