List of comic book superpowers

Note: This is a list of powers/abilities, not a list of superheroes by their power/ability.

Comic book fiction traditionally features characters with superhuman, supernatural, or paranormal abilities, often referred to as "superpowers" (also spelled "super-powers"). Below is a list of many of those that have been known to be used. Some of these categories overlap.


Examples of ways in which a character has the ability to generate an effect.

Object-based powers

Powers derived from objects (also known as artifacts), such as armor, jewelry, weapons, and wands. *Examples: Juggernaut's Crimson Gem of Cyttorak or Green Lantern's power battery and ring


These powers are a direct result of some form of either induced evolution or natural selection in humans beings, usually manisfested during adolescent puberty when other mental and bodily adaptations take place.

* Examples: X-Men or Captain Comet


Examples of methods by which a character generates an effect.

Energy sourcing

Ability to draw power from large or small but abundant sources of energy, such as turning kinetic energy into physical blasts or converting solar energy into other forms. Sometimes based on proximity to source, sometimes stored for future use. *Examples: Nexus or The Ray

Magical powers

Ability to use magical forces to varying degrees. Often used to simulate other powers, such as mind control and elemental attacks.

  • Supernatural

**Examples: Doctor Strange or Doctor Fate

Not all "magical" superpowers are actually supernatural, but are based on alternate or futuristic "science" which is unexplainable Mxyzptlk's abilities, for instance, rely on a set of physics different from our dimension's.

  • Pseudo-supernatural

**Example: Mister Mxyzptlk or Impossible Man


Ability to manipulate technology. Manifested as a special form of electrical/telekinetic manipulation, a special form of shapeshifting which allows physical interaction with machines, or even a special form of ESP that allows for mental interface with computer data. *Examples: Black Box or Cyborg Superman or Drummer


Ability to manipulate and control objects with the mind, often in ways not visible to the naked eye. *Examples: Jean Grey or Psimon


Superpower manipulation

This section refers to the ability to manipulate superpowers themselves, not "power" such as electrical power or gravitational power.

Power bestowal

Ability to bestow powers or jump-start latent powers. *Examples: Sage or Synergy or Shazam

Power mimicry or absorption

Ability to copy or absorb another's powers or skills. *Examples: Rogue or Black Alice

Power negation

Ability to cancel the superpowers of others. *Examples: Leech or Scrambler

Power sensing

Ability to sense or recognize superhuman powers. *Example: Caliban or Nemesis Kid

Personal physical powers

Powers which affect a physical person's body.

Accelerated healing

Ability to heal rapidly from any injury; the rate of recovery varies from character to character. Can sometimes result in the slowing of aging. *Examples: Wolverine or Lobo

Acid generation

Ability to generate acid, can be manifested through touch or as a spray. *Examples: Anarchist or Man-Thing

Animal mimicry

Ability to take on the abilities of certain animals. *Examples: Animal Man or Vixen

Biological manipulation

Ability to control all aspects of a living creature's biological make-up. This includes, but is not limited to, genetic alterations, physical distortion/augmentations, healing, disease, and biological functions. *Examples: Elixir or Raven

Body part substitution

Ability to replace one's limbs or other body parts with those of another. *Examples: Terror Inc.

Bone manipulation

Ability to manipulate the bones in one's own body. This includes, but is not limited to, the generation of new bone mass, projecting bones out from the skin or rearranging one's own bones. *Examples: Marrow or Spike


Ability to create physical duplicates of oneself. *Examples: Multiple Man or Triplicate Girl

Temporal duplication

Ability to bring past and future versions of oneself back to the present. *Examples: Flashback or Damian Tryp


Ability to determine location of items in the environment by use of reflected sound waves, whether generated by the character or ambient sound. Also known as sonar or radar sense. *Examples: Daredevil or Man-Bat


Ability to render the user unseen to the naked eye. *Examples: Invisible Woman or Invisible Kid


Ability to be immune to one or more forms of physical damage or injury. *Examples: Champion of the Universe or Supergirl or Brit

Kinetic absorption

Ability to absorb forms of kinetic energy into oneself and convert it into physical strength. *Examples: Strong Guy or Sebastian Shaw

Matter ingestion

Ability to consume any sort of matter without any ill effects on the user. *Examples: Matter-Eater Lad


Ability to temporarily merge two beings into a single being, which results in a completely new and stronger being. *Examples: Kleinstocks or B'Wana Beast

Pheromone manipulation

Ability to generate and control pheromones which may have various effects. *Examples: Wallflower or Crimson Fox

Poison generation

Ability to assault others with one or more varieties of toxins, with widely disparate effects. *Examples: Cobra or Poison Ivy

Prehensile/animated hair

The ability to animate and lengthen one's hair. *Examples: Medusa or Spider Girl

Reactive adaptation/evolution

Ability to develop a resistance or immunity to whatever they were injured by or exposed to. This effect can be permanent or temporary. *Examples: Lifeguard or Doomsday

Self-detonation or explosion

Ability to explode one's body mass and reform. *Examples: Nitro or Damage

Sonic scream

Ability to generate vocal sounds of a higher amplitude than a normal human. *Examples: Siryn or Black Canary

Superhuman durability

Ability to have a higher resistance to one or more forms of damage before being injured. *Examples: Luke Cage or Solomon Grundy or Tick

Superhuman reflexes

Ability to react faster than a normal human. *Examples: Blade or Midnighter or Madman

Superhuman senses

Ability to see, smell, taste, feel and/or hear more than a normal human. *Examples: Sabretooth or Timber Wolf

Superhuman strength

Ability to have a level of physical strength much higher than that possible by a human being in real life. *Examples: Hulk or Blok or Mister Majestic

Superhuman vision

Ability to see more than a normal human.

Heat vision

Ability to project beams of concentrated radiation from the eyes.

Night vision

Ability to see clearly in darkness. *Examples: Owl or Doctor Mid-Nite

X-ray vision

Ability to see through solid objects. *Examples: Peepers or Lar Gand

Telescopic or microscopic vision

Ability to magnify vision to various levels. *Examples: Hyperion or Power Girl


Ability to cling to objects or surfaces by a variety of means. Often related to animal mimicry. *Examples: Spider-Man or Anole


Ability to respirate through water in lieu of a gaseous medium. Not to be confused with an ability to go without breathing or to be able to breathe an alternate air supply. *Examples: Namor or Aquaman

Mental faculty and knowledge-based abilities

Innate capability

Ability to naturally have skills and/or knowledge typically earned through learning. *Examples: Forge and Razorback


Ability to understand any form of language, a natural polyglot. This can be accomplished in various ways. *Examples: Cypher and Starfire


Ability to know anything and everything. *Examples: Infinity and Mageddon

Superhuman intelligence

Ability to have intelligence far above that of a genius level. *Examples: Leader or Brainiac 5


The abilities of extra-sensory perception (ESP) and communication.

Astral projection

Ability to separate and control one's astral body. *Examples: Marvel Girl or Ravager

Cross-dimensional awareness

Ability to detect actions and events in other dimensions. This is occasionally used in comics as an awareness of the fourth wall between the characters and the artist or audience. *Examples: She-Hulk or Ambush Bug


Ability to read or sense the emotions and/or control the emotions or feelings of others. *Examples: Empath or Psycho-Pirate


Ability to see and communicate with the dead (ghosts). *Examples: Wicked or Lionel Zerb


Ability to perceive the future. It may be expressed in vague dreams while asleep, other times it can be clear and can occur at will. It may also be used as a form of "Danger sense" to show the user that they are being threatened and from what direction it is coming from. *Examples: Destiny or Dream Girl


Ability to relate details about the past or future condition of an object, person or location, usually by being in close contact with it. *Examples: Adrienne Frost or Abe Sapien


Ability to read the thoughts of, or to mentally communicate with others. *Examples: Emma Frost or Saturn Girl

Domination and mind control

The ability to alter the perceptions of others, and general mind-control. *Example: Karma or Universo

Astral trapping

Ability to cause an astral projection to stay on the astral plane, usually in one specific place. *Example: Shadow King

Memory manipulation

Ability to erase or enhance the memories of another. *Example: Professor X or Zatanna or Hatori Sohma

Mind control

Ability to control the actions or reasoning of another with the mind. *Examples: Mesmero or Maxwell Lord


Ability to take control of another person's body via astral projection or mind transfer. *Examples: Nocturne or Jericho

Psionic blast

Ability to overload another's mind causing pain, memory loss, loss of consciousness, vegetative state or death after having created a psionic link into that person's mind. *Examples: Psylocke or Gorilla Grodd

Psychic weapons

Ability to create a weapon of psychic energy that can harm mentally and not physically. *Examples: Danielle Moonstar or Wild Thing

Manipulate fundamental forces or reality

These powers may be manifested by various methods, including: by some method of molecular control; by access to, or partially or fully shifting to another dimension; by manipulating the geometric dimensions of time or space; or by some other unnamed method.


Ability to bring inanimate objects to life or to free a person from petrification. *Examples: Selene or Ozymandias

Darkness or shadow manipulation

Ability to create or manipulate darkness, often by mentally accessing a dimension of dark energy (the Darkforce dimension in Marvel Comics, and the Shadowlands in DC Comics) and manipulating it. *Examples: Black Death or Obsidian or Darkness

Density control

Ability to increase or decrease the natural density of an object and/or one's self. *Examples: Vision or Martian Manhunter


Ability to disintegrate matter through touch or through beams. *Examples: Wither or Plasmus

Elemental transmutation

The ability to alter chemical elements, changing them from one substance to another by rearranging the atomic structure. May be limited to self-transmutation. *Examples: Alchemy or Metamorpho

Gravity manipulation

Ability to manipulate or generate gravitons, or other types of gravitational interactions. *Examples: Alex Power or Geo-Force


Ability to live forever. This may be complete immortality encompassing invulnerability, partial invulnerability to all but specific events (i.e. decapitation or exposure to a specific chemical such as kryptonite), the ability to die but become resurrected, or simply an inability to age normally. *Examples: Mr. Immortal or Vandal Savage

Intangibility or phasing

Ability to phase through solid matter without harm. *Examples: Shadowcat or Phantom Girl

Light manipulation

Ability to control, generate or absorb photons (particles of light). *Examples: Northstar or Dr. Light or Angelus

Magnetism manipulation

Ability to control and/or generate magnetic fields. *Examples: Magneto or Doctor Polaris

Mass manipulation

Ability to increase or decrease mass in an object or person. *Examples: Harry Leland or Star Boy

Molecular manipulation

Ability to mentally manipulate the molecules of objects and/or one's self on a molecular level. *Examples: Apocalypse or Firestorm or Solar

Probability manipulation

Ability to alter probability, causing unlikely things to happen or likely things to not happen. *Examples: Domino or Calamity King

Radiation manipulation

Ability to generate, manipulate or have immunity to toxic radiation. *Examples: X-Ray or Captain Atom

Reality warping

Ability to change or manipulate reality itself. *Examples: Franklin Richards or Mister Mxyzptlk

Sound manipulation

Ability to manipulate sound waves. *Examples: Klaw or Fiddler

Time manipulation

Ability to affect the flow of time by slowing, accelerating, reversing, or stopping it. *Examples: Tempo or Zoom

Classical elements

Ability to control or manipulate the classical elements.

Air and wind manipulation

Ability to control, generate, or absorb air or wind. *Examples: Wind Dancer or Red Tornado

Cold and ice manipulation

Ability to reduce the kinetic energy of atoms and thus reduce temperature, can be used to control, generate, or absorb ice. *Examples: Iceman or Ice

Earth manipulation

Ability to control earth; sand, stone, rock, lava, dirt, or minerals. *Examples: Petra or Terra

Electric manipulation

Ability to control, generate or absorb electrical fields. *Examples: Electro or Black Lightning

Fire and heat manipulation

Ability to control the kinetic energy of atoms to generate, control or absorb fire. *Examples: Pyro or Fire or Liz Sherman

Plant manipulation

Ability to accelerate the growth of, control or animate plant life. *Examples: Gardener or Poison Ivy

Water and moisture manipulation

Ability to control, generate or absorb water. *Examples: Hydro-Man or Tempest

Weather manipulation

Ability to control or mentally affect the weather. This includes the ability to generate various natural phenomena (rain, tornadoes, lightning, etc.) or control the intensity of the weather. *Examples: Storm or Typhoon or Sarah Rainmaker

Energy manipulation

These powers deal with energy generation, conversion and manipulation. In addition to generic energy, versions of these powers exist that deal with such things as light, sound, electricity, nuclear energy, and "darkforce".

Concussion beams

Ability to generate or transform various forms of energy into a "solid" or concussive beam of energy. *Examples: Cyclops or Gunfire

Energy blasts

Ability to expel various forms of energy from the body. *Examples: Havok or Monarch or Son Goku

Energy constructs

Ability to create complex shapes (such as giant boxing gloves or cages) or even functional machinery (such as fire extinguishers or laser rifles) out of solid energy. *Examples: Cerise or Jade

Energy conversion

Ability to absorb one form of energy and convert it into another form of energy. *Examples: Dazzler or Bishop

Force field generation

Ability to project powerful fields of manipulated energy. *Examples: Captain Britain or Argent

Transportation or travel

Dimensional transportation

Ability to create wormholes, portation "discs" or other spatial portals for transport between two non-adjacent locations *Examples: Blink or Spot

Electrical transportation

Ability to travel through electrical conduits (such as power lines, or telephone lines). Can enter through devices such as televisions, electrical poles or computers. *Examples: Atom or Air Wave


Ability to be present anywhere and everywhere always. *Examples: Eternity or the Source


Ability to summon objects or beings for assistance. *Examples: Magik or Kid Eternity

Superhuman speed

Ability to move at speeds much faster than a normal human. *Examples: Quicksilver or Flash


Ability to move from one place to another without occupying the space in between. *Examples: Nightcrawler or Misfit

Time travel

Ability to travel back and forth through time. *Examples: Kang the Conqueror or Waverider


The following powers could be manifested in any number of ways.


Ability to lift off the ground, to ride air currents or to fly self-propelled through the air. *Examples: Fictional characters who can fly Different forms of flight include:

Energy propulsion methods

Cosmic energy control *Examples: IkarisEnergy aura projection *Examples: Sunfire or LookerGravitational manipulation *Example: GravityMagnetic levitation *Examples: Polaris or StaticMolecular manipulation *Examples: Shadowcat or GhostSonic repulsion field *Example: Banshee or TyrocTelekinetic power *Examples: Justice or SuperboyThermo-chemical energy

Physical propulsion methods

  • Insectoid form

**Examples: Wasp or Insect Queen

  • Wind current control

**Examples: Cyclone

  • Wings

**Examples: Angel or Northwind


Ability to alter or deceive the perceptions of another. Can be sensory, a light or sound-based effect, or an alteration of mental perceptions. *Examples: Mastermind or Princess Projectra


Ability to change appearance or body structure. *Examples: Mystique or Chameleon

Types of shapeshifting include:

  • Animal morphing: Ability to take on animal forms. May be able to take on the abilities of the altered form.

**Examples: Wolfsbane or Beast Boy

  • Elasticity: Ability to stretch, deform, expand and contract one's body into any form they can imagine.

**Examples: Mister Fantastic or Elongated Man

  • Inorganic: Ability to transform completely into an inorganic substance while retaining organic properties.

**Examples: Colossus or Ferro Lad

  • Liquification: Ability to turn partially or completely into a liquid.

**Examples: Hydro-Man or Zan

  • Size shifting: Ability to increase or decrease one's size.

**Examples: Yellowjacket or Giganta

  • Sublimation: Ability to transform into a gaseous, mist, or fog-like form.

**Examples: Amelia Voght or Mist

  • Transformation: Ability to transform into substance touched.

**Examples: Absorbing Man or Amazing-Man or Grunge


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