Any schmo can save the world. That's not a big deal. But saving the universe takes some serious chops. Only a few heroes have even saved the universe once, let alone multiple times. How does your favorite hero stack up?

We did a painstaking examination of the universe-saving record of comics superheroes, and tallied up which hero had the most sheer number of universe saves. Here's our complete ranking of heroism on a universal scale.


Seriously, can you imagine how hard it is to save the whole universe? Just think about what a big place it is, and how huge a threat has to be before it can threaten the whole cosmos. Or all of time, or all sentient life. Plus, there's the fact that a threat to the entire universe can come from anywhere in the universe. So just localizing the focal point of a universe-threatening event would be a huge challenge.

Nevertheless, some heroes do rise to the challenge of protecting all of existence. And among those heroes, some do it more often than others. Check out our ranking.

Zenon, Zenon: Z3
The hero of this series of Disney Channel original movies saves the entire universe from an angry space god, Selena.
Final score: One save.

After Unicron is destroyed, a black hole is created which keeps consuming more and more planets — until Cybertron itself is threatened. Vector Prime tells the Autobots that the only way to keep the entire universe from being consumed is to decipher the map and find the Cyber Planet Keys — and luckily, Optimus Prime is up to the challenge. Also, in the Marvel Comics series, Unicron tries to destroy the universe many times, and occasionally succeeds.
Final score: One save.

The Power Rangers and Zordon, Power Rangers: In Space.
Dark Specter, Astronema and the United Alliance of Evil plan the devastation of the entire universe, using their Super Torpedos. They're only stopped thanks to Zordon's heroic sacrifice which sends a wave of energy throughout the entire universe, wiping them out.
Final score: One save.

Thanos tries to destroy the universe again, but Thor stops him, in Thor volume 2, #21-25.
Final score: One save.


Solar, Man of the Atom.
In Valiant's "Unity" crossover, Erica Pierce nearly destroys the universe, but Solar defeats her.
Final score: One save.

Matter-Eater Lad, Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes.
Matter-Eater Lad does what he does best: eats stuff. In this case, he eats the Miracle Machine that threatens to destroy the universe, going insane in the process.
Final score: One save.

Green Arrow.
He stops Parallax, the insane Hal Jordan, by shooting him in the chest with — what else — an arrow. (He's helped by the Justice League and the Spectre.)
Final score: One save.

Rick Jones, Captain Marvel.
Rick Jones isn't just a great singer-songwriter and friend to the Hulk and Captain America — he also convinces Entropy to recreate the entire universe in the first issue of Captain Marvel's solo comic.
Final score: One save.

The Silver Surfer.
At one point during Steve Englehart's run on this comic in the late 1980s, the Elders attempt to destroy the entire universe to kill Galactus and gain higher power. And the Silver Surfer stops them, with great difficulty.
Final score: One save.


The Squadron Supreme.
This team defeats a universe-devouring scientist known as the Nth Man in "Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe."
Final score: One save.

Hercules, "Chaos War."
In this giant crossover, Herc saves the entire universe by killing a major Greek god, and throwing Amatsu-Mikaboshi into another continuum.
Final score: One save.


Nebula, The Infinity Gauntlet.
Thanos destroys the universe, but Nebula manages to reverse the destruction, using the famed Infinity Gauntlet. Which is also a great fashion accessory.
Final score: One save.

Captain Kirk, Star Trek.
The dashing captain of the Enterprise only saves the universe once, that we know of — in "The Alternative Factor," a man named Lazarus is confronting his evil duplicate from another universe, and their battle threatens to tear the entire cosmos apart. Kirk manages to trap the two of them in a kind of pocket reality.
Final score: One save.

Fry, Futurama.
He saved the universe from the Brain Spawn on three occasions — twice on the TV show, and once in a tie-in comic. (Which may or may not count, since we could be here all day if we include media tie-ins for Star Trek and Doctor Who.) The Brain Spawn, big brains which came into being soon after the Big Bang, aim to gather all knowledge in the universe in their Infosphere — after which they will destroy all life, to ensure that no more knowledge is created. They send out a stupefication field that eradicates all intelligence.
Final score: Two saves, unless you count the comics.

Nova, The Annihilation Wave.
Annihilus aims to use the Power Cosmic to destroy all life, and remain as the sole survivor. A team of heroes, including Drax and Phyla-Vell, join forces to stop him — but it's Nova who finds Annihilus' weakness and takes him out. And in "The Thanos Imperative," Nova and Star-Lord sacrifice themselves to trap Thanos in the Cancerverse. No, really. The Cancerverse.
Final score: Two saves.

Galactus teams up with Thanos to stop an entity called Hunger who is trying to wipe out all creation. He also defeats the universe-destroying Abraxas in Fantastic Four Vol. 3, #49. Also, in the "Heroes Reborn" miniseries, it's revealed that Galactus routinely eats planets that host celestial eggs with universe-altering properties, so Galactus saves the universe a lot.
Final score: Two saves, plus an unknowable number of other saves.

The X-Men (animated).
The X-Men save the universe at least twice in the cartoon series. In one story arc, D'Ken of the Shi'ar is seeking to control the M'Kraan Crystal, which is powerful enough to threaten all life in the universe. And then D'Ken gets pulled inside the Crystal, which sets out to absorb the entire cosmos and replace it with a new, lifeless universe. Jean Grey has to become the Phoenix to stop D'Ken and the crystal. (Something similar happens in the comics, in X-Men #108.) In a later episode, Apocalypse plans to use psychics to destroy all time and recreate a new universe, where he will rule. The X-Men stop him with the help of Cable.
Final score: Two saves. [associate[


Reed Richards, Marvel Comics.
Let's see... the 1602 version of Reed Richards manages to stop a rift in the universe caused by a time-traveling Steve Rogers. (We'll just chalk this one up for Reed, generally.) And in Fantastic Four Vol. 3, #49, Abraxas is threatening the entire universe, and Galactus defeats him — but it's Reed who figures out how to use the Ultimate Nullifier to destroy Abraxas and restore the multiverse. And the Fantastic Four, including Reed, teams up with Uatu to defeat a rogue Watcher named Aron, who aims to destroy the entire universe.
Final score: Three saves, if you count 1602 Reed Richards.

Superman (DC Comics)
In DC Comics' huge crossovers, the entire universe is often threatened, and it takes a whole team of heroes to save the day — but Superman usually deals the final blow to the ultimate evil. In "Crisis on Infinite Earths," it's Earth-Two Superman who deals the final blow to the Anti-Monitor, after Darkseid and Alexander Luthor weaken him. In "Infinite Crisis," Superman defeats Superboy Prime, assisted by Power Girl and the Earth-Two Superman. In "Final Crisis," Batman and the Flashes weaken Darkseid, but Superman finally destroys him in "Superman Beyond." Superman figures out how to defeat the Joker in "Emperor Joker."
Final score: Four saves, with some assists.

The Doctor, Doctor Who.
He stops Omega from destroying the universe twice, in "The Three Doctors" and "Arc of Infinity." He stops the Master from destroying the universe in "Logopolis." And he saves the universe from the Master and the Time Lords in "The End of Time." He also stops Davros and the Daleks from destroying all living things in "Journey's End." And he stops an insane spaceship that was going to restart the entire universe in the radio play "Slipback." He also stops a spaceship from exploding and destroying the universe in "Terminus." And he stops the crack in space/time from blowing up everything in "The Big Bang."


Edge cases: You could also argue that any time the Doctor defeats the Daleks, he's saving the universe, since their ultimate aim is to wipe out all other life. And you could argue he saves the universe from the Black Guardian in "The Armageddon Factor," but it's never made clear what the Black Guardian would have done with the Key to Time. Skagra's ultimate aim in "Shada" is to take over all minds in the universe, but that threat is more of a theoretical long-term goal. The Daleks and Cybermen could theoretically have torn the cosmos apart in "Doomsday." The Krillitanes in "School Reunion" have a vague notion about reshaping the cosmos somehow. The Master makes vague threats of universal domination in "Colony in Space" and "Last of the Time Lords."
Final score: Eight saves, unless you count all the edge cases.

Additional reporting by Michael Ann Dobbs, Katharine Trendacosta and Gordon Jackson.