When your universe features Avengers as powerful as the likes of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) or Captain America (Chris Evans), it’s hard to imagine someone showing up with skills that are even greater. And no, we’re not talking about Thanos — having a bejeweled glove that does all the work certainly doesn’t count. We’re talking about Carol Danvers, a.k.a. Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), the latest superhuman to join Marvel’s cinematic cavalcade. Though we’ve never really seen her until now, even though her story takes place in the 1990s, there’s one thing we can say for certain: there’s a reason she’s the one Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) called on while he was being dusted. Captain Marvel's powers make her the strongest Avenger and far more intimidating than anyone we’ve seen before.Which is a long way of saying: Captain Marvel is way more powerful than Captain America or Thor.
But what evidence do we have of that, might you ask? Let’s start with the source material. Though the Captain Marvel we see on screen varies slightly from her wild and varied origins (that’s comic books, for ya), there’s nothing about those iterations that would make you think, “now there’s a slouch.” She’s had many aliases over the years (Ace, Binary, Warbird, Photon) and many different people have worn the mantle, man and woman alike, but the Carol Danvers iteration of Captain Marvel first appeared in 2012, after Kelly Sue DeConnick’s critically acclaimed run turned the former Ms. Marvel into a Captain. In it, Carol absorbs the powers of the Kree, a hyper-advanced — scientifically and technologically speaking — militaristic alien race that’s been in a millennia-long war with the Skrulls, another alien race (but these guys are shapeshifters).
Warning: This article includes Captain Marvel spoilers from this point on.
Now, here’s where the spoilers for the movie come into play. In the film, things play out roughly the same, with bits and pieces taken from the many iterations of her origin story to knit it all together. After absorbing the energy from the explosion of her Earth-life mentor, Dr. Wendy Lawson's (a.k.a. Secret Kree on Earth, Mar-Vell, a.k.a. Annette Bening) top secret lightspeed-traveling engine, Carol’s life is saved by a blood transfusion from her Kree mentor, Starforce Commander, Yon Rogg (Jude Law). This effectively makes her a human-Kree hybrid, but it, coupled with the force of the blast, also removed her memories of her life before. In return, she received powers the likes of which we’ve never seen before in Marvel. The most noticeable one is her ability to fly, though she also has superhuman strength and can generate and control photonic energy blasts from her hands, which is also fairly useful when you’re punching a bunch of bad guys.
But, as we see at the end of the film, Carol can also do much more than that, seemingly being able to control gravity, radiation, light. This means the movie is also pulling from the Binary storyline of the comics — an older alias of Carol’s wherein she is able to harness the power of a white hole (the opposite of a black hole), effectively turning her into a nearly immortal star in human form, hence the nickname.
And if that isn’t enough proof for you that she’s more powerful than our bio-engineered superhunk and the literal god of thunder? Just read what Kevin Feige, head of Marvel Studios, who told Vulture all the way back in 2016 said that Carol was “as powerful a character as we’ve ever put in a movie. Her powers are off the charts, and when she’s introduced, she will be by far the strongest character we’ve ever had.”
So, there we have it. When it comes to superpowered people, no one is better than Carol.