Characters / Marvel Universe

The Marvel Universe is one of the Big Two of comics, along with The DCU. As such, it's the populariser of many of the more famous comicbook related tropes, as well as the source material for various comicbook movies.

For characters from adaptations such as film, TV, and video game; see Marvel Comics.

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    The Constrictor
SHIELD agent Frank Payne was assigned to become an undercover costumed supervillain to infiltrate the Corporation, a national crime syndicate organized like a legitimate business. Given a pair of electrically charged whips and the codename of the Constrictor, Payne infiltrated the group only to suffer a nervous breakdown and become a costumed assassin for real. Serving under the Corporation and fighting the Incredible Hulk, the Constrictor would later become an independent costumed mercenary, fighting a wide variety of heroes in the process.
  • Becoming the Mask: He started out as a spy for SHIELD who took on a supervillain identity as his cover. Then he became a supervillain for real.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Refused to attack Mania due to her being a teenager.
    Constrictor: *to Jack O'Lantern* Second of all, I may be a bad guy, but I ain't gonna hurt a kid. And I won't let you do it, either.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: First he was a SHIELD agent, then a mercenary, then a trainer for the Initiative, and now he's back to being a mercenary.
  • Legion of Doom: Subverted when he was invited to join the Serpent Society, a collection of snake-themed supervillains, and refused. He would later be attacked by the organization for ratting them out to Captain America.
  • Rogues-Gallery Transplant: Started out fighting the Hulk, then moved to become one of Captain America's long-running dance partners. He's also tangled with Iron Fist, Iron Man, Hercules, the Thing, and Spider-Man.
  • Shock and Awe: His vibranium coils are electrically charged, which makes them extremely dangerous in combat.
  • Whip It Good: His primary weapons are his electrically charged vibranium whips, which he uses to lash and entangle his enemies. They're also electrically charged for an additional bit of pain.

Bram Velsing was a Latverian engineer who dreamed of usurping power from Doctor Doom. Unfortunately, Doctor Doom being, well, Doctor Doom, he caught on to Velsing's treacherous ambitions and punished him by grafting a hideous skull mask to his face before banishing him from the country. Found and treated by Victoria Frankenstein, the Dreadknight repaid her kindness by trying to loot her home and use its resources to attack Latveria. Defeated by Iron Man, the Dreadknight continued to seek revenge against Doom, conquer Latveria, and get revenge on Iron Man.
  • Blade on a Stick: The Dreadknight's favorite weapon is his lance, which can shoot deadly energy bolts and electrical coils to ensnare his enemies.
  • Clingy Costume: To spite Velsing, who was very vain and proud of his good looks, Doom surgically attached a steel skull mask to his face. Attached with specially designed microcircuitry, the mask is impossible to remove.
  • Mix-and-Match Critter: The Dreadknight uses the Hellhorse, a black stallion with large bat wings, as his main means of transportation.
  • Smug Snake: Anybody who thinks he can outsmart Doctor freaking Doom has got to qualify for this trope.
  • The Starscream: He intended to be this to Doctor Doom. It failed miserably.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Victoria Frankenstein takes the Dreadknight in after Doom left him for dead, and how does he repay her? By trying to murder her and steal all her scientific resources, of course.

Lowly electrical engineer Robert Hunter was embittered over his status in life, always seething with resentment towards his younger bosses. Recruited by the Kree's Lunatic Legion, Hunter eagerly volunteered to be genetically altered until he gained the ability to explode his body and reassemble his molecules at will. He was sent to obtain a chemical compound the Legion needed for their work, until he was thwarted by Captain Mar-Vell. Nitro, as Hunter took to calling himself, developed a murderous vendetta against Mar-Vell, eventually succeeding in killing the hero by giving him cancer. He continued to work as a professional assassin, clashing with heroes ranging from Wolverine to Iron Man to Daredevil, before he triggered the superhuman Civil War when killed more than 600 innocent people in Stamford, Connecticut.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Lost a hand to Wolverine. Couldn't happen to a nicer person.
  • Ascended Extra: For a guy who's never been more than a C-Lister, he's been involved in some pretty memorable storylines, such as The Death of Captain Marvel and the aforementioned Civil War.
  • Badass Grandpa: He was in his sixties before he got his powers.
  • Clingy Costume: The purple costume he wears is in fact part of his body, although he can wear normal clothes over it if he wants.
  • Depending on the Writer: Nitro's power level tends to fluctuate depending on who's writing him. Brian Michael Bendis wrote him as not even able to kill Daredevil and needing several minutes to recharge between explosions, while under Mark Millar's pen he was able to destroy an entire suburban neighborhood. It was eventually justified when it was revealed that Nitro was hopped up on Mutant Growth Hormone in Stamford.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: He can literally detonate himself to cause this trope.
  • Evil Old Folks: Needs no explanation.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Most heroes tend to beat Nitro by turning his own powers against him. Iron Man defeated him when he forced Nitro to constantly explode over and over until he was too exhausted to continue, Spider-Man tricked him into mixing tear gas with his molecules after he exploded, leaving him too sick to fight back when he reformed, and Omega the Unknown stuffed him down a long tube and blew him out into space.
  • Hero Killer: Is responsible for the death of the original Captain Marvel, and for several of the New Warriors at the beginning of Civil War. Amazingly, of these, only one of them has come back.
  • Psycho for Hire: After taking out Captain Marvel, he became a hired hitman, accepting contracts to kill everyone from Tony Stark to Matt Murdock.

    The One Above All 

The One Above All
In a series with many cosmic beings, there has to be one who is supreme. And that being is the One Above All. Marvel's mightiest character is one who appears rather rarely, showing up in only 16 issues in total, and only for a few pages. A good deal of knowledge about him comes from what is told to us by characters. Shrouded in mystery, the One Above All watches all the events of the Marvel Multiverse unfold and occasionally interacts with heroes like the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man.
  • All-Powerful Bystander: THE all-powerful bystander. When he interacts with beings, it is usually to heal them (either physically or emotionally) or to assist heroes in ways only a extraordinarily powerful entity could if they need help. His bystander nature is justified since his only weapon is love.
  • Always Someone Better: Thor hints at this concept when describing a being greater than the Living Tribunal (the One Above All being the only qualifier at that time). The trope dies with the One Above All, however, who is indisputably the mightiest and highest entity in the setting.
  • Angel Unaware: This seems to be a running gag with the One Above All. No one knows just who he is until he makes it clear, even Beta Ray Bill.
  • Author Avatar: One of the more widely accepted explanations of the One, possibly spawned by a famous appearance where he looked like Jack Kirby, that he is the in-universe representation of the creative teams and/or Marvel editorial.
  • Complete Immortality: Age is meaningless and no one can harm him.
  • Cosmic Entity: He can fool anyone into thinking he is a regular human but he is far more on the inside.
  • Crisis of Faith: Spider-Man has one and demands that "God" answer his questions. The One Above All later converses with Peter and Peter's faith in all things (but especially humanity) is restored.
  • Don't Fear the Reaper: He tells Spider-Man to not fear death or mourn Aunt May should she pass.
  • Empathic Healer: He healed Beta Ray Bill of his injuries.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Marvel's prime example. Stronger than Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet, the Beyonder and the Living Tribunal and wiser than any Celestial, God, or Abstract.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: When the Fantastic Four meet the One, Sue Richards was more than a little surprised that she was taller than God.
    Sue: ... Reed, why I am taller than the Almighty?
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: He once took the form of a homeless man to speak with Spider-Man.
  • God Is Good: Between consoling Spider-Man and restoring his faith in humanity, bringing Thing back to life and giving Beta Ray Bill hope for him and his people, The One Above All is a pretty swell guy.
  • The Gods Must Be Lazy:
    • Unfortunately, this is the only logical explanation we have for the Marvel universe being so Crapsack. God's only weapon is love, but he doesn't do anything, or override the Living Tribunal if he's pissed at you. Let's be clear, this universe is not a pleasant place. Its crawling with cosmic beings such as Galactus and countless others who have all been either indifferent to, or outright wanted to massacre, all life on Earth and beyond.
    • Mephisto has made it clear that One is essentially "the sole-teacher/sole-headmaster of all of the schools". The Living Tribunal, from his perspective, is "just a big kid" who is "friends with the principal". This makes him frighteningly incompetent when he's allowing not a member of staff, but a mere child from his viewpoint, to run around and destroy any one school (including all the littler kids in it), if said building threatens too many or all of his other schools. Worth to mention that in the same story Mephisto also doubted the existence of the One Above All (exemplified by going on about "As Above So Below" while explicitly telling about the Empty Throne of Satan, the (missing, maybe mythical) ruler of all hells). Also Mephisto. Unreliable Narrator is a phenomenal understatement here.
  • Greater-Scope Paragon: The One Above All and the Living Tribunal are the main architects of balance and order in the Marvel Universe. However, they usually operate In Mysterious Ways and seldom involve themselves in events without something being so screwed up that only their power can fix it. They are also not above doing things like destroying an entire universe if it's the most efficient means of solving the problem.
  • Heaven: The One Above All has been seen residing in Heaven.
  • Holier Than Thou: Name says it all.
  • Hope Bringer: He is this to Beta Ray Bill.
    "All is not lost. Where there is life... there is hope."
  • I Know Your True Name: This is how he got Spider-Man's attention when they first met.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Would you believe the man on the left, who is smaller and scrawnier than Spider-Man (on the right), is far stronger than guys like Hulk and Thor?
  • The Omnipotent: In case it hasn't been made clear yet: he's the strongest Marvel character.
  • The Omniscient: Various beings claim omniscience or are described as such. The One Above All is either the only true case of omniscience or the being who comes closest, and everything points towards the former.
  • Power Glows: If he wants it to. He appeared as a mortal man to Spider-Man and made Spidey believe he was some regular mortal, however even TOAA's robe was glowing when he appeared before Beta Ray Bill.
  • The Power of Love: When Susan Storm feared for her husband's possible death at the hands of the "all-powerful" Silver Surfer, Uatu the Watcher tells her that there is only one being who is truly "all-powerful", and that "His only weapon... is love!" Take a wild guess as to who he was talking about.
  • Primordial Chaos: The One Above All existed before the Living Tribunal, who has existed since the beginning of time.
  • Psychic Powers: Not a direct example but the following battle gives an idea of how powerful the One Above All is: Dr. Strange, who can overcome Eldritch Abominations that can destroy multiverses, takes on the Living Tribunal in a magical fight. Strange gets curbstomped and admits the Living Tribunal is mighty enough to destroy both Strange and the Earth with a ''thought''. The Tribunal himself will tell you his power is inferior to the One Above All's.
  • Shapeshifting: Just one of his abilities.
  • Top God: Every god from every religion (even alien ones) is present somewhere in the Marvel universe. This guy is above them all. In fact, he is the top god of the Marvel multiverse: 616, Ultimate Marvel, the MCU, the various cartoon universes, etc. You name it, the One Above All is the creator of that universe.

A criminal smuggler whose van broke down in the desert, Silas King survived for three days in the murderous heat on minimal food and water until he returned to civilization. All that time soaking up the sun activated his latent mutant power, the ability to absorb solar energy and release it in deadly blasts of fire. Using his powers to become a supervillain, the man called Solarr went on to become a bank robber and assassin for hire.
  • Achilles' Heel: He's reliant on the sun to maintain his power. If you can find some way to cut him off from it, as Captain America did by covering him in all-weather housepaint, Solarr loses his mojo. He later tried to overcome this weakness with a device that allowed him to absorb and store solar energy for use at night, but it didn't work when Spider-Man smashed it.
  • For the Evulz: This is largely why he charbroiled all those innocent bystanders when he robbed the New York Stock Exchange.
  • Large Ham: Even by the standards of the early 1970s when he debuted.
  • Light Is Not Good: Has solar powers, but it's a bit of a stretch to call him a good guy on any definition of the word.
  • Playing with Fire: And he's not shy about using it.
  • Pyro Maniac: Starting fires is fun, after all.
  • Rogues-Gallery Transplant: Never really lasted long enough to become a permanent fixture in anyone's gallery, although he tangled with Captain America, The Avengers, the Defenders, Spider-Man, Daredevil, and Alpha Flight one after another.


A reptilian race living in the Milky Way Galaxy. In the here-and-now, they're generally considered a joke species by the big empires, but in a few thousand years, the Badoon will be one of the greatest threats to the cosmos imaginable.

  • Aliens Are Bastards: Xenoistic lizards who want to kill everyone who isn't them, and have a tendency to nail people to tables and turn them into zombie-monsters (and if they're lucky, those people are dead first).
  • Bizarre Sexual Bimorphism: Male Badoon are ugly-as-sin lizard monsters. Female Badoon, not so much. The females also have hair (and, for some reason, breasts.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Up until around 2008, most of the universe thought the Badoon were just relatively harmless jerks. Then they started testing Zoms on people. The Badoon of the 31st century have a tendency to very nearly wipe out mankind, and at least one version of events has them nearly wipe out everyone else, too.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Anything that isn't a Badoon is their enemy. At least one timeline in Guardians of the Galaxy shows that if the Badoon get a chance to kill everyone else, they'll take it.

Enigmatic entities, travelling the universe, evaluating species according to strange and nigh-inexplicable rules that only they seem to understand.

  • Abusive Precurors: At their worst, they'll annihilate entire planets for no readily apparent reason.
  • Breakout Character: Of all the characters from Eternals, the Celestials have gotten the most exposure since.
  • Kill 'em All: Inflicted on them twice in the space of three years, first by the Beyonders in Jonathan Hickman's Avengers, and then again by Logos in The Ultimates, though the later doesn't stick for very long.
  • Racial Remnant: According to Kieron Gillen's run on Iron Man, the Celestials of the modern day are actually greatly reduced from how many they used to have, after a war with their sibling-species, the Aspirants.
  • Strane Syntax Speaker: On the occasions they do speak, they tend to use different meaning/definition of words.
  • Time Abyss: They're older than the entire multiverse. And the multiverse before that, and the multiverse before that.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: The first Celestials were created by the First Firmament, the very first universe to exist. Then they started creating life, which it was against.
  • The Voiceless: Normally. If a Celestial is speaking, that's usually a very bad sign.
  • The Worf Effect: Ever since the mid-00s, the Celestials have taken a massive pounding, power-wise. Formerly so completely unstoppable that even a super-powered Odin couldn't scratch their thumb, numerous stories have been written showing them getting slaughtered to show how dangerous the latest villain du jour is, including species how previously were shown as unable to get their attention.

War-mongering bird-like aliens from their own, unnamed galaxy, one of the Big Three cosmic powers. Generally tend to deal with the X-Men, and have a complicated relation with the Phoenix Force.

  • Aliens Are Bastards: Imperialistic blood-knights who believe in cultural shotgun weddings, and are occasionally just kind of smug dicks.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: Way back in the mists of their ancient history, the Shi'ar were guarded by the Fraternity of Raptors, a sect of assassins with Magitek power-armor following the edicts of their "datasong", all for the purposes of guiding the Empire to some nebulous goal. They disappeared, but following Secret Invasion, their gemstones have started waking up again, and the Fraternity have started getting right back to business.
  • Bird People: They evolved from birds, but the only way you'd know on first glance is that they've got feathers for hair. Occasionally, there are the odd genetic throwbacks who have fully functional wings, but the Shi'ar don't like them.
  • Deadly Decadent Court: The Imperial Court actually supplanted and overthrew Lilandra because she wasn't bloodthirsty enough, in favour of restoring her brother D'Ken, who nearly destroyed all reality.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Their solution to the Phoenix Force. If someone starts going all Phoenix, the Shi'ar find their families and murder the ever-loving crap out of them, just in case (never mind that the Phoenix doesn't pass from family member to family member).
  • Praetorian Guard: The Shi'ar Imperial Guard, a small super-team's worth of bodyguards of varying abilities from throughout the empire. Bonus points for having an actual praetor to guard.
  • Smug Snake: The crew of the first Shi'ar ship shown gives us a good indication as to their opinion of themselves, when it scans Earth's recent history. Skrulls? Wimps. Kree? Psh, whatever. Celestials? Snore. It's not until they find out Earth's beaten back Galactus that they get really scared.
  • Space Romans: Probably the closest of Cosmic Marvel's big three empires, with a praetor, a senate, and constantly expanding into the neighbourhood next door, and the occasional completely insane ruler.

Shapeshifting reptilian aliens from the Andromeda galaxy, who have been engaged in a war with the Kree. They first came to mankind's attention when they framed the Fantastic Four, as a prelude to an invasion.

  • Aliens Are Bastards
  • Ditto Aliens: In a small burst of irony, Skrulls aren't big on individual appearances. The rank-n-file Skrull tend to look and dress exactly alike.
  • Divide and Conquer: Their favourite tactic is to use their shapeshifting abilities to get in somewhere and mess with their enemies heads. And that usually works out well. It's just once they're discovered that everything tends to fall apart.
  • Divided We Fall: During Annihilation, the Skrulls were too fractured to put up a decent fight against the Annihilation Wave, who tore right through them.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Galactus ate their homeworld a few years back.
  • Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: Several times, they've tried to invade mankind. The last time they gave it some serious effort, in Secret Invasion, even after years of planning and infiltration they still got their asses kicked.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: Female Skrulls mysteriously tend to look pretty good by human standards.
  • Flanderization: Under the pen of Brian Bendis, during the events surrounding Secret Invasion, the Skrulls go from a polytheistic bunch to an entire race of The Fundamentalist, with no acknowledgement that this is out-of-character for them. Other writers at least have the characters noting this isn't their normal behaviour, with the Super-Skrull being outright disturbed by what's happened. The justification is that Empress Veranke's jihadist attitude has struck a chord with them after the events of Annihilation.
  • Forever War: They've been fighting with the Kree for an incredibly long time, but it's generally at a stalemate.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: Even after several millennia fighting one another, there are still the occasional Skrulls and Kree who have kids. Of course, with both empires being so big on genetic purity, they don't tend to last very long.
  • Oh My Gods!: They usually curse by Sl'grt and Kl'byn.
  • The Remnant: The era between Secret Invasion and Realm of Kings treated the destruction of the battered Skrull fleet by the Inhumans as their final depantsing. They've gradually recovered their numbers since then.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Species: Genetics-wise, they're great. A handful of scientists studying some samples they got from the Illuminati managed to fully crack the mutant genome, allowing them to make an entire army of Super-Skrulls.
  • Took a Level in Badass: From a Doylist view. The earliest Skrull appearance had their invasion forestalled by Reed Richards scamming them with comic books, before turning their four-skrull invasion force into cows. Not exactly a tremendous first showing.
  • Used To Be More Sociable: The early Skrulls were slightly more benevolent that they are in the here and now. Then they tried uplifting the Kree, which backfired tremendously.