Follow TV Tropes

Following

Physical God / Comic Books

Go To

Physical Gods in comic books.


DC Universe

  • The DCU's gods, both the classic ones and the New Gods. From the latter, the best-known example is Darkseid. Though writers tend to differ on whether they're truly gods, or merely Sufficiently Advanced Aliens, and Kirby's original intentions are unclear. Many of their strange powers are the result of advanced technology (what would a god need with a Mother Box?), but at the same time they also embody concepts (Darkseid=Tyranny, Forever People=Youth, Mr. Miracle=Freedom, Orion=War, etc.) and claim that human beings worship them through various rituals like turning on computers and marveling at the stars.
  • Advertisement:
  • The Sandman introduced the Endless, a primordial group of seven beings older than any god, even Darkseid, and the anthropomorphic personifications of abstract concepts like dreams, death, and destruction. While they can be potentially weakened enough to be captured, testing their patience when your name isn't The Presence, Michael Demiurgos, or Lucifer Morningstar is a very bad idea.
  • In Captain Atom #54 to #57, Cap created and ruled his own universe. He turned out not to be very good at it, and had to destroy his universe after his own dark side took it over. Of course, it could all have been just a fever-dream he had after Shadowstorm blasted him.
  • During the Power of Ion storyline Green Lantern Kyle Rayner took the powers that Parallax absorbed from the Central Power Battery, plus his own Lantern powers, the Oblivion's Energies and (possibly) The Ion Entity. That allowed him to be in more places at once, to better focus his creativity, to teletransport things, and bend reality to his will. His girlfriend Jade became surprised when Kyle told her, saying that his new abilities can be compared to those of God. His talk with the Spectre Hal Jordan even made clear that Kyle could alter the past and make the future go as he wanted, something that as Parallax he couldn't do at all. Rayner eventually relinquished his power to reignite the Central Power Battery and resurrect the Guardians of the Universe.
  • Advertisement:
  • The Phantom Stranger is one of the most powerful beings in the DC Universe and doesn't seem to take orders from anyone other than God. He is portrayed as a consummate master of magic that can shrug off anything thrown at him by the likes of The Spectre on his good days. The only thing that prevents him from making the DC Universe too boring by solving everything is that he won't, or can't, interfere too much in the affairs of mortals.
  • Anyone wielding the power of Shazam. Such an individual — in addition to possessing the standard Flying Brick powers of Super Strength (strong enough to take on Superman and most of the Justice League of America at the same time), Super Speed (fast enough to race The Flash), Flight (at Faster-Than-Light Travel speeds outside an atmosphere), and Nigh-Invulnerability — is also The Needless and The Ageless, has a Healing Factor for those rare occasions when they actually get injured, possess Super Intelligence (complete with Photographic Memory and Omniglot skills), and are highly resistant (if not actually invulnerable) to Mind Manipulation and magic.
  • Superman:
      Advertisement:
    • Kryptonians (Superman, Supergirl, Power Girl, Superboy, Krypto the Superdog...) generally speaking have incredible powers (inhuman strength, speed and endurance, flight capability, heat vision, freezing breath, super-senses...) and have been considered virtually godlike.
    • Ever since Superman died and came back from the dead, he has had a cult of worshipers though he tries to discourage them. Although Superman did not actually "die", he was punched into a (temporary) coma. This makes the cult's reason for worshipping him quite misaimed (though he is STILL a physical god in his own right).
    • Supergirl has also been worshipped as a goddess at different points, much to her chagrin.
    • One of her enemies, Blackstarr can bend cosmic forces at will.
    • The above-mentioned cult have turned to their attention to the temporarily-deceased Superboy/Kon-El.
    • Blackest Night revealed that Superman, and many seemingly dead characters who miraculously returned to life, were brought back by Nekron as part of a grand Gambit Roulette. Nekron, by the way, is a nigh-omnipotent who skirts this trope when he appears in the living world, and is regularly much more powerful in his own realm.
    • On the other hand, while Superboy-Prime has the same amazing powers, he doesn't have Superman's weaknesses outside of red sunlight, thus he's a much more dangerous threat. To the point where the Pantheon of DC's gods pulled up their stakes and left.
    • Superman Prime, the being Superman will eventually become as seen in DC One Million, plays this straight after spending thousands of years meditating inside the sun and having the last Green Lantern ring in the universe to keep his solar power at its maximum for all time.
    • He also gets the powers of whichever the rest of the Supermen from his dynasty in return for giving them a portion of his power to protect the Earth with. One notable ability he gained being Reality Warper.
  • Dr. Manhattan of Watchmen. He experiences time on a non linear way. He can become many people. He can watch neurons. Nothing can stop him.
    • Hell, it's even implied at the end of the comic that he leaves his planet to try his hand at creating one.
    • Also worth noting is his recollection of how he ended the Vietnam War. The movies shows it pretty well too but the basics are that he creates multiple copies of himself each about 100 feet tall that rip through the entire Vietcong and NVA. Apparently the Vietnamese were so terrified by him that they would only surrender to him in a scene that is a cross between platitude and worship.
    • DC Rebirth reveals that he created The New 52 universe of DC comics, and not The Flash and Pandora in Flashpoint like previously believed.
  • Wonder Woman often interacts with the Ancient Greek and Egyptian pantheons, and those gods from those groups that are still around are incredibly powerful with Reality Warping powers and the ability to manifest in multiple places at once. Unlike many examples however they can and have been killed, either by other gods murdering them or slowly by the loss of their worshipers though some like Ares and Aphrodite have figured out ways to bypass this weakness. Zeus on the other hand would fade quickly if he ever left his seat of power on Olympus.

Marvel Universe

  • Marvel Comics's gods which include Asgardians such as Thor or Olympians like Hercules.
    • And Jack Kirby's Eternals were godlike immortals who supposedly inspired the myths. When they were Retconned as part of the main Marvel Universe, a conflict with the real gods had to be resolved.
    • Also by Jack Kirby, the Ancient Astronauts/"Space Gods", the Celestials, and the Cosmic not-so-horror Planet Eater, Galactus.
    • Ultimate Thor was apparently a more abstract type of god, who incarnated in human form to allow him to preach a message to humanity (a New Age pacifism that seems to be almost, but not entirely, unlike the philosophy of the Thor of Norse Mythology.) Ultimate Loki is more powerful than his mainstream counterpart, able to "reshuffle reality" at will— until Big Daddy Odin gets off his cosmic duff and makes with the spanking.
    • Some "Omega-level mutants" often look like Physical Gods. Scarlet Witch, for example, has the power to alter probability. At its apex, we go from "give enemy bad luck" to "make the probability of anything she can think of become 100%," becoming a Reality Warper who is limited only by the fact that as one born human her mind can't always handle it.
      • And then one must consider her son Billy, AKA Wiccan, AKA the Demiurge. He's inexperienced now, but once summoned and killed an Eldritch Abomination, and will create utopian dimensions from scratch. His original codename may be foreshadowing his future status. It's Asgardian, by the way. And then, of course, there is this:
        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?
    • Speaking of Omega-level mutants, there's Vulcan aka Gabriel Summers, the third Summers brother. He's one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, mutants in the X-Men universe.
    • The "cosmic entities" sometimes do, too, but they tend to go a bit beyond the average scale of a Physical God.
    • And then there's the Beyonder — if there's any limit to his abilities, we've not seen it. He didn't become physical until Secret Wars II, however.
      • So powerful in fact that when Doom takes his powers, he has a hard time separating his thoughts from reality. Doom has been this trope a few times.
      • Although the Beyonder fooled the Illuminati into believing he is merely a particularly powerful Inhuman, he has been acknowledged as an incomplete Cosmic Cube by Kubik and the Shaper of Worlds, both former Cosmic Cubes.
      • And how did he become physical? He wanted to see what it was like to be a mere mortal, including being vulnerable. A lot of other nigh-omnipotent characters don't have nearly so much power over their own natures.
      • How powerful can Beyonders get? In New Avengers, a group of Beyonders called the Ivory Kings killed every other Cosmic Entity in the Marvel Universe, including the Living Tribunal.
    • In recent Marvel history, there's The Sentry/Void. Initially based on the idea of 'the world's greatest hero who is also the world's greatest villain', the manipulations of Norman Osborn led to the Sentry allowing the Void to do whatever he wanted, as perfectly described in Siege when the President is very accurately told that there is no limit to his power set (for an example, the Void's strength can scale from being able to break the Hulk's bones to being able to tear gods apart). The Sentry ultimately got a Mercy Kill at the end of Siege - which only worked because he wanted it - and after he was unwillingly brought Back from the Dead, went looking for another way to kill himself. Neither he or Doctor Strange could find one.
    • Shuma-Gorath is a nigh-omnipotent multiversal conqueror/Eldritch Abomination who has thousands of universes under his control, and he's just one of four Many-Angled Ones. The results of one of his more thorough conquerings is...unsettling, to say the least. Oh, and he's back, and very pissed.
    • Dormammu is a lesser example; while he's a fair bit below Shuma's level, he's still a staggeringly powerful extradimensional horror who, like Shuma, has conquered multiple universes and is worshipped as a deity by countless beings throughout the multiverse.
    • His sister is, in turn, somewhat less powerful, but still strong enough to kick a Sorceror Supreme's ass without much difficulty.
    • And then we have the "One Above All", also known as the author.
    • When it comes to the physical side of things, one is hardpressed to argue that The Juggernaut isn't one of these. He's the physical avatar of evil deity-entity Cyttorak, which makes him a living embodiment of Unstoppable Force. In practical terms, he has Super Strength off any charts the Marvel universe can come up with, he's nigh-invulnerable and has a Healing Factor that makes for good comparison with Wolverine, his only Achilles Heels are a vulnerability to Mind Control and to magic (one of the few ways to physically hurt him), he is literally unstoppable (once in motion, nothing, but nothing, can actually stop him), and he is an Implacable Man taken Up to Eleven (he officially doesn't need to eat, sleep or breathe and his stamina level is "infinite", meaning he never gets fatigued).
    • Although probably retconned now, in the 90s, it was revealed that Gambit would have become one if he hadn't gone to Mister Sinister for preventive brain surgery. A version of himself from an alternate universe who never had the surgery forms a Big Bad, and shows Gambit would have eventually become a being of pure kinetic energy, with the ability to manipulate all kinetic energy at will. This alternate Gambit called himself "New Sun". Because, when his powers fully awoke, he accidentally triggered all potential kinetic energy across planet Earth, destroying it by accident.
    • Gorr the God Butcher, a villain from The Mighty Thor, became one after he acquired All Black the Necrosword. The sword made Gorr so powerful that he was able to murder entire pantheons of gods across the cosmos (hence the "God Butcher" part of the name). Even multiple versions of Thor from the past, present, and future couldn't defeat him until an energy construct Gorr created in the image of his dead son rebelled against him and aided Thor since it believed Gorr had become everything he hated: an evil god.
    • David Haller, a.k.a. "Legion" (Professor Charles Xavier's Antagonistic Offspring) has the ability to create spontaneous mutations with varying attributes, potentially giving him limitless access to thousands of different power types, and there are more "being born" all the time. Due either to his immense powers, mental instability or a combination of the two, David creates a new sub- personality in order to govern each one of these new mutations, hence his codename. He becomes truly a god in material form when he manages to pull a Split-Personality Merge but his godlike status is questioned due to the instability brought on by the constant threat of a Split-Personality Takeover.
  • And now we have Angela, who was originally an angel in the Spawn universe, got transferred over to the Marvel Universe after an interdimensional incident, is now an Asgardian and sister to Thor and Loki, and still is insanely powerful, but is considered a mere warrior in their culture. With incredible angelic powers intact, of course.
  • While it's heavily implied that his true form is an immensely powerful Energy Being, resident Planet Eater Galactus of the Marvel Universe qualifies. While he appears in a different guise to different races, his default appearance seems to be a huge armored version of his original humanoid self Galan. His daughter Galacta (no, really) is closer to a typical Physical God in terms of power scale since she isn't quite as powerful as her father. Her unborn child the Tapeworm Cosmic (no, really, again) will probably fit the bill, too.
  • X-Men: The Phoenix Force may or may not be this, Depending on the Writer.

Other

  • In Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog, any Echidna who absorbs enough Chaos energy becomes the immortal demigod Enerjak, and are only ever defeated by being imprisoned in an over the top way (trapped under a castle's rubble, shot into space, etc.), or having their powers mystically removed, not in physical combat. And to give an example of how strong Enerjak is in any incarnation, when Knuckles was tricked into becoming him, he ended up singlehandedly destroying Eggman's entire army and reducing his city to rubble.
    • And in an Alternate Universe, the fate of the world's people in this alternate reality is unknown - while the main cast have all had their souls ripped out by Knuckles, the only city that's seen - Enerjak's capital - is completely deserted. It is possible Knuckles-Enerjak killed them all or likewise ripped out their souls. ...or that nobody sane would choose to live within a hundred miles (if that) of the tyrant.
    • Mammoth Mogul's "Master Mogul" form is this as he had the power of twelve Chaos Emeralds powering him, a threat that required Super Sonic, Hyper Knuckles and Turbo Tails to fight off.
  • Clive Barker's Next Testament: God is a brightly-colored creature who, after being released from his slumber, walks the Earth to convert people and perform "miracles" everywhere. This is a VERY bad thing.
  • The fairy-tale characters of the Fables comic book series. With some of them (such as Aslan or Weyland Smith) actually supposed to be gods. Others... not so much (Goldilocks).
    • Goldilocks is more of an Implacable Woman than a god. Interestingly those that do quality as Physical Gods are mystically attuned to the concept of themselves rather than traditional concepts.
  • Hellboy has Hecate, the Ogdru Jahad, and various creatures, monsters, and demons that have all been worshipped at one point or another. There was also a giant genocidal homunculus who declared himself a god and fought Hellboy.
  • Last Man Standing: Hex is one, since he kind of, you know, created the whole damn universe!
  • Paperinik New Adventures has Xadhoom, an alien scientist who experimented a procedure on herself and accidentally became nigh-invulnerable (meaning you can stun her by using enough physical force to blast apart a small moon, but the only ways to actually harm her are to drain away her power, and even then you have to do it faster than she can see where you hide or you're dead, or to torture her into exploding, and good luck keeping her captured for the days it will take to actually acknowledge the pain, never mind blow her up), capable to change her form at will, fly faster than light and fire any form of energy she knows of with enough power to shatter a planet. And she has a vendetta against the Evronians, who conquered her homeworld and enslaved her people while she got her powers. The kicker? That's her holding back: where she to get really serious, she'd be able to manipulate matter and energy to a near cosmic scale. This comes with a complete loss of self-control, and thus, if used, would cause her to disintegrate into nothingness, as learned the hard way by the Evronian who was told how to acquire her power but not about this (he disintegrated as planned).
  • In Sonic the Comic Robotnik becomes a Physical God after absorbing the power of the Chaos Emeralds in Robotnik Reigns Supreme arc becoming a Omnipotent, Omniscient Reality Warper and Super Sonic seems to verge on this, especially towards the end of the arc where Sonic was trapped in the Special Zone. Besides his immense strength and speed (both enough to easily annihilate enemies who Sonic was all but helpless against) and flight, he's also so powerful that the Omniviewer was unable to stop time for him (only slow it enough to ensure that crossing several inches would take years) was able to remain fully aware even while in a state of slowed time, and was able to gather enough charged particles to turn an asteroid into a miniature sun (which then exploded with enough force to bathe the entire surface of Mobius in a powerful electromagnetic pulse). It's occasionally said that he is powerful enough to destroy a planet.
  • The Norse Gods from Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose. They easily outstrip any other character in the series (besides the Goddess), and Hel can use a world-wide Reset Button.
  • The Trinity of Hypsis in the Valérian comic series, an ironic pastiche of Christianity's Holy Trinity. They possess various powers typically associated with them in popular mythology; the Father can fling thunderbolts for example, and the Son can heal and (possibly) resurrect anybody. They do claim responsibility for creating mankind, however, and have the power to influence Earth's timelines. They perceive their divinity as a business enterprise in which they are struggling in the brink of bankruptcy, which would strip them of their position and powers. Christian characters tend to call them frauds or usurpers.
  • The members of the Pantheon in The Wicked + The Divine are this. Presumably those they give portions of their power to are this as well.
  • W.I.T.C.H. examples:
    • Elyon, thanks to her ability to change reality with a small gesture. She's not invincible, but is impossible to defeat or even fight straight on;
    • the Oracle, sort of: while he hasn't the power to do things on a grandiose scale, the leader of Kandrakar is practically omniscient (it is possible to hide from him, but it's extremely difficult when he's not paying attention and next to impossible when he is) and can casually teleport himself or others around and alter memories. In fact, he was once mistaken for God due visiting Earth to pull a Deus ex Machina and introducing himself by explaining the origin of the term Deus Ex Machina (he quickly explained he was not God, just appearing from nowhere to solve the unsolvable);
    • among the Guardians, the Keeper of the Heart is one, once she knows how to use her powers to the fullest. While Will is too young and unexperienced to fully use her powers, Nerissa was shown disintegrating another Guardian (literally: witnesses openly says she didn't even leave a body), surviving an attack whose recoil could have shattered Kandrakar, and even create life;
    • all the Guardians, once they receive their full power in the New Power saga. To make an example, Hay Lin was able to take an hurricane and close it in a small box.


Top

Example of:

/
/

Feedback