The comic book is the father of the modern-day animated series. Although several new and fun animated series have recently become more popular, we still believe that nothing can take the place of classic comics. Marvel and DC Comics are the two most renowned publishers of the panelled pages that we all love. Regardless of where your loyalty lies, there’s no denying that they’re each filled with bright, colourful, and funky art that depicts epic battles, comical conversations, and everything in between. Here we have a look at some of the most popular characters from these two iconic comic universes, and suggest the best ones to cosplay this upcoming Comic Con! --- Tanya and Rubaina
Generation Y, more colloquially known as Millennials, has grown up reading comics, watching animated series and movies about superheroes. We’re accustomed to having superhuman characters with superhuman abilities as our role models. We’ve grown up with them, we understand their universe (sometimes better than we do our own), and often wish we could lose ourselves in their alternative realities. And it really is an ideal world, a world where Norse gods, Christians, atheists, sorcerers, and aliens can come together in harmony to fight evil. And then there’s the eternal battle of Marvel fans versus DC fans, but we’re not taking sides now! If you haven’t read too many comics or if you just need to brush up on your superhero IQ, here’s our list of the most powerful superheroes in both the Marvel and DC universes.
Originally from the destroyed planet of Krypton, Superman boasts superhuman abilities that not many others stand a chance against. He’s the sole survivor of his home planet as a result of a nuclear chain reaction that built up inside Krypton that shattered the entire planet, but not before Superman’s father, Jor-El, jetted him off towards Earth. He was found by Jonathan and Martha Kent who adopted and raised him as their own in the town of Smallville, Kansas. They named him Clark Kent and he went on with life as a normal kid, but it was not long before his body began to develop superhuman abilities. He vowed to use his powers for the good of mankind, and the rest is history. Superman has held his spot as the most iconic superhero of all time for over eight decades.
His superpowers – which include flight, superhuman strength, heat vision, x-ray vision, cold breath, enhanced hearing, and super-speed – make him almost impossible to beat. His strong ethics and morals make him a living embodiment of truth and justice, and with the help and guidance of his adoptive parents, Superman has used his amazing gifts only to protect mankind. He is considered a true symbol of American justice and liberty, which resonates in his slogan, “Truth, Justice, and the American way.” The Man of Steel can already travel faster than the speed of light and incinerate his enemies with one look, yet he stuns everyone time and again with powers that make him even more indestructible. The only way to weaken Superman is by exposing him to a space rock which goes by the name Kryptonite, although this too can only make him weak during exposure and does not actually have any long-term effect.
When we first saw her, Carol Susan Jane Danvers was an officer in the United States Air Force and the security chief of a restricted military base where she met Dr. Walter Lawson, a.k.a Captain Marvel. Following an explosion that the two were involved in that caused Danvers’ genetic structure to combine with Captain Marvel’s, Danvers resurfaced with superhuman abilities as Ms. Marvel. She continued to fight aliens and evil by herself as well as in alliance with the Avengers, X-Men, and other super teams. Danvers overcame several obstacles during her time as Ms. Marvel.
After a phase during which she explored her own past and contemplated what Captain Marvel meant to her, she took up the legacy of Captain Marvel and assumed his name – upto this day. The superhero, who is widely known as one of the most powerful, has superhuman powers to justify it. Apart from having super-strength and stamina and being an exceptional espionage agent, pilot, hand-to-hand combatant, and marksmen, she can also fly at about six times the speed of sound and blast explosively radiant energy from her fingertips. She can also absorb energy to further magnify her strength, project energy up to the force of an exploding nuclear weapon, and she possesses a ‘sixth sense’. We will, in all probability, soon see her join forces with the remaining Avengers in a battle of colossal proportions.
Hulk was ‘born’ when the gentle top scientist Bruce Banner was exposed to the rays of a gamma bomb that transformed him into the green, destructive monster we know today. Although he started off as a threat to mankind due to his angry and destructive nature, Bruce slowly established control over the beast, taming him and focusing on using his inhumane strength to help mankind. Although his limited intellect can get him into trouble, Hulk is known mainly for his nearly unlimited strength and his thunderous attacks. He is surprisingly fast for his size and can cover great distances in very little time. The ability to leap great distances is this beast’s preferred way of travelling long distances.
Hulks biggest strength may be his high resistance; he is barely ever fazed, and is nearly impervious to most attacks. He also heals quickly and is not easily tired, adding to his endurance factor and making him nearly undefeatable. Not many characters have been up against this green monster and lived to tell the tale. Truly a marvel, the Hulk heals faster than any other Marvel superhero, including Wolverine! Although a constant threat to mankind, Hulk is the most loved Avenger and an incredible weapon, too.
From a renowned surgeon to a Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Stephen Strange’s evolution is... well, strange. Once a gifted surgeon plagued by arrogance and narcissism, Doctor Stephen Strange had an unfortunate car accident which left him with unsteady hands. With no way to fix things, he sets off on a journey of self-discovery and turns to the Ancient One, who resides in the Himalayas, to help him fix the nerve damage. The Ancient One instead offers to make him his apprentice, and trains Strange to become Master of the Mystic Arts and the Sorcerer Supreme of the Earth.His skill set is one of the most eclectic of all Marvel superheroes, considering that most of them stem from the many mystical artefacts that he possesses. The Eye of Agamotto alone helps him look into people’s souls, peer into alternate dimensions and play the past all over again. However, the most iconic mystical artefact that Strange has at his disposal is the Cloak of Levitation, which allows the doctor to fly.But it’s not all magic that makes Strange this powerful. It is also his physical prowess, owing to his knowledge of the inner workings of the entire multi-verse and his jaw-dropping martial arts skills. One of his most impressive skills is the ability to astral project – which means he can leave his physical body in a ghostly form and enter a nonphysical realm of existence. While in this state, Strange does not have to worry about food or water, as he has no need to eat, drink, sleep or even breathe. He becomes invisible and can phase through anything, unrestricted by the laws of the universe.
Doctor Strange is acknowledged to be the primary protector of Earth against all sorts of magical and mystical threats, making him a wizard you should not be messing with.
The ridiculously good-looking Norse god of thunder, Thor Odinson has got to be one of the most loved superheroes. Like all Asgardians, Thor has an incredibly long lifespan that relies on periodic consumption of the Golden Apples of Idunn. As the son of Odin and Gaea, he is the strongest Asgardian who has a very high resistance to physical injury, enhanced senses that can practically hear cries from the other side of the planet, and can travel through time. But his greatest strength and most prized possession is the enchanted hammer, Mjonir, which gives him the ability to fly and manipulate the weather.
Over the years, we have seen Thor discover his true inheritance, fall in love, rebel against his father and the King of Asgard, fight his adopted brother Loki, and prevent and defeat several alien invasions and other evils. A fun fact about Thor is that he is capable of entering into a state known as the ‘Warrior’s Madness’ where his strength and stamina are temporarily increased by 10 times their natural level (which is already superhuman). The catch, however, is that when in this state, he attacks friend and foe alike, making him extremely dangerours. Thor is best known now as one of the founding members of the Avengers superhero team. He has proven himself as a great Asgardian warrior and protector of the people of Earth and the universe in general.
Ever since his very first appearance in 1939, Batman has proven that one does not need supernatural abilities to be a superhero. The Caped Crusader, who was created by the genius billionaire Bruce Wayne, goes by the name Batman due to his fear of bats as a young child. After witnessing the murder of his parents at a young age, he developed an eccentric streak which he then releases via his alter ego. After going on a trip to find himself, which leads to him joining the league of assassins and training under the leader Ra’s al Ghul, he learns martial arts and combat skills, which he later puts to use when he creates Batman. Batman is widely referred to as ‘The World’s Greatest Detective’ due to his intelligence in crime solving. Interestingly, Batman does not believe in killing his enemies, or anyone for that matter, as he believes that doing it once only makes it easier to do again.
Batman’s unwavering sense of justice is what makes him one of the most complex DC characters. Ironically, Batman’s greatest strength is also his biggest weakness: he is human. Because of his willingness to always help and take on any challenge he is faced with, he increases the risk of getting worn out. But his brilliant deductive and combat skills make him one of the most powerful and impactful superheroes of all time. Batman has even defeated Superman in one-on-one combats numerous times, proving his skill against arguably one of the most iconic superheroes ever.
We all know Professor Charles Xavier from the X-Men, but did you know that before he became the genius that we know him as, he had a son with the lover of his youth and Holocaust survivor, Gabrielle Haller? David Charles Haller, like his father, is an Omega level telepath, but that is not all he is. This incredibly complex character has severe mental illnesses including a form of dissociative identity disorder, and is a mutant with a multiple personality disorder. As a result, Haller has at least 50 personalities that have shown themselves over time, each of whom have distinctive superhuman abilities and can sometimes even alter his physical body.
The first of his personalities to manifest was Jemail, the mind of a terrorist that David absorbed into himself because he was right next to him when he died. We are also relatively acquainted with two other personalities of his: Jack Wayne and Cyndi. Some of David’s powers through his personalities include super speed, flight, X-ray vision, heat absorption, super-strength, matter animation, sonic scream, pyrokinesis, the ability to discharge electricity, and hypnosis. Additionally, the personality called Legion, who is the core manifestation of David Haller’s true mutant self, can warp time and reality.
Several of David’s personalities became independent over time, but were almost always found and absorbed back into David. Eventually, Doctor Nemesis, Madison Jeffrie, and Reed Richards together engineered a device known as the Neural Switchboard Wristband that allows Haller to utilise power sets of his various personalities without being overwhelmed by the personality. With control over the powers of his personalities, Legion is undoubtedly one of the strongest mutants in existence.
The king of the aquatic civilisation of Atlantis, and one of the founding members of the DC super team, Justice League; Arthur Curry or Aquaman is widely known as the defender of Earth’s oceans. Abandoned as a baby on a reef above sea level, Arthur, whose birth name was Orin, grew up as a feral child in the ocean with only sea creatures to keep him company. This, until he was found by a lighthouse keeper who adopted and raised him. After growing up and discovering the Atlantis Chronicles, Arthur Curry found out his true origin, and withdrew from the world for a short time while he worked on his superhuman abilities and took on the title of Aquaman. He continued to battle evil, especially that which targeted the ocean, and became allies with other superheroes.
Arthur’s arch nemesis and step-brother, Orm, tried to overtake Atlantis and wage war against the surface. After battling and defeating him, Aquaman returned to his people and became a warrior king and major political power, ruling over all the Atlantean cities while still carrying out the duties of his superhero role.
Aquaman has uniquely powerful superhuman abilities, such as the telepathic ability to communicate with marine life and summon them from a great distance. He also has the ability to breathe underwater, swim at a very high speeds, see in near-total darkness, in addition to having super-strength, enhanced hearing and limited sonar capabilities. Apart from this, Aquaman wields an indestructible Trident that is part of a collection of seven Atlantean magical weapons, and can manipulate water, fire bolts of powerful energy, and amplify the magical power of the wielder.