List of superhuman features and abilities in fiction

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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.

TypeExamplesSee also
Inhuman natureHomo 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 powersIron Man's armor;[2] Green Lantern's power ring;[3] Sauron's One RingList of objects in the DC Universe
Powers derived from objects (also known as artifacts), such as armor, jewelry, weapons, and wands
MutationX-Men;[4] Captain Comet;[5] Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesMutant (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.

TypeExamplesSee also
Energy sourcingCarol Danvers[6] Ray;[7] Apollo;[8] Nexus[9]
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.
ChiIron Fist;[10] Krillin[11]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 powersSupernatural: Doctor Strange;[12] Doctor Fate;[13] Ganon; Willow Rosenberg[14]
Pseudo-supernatural: Impossible Man;[15]Mister Mxyzptlk[16]
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".[17] For instance, Moon Knight's strength, endurance and reflexes are enhanced depending upon the phases of the moon.[18] Uncle Sam has his powers in proportion to the people's belief in the ideals of America.[19]
TelekinesisJean Grey;[20] Maxima;[21] Battalion;[22] Billie JenkinsPsychokinesis
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.

Power augmentationSage;[23] Neron;[24] Ando Masahashi
Ability to enhance or weaken the powers of others.
Power bestowalGalactus;[25] Synergy;[26] Willow Rosenberg[27]
Ability to bestow powers or jump-start latent powers.
Power mimicry or absorptionRogue;[28] Black Alice;[29] Kakashi Hatake;[30] Peter Petrelli[31]
Ability to copy or absorb another's powers or skills.
Power negationLeech;[32] Scrambler;[33] The Haitian[34]
Ability to cancel the superpowers of others.
Power sensingCaliban;[35] Nemesis Kid
Ability to sense or recognize superhuman powers.

Personal physical powers

"Laser vision" redirects here. For the record label in Bangladesh, see Laser Vision. For the home video format also known as "LaserVision", see LaserDisc. For the eye surgery, see LASIK.

Powers which affect an individual's body.

TypeExamplesSee also
Acid generationAnarchist;[36] Man-Thing;[37] Reptile
Ability to generate acid, can be manifested through touch or as a spray (e.g. acid spit, acid blood, etc.).
Animal mimicryAnimal Man;[38] Vixen[39]
Ability to take on the abilities of certain animals.
Biological manipulationElixir;[40] 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 substitutionTerror;[41] Frankenstein[42]
Ability to replace one's limbs or other body parts with those of another.
Bone manipulationMarrow;[43] Spike[44]
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;[45] Duplicate Damsel;[46] Naruto Uzumaki[47]Self-replication
Molecular cloning
Ability to create physical duplicates of oneself.
Duplication (temporal)Flashback;[48] Damian Tryp[49] The Shrike[50]
Ability to bring past and future versions of oneself back to the present.
EcholocationDaredevil[51] Man-Bat[52]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.
FirebreathingGhost Rider;[53] Etrigan the Demon[54]
Ability generate gases from the body and exhale fire from the mouth.
Healing factorWolverine;[55] Lobo;[56] Claire BennetHealing 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.
InvisibilityInvisible Woman;[57] Invisible Kid;[58] Claude Rains[59]Invisibility
Ability to render the user unseen to the naked eye and/or other forms of perception.
InvulnerabilityEmery Schaub;[60] Shaggy Man;[61] Brit[62]
Ability to be immune to one or more forms of physical, mental, and spiritual damage and influence.
Kinetic absorptionStrong Guy;[63] Sebastian Shaw[64]
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 longevityRomulus;[65] Eclipso[66]
Ability to live longer than a normal human.
Matter ingestionMatter-Eater Lad[67]
Ability to consume any sort of matter without any ill effects on the user.
MergingKleinstocks;[68] B'wana Beast;[69] Trunks[70]
Ability to temporarily merge two or more beings into a single being, which results in a completely new and stronger being.
Pheromone manipulationWallflower;[71] Crimson Fox[72]
Ability to generate and control pheromones which may have various effects.
Poison generationCobra;[73] Poison Ivy;[74] Maya Herrera
Ability to assault others with one or more varieties of toxins, with widely disparate effects.
Prehensile/animated hairMedusa;[75] Spider Girl[76]
Ability to animate and lengthen one's hair.
Reactive adaptation/evolutionLifeguard;[77] Doomsday[78]
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 reformationNitro;[79] Damage;[80] Ted Sprague[81]
Ability to explode one's body mass and reform.
Sonic screamBanshee;[82] Black Canary[83]
Ability to generate vocal sounds of a higher amplitude than a normal human.
Vortex breathAwesome Android;[84] 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 enduranceLuke Cage;[85] Solomon Grundy;[86] Tick;[87] Yasutora Sado
Ability to have a higher resistance to one or more forms of damage before being injured as well as the ability to exert oneself in an activity indefinitely without becoming tired and/or survive for long periods of time without consumption or water.
Superhuman agilityBeast;[88] Midnighter;[89] Son Gohan[90]
Ability to react faster than a normal human and to possess greater flexibility and with higher/farther jumping capacity.
Superhuman sensesSabretooth;[91] Supergirl;[92] Icon, Jim Ellison
Ability to see, smell, taste, feel and/or hear more than a normal Human.
Superhuman strengthHulk;[93] Blok;[94] Fuji;[95] Niki SandersSuperhuman strength
Strength level
Ability to have a level of strength much higher than normally possible given their proportions.
Vision-based powersDoctor Nemesis;[96] Superman[97]
Abilities that are based on one's eyes and/or ability to see.
1. Night visionOwl;[98] Doctor Mid-Nite[99]Night vision
The ability to see clearly in total darkness
2. X-ray visionHyperion;[100] Ariella Kent
Ability to see through solid matter
3. Heat visionGladiator;[101] Superboy-Prime;[102] Mister Majestic[103]Heat vision
Ability to burn objects and other individuals with one's gaze
4. Telescopic visionPeepers;[104] Lar Gand[105]
Ability to magnify and extend one's vision to various levels
5. Freeze visionBizarro
Ability to freeze objects and other individuals with one's gaze
WallcrawlingSpider-Man;[106] Knuckles the Echidna[107]
Ability to adhere to solid surfaces, including walls and ceilings
WaterbreathingNamor;[108] Aquaman[109]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

TypeExamplesSee also
Ecological empathyStorm; Swamp Thing[110]
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 capabilityForge;[111] Sylar
Ability to know or understand something without the need of studying or previous experience.
Omni-linguismCypher;[112] Wonder Woman; Glorificus
Ability to understand any form of language, a natural polyglot. This can be accomplished in various ways.
OmniscienceInfinity; Phantom StrangerOmniscience
Ability to know anything and everything
Superhuman mentalityLeader;[113] Brainiac[114]
Ability to have intelligence quotient far above that of a genius level. This ability can be so evolved that its user can gain psychic abilities (psychokinesis, telepathy, etc.) and resist both mind control and other psionic attacks.
Superhuman trackingCyber;[115] Dawnstar;[116] Molly Walker[117]
Ability to track an individual or object through supernatural means; sometimes referred to as "pathfinding"


See also: Psychic

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

TypeExamplesSee also
Astral projectionBlindfold;[118] Doctor Psycho;[119] Prue HalliwellAstral projection
Also known as astral travel, this is the ability to separate and control one's astral body.
Cross-dimensional awarenessDeadpool;[120] Ambush Bug[121]
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.
EmpathyEmpath;[122] Raven;[123] Belldandy[124]Empathy
Ability to read or sense the emotions and/or control the emotions or feelings of others
MediumshipBrother Voodoo;[125] Melinda Gordon
Ability to see and communicate with the dead (i.e., ghosts)
PrecognitionDestiny;[126] Nura Nal;[127] Phoebe Halliwell[128]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.
PsychometryAdrienne Frost;[129] Jack Hawksmoor;[130] Tuxedo Mask[131]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
TelepathyExodus;[132] Saturn Girl;[133] Abe Sapien; Piccolo[134]Telepathy
Ability to read the thoughts of, or to mentally communicate with others
TechnopathyBlack Box;[135] Cyborg Superman;[136] Drummer;[137] Micah Sanders[138]
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

TypeExamplesSee also
Astral trappingShadow King
Ability to cause an astral projection to stay on the astral plane, usually in one specific place
Memory manipulationProfessor X;[139] Zatanna;[140] Haitian
Ability to erase or enhance the memories of another
Mind controlKarma;[141] Universo;[142] Lelouch Lamperouge;[143] Matt Parkman
The ability to alter the perceptions of others, and general ability to control the actions of others with the mind
PossessionNocturne;[144] Jericho;[145] Orochimaru;[146] Danny PhantomSpirit possession
Ability to take control and inhabit the body of an individual
Psionic blastEmma Frost;[147] Martian Manhunter[148]
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 weaponsQuentin Quire;[149] Wild Thing[150]
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.

TypeExamplesSee also
AnimationSelene;[151] Giorno Giovana
Ability to bring inanimate objects to life or to free an individual from petrification
Darkness or shadow manipulationShroud;[152] Shade;[153] Shikamaru Nara[154]
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 controlVision;[155] Thunder[156]
Ability to increase or decrease the natural density of an object and/or one's self
DisintegrationWither;[157] Plasmus;[158] Castiel[159]
Ability to disintegrate matter through touch or through beams
Elemental transmutationAlchemy;[160] Metamorpho;[161] Edward Elric[162]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 manipulationAlex Power;[163] Geo-Force[164]
Ability to manipulate or generate gravitons, or other types of gravitational interactions
ImmortalityBelasco;[165] Vandal Savage[166] Adam Monroe;[167] Alucard[168]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 phasingKitty Pryde;[169] Phantom Girl;[170] D. L. Hawkins
Ability to quantum tunnel through solid matter without harm[169]
Light manipulationMonica Rambeau;[171] Doctor Light;[172] Angelus[173]
Ability to control, generate or absorb light particles
Magnetism manipulationMagneto;[174] Doctor Polaris[175]
Ability to control and/or generate magnetic fields
Mass manipulationHarry Leland;[176] Thom Kallor[177]
Ability to increase or decrease mass in an object
Microwave manipulationFirestarMicrowave
The ability to convert ambient electromagnetic energy into microwaves and manipulate it into various effects such as heat, light, and radiation
Molecular manipulationApocalypse;[178] Firestorm;[179] Solar; Piper Halliwell
Ability to mentally manipulate the molecules of objects and/or one's self on a molecular level
Probability manipulationLongshot;[180] Calamity KingProbability
Ability to alter probability, causing unlikely things to happen, or likely things not to happen
Radiation manipulationRadioactive Man;[181] Captain Atom[182]
Ability to generate, manipulate or have immunity to toxic radiation
Reality warpingFranklin Richards;[183] Lucifer;[184] Haruhi Suzumiya
Ability to change or manipulate reality itself
ResurrectionMister Immortal;[185] Resurrection Man;[186] Jack Harkness
Ability to come back to life after being killed as well, or to bring others back to life
Sound manipulationKlaw;[187] Fiddler[188]
Ability to manipulate sound
Time manipulationTempo;[189] Zoom;[190] 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.

TypeExamplesSee also
Air and wind manipulationWind Dancer;[191] Red Tornado;[192] Aang; Sailor Uranus
Ability to control, generate, or absorb air or wind
Animal controlTarzan; Super Commando Dhruva
Ability to communicate with animals, birds and even aquatic creatures and get them to perform tasks on command
Cold and ice manipulationIceman;[193] Ice;[194] Tracy Strauss;[195] Elsa[196]
Ability to reduce the kinetic energy of atoms and thus reduce temperature, can be used to control, generate, or absorb ice
Earth manipulationPetra;[197] Terra;[198] Gaara;[199] Samuel Sullivan
Ability to control earth; sand, stone, rock, lava, dirt, or other minerals
Electric manipulationElectro;[200] Black Lightning;[201] Sailor Jupiter;[202] Elle Bishop
Ability to control, generate or absorb electric fields
Fire and heat manipulationPyro;[203] Fire;[204] Sailor Mars;[205] AzulaPyrokinesis
Ability to control the kinetic energy of atoms to generate, control or absorb fire
Plant manipulationKlara Prast;[206] Floronic Man;[207] Briar Moss
Ability to create, control, manipulate or animate plant life
Water and moisture manipulationWashout;[208] Mera;[209] Sailor Mercury; Katara
Ability to control, generate or absorb water
Weather manipulationThor;[210] Weather Wizard;[211] Sarah Rainmaker;[212] Trisana ChandlerWeather 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.

TypeExamplesSee also
Concussion beamsCyclops;[213] Darkseid[214]
Ability to generate or transform various forms of energy into a "solid" or concussive beam of energy
Energy blastsHavok;[215] Starfire;[216] Vegeta
Ability to expel various forms of energy from the body
Energy constructsCerise;[217] Jade;[218] 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 conversionBishop[219] Winter[220]
Ability to absorb one form of energy and convert it into another form of energy
Force field generationUnus the Untouchable;[221] Argent;[222] Orihime Inoue;[223] Wyatt HalliwellForce field
Ability to project powerful fields of manipulated energy

Transportation and travel

TypeExamplesSee also
Electrical transportationAtom;[224] Livewire[225]
Ability to travel through electrical conduits (such as power lines or telephone lines). Can enter through devices such as televisions, electrical poles or computers
OmnipresenceEternity;[226] Living Tribunal
Ability to be present anywhere and everywhere simultaneously
Dimensional travelRoma;[227] Vox;[228]Access[229]
Ability to travel between two or more dimensions, realities, realms, etc.
Portal creationSpot;[230] Gates[231]Portal (doorway)
Ability to create wormholes, portation "discs" or other spatial portals for transport between two non-adjacent locations
SummoningMaster Pandemonium;[232] Kid Eternity;[233] Jackie Estacado;[234] Jiraiya[235]Conjuration
Magic satchel
Ability to summon beings or objects for assistance. This may range from invoking simple implements to mighty familiar spirits.
Superhuman speedQuicksilver;[236] Flash;[237] Seta Sōjirō;[238] Sonic the Hedgehog[239]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.
TeleportationNightcrawler;[240] Misfit;[241] Goku;[242]Teleportation
Ability to move from one place to another without occupying the space in between
Time travelTrevor Fitzroy;[243] Time Trapper;[244] Hiro NakamuraTime 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
Cosmic energy controlIkaris
Energy aura projectionSunfire;[245] Halo[246]
Gravitational manipulationGravity[247]
Magnetic levitationPolaris;[248] Static[249]
Molecular manipulationKitty Pryde, Dead Girl; Doctor Manhattan[250]
Sonic repulsion fieldBanshee; Tyroc
Telekinetic powerVance Astrovik; Sapphire
Thermo-chemical energyCannonball; Jetstream
Physical propulsion
Wind current controlCyclone;[251] Red Tornado[252]
WingsWarren Worthington III;[253] Northwind;[254] 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.

Animal morphingSnowbird;[258] Beast Boy;[259] Jake Berenson
Ability to take on animal forms. May be able to take on the abilities of the altered form
ElasticityMister Fantastic;[57] Plastic Man;[260] Monkey D. Luffy[261]
Ability to stretch, deform, expand or contract one's body into any form imaginable
InorganicColossus;[262] Ferro Lad[263]
Ability to transform completely into an inorganic substance while retaining organic properties
LiquificationHydro-Man;[264] Aspen Matthews[265]
Ability to turn partially or completely into a liquid
MetamorphosisMystique;[266] Clayface;[267] Voodoo[268]
Ability to change one's physical, biological form to mimic the appearance, characteristics and/or power set of other individuals
Size shiftingHenry Pym;[269] Giganta;[270] Garganta[271]
Ability to increase or decrease one's size
SublimationAmelia Voght;[272] Count Dracula
Ability to transform into a gaseous, mist, or fog-like form
Substance mimicryAbsorbing Man;[273] Amazing-Man[274]
Ability to transform into any substance touched

See also


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External links