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Brie Larson bears an uncertain expression as Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel

It does not take a life-long, die-hard comic book fan with encyclopedic knowledge of the Marvel universe to know that Captain Marvel is pretty freaking powerful. The costumed alter ego of reformed Kree warrior Carol Danvers has been able to hold her own effortlessly against every one of the villains the MCU has thrown at her.

Brie Larson’s portrayal made absolute, pathetic waste of her Kree colleagues-turned-adversaries in her self-titled film debut and was a key element to Thanos’ defeat at the conclusion of Avengers: Endgame. With a Captain Marvel sequel in the works, I actually feel bad for the next enemy she may face.

In that spirit, I think that whatever villain the MCU decides to put Captain Marvel against next should be someone (or something) that could really prove to be a challenge for her, even with her resilient strength, supersonic flight, and those devastating photon blasts. But of the most sinister names in the Marvel universe, who is powerful enough to see Carol Danvers meet her match? Here are five possibilities...

Fire Giant Surtur from Thor: Ragnarok

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Surtur

This “Fire Giant,” voiced by Clancy Brown, may have paved the way for some great comedic beats opposite Chris Hemsworth in Thor: Ragnarok, however Surtur’s power is no laughing matter. A lifelong enemy of late Asgardian king Odin, he possesses impressive skill in swordsmanship, not that he really requires it given he is comprised of a living flame equal in power to a thousand suns, can manipulate cosmic energy, and even moves objects with his mind.

Due to his immortality, defeating Surtur may not be impossible, but killing him is another story, meaning that no matter how many blasts of energy Captain Marvel exerts on him or endures from him, this battle could last a while. Eventually, she would have to call her sorcery-wielding colleague Doctor Strange, considering Surtur is apparently [vulnerable to magical attacks](https://marvel.fandom.com/wiki/Surtur_(Earth-616), to finally put a stop to it all.

Julian McMahon as Doctor Doom in 2004's Fantastic Four

Doctor Doom

In addition to her vast arsenal of abilities, one advantage that Captain Marvel has had over her enemies, at least the ones she has faced in the MCU so far, is that they are all action with little-to-no preemptive strategy, causing them to underestimate her prowess. Someone is all about strategy and would be careful never to underestimate the power of his enemies is Doctor Doom.

The Latverian-born Victor Von Doom is closely tied to the Fantastic Four, but has intensely rubbed elbows with most costumed vigilantes, earning a reputation as one of the Marvel universe’s most powerful evildoers and one of its most brilliant minds, period. Captain Marvel might have a hell of a time dealing with Doctor Doom’s [magical abilities](https://marvel.fandom.com/wiki/VictorvonDoom_(Earth-616), such as power nullification or hypnotism, as well as his intellect, but he has also been proven susceptible to people pandering to his ego. As long as her sarcastic tendencies do not interfere, psychological manipulation could be Carol’s only chance against him.

Oscar Isaac as Apocalypse in X-Men: Apocalypse

Apocalypse

A guy whose name is synonymous with the prophetic destruction of the Earth must have the skills to back it up. Born in 3000 BC Egypt and known to be one of the first mutants in recorded history, Apocalypse has been [a real pain to the X-Men](https://marvel.fandom.com/wiki/EnSabahNur_(Earth-616) since his Marvel comics debut in 1985, due to his abilities in immortality, super strength, teleportation, telepathy, energy blasts, and so much more that he is not even aware of the full extent of his capabilities.

The character made his cinematic debut in an X-Men: Days of Future Past post-credits scene that saw a younger iteration telepathically building the Pyramids before a blue-painted Oscar Isaac filled his very uncomfortable shoes in his own self-titled film. Apocalypse has yet to be reintroduced in the MCU and it would most likely be in another X-Men movie. However, if they could squeeze in a moment for Captain Marvel to brave his molecular manipulation and effortless absorption of her photon blasts, that would make for one intense stand-off.

Sophie Turner as Jean Gray in her Phoenix state in X-Men: Dark Phoenix

Dark Phoenix

If the X-Men turn out to be somehow reluctant to request Captain Marvel’s help against Apocalypse, maybe they would consider enlisting her assistance if Jean Grey loses her cool again. A worse threat than Apocalypse is the incomparably powerful, and unfortunately evil, side of one the X-Men’s most trusted members who, in addition to [her known psychic abilities](https://marvel.fandom.com/wiki/JeanGrey(Earth-616), can also reconstruct molecules of all matter, destroy planets with concussive energy blasts, and drain other beings of the powers, among many, many others things. There truly is little Dark Phoenix cannot do.

Now, despite how this may seem so far, I am not trying to put Captain Marvel in an X-Men movie, but am merely trying to imagine who her most challenging adversaries would be and the Dark Phoenix is a clear candidate. If the MCU ever wants to touch on the beloved comic book arc, which has been attempted cinematically twice with lackluster results, I think they could greatly benefit creatively from pitting Captain Marvel against Dark Phoenix, which the combination of their abilities could mean devastating consequences... for everyone.

A scene from Marvel Comics showing Galactus in his sizable physical form

Galactus

Many of the Marvel villains we have mentioned so far could be described as “god-like,” but why don’t we go ahead and place our chips forward and start talking about an actual god. Said to be the oldest-living entity in the Marvel universe, Galactus is a larger than life, ageless cosmic entity with a sweet tooth for entire planets who was [integral to the creation](https://marvel.fandom.com/wiki/Galan_(Earth-616) of the current universe after his former self, space traveler Galan, became the sole survivor of the previous one.

Galactus has long been the subject of rumors and theories suggesting him to be the MCU’s next big bad, and if anyone has the means to take him on, it is surely fellow cosmic juggernaut Captain Marvel. However, if anyone has the means to render Carol Danvers helplessly defeated, it is Galactus, who possesses just about all of the abilities of every villain I have already mentioned, but he’s better at it. If the MCU was to put Captain Marvel against Galactus, they might want to save that battle for last.

If you ever found yourself overwhelmed by Captain Marvel’s seemingly unstoppable abilities, as you can now see, her powers are not incomparable, but indeed just a fraction of what some of Marvel’s worst are capable of. Considering most of these villains have yet to join MCU canon, we can expect that Carol Danvers’ greatest challenge yet is on the horizon.