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.
|Inhuman nature||Homo mermanus; Kryptonians, Sauron|
|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; 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; Captain Comet; 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.|
|Accidental||Flash; Spider-Man; Fantastic Four|
|These powers are the result of an accident or bizarre event which altered the physiology of the individual giving him or her superhuman abilities.|
Examples of methods by which a character generates an effect.
|Energy sourcing||Carol Danvers Ray; Apollo; Nexus|
|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; Krillin||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; Doctor Fate; Ganon; Willow Rosenberg
Pseudo-supernatural: Impossible Man;Mister Mxyzptlk
|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". For instance, Moon Knight's strength, endurance and reflexes are enhanced depending upon the phases of the moon. Uncle Sam has his powers in proportion to the people's belief in the ideals of America.|
|Telekinesis||Jean Grey; Maxima; Battalion; Billie Jenkins; Prue Halliwell||Psychokinesis|
|Ability to manipulate and control objects with the mind, often in ways not visible to the naked eye|
This section refers to the ability to manipulate or otherwise interact with superpowers themselves, not "power" such as electrical power or gravitational power.
|Power augmentation||Sage; Neron; Ando Masahashi|
|Ability to enhance or weaken the powers of others.|
|Power bestowal||Galactus; Synergy; Willow Rosenberg|
|Ability to bestow powers or jump-start latent powers.|
|Power mimicry or absorption||Rogue; Black Alice; Kakashi Hatake; Peter Petrelli|
|Ability to copy or absorb another's powers or skills.|
|Power negation||Leech; Scrambler; The Haitian; Saitama|
|Ability to cancel the superpowers of others.|
|Power sensing||Caliban; Nemesis Kid; Callisto|
|Ability to sense or recognize superhuman powers.|
Personal physical powers
Powers which affect an individual's body.
|Acid generation||Anarchist; Man-Thing; 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; Vixen|
|Ability to take on the abilities of certain animals.|
|Biological manipulation||Elixir; 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; Frankenstein|
|Ability to replace one's limbs or other body parts with those of another.|
|Bone manipulation||Marrow; Spike|
|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; Duplicate Damsel; Naruto Uzumaki|| Self-replication |
|Ability to create physical duplicates of oneself.|
|Duplication (temporal)||Flashback; Damian Tryp The Shrike|
|Ability to bring past and future versions of oneself back to the present.|
|Echolocation||Daredevil Man-Bat||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; Etrigan the Demon|
|Ability to generate gases from the body and exhale fire from the mouth.|
|Healing factor||Wolverine; Lobo; Claire Bennet|| Healing factor |
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; Invisible Kid; Claude Rains||Invisibility|
|Ability to render the user unseen to the naked eye and/or other forms of perception.|
|Invulnerability||Emery Schaub; Shaggy Man; Brit; Superman; Saitama|
|Ability to be immune to one or more forms of physical, mental, and spiritual damage and influence.|
|Kinetic absorption||Strong Guy; Sebastian Shaw|
|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; Eclipso|
|Ability to live longer than a normal human.|
|Matter ingestion||Matter-Eater Lad|
|Ability to consume any sort of matter without any ill effects on the user.|
|Merging||Kleinstocks; B'wana Beast; Trunks|
|Ability to temporarily merge two or more beings into a single being, which results in a completely new and stronger being.|
|Pheromone manipulation||Wallflower; Crimson Fox|
|Ability to generate and control pheromones which may have various effects.|
|Poison generation||Cobra; Poison Ivy; Maya Herrera|
|Ability to assault others with one or more varieties of toxins, with widely disparate effects.|
|Prehensile/animated hair||Medusa; Spider Girl|
|Ability to animate and lengthen one's hair.|
|Reactive adaptation/evolution||Lifeguard; 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; Damage; Ted Sprague|
|Ability to explode one's body mass and reform.|
|Sonic scream||Banshee; Black Canary|
|Ability to generate vocal sounds of a higher amplitude than a normal human.|
|Vortex breath||Awesome Android; 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 durability / endurance||Luke Cage; Solomon Grundy; Tick; Yasutora Sado; Superman; Saitama|
|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 agility / reflexes||Beast; Midnighter; Son Gohan; Saitama|
|Ability to react faster than a normal human and to possess greater flexibility and with higher/farther jumping capacity.|
|Superhuman senses||Sabretooth; Supergirl; Superman; Icon; Jim Ellison; Saitama|
|Ability to see, smell, taste, feel and/or hear more than a normal human.|
|Superhuman strength||Hulk; Blok; Fuji; Niki Sanders; Superman, Saitama|| Superhuman strength |
|Ability to have a level of strength much higher than normally possible given their proportions.|
|Vision-based powers||Doctor Nemesis; Superman|
|Abilities that are based on one's eyes and/or ability to see.|
|1. Night vision||Owl; Doctor Mid-Nite||Night vision|
|The ability to see clearly in total darkness|
|2. X-ray vision||Hyperion; Ariella Kent|
|Ability to see through solid matter|
|3. Heat vision||Gladiator; Superboy-Prime; Mister Majestic||Heat vision|
|Ability to burn objects and other individuals with one's gaze|
|4. Telescopic vision||Peepers; Lar Gand|
|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|
|Ability to adhere to solid surfaces, including walls and ceilings|
|Waterbreathing||Namor; Aquaman|| 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 alternative air supply.|
|Ecological empathy||Storm; Swamp Thing|
|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 know or understand something without the need of studying or previous experience.|
|Omni-linguism||Cypher; Wonder Woman; Glorificus; Paige Matthews|
|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|
|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 tracking||Cyber; Dawnstar; Molly Walker|
|Ability to track an individual or object through supernatural means; sometimes referred to as "pathfinding"|
The abilities of extra-sensory perception (ESP) and communication.
|Astral projection||Blindfold; Doctor Psycho; 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; Ambush Bug|
|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; Belldandy||Empathy|
|Ability to read or sense the emotions and/or control the emotions or feelings of others|
|Spiritual mediumship||Brother Voodoo; Melinda Gordon||Mediumship|
|Ability to see and communicate with the dead (i.e., ghosts)|
|Precognition||Destiny; Nura Nal; Phoebe Halliwell; Raven Baxter|| 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; Tuxedo Mask||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||Charles Xavier; Jean Grey; Exodus; Saturn Girl; Abe Sapien; Piccolo||Telepathy|
|Ability to read the thoughts of, or to mentally communicate with others|
|Technopathy||Black Box; Cyborg Superman; Drummer; Micah Sanders|
|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
|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; Lelouch Lamperouge; 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; Orochimaru; Danny Phantom||Spirit possession|
|Ability to take control and inhabit the body of an individual|
|Psionic blast||Emma Frost; Martian Manhunter|
|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||Quentin Quire; 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.
|Animation||Selene; Giorno Giovana|
|Ability to bring inanimate objects to life or to free an individual from petrification|
|Darkness or shadow manipulation||Shroud; Shade; Shikamaru Nara|
|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; Thunder|
|Ability to increase or decrease the natural density of an object and/or one's self|
|Disintegration||Wither; Plasmus; Castiel; Dr. Manhattan|
|Ability to disintegrate matter through touch or through beams|
|Elemental transmutation||Alchemy; Metamorpho; Edward Elric||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; Geo-Force|
|Ability to manipulate or generate gravitons, or other types of gravitational interactions|
|Immortality||Belasco; Vandal Savage Adam Monroe; Alucard||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; Phantom Girl; D. L. Hawkins|
|Ability to quantum tunnel through solid matter without harm|
|Light manipulation||Monica Rambeau; Doctor Light; Angelus|
|Ability to control, generate or absorb light particles|
|Magnetism manipulation||Magneto; Polaris; Doctor Polaris|
|Ability to control and/or generate magnetic fields|
|Mass manipulation||Harry Leland; Thom Kallor|
|Ability to increase or decrease mass in an object|
|The ability to convert ambient electromagnetic energy into microwaves and manipulate it into various effects such as heat, light, and radiation|
|Molecular manipulation||Apocalypse; Firestorm; 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||Radioactive Man; Captain Atom|
|Ability to generate, manipulate or have immunity to toxic radiation|
|Reality warping||Franklin Richards; Lucifer; Haruhi Suzumiya|
|Ability to change or manipulate reality itself|
|Resurrection||Mister Immortal; Resurrection Man; Jack Harkness|
|Ability to come back to life after being killed as well, or to bring others back to life|
|Sound manipulation||Klaw; Fiddler Emma Coolidge|
|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.
|Air and wind manipulation||Wind Dancer; Red Tornado; Aang; Sailor Uranus||Aerokinesis|
|Ability to control, generate, or absorb air or wind|
|Animal control||Tarzan; Super Commando Dhruva; Doctor Dolittle||Zoopathy|
|Ability to communicate with animals, birds and even aquatic creatures and get them to perform tasks on command|
|Cold and ice manipulation||Iceman; Ice; Tracy Strauss; Elsa||Cryokinesis|
|Ability to reduce the kinetic energy of atoms and thus reduce temperature, can be used to control, generate, or absorb ice|
|Earth and stone manipulation||Petra; Terra; Gaara; Samuel Sullivan||Terrakinesis|
|Ability to control earth; sand, stone, rock, lava, dirt, or other minerals|
|Electric manipulation||Electro; Black Lightning; Sailor Jupiter; Elle Bishop||Electrokinesis|
|Ability to control, generate or absorb electricity and electric phenomena|
|Fire and heat manipulation||Pyro; Fire; Sailor Mars; Azula||Pyrokinesis|
|Ability to control the kinetic energy of atoms to generate, control or absorb fire|
|Plant manipulation||Poison Ivy; Klara Prast; Floronic Man; Briar Moss||Agrokinesis|
|Ability to create, control, manipulate or animate plant life|
|Water and moisture manipulation||Washout; Mera; Sailor Mercury; Katara; Percy Jackson||Hydrokinesis|
|Ability to control, generate or absorb water|
|Weather manipulation||Thor; Weather Wizard; Sarah Rainmaker; Trisana Chandler; Storm||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.|
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.
|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; Vegeta|
|Ability to expel various forms of energy from the body|
|Energy constructs||Cerise; Jade; 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 Winter|
|Ability to absorb one form of energy and convert it into another form of energy|
|Force field generation||Unus the Untouchable; Argent; Orihime Inoue; Wyatt Halliwell||Force field|
|Ability to project powerful fields of manipulated energy|
Transportation and travel
|Electrical transportation||Atom; Livewire|
|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; Vox;Access|
|Ability to travel between two or more dimensions, realities, realms, etc.|
|Portal creation||Spot; Gates||Interdimensional portal|
|Ability to create wormholes, portation "discs" or other spatial portals for transport between two non-adjacent locations|
|Summoning||Master Pandemonium; Kid Eternity; Jackie Estacado; Jiraiya|| Conjuration |
|Ability to summon beings or objects for assistance. This may range from invoking simple implements to mighty familiar spirits.|
|Superhuman speed||Quicksilver; Flash; Seta Sōjirō; Sonic the Hedgehog; Superman; Saitama|| 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; Misfit; Goku;||Teleportation|
|Ability to move from one place to another without occupying the space in between|
|Time travel||Trevor Fitzroy; Time Trapper; Hiro Nakamura||Time travel|
|Ability to travel back or forth through time|
Ability to lift off the ground, to ride air currents or to fly self-propelled through the air.
|Cosmic energy control||Ikaris|
|Energy aura projection||Sunfire; Halo|
|Magnetic levitation||Polaris; Static|
|Molecular manipulation||Kitty Pryde, Dead Girl; Doctor Manhattan, Piper Halliwell|
|Sonic repulsion field||Banshee; Tyroc|
|Telekinetic power||Vance Astrovik; Sapphire|
|Thermo-chemical energy||Cannonball; Jetstream|
|Wind current control||Cyclone; Red Tornado|
|Wings||Warren Worthington III; Northwind; Rouge the Bat|
The following powers could be manifested in any number of ways.
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.
Ability to change appearance or body structure.
|Animal morphing||Snowbird; Beast Boy; Jake Berenson|
|Ability to take on animal forms. May be able to take on the abilities of the altered form|
|Elasticity||Mister Fantastic; Plastic Man; Monkey D. Luffy|
|Ability to stretch, deform, expand or contract one's body into any form imaginable|
|Inorganic||Colossus; Ferro Lad|
|Ability to transform completely into an inorganic substance while retaining organic properties|
|Liquification||Hydro-Man; Aspen Matthews|
|Ability to turn partially or completely into a liquid|
|Metamorphosis||Mystique; Clayface; Voodoo|
|Ability to change one's physical, biological form to mimic the appearance, characteristics and/or power set of other individuals|
|Density/size shifting||Henry Pym; Giganta; Garganta|
|Ability to increase or decrease one's density or size|
|Sublimation||Amelia Voght; Count Dracula|
|Ability to transform into a gaseous, mist, or fog-like form|
|Substance mimicry||Absorbing Man; Amazing-Man|
|Ability to transform into any substance touched|
Abilities through ingestion
A character can see memories of someone or get a psychic sensation of an object though the ingestion of part of the object or body.
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