Superheroes in Space
Keeping the galaxy safe from evil-doers.
While most superheroes are earthbound, there are those who travel the spaceways, fighting evil and protecting the innocent. These characters have many of the defining traits of any other Super Hero
: costumes, codenames, powers, rogues galleries, secret identities, etc. The difference is that their adventures take place away from Earth and involve Space Opera
elements: aliens, spaceships, strange worlds, sci-fi weaponry, etc. Keep in mind, an Earth-based hero who ventures to space from time to time is not an example because Earth is still their primary base of operations. At the same time, while superheroes who fit this trope sometimes venture to Earth, their primary base of operations is outside Earth's orbit, so they are still examples.
The reason behind why these heroes decide to fight evil in space can vary. Some of these heroes are aliens who simply don't live on Earth, some are a part of the Space Police
, and others are from the future where space travel is much more common. The important thing to remember is that these heroes are not earthbound. In short, they are superheroes in space.
Anime and Manga
- Dark Hawk is a space-based superhero complete with a secret identity and powers who has Power Armor built by Space Pirates. After War of Kings, he began adventuring completely in space.
- For Green Lantern, once the Silver Age rolled around, Hal Jordan became the new Green Lantern and the concept was revamped as a group of Space Police (the Golden Age version was more magic-based). Hal was given a costume, power ring, and used his new identity to patrol his sector of space, fighting evil.
- The Guardians of the Galaxy are a team of super heroes based in space, many of which, are aliens or at least non-human. There have been two versions: one set in the future where space travel is common and another set in the current 616 Marvel Comics universe that used to operate in the far reaches of the galaxy, far away from Earth, but nowadays they stay close to earth to protect it from the horrors of outerspace (and have some adventures on earth too).
- The Inhumans are a race of superbeings that either live on the Moon or in deep space, depending on the era, and often fight evil alien races or help the superheroes of Earth when they go off-world. What's interesting is that wearing masks, capes, and elaborate costumes and giving themselves superhero-like names such as Black Bolt is common to their people.
- Legion of Super-Heroes is probably the first superhero team that fits this trope. They are a futuristic team of teen super heroes who operate in space.
- New Gods, like the Inhumans mentioned above, are a race of superbeings who live on their own planet and have many adventures in space. Like the Inhumans, it's common for them to wear superhero-like costumes and give themselves superhero-like names such as Mr. Miracle. Both the New Gods and Inhumans were created by Jack Kirby who liked to mix alien races with superheroes.
- Nova is a member of the Xandarian Space Police, which gives him certain powers and a nifty costume. His membership with New Warriors ended when his duties as a space-based hero took him away from Earth.
- Silver Surfer is an alien superhero who lives in space since he no longer even has a planet. He was given powers and a new identity by Galactus in order to find worlds to devourer and has been atoning for his crimes by fighting evil ever since.
- In X-Men, space-based super teams Starjammers and Imperial Guard (based on Legion of Superheroes) have been frequent allies and enemies when they were in bad moods.
- Captain Mar-Vell from Marvel Comics spent a large part of his time in space, and was in fact a Human Alien. He was a superhero from the Kree race who loved Earth enough to fight against his own people to protect it.
- Quasar like Captain Mar-Vell before him was the Protector of the Universe and spent a great deal of time literally protecting the universe.
- Infinity Watch was a team of space-trotting superheroes that spun-off from the Infinity Gauntlet story arc. They were led by Adam Warlock and had many members who would later join the Guardians of the Galaxy.
- Nexus is a human who was Touched by Vorlons in the far future.
- Superman's Bronze Age Friendly Rival Vartox was the defender of the planet Valeron — at least until it was destroyed.
- The Bronze Age Starman, Prince Gavyn, was similarly the greatest hero of his alien world. His series received a Fully Absorbed Finale in the pages of DC Comics Presents, Superman's team-up title.
- Obscure DC Comics hero Ultra the Multi-Alien defends the spaceways in some future era.
- Guardians of the Galaxy is the movie version of the above comic entry as they are space-based, super powered beings who gradually turn into superheroes by the end of the movie. The leader even demands to be referred to by a superhero name, Star-Lord.
- Prince of Space: "Your weapons are useless against me!"
- The Galactic Champions sourcebook brings this trope into the Champions Universe setting.
- A handful of the characters in Sentinels of the Multiverse are spacefarers. In one timeline, KNYFE, after stealing a ship to pursue the retreating head of a marauding alien monster, enjoys the extraterrestrial lifestyle so much she makes it a full-time job.
- ROM: Space Knight and Micronauts were toy lines that were superheroes in space, complete with special powers and weapons used to fight a wide array of supervillains. Marvel Comics did comic series of both of these lines and incorporated them into their own superhero universe.
- Star Power is a more traditional Space Opera universe than most examples. It's the distant future and humanity has spread to several planets, and the heroine is empowered by an ancient being as the newest (and last) of the Star Powered Sentinels who wield stellar energy to defend the galaxy from evildoers.