Which character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain Marvel or Adam Warlock from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, would win in a fight? Since Phase 2 began swiftly expanding the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s pool of super-powered characters, the “most powerful” argument has raged among fans. The most popular choices are Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch (especially with her WandaVision increase) and Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel, however that may soon change with Eternals on the horizon.
There is no consensus on who presently holds that title. Adam Warlock, in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, will be a serious challenger for the MCU’s Heavyweight title. Ayesha, the Sovereign’s commander, was so angry by the Guardians of the Galaxy and their light-fingered raccoon that she began genetically modifying her people in order to generate “Adam.” This MCU adaptation of the Marvel comic character Adam Warlock will make his film debut in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and Will Poulter has been officially cast as the character of Adam.
As a cosmic warrior wielding cosmic power, comparisons to Carol Danvers are only inevitable for Adam Warlock, who will instantly become one of the most powerful characters in the whole MCU. The Marvels, Brie Larson’s solo sequel in 2022, will see Brie Larson’s ace pilot continuing to play an important role in the overall MCU narrative… but is Captain Marvel tougher than Adam Warlock?
Captain Marvel’s MCU powers are extremely similar to those of her Marvel comics counterpart, despite their divergent origin stories. As a result of her raw exposure to the Space Stone, Brie Larson was endowed with superhuman abilities, whereas Carol Danvers’s biology was altered by the Kree’s psyche-magnitron. When Mar-Vell (who was also present at the time of the psyche-magnitron incident) got comparable gifts, she became Ms. Marvel, before changing her name to Captain Marvel.
Powers have come and gone over the years as Carol’s life has progressed; they now include physical enhancements (such as increased strength and speed), the capacity to manipulate celestial energy (such as flight), and regenerative properties (such as the ability to regenerate). Unlike in the movies, Carol had a precognitive ability in the Marvel comics that the live-action version lacks. MCU Captain Marvel, on the other hand, receives Binary Mode, which uses cosmic power to amp up her already potent skills. The MCU’s version of Carol Danvers’ comic book Binary transformation is known as Binary Mode.
The MCU has yet to reveal Adam Warlock’s fighting style, but the comic book version of the character is a proven Marvel superhero. As an alternative to the Sovereign, the Enclave fashioned Adam as a genetically perfect person endowed with unique physiology and amazing abilities. Adam has superhuman strength, speed, stamina, and durability, and he can use cosmic energy as a weapon, just like Captain Marvel. Because of his estranged relationship with Death and use of his cocoon to resurrect even after being murdered, he’s virtually impossible to take out.
Along with these, Adam Warlock has demonstrated telepathy, time travel, magic prowess, telekinesis, and enhanced cosmic senses during the course of his life. Despite the fact that most of Adam’s power comes from the way he was created, the Marvel character has been further enhanced by the Soul Gem, a gift from the High Evolutionary (an equal to the MCU’s Soul Stone). As a result of Adam’s connection to the Soul Stone, Warlock has become one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel universe.
Will Poulter’s Adam Warlock has a very different backstory in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ayesha created Adam to be the next evolutionary step in the advancement of her own people, the Sovereign, as revealed in the post-credits sequence of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Due to the Sovereign’s inherent superiority, this may theoretically make MCU Adam even more powerful than in the comics. Similarly, in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Ayesha’s Sovereign is a renowned genetic engineer, while the Enclave was a coalition of (albeit smart and well-funded) scientists from Earth.
It’s possible that the alien technology aboard the Sovereign will create a more powerful Adam Warlock than the one depicted in comic books. This could be a ruse to make up for Adam’s missing Soul Gem. Adam Warlock’s comic strength comes in large part from the fact that he carries an Infinity Gem in his skull, and it’s not going to work on the big screen. Since Avengers: Infinity War revealed that the Soul Stone was kept by Red Skull until Thanos arrived, Ayesha will almost probably have to resort to timeline manipulation if she wants to use it on Adam.
Assuming that Poulter’s Adam Warlock will have no connection to the Soul Stone, that leaves two possible plot lines for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Or, the Sovereign’s superior scientific understanding ensures that Adam gains all of his comic book powers without the need of an Infinity Stone in the live-action version. This suggests that Will Poulter’s character will display his villainy in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 when Ayesha promises her Adam that he can defeat Star-motley Lord’s band of space outlaws in the post-credit scene of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
So Thor’s involvement in the threequel could be explained by Adam being able to stand up to the As-Guardian while the rest flee. Marvel’s Adam is a hero (most of the time), yet he also betrays his own creators. As a result, before the events in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 are over, the MCU’s newest member will likely change sides.
To put it another way, if Kevin Feige and James Gunn give Adam Warlock a majority of Captain Marvel’s powers and skills, it would be Adam Warlock who comes out on top. However, while both Adam Warlock and Captain Marvel are capable of using photon energy to absorb and hurl, Adam Warlock’s cosmic attacks are far more powerful. In contrast to Carol Danvers, who is known for her Dragon Ball Z-style blasts and waves, Adam uses a wide range of cosmic skills, including energy constructs and matter manipulation that are uncommon for Carol Danvers, even in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
With his quantum magic talents, Adam Warlock has one more thing going for him against Captain Marvel, and his ability to perceive Carol’s attacks and teleport away would be particularly irksome to Brie Larson’s character. To defeat Adam Warlock, Captain Marvel needs to negate his cosmic powers and engage in a fistfight, where Carol Danvers’ expertise and cunning may be enough to defeat her. Although Captain Marvel might defeat Adam Warlock, he’d only retreat into a regeneration cocoon and return for another fight, whereas Carol Danvers’ regeneration anti-aging abilities are far more restricted than Adam’s. What’s more, Adam Warlock (if his MCU powers resemble his comic book counterpart’s) has multiple advantages over Carol Danvers no matter how you look at it.
Their victories over other Marvel comics characters, including Thanos, point to this conclusion. Many remarkable triumphs precede Carol Danvers’s reputation, and she fared better against Thanos than most of the other Avengers did in the final showdown (both in the comics and live-action). Even still, Adam Warlock had a considerably easier time dealing with the Mad Titan thanks to his superior skill set and preparation.
In Jim Starlin’s original plot, Adam overcomes the Mad Titan, the antagonist of the Infinity Saga, and while Mar-Vell (an early Captain Marvel), like Adam, has a triumph against him, Carol Danvers does not. While the Silver Surfer was incapacitated, Adam Warlock defeated him in order to save the life of the magnificent hero. He then took a shot from the mighty Galactus and became the Living Tribunal.
Nothing Captain Marvel has done in her superhero career compares to these achievements. So, despite Captain Marvel’s standing as one of the Avengers’ strongest members, Adam Warlock likely ranks as one of the universe’s strongest individuals, putting him several steps ahead of Carol Danvers. Even if that’s not the case in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Brie Larson should keep an eye on Adam Warlock since he goes higher, farther, and faster than ever before.