List of comic book superpowers

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

Object-based powers

List of objects in the DC Universe Powers derived from objects (also known as artifacts), such as armor, jewelry, weapons, and wands.



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.

Not all "magical" superpowers are actually supernatural, but are based on alternate or futuristic "science" which is unexplainable [1]. Mxyzptlk's abilities, for instance, rely on a set of physics different from our dimension's.


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.



Ability to manipulate and control objects with the mind, often in ways not visible to the naked eye.


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.

Power mimicry or absorption

Ability to copy or absorb another's powers or skills.

Power negation

Ability to cancel the superpowers of others.

Power sensing

Ability to sense or recognize superhuman powers.

  • Example: CalibanUncanny X-Men #148

Personal physical powers

Powers which affect a physical person's body.

Accelerated healing

Healing factor 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 The Incredible Hulk #180 or LoboOmega Men #3

Acid generation

Ability to generate acid, can be manifested through touch or as a spray.

Animal mimicry

Ability to take on the abilities of certain animals.

  • Examples: Animal Man Strange Adventures #180 or VixenAction Comics #521Animal Man #48-50

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.

Body part substitution

Ability to replace one's limbs or other body parts with those of another.

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.


Self-replication Ability to create physical duplicates of oneself.

Temporal duplication

Ability to bring past and future versions of oneself back to the present.


Echolocation 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 sense.


Invisibility Ability to render the user unseen to the naked eye.


Ability to be immune to one or more forms of physical damage or injury.

Kinetic absorption

Ability to absorb forms of kinetic energy into oneself and convert it into physical strength.

Matter ingestion

Ability to consume any sort of matter without any ill effects on the user.


Ability to temporarily merge two beings into a single being, which results in a completely new and stronger being.

Pheromone manipulation

Ability to generate and control pheromones which may have various effects.

Poison generation

Ability to assault others with one or more varieties of toxins, with widely disparate effects.

  • Examples: Cobra Journey into Mystery #29 or Poison Ivy Legends of the Dark Knight #43

Prehensile/animated hair

The ability to animate and lengthen one's hair.

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.

Self-detonation or explosion

Ability to explode one's body mass and reform.

Sonic scream

Ability to generate vocal sounds of a higher amplitude than a normal human.

Superhuman durability

Ability to have a higher resistance to one or more forms of damage before being injured.

Superhuman reflexes

Ability to react faster than a normal human.

Superhuman senses

Ability to see, smell, taste, feel and/or hear more than a normal human.

Superhuman strength

Superhuman Strength Ability to have a level of physical strength higher than that possible by a human being in real life.

Superhuman vision

Ability to see more than a normal human.

Heat vision

Heat vision Ability to project beams of concentrated radiation from the eyes.

Night vision

Night vision Ability to see clearly in darkness.

X-ray vision

X-ray vision Ability to see through solid objects.

Telescopic or microscopic vision

Ability to magnify vision to various levels.


Ability to cling to objects or surfaces by a variety of means. Often related to animal mimicry.


Water breathing 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.

Mental faculty and knowledge-based abilities

Innate capability

Ability to naturally have skills and/or knowledge typically earned through learning.


Ability to understand any form of language, a natural polyglot. This can be accomplished in various ways.

Superhuman intelligence

Ability to have intelligence far above genius level.

Astral projection

Ability to separate and control one's astral body.

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.


Empathy Ability to read or sense the emotions and/or control the emotions or feelings of others.


Ability to see and communicate with the dead (ghosts).


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.


Psychometry Ability to relate details about the past or future condition of an object, person or location, usually by being in close contact with it.


Telepathy Ability to read the thoughts of, or to mentally communicate with others.

Domination and mind control

The ability to alter the perceptions of others, and general mind-control.

Astral trapping

Ability to cause an astral projection to stay on the astral plane, usually in one specific place.

Memory manipulation

Ability to erase or enhance the memories of another.

Mind control

Mind control Ability to control the actions or reasoning of another with the mind.


Ability to take control of another person’s body via astral projection or mind transfer.

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.

Psychic weapons

Ability to create a weapon of psychic energy that can harm mentally and not physically.

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.

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.

Density control

Ability to increase the natural density of an object and/or one's self.


Ability to disintegrate matter through touch.

Elemental transmutation

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: AlchemyX-Factor vol., 1 #41 (June 1989) or MetamorphoThe Brave and the Bold #57

Gravity manipulation

Ability to manipulate or generate gravitons, or other types of gravitational interactions.


Immortality 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.

Intangibility or phasing

Ability to phase through solid matter without harm.

Light manipulation

Ability to control, generate or absorb photons (particles of light).

Magnetism manipulation

Ability to control and/or generate magnetic fields.

Mass manipulation

Ability to increase or decrease mass in an object or person.

Molecular manipulation

Ability to mentally manipulate the molecules of objects and/or one's self on a molecular level.

Probability manipulation

Probability Ability to alter probability, causing unlikely things to happen or likely things to not happen.

Radiation manipulation

Ability to generate, manipulate or have immunity to toxic radiation.

Reality warping

Reality warping Ability to change or manipulate reality itself.

Sound manipulation

Ability to manipulate sound waves.

Time manipulation

Ability to affect the flow of time by slowing, accelerating, reversing, or stopping it.

Classical elements

Ability to control or manipulate the classical elements.

Air and wind manipulation

Ability to control, generate, or absorb air or wind.

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.

Earth manipulation

Ability to control earth; sand, stone, rock, lava, dirt, or minerals.

Electric manipulation

Ability to control, generate or absorb electrical fields.

Fire and heat manipulation

Pyrokinesis Template:See also Ability to control the kinetic energy of atoms to generate, control or absorb fire.

Plant manipulation

Ability to accelerate the growth of, control or animate plant life.

Water and moisture manipulation

Hydrokinesis Ability to control, generate or absorb water.

Weather manipulation

Weather control 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.

Energy manipulation

Energy 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.

Energy blasts

Heat vision Ability to expel various forms of energy from the body.

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.

Energy conversion

Ability to absorb one form of energy and convert it into another form of energy.

Force field generation

Ability to project powerful fields of manipulated energy.

Transportation or travel

Dimensional transportation

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

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.


Ability to be present anywhere and everywhere always.


Ability to summon objects or beings for assistance.

Superhuman speed

Ability to move at speeds faster than a normal human.


teleportation Ability to move from one place to another without occupying the space in between.

Time travel

Time travel Ability to travel back and forth through time.


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. Different forms of flight include:

Energy propulsion methods

Cosmic energy control
Energy aura projection
Gravitational manipulation
Magnetic levitation
Sonic repulsion field
Telekinetic power
Thermo-chemical energy

Physical propulsion methods


Illusion Ability to alter or deceive the perceptions of another. Can be sensory, a light or sound-based effect, or an alteration of mental perceptions.


Shapeshifting Ability to change appearance or body structure.

Types of shapeshifting include:

  • Animal morphing: Ability to take on animal forms. May be able to take on the abilities of the altered form.
  • Elasticity: Ability to stretch, deform, expand and contract one's body into any form they can imagine.
  • Inorganic: Ability to transform completely into an inorganic substance while retaining organic properties.
  • Liquification: Ability to turn partially or completely into a liquid.
  • Size shifting: Ability to increase or decrease one's size.
  • Sublimation: Ability to transform into a gaseous, mist, or fog-like form.
  • Transformation: Ability to transform into substance touched.
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