I love comic books and everything remotely associated with them: the heroes, the villains, sidekicks, everyone! So much fun!
Cool and Unique Superpower Ideas for Heroes and Villains
A list of superpowers is a handy thing to have around when you're trying to create some wonderfully memorable heroes or villains. It's exciting for a reader or a filmgoer to discover that the hero or villain has some sort of mysterious supernatural connection. Depending on how you reveal the power, it can blow people away or give them goosebumps of anticipation.
A character that has cool powers (or even enhanced natural abilities) will not only add levels of complexity to your story but will also make your audience eager to see your creation use these powers. I hope that all you writers, movie makers, and artists who've given this article a chance find it useful for your creations. Thanks for taking a look.
List of Common Types of Superpowers
Unnatural Good Luck
Bringing the Dead Back to Life
Speaking to the Dead
Human Lie Detection
Slowing Down Time
Talking to the Dead
Powered Suits (Technology)
Water Control (Hydrokinesis)
Talking to Animals
Talking to Plants
The Coolest Superpowers
- Invisibility: Always keep in mind that turning invisible doesn't necessarily mean that your character's clothes will be invisible. If your character has permanent invisibility, then they really don't need clothes at all (unless they want to be seen).
- Phasing: The ability to pass through solid objects can be one of the most useful superpowers a person can have. Let's just hope that they know how to avoid reconstituting themselves inside the object they're passing through.
- Control Over Animals: I've often wondered if beings that have this power are only strong enough to manipulate weaker minds (such as those in most animals), or if they could successfully impose their will on animals with higher-order brain functions. Humans are animals, after all . . .
- Shape Shifting: This refers to the ability to change one's physical appearance. Some shifters can change into anything, even tiny inanimate objects, while others can only shapeshift (or copy) things or people they've actually seen.
- Time Travel: This is the ability to travel to the past or future from the present. Keep in mind that your story can get really confusing to the audience whenever the power of traveling through time makes an appearance. Plan carefully.
Uncommon and Rare Superpowers
- Giving Luck (Good or Bad): This is a power that would probably not show up on a usual basis. I mean, your character has the power, but that doesn't mean the people they use it on will never have any bad luck or always have good luck. The first time people don't get the outcome they think they deserve, your character will get funny looks.
- Wind Control: This is an underrated power that (in my opinion) needs to be on every superpowers list. Having the ability to control which way (and how hard) the wind blows could be used by heroes and villains alike to either save or destroy lives. Strong gusts can turn the tide in a fight, while gentle ones at the right moment can cause "accidental" deaths.
- Molecular Combustion: This refers to speeding up the molecules found in every object (no matter how big or small) to blow that object into smithereens.
- Astral Projection: This power involves leaving one's body in spirit form. The plus is that travel becomes very easy; it's all about thinking about the destination. This is perfect for spying, since most people won't be able to see a character in spirit form.
- Pheromones: This is a power where less is definitely more; it's the ability to secrete chemicals from the skin that directly affect or influence everyone nearby. If done just enough to influence others without anyone suspecting, it can be used for all kinds of profitable ventures.
Extra Powerful Superpower Ideas
- Super Strength: This is one of the most popular powers used by superheroes and super villains alike. Characters with this power may have a very wide range of strength.
- Mind Control: My biggest complaint is that this power only seems to be used by the bad guys. Maybe you have to be willing to use this power to gain mastery over it, and "heroes" just aren't that interested in manipulating people?
- Fire Control: The psychic ability to generate, absorb, and control fire is called pyrokinesis. It's widely used in comics, but if you want to be a little different, only give your character a certain aspect of this gift. For example, maybe they can't generate fire, but they can control fire. Or, maybe they can absorb the extreme heat from a fire and transfer it to another in the form of a "hot punch."
- Electrocution: What if your whole body could generate an electrical charge that would shock everyone in a 10-foot radius like Blanka from Street Fighter 2? The only drawback is that everyone in that radius would be shocked—even innocents.
- Force Fields: These are invisible energy fields that can be formed to protect something or someone. In some cases, the larger the field, the weaker it will be.
The Most Useful Superpowers
- Extraordinary or Enhanced Intelligence: This isn't always thought of as a superpower, but it should be. It's rare when every brain function is intertwined into one cohesive force; knowing things that others don't only adds to that potential.
- X-Ray Vision: Who wouldn't want a power that lets you see through any object you want? This is a useful power that many heroes or villains would love to have.
- Possessing Others: Taking control over another person's body gives the manipulator a much stronger hold. The person being used is much less likely to be able to resist possession than, say, mind control.
- Biokinesis: This is the power to change or reprogram cells and DNA with your mind. People who have this power can alter their appearance in subtle ways, such as changing their hair, eye, and skin color.
- Precognition: Seeing the future is a lot more complicated than most movies or stories make it out to be. The future is always in flux, and one or two actions taken or not taken can change it in a big way. These don't even have to be significant actions—missing a phone call, running one minute late or early, etc., can change everything. This is one superpower that can be highly hit or miss.
- Disease Control: This is the ability to worsen or improve an existing disease someone has (but not cure it). Characters with this superpower would also have the ability to detect diseases in people.
Some Powers Would Be Problematic in Real Life
If you really sit down and think about it, there are almost always drawbacks to having god-like powers. Most of these "superpower flaws" can be overcome with lots of practice to achieve control over them, but there are a few powers that come with some extra baggage. The video above explores some of these.
Funny Superpower Ideas
- Farts: Being able to release noxious gases that can make a person's eyes water would be useful for clearing a room. There are only a few places on the human body where such things can escape from. The butt is the most natural choice.
- Multiple Eyes: I'm not talking about having three eyes; I'm talking about having four or more eyes all over one's head. If they all blink and look in unison, wouldn't that defeat the purpose? Also, the more eyes your character has, the more risk there is for a gnat to fly into one of them, causing your hero or villain to involuntarily wince in pain.
- Eating Anything: Having a cast-iron stomach is a pretty much useless power that some people do indeed have. I wonder what kind of nutrition the body would get from consuming batteries. Also, passing those batteries would be no picnic (especially D batteries).
- Detachment of Limbs: If your character can detach their hand and still have control over it, this power could be quite "handy" to have. Being able to do it without causing a bloody mess would be a definite plus.
- Fireworks: Imagine being able to generate sparks and pops to distract your opponent. This power would be very useful in a fight, but it would be even more useful for throwing off guards during stealth missions. Jubilee from the X-Men has this ability.
- Hair Manipulation: This is just what it sounds like, and it's a surprisingly common power in comics and TV shows. Check out the video below for some examples.
Not Everyone Has Powers
There are plenty of heroes and villains that have no powers, but they do have some kind of edge. They might have a financial or technological advantage, or they may just have information and training that others lack.
While an argument can be made that those aren't superpowers, there's no denying that such advantages all but guarantee a higher chance of success. Never rule out humans in peak physical condition with plenty of resources and the willpower to act.
More Resources for Developing Your Hero (or Villain)
- The Different Types of Superheroes (From Tanks to Mentalists)
There are a massive amount of superheroes in existence. This article explains the many types and how they are categorized.
- Awesome Name Ideas for Superheroes
If you're going to be a hero, you'd better pick a name that will inspire others.
- 350+ Cool Villain Names: Being Bad Is More Fun Than Being Good
If you want to be a villain, then you better give yourself a good name. Find one here.
© 2019 Don
What Powers Do You Like Best?
Enternity on March 20, 2020:
Empthy is a good superpower its the abilty to feel other people emothins and know what they are feeling and if highly skilled a empath can read minds includeing animals minds and emothins
please dont make me put meh name here on March 07, 2020:
I don't think that would make the viewers like your hero. They'd think it'd be confusing. How about you can absorb powers, one at a time, sometimes two or three? Three would be the limit. No offense, just suggesting.
me on January 27, 2020:
omg i luv My Hero!
Anime Boi on January 08, 2020:
Has anyone ever heard of My Hero Academia?? Best anime ever with a lot of super powers. My power would be black fire (probably not a thing but whatever) ;P #KiriBaku 4Ever
Geoffrey Porter on November 13, 2019:
I want all super powers of every hero and villan but use the villans powers for good
Spencer on November 12, 2019:
Power Cosmic of Silver Surfer or the powers of Blue Marvel negative energy
Don (author) from Tennessee on November 10, 2019:
Can you imagine having all of the superpowers in this list plus more. I actually believe it would be superpower overload, and your character wouldn't know which power to use and wouldn't be proficient at using them. Having a power is one thing, but having control over it is the real edge.
Geoffrey Jackson Porter on November 08, 2019:
all the powers
Ryan C. on September 15, 2019:
Im 10. and i already have an entire frachise,and ome of my character already has hair manipulation
Pilarito Baron from Zamboanga City, Philippines on March 12, 2019:
Lol that's funny
Ami Sou on March 08, 2019:
LOL super funny