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Person Of Mass Destruction / Comic Books

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People of Mass Destruction in comic books.

  • The original 1940s All-Star Comics had a story where the Justice Society of America started fighting in the war, logical issues aside. This was retconned to be a hallucination to which they were subjected when captured by psychic supervillain Brain Wave. Green Lantern was shown horrified at the destruction he had caused in order to defeat the Japanese, uttering the line "I have become death, destroyer of worlds," a quote known for its use by Robert Oppenheimer (originally quoted from the Bhagavad Gita) after the first deployment of the atom bomb.
    • This was taken further in the Elseworld story The Golden Age, in which Green Lantern witnesses the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and, realizing that his power is on par with the atom bomb, puts his ring away and retires in the belief that no human deserves to wield such power. His reluctant return at the end of the story to combat the archvillain is his moment, and one of the few times in or out of continuity we truly see how much Alan Scott means to The DCU.
  • The Avengers:
    • Jack of Hearts is sometimes considered this, Depending on the Writer. His powers came from every cell of his body being infused with an experimental power substance called "Zero fluid." Without his suit, designed to channel and control the energy he generates, he would effectively turn into a small sun (he has been retconned enough that this is probably no longer canon).
    • Sersi of The Eternals rivals pre-retcon Jack, House of M Wanda, Thor, and the Hulk as the most powerful member the Avengers have ever had. During the Crisis Crossover story Blood Ties her fight with Magneto's heir and fellow PoMD Exodus was so intense that the other Avengers made Sersi stand down lest the fight between them destroy the island nation of Genosha and everyone on it.
  • One Post Crisis Batman comic had a one shot Tragic Monster appropriately named "Bomb" who had the power to create small explosions at will from an unknown distance and was unstable, thus if jarred would involuntarily explode with the force of 3 or 4 thermonuclear warheads. The "tragic" part comes from Bomb just being a gentle young woman who has powers she can't control.
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  • There was a notable story where Bat-Mite and Mxyzptlk fought, which destroyed the entire Multiverse. There was even a scene where Darkseid "found" a paper with the Anti-Life Equation on it that simply said: "Bat-Mite + Mr. Mxyzptlk = Anti-Life". Darkseid promptly laughed himself to death.
  • Black Adam, when pissed off, is quite literally a one-man war. He managed to get a good portion of The DCU united against him just to stop him. In the process of his Roaring Rampage of Revenge, he annihilated an entire fucking country. He also managed to hold off the JLA, the JSA, the Teen Titans, and the Great Ten all at once, not to mention single-handedly killing off the Eldritch Abominations that were sent to kill him in the first place.
  • Black Bolt of The Inhumans is a cosmic-level case of Asskicking Equals Authority, as he is their king by virtue of having a voice so powerful that even just a small whisper from him can kill. A shout can awaken volcanoes and cause earthquakes on the other side of the planet. His birth cries devastated a city. He fears his own powers so much that he's taken a lifelong vow of silence...but when he declares war, he really declares "War."
    • In the War of Kings storyline he and the Inhumans do go to war against the Shi'ar and their emperor Vulcan (aka Gabriel Summers), who is also a Person Of Mass Destruction and Axe-Crazy to boot. What happens when two of these forces collide? Both are apparently dead by the end of the story.
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    • As of recent issues, Black Bolt has come back while Vulcan is still MIA.
  • In Black Summer, the Seven Guns fit the bill, to varying extents. They're all more or less beyond conventional military forces, and the main antagonist, John Horus, survives a nuclear missile attack.
  • In the 2006 Blue Beetle series, the scarab grafted onto Jaime Reyes's spine has an arsenal that includes everything from nukes to a BFG that has "potential theological implications." It's likely only by the virtue of Jaime being Incorruptible Pure Pureness that the world isn't already a burnt cinder.
    • Unfortunately, the scarab is one of many, seeded throughout the universe to aid their masters, the Reach, in conquering or destroying planets - and on most of those worlds, they easily managed to overwhelm their hosts. Jaime managed to escape that fate because his scarab was malfunctioning, but it's still dangerous, even so.
  • As the inspiration for the much more well-known Dr. Manhattan, it should come as no surprise that Captain Atom is one of these. He's an Energy Being like the good doc, but unlike Manhattan is prone to Power Incontinence whenever he absorbs too much energy.
    • Kingdom Come provides the most infamous example of Cap's Power Incontinence, as having his armor blasted off by the Parasite caused him to self-detonate, releasing enough radioactive fallout to sterilize several Midwestern states.
    • Monarch is effectively Captain Atom's Superpowered Evil Side, amped up by a factor of 50. When Superman-Prime ripped open his armor, it annihilated a universe. Granted, Monarch had first absorbed the powers of all his multiversal counterparts - But a universe?!
  • Marvel's Civil War was kicked off when Nitro, previously a C-List villain whose power was to "explode", detonated with the force of a low yield nuke. This levelled a small town and brought the attention and ire of the general public down on the heads of superheroes everywhere. (Amazingly enough, at no point in the Civil War storyline did anyone ever utter the line "It's all Nitro's fault", unless you count the Wolverine Civil War tie-in dedicated to him trying to hunt down Nitro. Which revealed that the reason Nitro was able to cause so much damage is that he was using "Mutant Growth Hormone", the superpower equivalent to steroids.
  • Fantastic Four: Little Franklin Richards, the son of title heroes Reed and Sue Richards, is one of the most classical examples of this in the Marvel Universe. At his full potential he is easily one of the most powerful beings in the universe, with Reality Warper power on a scale wider than any Phoenix host. A psychic Power Limiter was placed on him to keep him from, well, rewriting reality in his sleep, so at any given point he has Psychic Powers that vary in scope depending on the era (or alternate future version.) Without it, he's created entire realities. Every other Marvel character on this list takes this kid very seriously. And unsurprisingly, Doctor Doom has more than once tried to make a Tyke-Bomb out of Franklin.
  • As a DC Comics pastiche of the Hulk mentioned directly below, Goraiko also counts as one of these. To further hammer this home he is of Japanese origin and even has an attack shaped like a mushroom cloud.
  • The Incredible Hulk is one of the earliest examples. Like Godzilla, he was created by a bomb, and some adaptations literally compare him to the atomic weapon that spawned him; for example, the shockwaves he creates from smashing things are compared to the blast wave of a nuke. Later on this tendency was dropped, but the Hulk remained as one of these since his power increases the angrier he gets and he doesn't seem to have an upper limit. He may already qualify during normal, building-demolishing rampages but it's completely inarguable during moments like World War Hulk when he gets so unfathomably enraged just walking caused measurable tectonic shifts at every step. They were calling him the Worldbreaker for a reason.
  • Invincible: Viltrumites are an army of conquering Flying Bricks. While they'd need to personally tear people, tanks, buildings and other viltrumites apart with their bare hands one by one, they are fast enough it wouldn't take them long, and durable enough that only the latter has any chance of stopping one.
  • The Plutonian in Irredeemable. Max Damage compared Tony's city-wrecking rampage to the wrath of God; he annihilates Singapore and burns a path of destruction across the entire North American continent. Later in the series, as the Plutonian "evolves" to become even more powerful, he gains the ability to cause nuclear explosions with a snap of his fingers.
  • Justice League of America and Martian Manhunter villain Despero has become a walking engine of psychokinetic destruction following his various rebirths and power-ups. It regularly takes multiple teams to even slow him. Sending a single team after him is downright suicidal.
    • According to a dossier Lobo was given on him, he has personally killed approximately 5.6 billion individuals on various planets.
  • The Mighty Thor is routinely depicted as Marvel's answer to DC's Superman, a godlike being with an immense array of physical powers. Add to that the fact that Thor actually is a god, with his birthright being control of weather conditions on a planetary scale, nearly unlimited physical strength enabling him to lift skyscrapers, level mountains and cause earthquakes, and vast energy projection and manipulation abilities afforded him by his hammer Mjolnir, you understand why criminals, super-criminals, other gods and even cosmic entities like Galactus afford him varying degrees of fear and respect. And this is without Thor claiming his father's "Odinpower".
  • Alan Moore takes this concept to its logical and terrifying conclusion in the climax of his Miracleman storyline with Johnny, Kid Miracleman, Bates killing London. Not destroying, mind you. Killing. As in murdering every individual in the London metro area in original and sadistic ways.
  • In Marvel Comics' The New Universe, Ken Connell, the Starbrand, discovers his POMD potential when he accidentally annihilates the city of Pittsburgh by trying to transfer the Starbrand to an inanimate object ten miles in the air over the city.
  • Jack Kirby's O.M.A.C. (literally One Man Army Corps) hits this when boosted by the power of Brother Eye. Without it, he can casually defeat armies numbering in the hundreds of thousands; with it, he gains the power necessary to deal with the situation, which can often be a pretty big one.
    OMAC: I'm OMAC! Evacuate this section! I'M GOING TO DESTROY IT!
  • Paperinik New Adventures examples:
    • Xadhoom can, and has, destroyed entire planets and wiped out immense warfleets. Thankfully, she's only after the Evronians for destroying her homeworld...
    • Moldrock turns his homeworld Corona from a desert to a garden world, trap Duckburg under an impenetrable energy barrier, single-handledly defeats the combined armies of Corona and destroys one artificial moon just because he can, using his black ray. His powers are so vast that he is a key component of the massive "Ultima" space station, capable of opening a door to the Multiverse.
    • The Rettificators appear to be in Xadhoom's league, as shown when three of them took on an Evronian Planet Spaceship, its escorts and an opposing fleet that was matching them and won with ease, the only survivors being the few dozen Evronians that survived their initial assault on the worldship and ran and a group of En'tomek that had boarded it before the Rettificators showed up.
  • Starfire from Red Hood and the Outlaws, some people are even worried that she may be a radioactive hazard. Made scarier when something designed to drain her powers fails to do so!
    • She destroyed a group of tanks without even appearing to be winded and then casually asked Jason if there was anything else she could do for him.
    • While she doesn't appear in Red Hood and the Outlaws, Starfire's evil sister Blackfire has also reached these levels. Luckily for the universe her last appearance in R.E.B.E.L.S. saw her reforming into A Lighter Shade of Black thanks to the influence of her new lover, Vril Dox.
  • Max, from Sam & Max, has been called the most violent force in the universe by the Season 1 Big Bad.
  • Since her transition from character to walking Plot Device, the Scarlet Witch has become one of these. The House of M storyline infamously changed her powers from simple probability manipulation to Reality Warper power on a scale that would make Franklin Richards above blush, and all to fulfill the latest Executive Meddling demands to kill off mutants (resulting in the mutant population being reduced to "The 198", which was eventually undone). Despite not being used for such heavy-handed meddling since then, Wanda's extreme power has hung over her head like a Sword of Damocles, and more tragically over the head of one of her children.
    • The Avengers are worried that her son, Wiccan, who the Avengers might follow in her footsteps. The worst he's done is put a few baddies into temporary comas, but that was enough to make them uneasy. Of course, part of the reason they're uneasy about it is because he didn't mean to do it. He took out twenty guys, all armed with guns and nukes, as a knee-jerk reaction to his boyfriend being in danger. He wasn't even aware of what he'd done until afterwards. And then it turns out that he's the Demiurge, who, at his peak, is capable of stepping outside of the multiverse and rearranging it to his liking. On top of that...
      Loki: You're a singular multidimensional messiah. You're going to rewrite the rules of magic and all the implications of that decision are going to echo forward and backward across all realities. It's no biggie.
      Billy: WHAT?
  • In Sonic the Comic, Super Sonic is known to be able to create blasts with the power of the sun. He is also mentioned to be able to destroy planets and also takes little physical damage.
  • The Spectre. The Wrath of God, Old Testament-style. Destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Annihilated an entire country. And sank modern-day Atlantis.
    • But arguably, not a person but a force... he traditionally becomes less dangerous when he inhabits a human host. If you manage to push that human to the breaking point, however, the Spectre starts getting Biblical again.
  • Supergirl:
    • Kara shares her cousin's strength and destructive capabilities, thanks to the vast and numerous powers Kryptonians manifest under Earth's yellow sun.
    • In addition to them, she got a Red Lantern Ring during the Red Daughter of Krypton story arc, becoming one of the most dangerous things in the universe.
      Shay Veritas: How'd she get a Red Lantern Ring? [...] A Kryptonian wearing one of those is an extinction level threat—!
    • In Demon Spawn, villain sorceress Nightflame smashes a car, wrecks a street, and blows up and burns down several buildings in only two pages.
    • In Bizarrogirl Bizarrogirl tears an area of Metropolis down. Jimmy Olsen deems it as a "Doomsday-level" kind of damage.
  • Most of the superhumans from Supergod count as this. Krishna was able to kill over a billion people in a few short days using his nanotechnology, and easily reversed a massive nuclear attack from Pakistan (destroying Pakistan in the process). Jerry Craven is a "walking atomic bulldozer" that is dropped from a plane like a bomb; the impacts of his punches cause shockwaves that are lethal to any human within a mile. Maitreya was able to gruesomely convert a large part of the population of China and India into a giant Cthulhu monster. Malak is able to project a field around himself that disintegrates all it touches. This last one is illustrated quite poignantly when Krishna launches him into the Moon and he cuts a hole clean through and out the other side.
    • The supergod Dajjal's only attack seems to be suicidally detonating himself – but the blast is sufficient to destroy most of Asia.
  • Superman. While exactly how powerful he is varies Depending on the Writer, he fits this trope in every incarnation since the original.
    • The Silver Age version of Superman took this to the extreme, being capable of destroying entire solar systems by sneezing (no, that is Not Hyperbole).
    • Even the less powerful Post-Crisis Superman has been shown to be capable of imparting an infinite amount of damage to an opponent and causing nuclear winter by falling from a sufficient height - and surviving.
    • In Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, "Ronnie" tells the American people not to worry about rising tensions with the Soviet Union because God is on their side, or (wink) the next best thing anyhow.
    • At the end of Kingdom Come, Superman is one of the few survivors of an atomic bomb that takes out a good chunk of the DCU's superhero population. He then sets off towards the UN, fully aware that they're the ones who called in the strike on him. The UN's collective reaction: "Oh, fuck."
    • In War World, Superman and Supergirl face up to a star-sized satellite armed with weapons capable of blowing up entire solar systems. Kara breaks it down by colliding with it at incalculable speed, and Kal detonates it.
    • Kryptonite Nevermore: In the last issue Superman sees a vision in where he and the Sandman Superman destroy the Earth during a fight. It freaks him out to the point he no longer wants to get his full power back.
    • As the monster responsible for The Death of Superman, it should come as no surprise that Doomsday is one of these. It's all there in the name really: Doomsday's basically on a mission to wipe out literally every other living thing in universe with his bare hands and is just about capable of pulling it off. And sometimes his hands aren't even required: "Adult" Doomsday possesses a deadly aura; he once killed over a million animals and made wildebeests an endangered species in the span of twenty minutes simply by walking past them.
  • In Supreme Power, Marvel's Alternate Company Equivalent and Deconstruction of the Justice League of America, when Mark Milton aka Hyperion (Superman Substitute) learns that his whole life has been controlled by the United States government, the head of the project discusses what an angry high-powered Flying Brick could do. To adequately describe the casualty rate that Mark can inflict from THE ATTACK ALONE (not factoring in all the deaths from various infrastructure failures that result from the attack and cut-off supply lines making aid impossible) one researcher uses the term "Mega-deaths". At one point, he is traced by the Richter Scale vibrations he causes with his attacks! They are very graphic in the images as well.
  • The Decepticons in The Transformers (IDW) continuity have specialized soldiers called "Phase-Sixers", tasked with razing entire planets to the ground by themselves. Their ranks consist of Sixshot, Black Shadow, and Overlord. At least until Overlord decided to go rogue.
    • For a little perspective, Overlord only considered calling for support when faced with the combined forces of an entire stellar empire.
  • The "battleship"-class superhumans from Über are basically walking, reusable nukes. Battleship Siegfried wipes out an entire Soviet army by looking at it, while Battleship Sieglinde casually reduces central Paris to smoking rubble.
  • The concept is explored in many titles of the Ultimate Marvel universe, which place a greater emphasis to the reactions of common people to the people with superpowers than in the main continuity. Captain America, the first man with super powers, was already considered as such back in WWII, as he could turn the tide of a battle by taking action in it. Roosevelt himself appears in Ultimate Origins, mentions the recently created atomic bomb, and clearly states that they hold on the Godzilla Threshold as long as Cap can fight, because he's a less destructive option. The trope was deconstructed in The Ultimates 2, that mirrored the existence of super heroes with the real-world weapons of mass destruction (and note that it was written during the War on Terror). The US used their own superheroes to enforce the American interests and police international threats, Europe develops their own ones, and third world countries organize their own team to take the fight to the US itself. Even better, Both Sides Have a Point, the narrative itself does not take sides, and both a US conservative and an anti-imperialism leftwing can feel identified with some characters and their actions.
  • Doctor Manhattan of Watchmen was turned from a mild-mannered nuclear physicist into a God-like immortal being thanks to a bizarre quantum-science accident. He can control, reshape and disintegrate atomic structure on a massive scale just by thinking about it. In the series' continuity he has tipped the balance of power between the United States and the Soviet Union by his mere existence: In the event of World War III, he could theoretically destroy large areas of Soviet territory instantaneously, and intercept at least 60% of the missiles launched at the U.S. before they reached their targets. In other words, he is a walking nuclear deterrent. Only two months after he arrived in Vietnam, he had single-handedly turned the tide of the war, to the point where the Vietcong were expected to surrender within the week.
  • The WildStorm universe actually uses the trope name as one of several generic terms for superhumans — and with The Authority around, who can blame them?
    • The Authority is, after all, a team where one single member freezes a whole country (on a different world, mind you) in time for a second, effectively teleporting the entire landmass and everyone and everything on it into space. Then they go kill the thing that accidentally put life on Earth in the first place, and is almost as big as the planet itself.
    • Jack Hawksmoor even lampshades this at one point, telling the President of the United States something to the point of: "We don't have weapons of mass destruction. We ARE weapons of mass destruction. Don't fuck with us."
    • And later on, this is taken to its logical conclusion: The Authority takes over the USA, forces what amounts to martial law. Then a rebellion made up of other People of Mass Destruction fought against their power.... and it ends up with Washington being nuked. Oops.
  • X-Men:
    • The most recent definition of an "Omega" Mutant is any mutant that could potentially be a Person of Mass Destruction. Magneto, a mutant who can move entire cities with his mind, is considered one under this definition (despite traditionally being classified as an Alpha-Level mutant). The most commonly brought up example of this is Jean in Phoenix mode, so we're talking off the charts power. Expect widespread control of matter or natural forces down to the sub-atomic levels, full on Reality Warper status, a grab bag of powers that would make Superman jealous, or god help you, all of the above. However, for one reason or another few can use this power to its fullest whenever they want and with no drawbacks.
    • At one point called the most powerful mutant on Earth, Exodus of Magneto's Acolytes certainly lives up to his claim of being Magneto's heir "in spirit and in power". As mentioned above, his fight with the Eternal Sersi in the Blood Ties crossover was so intense it threatened to destroy the entire island nation of Genosha, and later during the climax Exodus demonstrated he had the power to do that entirely on his own via encasing the island in a force field and then steadily compressing it. Due to being a Knight Templar whose intentions are noble his power has not been showcased so heavily since then, but in the more recent 2012 story Lost Tribes it took two whole teams of X-Men to bring him down — and he wasn't even fighting with all of his power!
    • 90's favorite Gambit was actually one of these originally. It's implied at from the beginning — his mutant power is having a version of The Magic Touch that lets him convert anything he touches into an explosive. Something the size of a playing card becomes a handy grenade, and the bigger it is, the more bang it provides. It turns out he had brain surgery from Mister Sinister to tone his powers down, and if he hadn't, he'd be an Omega level mutant. We meet an alternate version of Gambit who never had the surgery. He calls himself New Sun. Because he lost control of his powers and ended up turning into an Energy Being, and, as an unintentional side effect, vaporizing the entire planet Earth in an instant. Thanks to Sinister's surgery, though, Gambit has never reached these levels in the present day, nor will he likely ever now that his Popularity Power has waned.
    • As mentioned directly above, Jean Grey is this in any incarnation when she takes on the codename Phoenix. In The Dark Phoenix Saga, Jean destroyed a star, snuffing out the billions of lives on an orbiting planet. In the end of that story, she realized what she would become and chose the more tragic option of committing suicide.
    • "Here Comes Tomorrow", which ends with Jean being able to alter the Universe according to her desire, noting that this is "Phoenix Work", meaning it's something she'll be doing more than once.
    • Even without the Phoenix, fully grown Jean fits into this category, with one alternate future incarnation being able to take on teen Jean, Emma Frost and all three of the Cuckoos at once, beating all but teen Jean. While Emma Frost is supposedly an Omega Class telepath, it is quite clear that Jean blows the scale.
    • Jean's children by Scott Summers, Rachel, Nate and Cable, all qualify.
      • Rachel is, at base line, nearly omnipotent, with psychic powers on a cosmic scale, and the Phoenix is specifically noted as liking her.
      • Nate is arguably even stronger, having been created by Sinister as a Living Weapon to kill Apocalypse and was estimated as being as powerful as Jean was as the Dark Phoenix at the age of seventeen, later being stated as capable of going toe to toe with the Sentry by Norman Osborn. At his peak, his telekinesis was so strong that it was described as 'reality warping', he lived in mortal fear of accidentally rewriting reality in his sleep (and once, flattened Quito, Ecuador, from most of three thousand miles away, in his sleep) and he wandered in and out of the time stream and up and down the multiverse at will. Once he got his powers back thanks to the Life Seed, which also gave them a boost in 2018's X-Men Disassembled, he casually imprisoned Apocalypse, kept Magneto on a psychic leash, and effortlessly dismantled an entire team of X-Men including Jean, Psylocke, Storm, and Iceman. He later crushed Legion in psychic combat in five seconds flat, then stole his body, and it took an all out psychic attack from Jean, Psylocke, the Stepford Sisters, Sage, and No-Girl, combined with a colossal lightning bolt from Storm, just to separate the two and stun him. He then carried on a conversation with Jean inside his head while all of the above, Magneto, and more or less every other member of the X-Men, and Apocalypse, hammered away at him, and was holding them all off.
      • Cable, meanwhile, is usually inhibited by the Techno-Organic virus. When he's not, he proved capable of holding up an island with his telekinesis while fighting the Silver Surfer. He lost, but only after giving a very good account of himself.
      • Basically, to avoid Story-Breaker Power, they each have a different version of Holding Back the Phlebotinum. If Jean goes Phoenix she risks going Dark Phoenix. Cable's powers are constantly devoted to holding back his techno-organic affliction. X-Man's usually not in a sane enough mental state to wield them effectively. And all of the above are subject to overtaxing their powers and being unable to use them at that level again, or at all, for quite some time.
    • As clones of the above-mentioned Jean Grey and Cable, Madelyne Pryor and Stryfe have both hit these levels. As the Goblyn Queen Maddie came perilously close to turning New York City into a literal hell on Earth during Inferno, while Stryfe effortlessly thrashed Apocalypse and later laid waste to much of his own lunar base fighting Cable during the X-Cutioner's Song. Interestingly, the two characters have since gone in completely opposite directions since — Maddie has arguably just gotten stronger over the years, despite no longer being the Goblyn Queen, while Stryfe's PoMD status has degenerated to the point of Apocalypse pronouncing him an unworthy successor after an extremely one-sided rematch.
    • Another surprising example from the X-Men comes in the form of Jubilee, back when she still had her original powers. On the surface, her fireworks seem kind of useless, but then you remember she's generating plasma. Emma Frost once stated that should Jubilee exercise her powers to their fullest potential, she could detonate matter at the sub-atomic level, making Jubilee a walking fusion bomb. It was only Jubilee's own fear of hurting someone that lead her to hold back and not utilize them to their full extent.
    • Siena Blaze of the Upstarts was one of the most extreme yet briefly lived PoMDs ever seen in comics. A mutant whose power tore through the Earth's electromagnetic field with each use, Blaze's reckless and anarchistic personality made her a dire potential threat to Earth, as well as a match for both Jubilee and Rachel mentioned above.


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