10 Most Popular Superpowers In DC Comics

A split image of DC Comics' Dr Fate and Swamp Thing

DC Comics created its first superheroes in the Golden Age. Superpowered beings fighting evil were nothing new in human mythology, but superheroes as created by DC went in very different directions from their forebears. Superpowers evolved in different ways in the decades since the Golden Age, with DC taking many classic powers and making them popular.

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Over the years, DC Comics has taken its characters’ many powers and made them into something special. DC isn’t the only company that uses many of these powers in its stories, but when fans think of them, they think of DC’s heroes. They revolutionized superpowers as a concept and made them into wonderful storytelling tools.

10 The Kryptonian Suite Of Powers Is Iconic

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Superman is DC’s biggest hero and the Superman family is steadily becoming more important. One thing that binds them together is their Kryptonian powers, with members like the two Steels creating tech to replicate them. Kryptonian powers have changed a lot over the years, from their power level to just what they entail.

Super strength, super speed, flight, invulnerability, heat vision, super senses, super intellect, and more are important Kryptonian powers. They’ve become a huge part of the DC Universe, with many heroes and villains using them. It’s a great mix of powers, defining Superman far more than characters like The Sentry or Hyperion.

9 Martian Powers Are Extremely Varied

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Martian Manhunter yells while using his laser eyes in DC Comics

Martian Manhunter, Miss Martian, and the Hyperclan have a lot more in common than meets the eye, including their potent Martian powerset. Green and White Martians had different cultures, but their abilities were virtually the same. To begin with, their malleable forms allowed them to shapeshift into just about anything they wanted and their telepathic powers played a huge role in Martian society.

On top of that, DC’s Martians also had super strength, super speed, invulnerability to everything but fire, eyeblasts, super senses, invisibility, and intangibility. This wide array of powers makes them forces to be reckoned with. Even knowing their weakness to fire isn’t always enough to defeat these alien powerhouses.

8 Anti-Matter Almost Spelt Doom For All Existence

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>DC Comics' heroes battle the Anti-Monitor in Crisis on Infinite Earths

Anti-matter is pretty common in science fiction stories. Even when it’s being used to benefit humanity as a fuel supply, its destructive potential is always well known. DC focused on that side of anti-matter’s power in Crisis On Infinite Earths, as it was the key to the Anti-Monitor’s destruction of the universes of the DC Multiverse.

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CoIE is a huge event in DC history, and it placed anti-matter energy among the most feared power sources in the DC Multiverse. Whenever the Anti-Monitor shows up, the heroes know he’s a terrible threat. Anti-matter unleashed is an all-consuming force of destruction.

7 Emotion Manipulators Have Played A Huge Role In DC History

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>The Psycho-Pirate wearing his Medusa Mask in DC Comics

DC’s most successful manipulators use many methods, but emotional control and manipulation are extremely common. Raven’s mental powers are empathic in nature, Phobia can manipulate fears, and Scarecrow created chemicals that worked to control emotions. However, the most important emotional manipulator in DC history is Psycho-Pirate.

The second villain to use the name, Psycho-Pirate melted down the various Medusa Masks into one artifact, which allowed him to control emotions. His control over others is complete, which is why he was chosen by the Anti-Monitor. He’s played a massive role in every Crisis event. Sure, Marvel has characters like Empath and Hate-Monger but they’re not nearly as popular as DC’s emotion-powered characters.

6 Super-Intelligent Heroes And Villains Are Common And Formidable At DC

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Action Comics Lex Luthor in a green suit in DC Comics

DC’s heroes can be extremely intelligent, with some of them having what can easily be construed as super-intelligence. Batman, for example, is said to have no superpowers, but his intelligence is easily superhuman. Mr. Terrific II also is ridiculously smart. And then there’s Lex Luthor.

Lex Luthor is often considered the smartest human on Earth. Even those with what is considered superhuman intelligence, like Vandal Savage, can’t outsmart Luthor. On top of Luthor, there’s Brainiac and Ultra-Humanite, two well-known supersmart villains. Super-intelligence has proven quite useful for many heroes and villains, allowing them to even the odds against their more physically powerful foes.

5 The Green Lantern Rings Birthed Other Lantern Corps

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>An image of DC's Green Lantern Corps gathered in outer space

The Green Lantern Corps protects the universe with their powerful Green Lantern rings. Created by the Oan Guardians of the Universe, the rings tap into the green light of willpower, allowing the bearer to shape the energy into whatever they need. Green Lantern rings also allow them to travel faster than the speed of light, tap into onboard computers, and survive even in deep space.

The Green Lantern rings are known as the most dangerous weapons in the universe. However, they were far from the last Lantern Corps rings. The discovery of the emotional spectrum saw multiple Corps rise and led to the War of Light. On its own, this powerset gave birth to an epic story.

4 The Speed Force Is Extremely Potent

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Flash's family of speedsters emerging from the speed force in DC Comics

The DC Universe is full of families and the Flash Family is iconic. These heroes are empowered by the Speed Force, which has given them the power of super speed. However, that’s just the beginning. Barry Allen and his love of science saw him experiment with his powers and discover a plethora of useful ways his speed could be used.

The Speed Force is an integral part of the Multiverse. It has empowered heroes and villains alike, giving them a variety of amazing abilities. Speed Force users, especially the more skilled, are extremely potent in battle. Heroes who run fast date back to the Golden Age Flash but the Speed Force is unique to DC.

3 The Power Of Shazam Gives Amazing Powers To Its Bearer

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Billy Batson sharing his power with the Shazam Family from DC Comics

The power of Shazam is a set of powers, like the Kryptonian and Martian abilities. Shazam is an acronym, with each letter representing one power and its source. For Billy and Mary Batson, Shazam’s power allows them to tap into Western gods’ and mythological heroes’ abilities. Black Adam was empowered by the gods of Egypt and the Middle East.

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Shazam himself has proven to be a match for Superman, as well as many other powerful heroes and villains. The power of Shazam gives them super strength, super speed, invulnerability, super-intelligence, and magical lightning. It’s a potent set of abilities and surprisingly distinct from more sci-fi based powersets.

2 DC’s Magic Users Are The Most Powerful In Comics

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Wonder Woman and the Justice League Dark in the jaws of a monster in DC Comics

DC’s amazing magic users are varied and powerful. Magic is pretty standard in the Big Two, but DC’s magic users are something special. Led by powerful practitioners like Zatanna and John Constantine, DC’s heroic sorceresses and wizards have faced terrible threats over the years. They’ve helped save reality from all manner of eldritch forces.

As cool as DC’s many magic heroes are, they also provide a home for many amazing magical villains. From Mordru to Felix Faust to the Demons Three to Eclipso, they show just how varied magic is. Magic is a powerful force and is well-represented in the DC Universe.

1 The Green Has Empowered Multiple Users With The Power Of Flora

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Swamp Thing with Abigail resting on top of him

Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing has long been considered among DC’s best ’80s stories. While it didn’t introduce Swamp Thing, it refined the character’s concept and introduced many fan-favorite ideas. Earth’s mystical biome, The Green, became a huge part of the story. It gave Swamp Thing complete control over flora, placing him among the most powerful beings on Earth.

Swamp Thing wasn’t the only metahuman with access to the Green, as Jason Woodrue the Floronic Man also tapped into it. Later, Poison Ivy would gain the power of the Green as well. While plant control is a trope throughout comics, this is a power that is beloved by DC fans and is completely different from anything at Marvel.

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