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List of superhuman features and abilities in fiction

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Title: List of superhuman features and abilities in fiction  
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List of superhuman features and abilities in fiction

Many forms of fiction feature characters attributed with superhuman, supernatural, or paranormal abilities, often referred to as "superpowers" (also spelled "super powers" and "super-powers") or "powers". This tradition is especially rich in the fictional universes of various comic book stories. This is a list of many of those powers that have been known to be used. Some of these categories overlap.


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

Type Examples See also
Inhuman nature Homo mermanus; Kryptonians[1]
The character belongs to a class of wholly or partially non-Human beings for whom superhuman capabilities are typical and/or natural. This includes, but is not limited to, characters who are aliens, Demons, Gods, Vampires, Werewolves, or hybrids.
Object-based powers Iron Man's armor; Green Lantern's power ring;[2] Sauron's One Ring List of objects in the DC Universe
Powers derived from objects (also known as artifacts), such as armor, jewelry, weapons, and wands
Mutation X-Men;[3] Captain Comet;[4] Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mutant (fictional)
These powers are a direct result of some form of either induced evolution or natural selection, usually manifested during adolescent puberty when other mental and bodily adaptations take place.


Examples of methods by which a character generates an effect.

Type Examples See also
Energy sourcing Ms.Marvel[5] Ray;[6] Apollo;[7] Nexus[8]
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.
Chi Iron Fist;[9] Krillin[10] Qi
Many characters who train in martial arts gain superhuman capabilities by learning to harness chi or some form of life energy. This type of method generally provides extraordinary strength, speed, durability and reflexes. Also often used for superhuman awareness, energy blasts, elemental powers and sometimes invulnerability.
Magical powers Supernatural: Doctor Strange;[11] Doctor Fate;[12] Ganon; Willow Rosenberg[13]
Pseudo-supernatural: Mister Mxyzptlk;[14] Impossible Man[15]
Magic in fiction
This is the ability to use magical forces to varying degrees. Often used to simulate other powers, such as mind control and elemental attacks. Not all "magical" superpowers are actually supernatural, but are based on alternative or futuristic "science".[16] For instance, Moon Knight's strength, endurance and reflexes are enhanced depending upon the phases of the moon.[17] Uncle Sam has his powers in proportion to the people's belief in the ideals of America.[18]
Telekinesis Jean Grey;[19] Maxima;[20] Battalion;[21] Billie Jenkins Psychokinesis
Ability to manipulate and control objects with the mind, often in ways not visible to the naked eye


Superpower interaction

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

Type Examples
Power augmentation Fabian Cortez; Neron;[22] Ando Masahashi
Ability to enhance or weaken the powers of others.
Power bestowal Galactus;[23] Synergy;[24] Willow Rosenberg[25]
Ability to bestow powers or jump-start latent powers.
Power mimicry or absorption Rogue;[26] Black Alice;[27] Kakashi Hatake;[28] Peter Petrelli[29]
Ability to copy or absorb another's powers or skills.
Power negation Leech;[30] Scrambler;[31] The Haitian[32]
Ability to cancel the superpowers of others.
Power sensing Caliban;[33] Nemesis Kid
Ability to sense or recognize superhuman powers.

Personal physical powers

Powers which affect an individual's body.

Type Examples See also
Acid generation Anarchist;[34] Man-Thing;[35] Reptile
Ability to generate acid, can be manifested through touch or as a spray (e.g. acid spit, acid blood, etc.).
Animal mimicry Animal Man;[36] Vixen[37]
Ability to take on the abilities of certain animals.
Biological manipulation Elixir;[38] Shawn Farrell
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 Terror;[39]
Ability to replace one's limbs or other body parts with those of another.
Bone manipulation Marrow;[40] Spike[41]
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.
Duplication (physical) Jamie Madrox;[42] Duplicate Damsel;[43] Naruto Uzumaki[44] Self-replication
Molecular cloning
Ability to create physical duplicates of oneself.
Duplication (temporal) Flashback;[45] Damian Tryp[46] The Shrike[47]
Ability to bring past and future versions of oneself back to the present.
Echolocation Daredevil[48] Man-Bat[49] Human echolocation
Ability to determine location of objects in the environment by use of reflected sound waves, whether generated by the character or ambient sound. Also known as sonar or radar sense.
Firebreathing Ghost Rider;[50] Etrigan the Demon[51]
Ability generate gases from the body and exhale fire from the mouth.
Healing factor Wolverine;[52] Lobo;[53] Claire Bennet Healing factor
Regeneration (biology)
Regeneration (Doctor Who)
Ability to heal rapidly and with greater finality from any injury; the rate of recovery varies from character to character. Can sometimes result in the slowing of aging and immunity to illnesses and other defects.
Invisibility Invisible Woman;[54] Invisible Kid;[55] Claude Rains[56] Invisibility
Ability to render the user unseen to the naked eye and/or other forms of perception.
Invulnerability Emery Schaub;[57] Shaggy Man;[58] Brit[59]
Ability to be immune to one or more forms of physical, mental, and spiritual damage and influence.
Kinetic absorption Strong Guy;[60] Sebastian Shaw[61]
Ability to absorb forms of kinetic energy into oneself and utilize it in some way, such as by converting it into physical strength or using it to power energy blasts.
Superhuman longevity Romulus;[62] Eclipso[63]
Ability to live longer than a normal human.
Matter Ingestion Matter-Eater Lad[64]
Ability to consume any sort of matter without any ill effects on the user.
Merging Kleinstocks;[65] B'wana Beast;[66] Trunks[67]
Ability to temporarily merge two or more beings into a single being, which results in a completely new and stronger being.
Pheromone manipulation Wallflower;[68] Crimson Fox[69]
Ability to generate and control pheromones which may have various effects.
Poison generation Cobra;[70] Poison Ivy;[71] Maya Herrera
Ability to assault others with one or more varieties of toxins, with widely disparate effects.
Prehensile/animated hair Medusa;[72] Spider Girl[73]
Ability to animate and lengthen one's hair.
Reactive adaptation/evolution Lifeguard;[74] Doomsday
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 and reformation Nitro;[75] Damage;[76] Ted Sprague[77]
Ability to explode one's body mass and reform.
Sonic scream Banshee;[78] Black Canary[79]
Ability to generate vocal sounds of a higher amplitude than a normal human.
Vortex breath Awesome Android;[80] Kirby
Ability to inhale/exhale with superhumanly powerful strength. This can range from exhalation on par with gale force winds to inhalation on par with the power of a gravitational vortex. In some cases, freezing temperatures can also be achieved.
Superhuman endurance Luke Cage;[81] Solomon Grundy;[82] Tick;[83] Yasutora Sado; Danny Phantom
Ability to have a higher resistance to one or more forms of damage before being injured as well as the ability to exert ones self in an activity indefinitely without becoming tired and/or survive for long periods of time without consumption or water.
Superhuman agility Blade; Midnighter; Son Gohan[84]
Ability to react faster than a normal human and to possess greater flexibility and with higher/farther jumping capacity.
Superhuman senses Beast;[85] Supergirl; Icon
Ability to see, smell, taste, feel and/or hear more than a normal Human.
Superhuman strength Hulk;[86] Blok;[87] Fuji;[88] Niki Sanders Superhuman strength
Strength level
Ability to have a level of strength much higher than normally possible given their proportions.
Vision-based powers Superman; Doctor Nemesis[89]
Abilities that are based on one's eyes and/or ability to see.
1. Night vision Owl;[90] Doctor Mid-Nite[91] Night vision
The ability to see clearly in total darkness
2. X-ray vision Peepers; Ariella Kent
Ability to see through solid matter
3. Heat vision Superboy-Prime; Mister Majestic[92] Heat vision
Ability to burn objects and other individuals with one's gaze
4. Telescopic vision Hyperion; Lar Gand[93]
Ability to magnify and extend one's vision to various levels
5. Freeze vision Bizarro
Ability to freeze objects and other individuals with one's gaze
Wallcrawling Spider-Man; Knuckles the Echidna[94]
Ability to adhere to solid surfaces, including walls and ceilings
Waterbreathing Namor;[95] Aquaman[96] Water breathing
Liquid 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 alternative air supply.

Mentality-based abilities

Type Examples See also
Ecological empathy Storm; Swamp Thing[97]
The ability to sense the overall well-being and conditions of one's immediate environment and natural setting stemming from a psychic sensitivity to nature
Innate capability Forge; Sylar
Ability to naturally have skills and/or knowledge typically earned through learning
Omni-linguism Cypher; Wonder Woman; Glorificus
Ability to understand any form of language, a natural polyglot. This can be accomplished in various ways.
Omniscience Infinity; Phantom Stranger Omniscience
Ability to know anything and everything
Superhuman mentality Leader; Brainiac[98]
Ability to have intelligence quotient far above that of a genius level. This ability can be so evolved that it's user can gain psychic abilities (psychokinesis, telepathy, etc.) and resist both mind control and other psionic attacks.
Superhuman tracking Cyber;[99] Dawnstar;[100] Molly Walker[101]
Ability to track an individual or object through supernatural means; sometimes referred to as "pathfinding"


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

Type Examples See also
Astral projection Rachel Summers; Rose Wilson; Prue Halliwell Astral projection
Also known as astral travel, this is the ability to separate and control one's astral body.
Cross-dimensional awareness Deadpool;[102] Ambush Bug[103]
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 Empath; Raven;[104] Belldandy[105] Empathy
Ability to read or sense the emotions and/or control the emotions or feelings of others
Mediumship Brother Voodoo;[106] Melinda Gordon
Ability to see and communicate with the dead (i.e., ghosts)
Precognition Destiny;[107] Nura Nal; Phoebe Halliwell[108] Precognition
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 Adrienne Frost; Jack Hawksmoor;[109] Tuxedo Mask[110] Psychometry (paranormal)
Ability to relate details about the past or future condition of an object or location, usually by being in close contact with it
Telepathy Exodus;[111] Saturn Girl; Abe Sapien; Piccolo[112] Telepathy
Ability to read the thoughts of, or to mentally communicate with others
Technopathy Black Box;[113] Cyborg Superman;[114] Drummer;[115] Micah Sanders[116]
Ability to manipulate technology. Manifested as a special form of electrical/telekinetic manipulation, a special form of "morphing" which allows physical interaction with machines, or even a psychic ability that allows for mental interface with computer data

Physical or mental domination

Type Examples See also
Astral trapping Shadow King
Ability to cause an astral projection to stay on the astral plane, usually in one specific place
Memory manipulation Professor X; Zatanna; Haitian
Ability to erase or enhance the memories of another
Mind control Karma; Universo;[117] Lelouch Lamperouge;[118] Matt Parkman
The ability to alter the perceptions of others, and general ability to control the actions of others with the mind
Possession Nocturne; Jericho;[119] Orochimaru;[120] Danny Phantom Spirit possession
Ability to take control and inhabit the body of an individual
Psionic blast Psylocke; Psimon[121]
Ability to overload another's mind causing pain, memory loss, lack of consciousness, vegetative state or death after having created a psionic link into that individual's mind
Psychic weapons Danielle Moonstar; Wild Thing
Ability to create a weapon of psychic energy that can harm mentally and not physically

Physics or reality manipulation

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.

Type Examples See also
Animation Selene;[122] Giorno Giovana
Ability to bring inanimate objects to life or to free an individual from petrification
Darkness or shadow manipulation Shroud;[123] Shade;[124] Shikamaru Nara[125]
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 Vision;[126] Martian Manhunter
Ability to increase or decrease the natural density of an object and/or one's self
Disintegration Wither;[127] Plasmus;[128] Castiel[129]
Ability to disintegrate matter through touch or through beams
Elemental transmutation Alchemy;[130] Metamorpho;[131] Edward Elric[132] 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
Gravity manipulation Alex Power;[133] Geo-Force[134]
Ability to manipulate or generate gravitons, or other types of gravitational interactions
Immortality Belasco;[135] Vandal Savage[136] Adam Monroe;[137] Alucard[138] 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), or simply an inability to age normally.
Intangibility or phasing Kitty Pryde;[139] Phantom Girl;[140] D. L. Hawkins
Ability to quantum tunnel through solid matter without harm[139]
Light manipulation Northstar; Doctor Light;[91] Angelus[141]
Ability to control, generate or absorb light particles
Magnetism manipulation Magneto; Doctor Polaris[142]
Ability to control and/or generate magnetic fields
Mass manipulation Harry Leland;[143] Thom Kallor[144]
Ability to increase or decrease mass in an object
Microwave manipulation Firestar Microwave
The ability to convert ambient electromagnetic energy into microwaves and manipulate it into various effects such as heat, light, and radiation
Molecular manipulation Apocalypse;[145] Firestorm;[146] Solar; Piper Halliwell
Ability to mentally manipulate the molecules of objects and/or one's self on a molecular level
Probability manipulation Longshot; Calamity King Probability
Ability to alter probability, causing unlikely things to happen, or likely things not to happen
Radiation manipulation X-Ray; Captain Atom[147]
Ability to generate, manipulate or have immunity to toxic radiation
Reality warping Franklin Richards;[148] Lucifer;[149] Haruhi Suzumiya
Ability to change or manipulate reality itself
Resurrection Mister Immortal;[150] Resurrection Man;[151] The Doctor
Ability to come back to life after being killed as well as to bring others back to life
Sound manipulation Klaw; Fiddler
Ability to manipulate sound
Time manipulation Tempo; Zoom; Hiro Nakamura; Dio Brando
Ability to affect the flow of time by slowing, accelerating, reversing, or stopping it

Elemental and environmental powers

Ability to control or manipulate the elements of nature.

Type Examples See also
Air and wind manipulation Wind Dancer;[152] Red Tornado;[153] Aang
Ability to control, generate, or absorb air or wind
Animal control Tarzan, Super Commando Dhruva
Ability to communicate with animals, birds and even aquatic creatures and get them to perform tasks on command
Cold and ice manipulation Iceman;[154] Ice:[155] Sub-Zero; Tōshirō Hitsugaya[156]
Ability to reduce the kinetic energy of atoms and thus reduce temperature, can be used to control, generate, or absorb ice
Earth manipulation Petra;[157] Terra;[158] Gaara;[159] Samuel Sullivan
Ability to control earth; sand, stone, rock, lava, dirt, or other minerals
Electric manipulation Electro;[160] Black Lightning;[161] Raiden; Sailor Jupiter;[162] Elle Bishop
Ability to control, generate or absorb electric fields
Fire and heat manipulation Pyro;[163] Fire;[164] Sailor Mars;[165] Azula Pyrokinesis
Ability to control the kinetic energy of atoms to generate, control or absorb fire
Plant manipulation Klara Prast;[166] Floronic Man;[167] Briar Moss
Ability to create, control, manipulate or animate plant life
Water and moisture manipulation Washout[168] Mera;[169] Sailor Mercury; Katara
Ability to control, generate or absorb water
Weather manipulation Storm; Thor;[170] Weather Wizard;[171] Sarah Rainmaker;[172] Trisana Chandler Weather control
Ability to control or mentally affect the weather. This includes the ability to generate various natural phenomena (rain, tornadoes, lightning, ocean currents, etc.) or control the intensity of the weather.

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 the Darkforce dimension.

Type Examples See also
Concussion beams Cyclops; Darkseid
Ability to generate or transform various forms of energy into a "solid" or concussive beam of energy
Energy blasts Havok; Starfire;[173] Vegeta
Ability to expel various forms of energy from the body
Energy constructs Cerise;[174] Jade;[175] Uryū Ishida
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 Bishop[176] Winter[177]
Ability to absorb one form of energy and convert it into another form of energy
Force field generation Unus the Untouchable; Argent;[178] Orihime Inoue;[179] Wyatt Halliwell Force field
Ability to project powerful fields of manipulated energy

Transportation and travel

Type Examples See also
Electrical transportation Atom;[180] Livewire[181]
Ability to travel through electrical conduits (such as power lines or telephone lines). Can enter through devices such as televisions, electrical poles or computers
Omnipresence Eternity; Living Tribunal
Ability to be present anywhere and everywhere simultaneously
Dimensional travel Roma;[182] Vox;[183]Access[184]
Ability to travel between two or more dimensions, realities, realms, etc.
Portal creation Spot;[185] Gates[186] Portal (doorway)
Ability to create wormholes, portation "discs" or other spatial portals for transport between two non-adjacent locations
Summoning Master Pandemonium;[187] Kid Eternity;[188] Jackie Estacado;[189] Jiraiya[190] Conjuration
Magic satchel
Ability to summon beings or objects for assistance. This may range from invoking simple implements to mighty familiar spirits.
Superhuman speed Quicksilver;[191] Flash;[192] Seta Sōjirō;[193] Sonic the Hedgehog[194] Speedster (fiction)
The ability to move, run, fly, react, think, and sense at speeds much faster than a normal human. Those with this ability also have accelerated brain activity which allows them to process sensory information so fast that everything seems to be moving in slow motion while the user moves at normal speed.
Teleportation Nightcrawler;[195] Misfit;[196] Son Goku;[197] Void[198] Teleportation
Ability to move from one place to another without occupying the space in between
Time travel Trevor Fitzroy; Time Trapper;[199] Hiro Nakamura Time travel
Ability to travel back or forth through time


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


Main article: Flight

Ability to lift off the ground, to ride air currents or to fly self-propelled through the air.

Energy propulsion
Type Examples
Cosmic energy control Ikaris
Energy aura projection Sunfire;[200] Halo
Gravitational manipulation Gravity[201]
Magnetic levitation Polaris;[202] Static[203]
Molecular manipulation Kitty Pryde, Dead Girl; Doctor Manhattan[204]
Sonic repulsion field Banshee; Tyroc
Telekinetic power Vance Astrovik; Sapphire
Thermo-chemical energy Cannonball; Jetstream
Physical propulsion
Wind current control Cyclone;[205] Red Tornado[206]
Wings Warren Worthington III;[207] Northwind;[208] Rouge the Bat


Main article: 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. May overlap with reality warping when it is possible to interact with the illusions.


Main article: Shapeshifting

Ability to change appearance or body structure.

Type Examples
Animal morphing Snowbird;[212] Beast Boy;[213] Jake Berenson
Ability to take on animal forms. May be able to take on the abilities of the altered form
Elasticity Mister Fantastic;[54] Plastic Man;[214] Monkey D. Luffy[215]
Ability to stretch, deform, expand or contract one's body into any form imaginable
Inorganic Colossus;[216] Ferro Lad[217]
Ability to transform completely into an inorganic substance while retaining organic properties
Liquification Hydro-Man;[218] Tracy Strauss
Ability to turn partially or completely into a liquid
Metamorphosis Mystique;[219] Clayface;[220] Voodoo[221]
Ability to change ones physical, biological form to mimic the appearance, characteristics and/or power set of other individuals
Size shifting Henry Pym;[222] Giganta;[134] Garganta; Maya Natsume[223]
Ability to increase or decrease one's size
Sublimation Amelia Voght;[224] Count Dracula
Ability to transform into a gaseous, mist, or fog-like form
Substance mimicry Absorbing Man;[225] Amazing-Man[226]
Ability to transform into any substance touched

See also


External links

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