"Magnetic force, Jack! Nature's force!"
Electromagnetism is a strange beast. It's one of the four fundamental forces of nature
, the others being gravity
, nuclear force
, and the force that binds atoms together
. In real life it's not at all as powerful as superpowers portray them in fiction.
In fictionland the power of magnetism is treated as if it's like Telekinesis
, but specifically with power over metals and alloys. How powerful this is varies. These characters if too powerful can just fold their arms and let their Powers Do The Fighting
and will never even have to touch you themselves. They'll be floating in the air
, levitating steel girders around, and lobbing them at you, and while those normally weigh tons
they do this with just a flick of their hand. Plus being able create extra appendages with spare junk lying around. On the other hand when this is downplayed this can take the form of the character being literally magnetic
with metal just sticking to them wherever they go, but not having very good control over it. This is often played for comedy, because what kind of lame power is that anyway
Sometimes characters with these powers will be fully electromagnetic and can also manipulate electricity as well
. This is far broader than just simple magnetism
because now their arsenal of abilities includes control of plasma and radiation. Depending how much they know about the science of magnetism they may have won the Superpower Lottery
as this could give them the power to, to an extent, manipulate the other three forces of nature - bending light (possibly giving them cloaking powers
), or being able disassemble the very atoms that make up an object.
There is also Esoteric Magnetism, which is more like "magical magnetism". Someone is capable of manipulating objects via the concept of "attracting" or "repelling". regardless of whether the object is magnetic or not, sometimes, it even applies to non-objects
Artistic License - Physics
definitely applies to works that use magnetism powers. Shock and Awe
and Extra Ore Dinary
are Sister Tropes
. Compare Selective Magnetism
, and Hollywood Magnetism
. Magnetic Weapons
is when technology uses the force of magnetism for guns.
Anime and Manga
- In A Certain Magical Index and A Certain Scientific Railgun, Misaka Mikoto's Electricity manipulation has this as a subpower. which allows her to stick to metals and create an Improvised Weapon chainsaw out of iron filings, and her signature Railgun, which as we all know, normally requires electromagnets.
- Solva of NEEDLESS has Magnetism as her power. which works likes the Half-Life Gravity gun except it allows her attract/repel anything since it's specifically the power to create a "unique magnetic field".
- Mx0. Ise uses a form of magic based on magnetism, he can make anything magnetic and attracted to something else, allowing him to stick people to walls and so on.
- Eustass Kidd from One Piece ate a Devil Fruit that allows him to manipulate metals via magnetism, which he usually uses to repel metal projectiles (cannonballs) and form giant arms made of scrap and metallic tools and weapons.
Film - Live Action
- This is the X-Men villain Magneto's main power. His application for it is normally for manipulating metals like molding them and moving them about or punting them as projectiles, but he can do other things with it like Flight (via repulsing Earth's magnetic pull), make Force Fields, Bloody Murder (blood has iron), Telepathy resistance (brain waves are electromagnetic... ?), Invisibility (light waves are electromagnetic). Really, just head to Marvel Wiki.
- Spiderman villain Electro once had this as his main power. Where he was able to negate his weakness to water by making them evaporate with electromagnetism before it touches him. he was also able to paralyze people by overcharging their synapses with it. Otherwise, his normal Shock and Awe powers had basic electromagnetic capabilities which he used for things like Wall Crawl and fast travel on metal objects.
- The Marvel Comics character Polaris has magnetic powers similar to Magneto's, who was later revealed to be her biological father. She can sense and control magnetism, create magnetic energy pulses and magnetic force fields, and manipulate the Earth's magnetic field in order to fly.
- Amazing Man from All-Star Squadron gained magnetic attraction and repulsion powers after he lost his matter-mimicking powers in the sequel series The Young All-Stars.
- In the live action Transformers movie, Jazz seems to have have magnetic powers, pulling the firearms of soldiers away from them. Blackout also has an EMP weapon.
- The servant Karkash from The Zombie Knight has power over electromagnetic fields, giving him both magnetism and lightning powers. He's kind of oddly matched with Hector, who's an iron materializer; Hector can neutralize Karkash's lightning by creating lightning rods, but Karkash's magnetism can use Hector's iron constructs against him if Hector can't uncreate them in time. Karkash can also fly by wearing chunks of iron under his clothes and moving those.
- Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain. Claire has electricity gloves which can magnetically stick to walls (letting her climb walls) or make people magnetic (letting her stick other people to walls).
- The titular Mistborn from Mistborn: The Original Trilogy can Push and Pull on metal of any sort (whether or not it's magnetic) by burning steel or iron respectively. Pushing metals causes them to fly directly away from the protagonist's center of mass (or causes the protagonist to fly away from the metal if the piece of metal is large or being pushed against something large and unyielding), while iron causes the metal to fly towards the protagonist or the protagonist to fly towards the metal (subject to the same limitations).
- In Sanctuary Nikola Tesla becomes magnetized after losing his vampirism and Shock and Awe powers. He can pull metal towards his hands from long distance. And retains that power after becoming a vampire again.
- Villains And Vigilantes. The "Magnetic Powers" power allows the user to move metallic objects, including using the object as a weapon.
- The power Telekinesis can be given the special effect "Magnetic" and the Disadvantage "only affects metallic objects", which would reduce its cost. The disadvantage could be made even greater by limiting it to only affecting iron or iron alloys (such as steel).
- In the supplement Enemies III, the super villainess Gaussian had magnetic powers which depend on the planet's magnetic field. She can fire a Magnetic Blast that affect targets wearing metal armor or clothing, create a magnetic force field and fly.
- DC Heroes 3rd Edition. The Mental power Magnetic Control allowed the Character to create and manipulate magnetic fields. This allowed hurling metal objects at an opponent to cause Physical damage, defending against attacks by metallic objects (swords, bullets, robots etc.), and simply moving metal objects around.
- In Myriad Song Towsers can take the "Towser Magnetics" Gift. It allows them to walk on magnetic surfaces and intercept radio signals, as well as allowing their brawling attacks to ignore armor.
- In The Transformers, several Transformers had magnetic abilities that they used for various purposes.
- Ravage used it to cling to objects in his tiny alt-mode, making him an excellent spy.
- Windcharger actually has a relatively realistic portrayal, he can make each of his arms the pole of an electromagnet and use it to manipulate metal. The closer the metal is, the more powerful his pull.
- Tailgate (incidentally, his toy is a remold of Windchargers) has a powerful magnet in his front bumper, which he uses to follow other vehicles while saving fuel.
- In BIONICLE, Toa of Magnetism have the power to control magnetic fields. Gahlok-Kal and Kraata/Rahkshi of Magnetism and all Makuta have limited Magnetism powers. Skakdi of Magnetism can only access their power if they work with another Skakdi, or if they carry a weapon that allows them to focus their Magnetism power individually.
- In Megaman 3, Magnetman's gimmick is magnetism; he can either fire homing Magnet Missiles or pulling Mega Man towards him with magnetic force. The blurb also mentions more of it: He's been known for sleeping on ceilings by attaching himself on them and likes giving magnetic therapy, but he has to avoid floppy disks and other sensitive electronics because his magnetic field can affect them.
- In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Monsoon's gimmick is Electromagnetism. Since his body is just segments put together by magnets, he does Detachment Combat by shooting his segments at you. Throughout his Boss Battle, he also uses magnetism to throw tanks and choppers at Raiden. Finally, his Boss Banter consists of referencing Genius Bonus terms like Lorentz Force and Left Hand Rule (which can be confused as the other Left-hand-Rule, or rather, Path.)
- Mega Man Zero 4: Mino Magnus, one of the bosses, wields the power of electromagnetism thanks to lots of electric conductors inside his body. He can do feats such as polarizing Zero's body with magnetic force and makes chunks of iron attach to him to impede his movement, repel and attract Zero with magnetic current, using magnetic force to gather chunks of iron scrap to be used as projectile, or even Detachment Combat.
- Dark Elf in Final Fantasy IV has magnetic powers that cause your characters to become paralyzed if they enter his lair while equipped with metal gear.
- The move Magnet Rise, which uses electromagnetism to make a PokĂ©mon float above the ground, rendering it immune to Ground type moves.
- Many species of PokĂ©mon such as Magnemite and its evolutions use magnetism to move around.
- Magnet-Shroom in Plants vs. Zombies series is a mushroom with a U-magnet for a head which he uses to attract zombies' metal objects from afar to weaken them. It is noted that magnetism is such a powerful power that Magnet-Shroom himself is scared of his own powers.
- XRS Manipulation of electromagnetic energy is the cornerstone of the XRS capabilities.
- Paranatural. Max's weapon is a baseball bat which acts as a giant mentally controlled magnet.
- In RWBY, Pyrrha has the power to control magnetic polarity. She uses this to throw her shield and make it come back, and in the episode "Forever Fall", she secretly uses this power to guide Jaune's shield in order to help him block a potentially One-Hit Kill blow from an Ursa, which helped Jaune turn the tide of the battle and defeat the creature.
- However, how she usually uses her skill is subtly affecting her opponents' weapons and armor; creating openings, redirecting attacks, etc. such that her opponents don't even know she's doing it. This is how she has the nickname "The Invicible Warrior." (If they don't know she's doing it, they won't counter.)