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Reality Warper / Comic Books

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Reality Warpers in comic books.


DC

  • The Golden Age Green Lantern had powers so nebulously defined as to be limitless. The Batman Black & White story "Guardian" depicted him as essentially capable of anything he can imagine. He describes this as a curse, however, and says he quit the hero game because his power scared him, was too much for one man. In his words, Gotham needs a guardian, not a god.
  • In Justice League Elite, the Fourth World being Eve has the ability to reshape reality, although it appears to be limited - she can't make any changes of her own volition, and there is an upper limit to the scale on which she can make large changes (she is unable, for instance, to change reality so that Superman never existed.)
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  • The inter-dimensional imps Mr. Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite (on the Chaotic Neutral side). In Supergirl mini Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, Mxy makes a serious bid for total omnipotence. In Emperor Joker, Mr. Mxyzptlk accidentally gives most of his power to The Joker (on the extremely Chaotic Evil side!). Earlier, at the end of the Bronze Age Batman/Hulk crossover, the Joker got reality-warping power from the above Shaper of Worlds (Marvel).
  • Neil Gaiman's The Endless from The Sandman: seven Anthropomorphic Personifications holding nigh omnipotence within their respective spheres.
  • Half the supporting cast of Grant Morrison's version of Doom Patrol, mainly villains and Anti Villains. A couple of heroes, too. And on the subject of Grant Morrison, The Writer from John Ostrander's Suicide Squad.
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  • Then there's The Spectre, who's able to warp reality in some particularly inventive ways, especially when it comes to killing sinners. Not surprising, given he's God's Vengeance incarnate.
  • The mother of Cascade in Sovereign Seven: She remodels all of her Earth (architecture, fashion, technology level, etc.) every few minutes. It turns out she began as a normal (but very powerful) superhero who prevented an alien invasion but failed to stop the aliens from destroying Earth in revenge. Then she used her powers to reanimate the world, so that the daughter she was pregnant with could have some semblance of a normal life. She's also best friends with Darkseid for some reason, but how they could ever have met was never explained.
  • From the Kingdom Come universe, Jonathan Kent, the son of Superman and Wonder Woman, who has full control over hypertime.
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  • Speaking of Superman, some far future versions of him evolve this power including one who's the last being alive in a dying universe and holds back universe-ending entropy waves just by thinking about it.
  • And from The Authority, all the Doctors, and Jenny Quantum.
  • Shade, the Changing Man shows the everyday plight of the reality warping hero.
  • Ibis the Invincible, who immigrated to DC continuity along with the Shazam titles, has the Ibistick, a magic staff that can warp reality on command.
  • The Time Trapper can manipulate reality in everything BUT the present, hence his name, he traps you in time. Oh yeah, he can also move boulders.
  • Volthoom, the First Lantern and wielder of the first Power Ring, can manipulate time, space, and matter up to a certain area and has the potential to rewrite the entirely of reality itself.
  • Captain Atom became this in a story arc entitled "Quantum Quest," in which he created his own universe over which he had total control. It didn't end well. Also, it is possible that it was All Just a Dream. On the other hand, it has been hinted at that he might be that powerful in the regular universe too, but just doesn't realize it or is in denial about it. Dr. Manhattan, an Expy of Captain Atom, in Watchmen has telekinesis down to the subatomic level, allowing him to rearrange matter at will. Technically, this is a little different from changing reality outright, but since he's the most ridiculously overpowered character in the saga, nearly everyone there considers him a Reality Warper. Captain Allen Adam, an Alternate Universe version of Captain Atom from Final Crisis and The Multiversity, is similarly powerful, but being uncomfortable with his powers, takes drugs to suppress them.
  • John Constantine posses a low-level, localized form of reality warping that causes his tremendous gambles to always work out in his favor, regardless of the odds, though of course things don't always work out so well for the people close to him.

Marvel

  • Franklin Richards on the side of good. His powers are so great, he was able to create the Heroes Reborn universe. Unfortunately for the heroes but fortunately for any sense of drama in the stories, he's too young to understand how powerful he is.
  • Nathan Summers being the love child of Scott Summers & Jean clone; Maddie Pryor, in a complex scheme enacted by Mister Sinister in order to subvert his creator and master Apocalypse. Is stated by many to be such a powerful (or potentially powerful) psychic of the highest order that there's practically nothing his mind cannot accomplish, when he's unhindered by the T.O. virus. Or to put it another way, Cable is the mainstream reality counterpart of Nate Grey (see below), and as 'Saviour Cable', went toe to toe with the Silver Surfer while simultaneously repairing everything their fight was destroying and holding the vast island-city of Providence in the air. As he put it, while smashing the Surfer's board, "I didn't turn myself into everything I ever fought against, a god, just to come up short!"
  • Nate Grey, who spends some time hanging out and bonding with Franklin, is a psychic so powerful that he falls into this category, occasionally rewriting reality in his sleep and stopping time by accident. After a certain point, he evolves beyond the need to do things like eat, sleep or even breathe, and treats the multiverse as his personal stepladder, to be ambled up and down at will. And that was before his powers were fixed. After, he comfortably destroyed an evil alternate version of Jean Grey, reunited a woman who'd split herself across thousands of realities, easily went toe to toe with someone who was at least a planet buster, if not a reality buster, then transformed himself to energy and diffused himself into every living thing on Earth. On his return in 2018's Uncanny X-Men, he's even more powerful in part because he got his powers back because of a Life Seed, the counterpart of the Death Seed that made Apocalypse what he is, casually capable of erasing every church and holy place on Earth, while simultaneously keeping Apocalypse and Kitty Pryde restrained, and Magneto (among others) on a psychic leash, effortlessly flattening Legion in the space of about five seconds after seeing through the other Reality Warper's illusion, and finally creating the Age of X-Man, a whole new plane of existence, complete with people who're implied to be genuine, living beings, rather than just mental constructs.
  • Proteus on the side of bad. Fortunately, he seems to have limited range, and limited ability to make permanent changes. If he could, he'd make Emperor Joker look like a day at the park. As he cheerfully asked the X-Men when they found him in Edinburgh, "Have you ever heard a city scream?"
  • David Haller aka Legion, son of Charles Xavier, which is actually only one of his Combo Platter Powers, but each comes with him having a new/different alternate personality.
  • On the "insane, or is he?" side, you have Psylocke's wacky brother Jamie. He sees the world as a collection of "quantum strings," and by manipulating those, he can manipulate... well, due to Power Creep, Power Seep, it went from "everything around him" (think Proteus) to "everything, period" (think Q.) It's a good thing for all involved that the "mad" Jamie is more of a Bunny-Ears Lawyer who actually knows what he's doing with his increased power.
  • On the side of whoever's holding them, the Cosmic Cubes. Except for the ones that have evolved into sentient beings, which they invariably do if they last long enough.
  • The Beyonder is an unfathomably powerful reality warper, just short of Omnipotence. However he was waaay too powerful for his own good. Although he did not know how to defecate until Spider-Man patiently showed him how. Way to take one for the team, Spidey. Beyonder was later revealed to have formed from a not-quite-complete Cosmic Cube.
  • Doctor Doom towards the end of The Secret Wars, which ended up being his undoing, as he was tricked into thinking about scenarios that would bring back his defeated opponents to fight him, thus making it happen.
  • The Molecule Man, Owen Reece, who can manipulate reality thanks to his ability to reshape molecules. This power comes from the missing fragment of the Cosmic Cube that formed the Beyonder, which incidentally left him immune to Beyonder's power. Unfortunately for Reece, he's always had one big problem: a serious lack of self-confidence.
  • The Scarlet Witch, was the entire cause of the reboot attempt House of M. She recreated the world in her native universe once so that mutants were in charge and then reset it back to almost right, except that there were no more mutants in multiple universes. (Well, other than a few hundred survivors) And that was after killing off her husband and some of her friends, which destroyed the Avengers, when she initially lost it.
    • In The Ultimates, she once tried to attack Wolverine in the Savage Land and brought the dinosaurs back.
  • Billy Kaplan, aka Wiccan of the Young Avengers, shares the Scarlet Witch's powers and is the reincarnation of her lost son. His power level is enough to make the Avengers nervous, to the point that Wolverine was willing to outright kill him. Billy's only a teenager, but he's managed to summon and then kill an Eldritch Abomination, and Doctor Strange approached him to talk about the possibility of Billy becoming the new Sorcerer Supreme. It's safe to say that given enough time and training, Billy has the potential to match or even surpass his mother. Which is not even taking into consideration his Demiurge powers, which allow him to pretty much rewrite the entire universe at will. As in, he steps out his universe, onto the page of the comic and starts changing and rearranging panels, which makes him nearly as powerful as the writers. Physical God may not even begin to cover it.
    Billy: (as the Demiurge) I have all this power...and so the responsibility to use it. But I've also the responsibility to know how to use this power. And Billy Kaplan? You don't know what the hell you're doing. Yet.
  • Mad Jim Jaspers (referred to by other characters variously as "reality butcher", "the Jaspers monster" or "the Jaspers thing") has been described in The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe as the most powerful reality-warper ever to exist in the Marvel universe because he is capable of affecting realities other than his own. Jaspers is also totally insane and takes to poisoning and twisting reality around him because it seems like good sport. He was only defeated when the Fury, a super-adaptable cyborg created by the Jaspers of another universe transported him to an empty void outside reality where there is nothing for him to control, and incinerated his brain.

    A weaker Mad Jim from an alternate world was so powerful, his universe had to be destroyed. If the main (616) Mad Jim were to be fully powered, that may not be enough.
    Merlyn: This version of Jaspers. Is too powerful, too dangerous. His counterpart could at least be halted, even if it meant destroying his entire continuum. This one is not so easily containable. And if he cannot be defeated, then the omniverse shall fall into chaos, and a new and hostile god shall play dice with matter.
    • Given that it was made by use of his powers and taking into account its somewhat imaginative attitude to having a healing factor, the Fury might well count as well.
  • The Impossible Man from the planet Poppup, one of the Fantastic Four's earliest adversaries. He generally only displays shapeshifting in regular continuity. But a very creepy version of him appeared in the Exiles, where an alternate-universe Impossible Man became semi-psychotic due to a botched mind control attempt on him. He turned the Avengers into paper dolls, transmogrified most of the population of Washington DC into glowing butterflies, and didn't realize any of what he was doing — he was just trying to be funny. Thankfully, he managed to undo it all once he broke free.
  • In X-Statix, Arnie Lundberg was a Reality Warper who, before his Heel–Face Turn, terrorized his home town in a manner reminiscent of "It's a Good Life". Oddly, he could inflict transformations on others, but couldn't fix his own severely scarred face.
  • In a back-up story in an issue of X-Men Classics, the Watcher speculated that the ability to alter the fundamental nature of reality is the ultimate power of the Phoenix Force. She falls well short of the likes of the Scarlet Witch at the height of her powers in practice. Dark Phoenix did destroy a solar system, but it was by using a star as fuel; sucking up part of its energy caused an imbalance that caused a supernova, rather than her erasing it with a wave of her hand or something. She can use her maxed-out telekinesis to rearrange an object's subatomic particles until you get some other kind of matter - she once turned a tree into solid gold easily - and she has power over life and death as part of The Phoenix motif, so she's perhaps on the low end of this list.

    It was sometimes implied that Phoenix's power was limited only by Grey's imagination. Dark Phoenix's destruction was somewhat limited by the fact that Jean was fighting against herself. She easily could have killed all the X-Men, but couldn't bring herself to do it. As Phoenix before she became Dark Phoenix, she unconsciously limited her abilities so that at some crucial moments she tried to channel more power, but instead a mental circuit breaker was tripped, shutting off the power completely.
    • More recent stories involving the Phoenix have shown Jean as the White Phoenix of the Crown holding galaxies in the palm of her hand.
  • The Sentry started out as a Flying Brick with various other ill-defined powers, but it seems the truth is he has control over matter itself. He killed the Molecule Man in about two seconds and can resurrect himself even after being disintegrated on a molecular level. It's said that if he went completely batshit insane, the Scarlet Witch (House of M and Decimation) would be nothing by comparison. Since when controlled by the Void he levelled Asgard in a matter of moments just through his flying brick powers, this is worrying. Death isn't a solution; at one point, he decided to be dead following a spectacular Trauma Conga Line, got forcibly resurrected, and found no-one knew how to kill him again.

    At one point, it was implied that the reason the Sentry has a Multiple-Choice Past is because he's such a powerful reality warper, and has so little conscious control over his powers, that his "true" origin is whatever he thinks it is at the time.
  • The Ultimate Avengers version of Loki. It seems via somehow tapping into the Odinforce, he is able to do things like change Thor into a mortal form, make himself immune against Mjolnir, change the color of the sky, and teleport a host of monsters, among other uses. The trick is, he can't use it too many times at once or much of it without alerting Odin to it.
    • The main universe Loki is strongly hinted to be a reality warper as well, but it's not clear if he is aware that he is. While he is a god, the Asgardians (Odin aside) are not generally shown to be omnipotent, most have very little in the way of powers at all aside from vast strength and longevity. Loki's gives out powers to mortals like candy, he's altered his own past and the pasts of others by basically creating a retcon in the story, and in the process actually created the goddess Hela (Leah) from nothing, and now he has begun warping reality up to and including creating people subconsciously. It has been confirmed by Kieron Gillen that he has been laying the groundwork for Loki to be a powerful reality warper, and in fact that the entire plot of Young Avengers was Loki's subconscious manipulating events. "In short: Loki’s subconsciousness creates a plan to put Loki in a position where he has to confess or lose. This was all Loki’s plan."
    • As of Loki: Agent of Asgard we can take it as given that they're fully aware of the extent of their powers, but also the cost of it. In Layman's Terms: According to this series Loki's powers run on the Theory of Narrative Causality (they literally lie things into existence), so if they doesn't tell a passable story, their subconsciousness or the universe will. As they're currently trying to do a Heel–Face Turn this means that they need to learn self-control because taking the easy route with this Story-Breaker Power is a sure-fire way back to Chronic Villainy.
  • Ultimate X-Men introduced a Sixth Ranger Traitor in the form of Magician, whose reality warping usually manifested in him gaining new powers constantly and giving him anything he wants. His power also worked subconsciously, creating a fantasy to get him onto the X-Men and passively brainwashing everyone around him in into liking him. After a confrontation with the X-Men, he ultimately fakes his death and leaves them, as his power was uncontrollable by nature.
  • The Shaper of Worlds could alter reality on at least a planetary scale, but lacked imagination and so had to use others' dreams as a template. (This was because he was an evolved Cosmic Cube. In fact, his true form resembles a Skrull, because that species most often used the Cube he used to be.) He served as a tutor in reality-shaping for Glorian, a human, and Kubik, also an evolved Cosmic Cube.
  • Anyone who wields the Infinity Gem of Reality has the power to warp reality, though it's not exactly easy.
    • Then Up to Eleven when the Reality Gem is wielded with the other Infinity Gems with something like the Infinity Gauntlet.
    • This includes any alternate universe counterparts, such as the Wishing Cube (made from six planes of forever glass) from the Great Society's Universe.
  • The ring of the superhero Freedom Ring can manipulate reality within a sphere of a radius of 15 feet, due to the ring holding a shard of a Cosmic Cube. This is a rare case of very limited reality warping, as if any creation leaves the sphere, it fades from existence.
  • Absorbing Man once used his power to duplicate the properties of a Cosmic Cube. Stuff got very strange when he started punching stuff, like transforming people's costumes into older versions.
  • The obscure oneshot X-Men character Mister Marvel put an interesting spin on this. He could alter reality, all right... but the changes to the universe he made were perceptible only to him. In effect, he was living in a fantasy world of his own design. To himself (and only himself) he was the world's greatest superhero; the rest of the world saw him as a frail old man. Then House of M happened, and suddenly he was a frail old man for real.
  • Doctor Strange at full power can do astonishing things to the fabric of reality, but for the most part he polices reality warpers rather than acts as one himself.
  • Ms. Marvel dealt with a kid with such powers once in her own series, who was created by an organization of mad scientists who experimented on their own kids in an attempt to recreate the powers of Scarlet Witch because they were impressed with her work creating the House of M.
  • The Galacta: Daughter Of Galactus miniseries suggests that all mutants are actually unconscious reality warpers who alter reality to make mutant powers possible.
  • During the Heroic Age storyline, The Hood had the potential to have incredible reality warping powers after he stole four of the Infinity Gems, including the Yellow Reality Gem, in his plan to murder the Avengers out of revenge. However, as Uatu the Watcher noted, while his ability to use the Gems was impressive, he was still limited because he simply thought about using the Gems to enhance his own power rather than really thinking about what he could do with them; he mostly just engaged his enemies in direct combat and never considered just using them to will them out of existence.
  • Thanos' son Thane can warp reality with his left hand. When he first manifested the power he couldn't control it yet, so he was "only" able to kill everything around him.
  • Kobik, a little girl born from the shards of Cosmic Cubes that somehow fused together. She's a friendly and cheerful child who just wants to play and be friends with everyone. Including the Red Skull since he was the wielder of one of the Cubes that formed her and she has fond memories of the time they remade the world together.
  • Sleepwalker is a mild example compared to the humans mentioned above. His Eye Beams are referred to as his warp beams, warp vision, or (as is standard in more recent comics, warp gaze) and their main effect is Voluntary Shapeshifting on anything Sleepwalker chooses to affect with them. For instance, he can twist streetlamps and mailboxes to restrain criminals, turn a window into a slide to save someone from falling to their death, or box in people who are trying to attack him. Sleepwalker can also use his warp beams to project images or to free people from Demonic Possession. While these abilities are powerful, Sleepwalker can't pull off the various feats human warpers can.
  • Gwenpool has an odd variation in that her power comes from the fact that she knows she's in a comic book and can exploit it to her advantage. It evolves over time from Medium Awareness to this, to the point a future version of herself does it both For the Evulz and to ensure her own existence, causing Civil War III and outing Miles Morales's identity as Spider-Man (which causes the death of his entire family). Gwen vows to never become her which erases her from existence and ends Gwen's comic prematurely.

Other

  • If Manhattan counts, then Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom does too.
  • The title character from Enigma.
  • Sebastian from GloomCookie can do this both wittingly and on accident.
  • The Plutonian from Irredeemable is one of these, though he isn't aware of it.
  • Kid Lobotomy: The title character eventually realizes a large part of the reason for the warped nonsensical aspects of reality around him is himself, and that he's created a number of his associates and friends out of figments of his imagination and guilt including both of his love interests.
  • In all incarnations of the character (comic, movie, cartoon), The Mask has this ability by virtue of effectively being a real-life Tex Avery character.
  • Manservant Neville in the The Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse, the graphic novel conclusion to The Middleman. To the point where defeating him requires an army consisting of every Middleman who has ever lived.
  • Nemesis the Warlock: Warlocks are powerful aliens with sorcerous powers, but Nemesis' young son Thoth can actually warp spacetime itself.
  • Alfie O'Meagan from Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja . Complicated in that he's an unrepentant Psychopathic Manchild.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • In the Robotnik Reigns Supreme arc of Sonic the Comic, Doctor Ivo Robotnik.
    • On the other side of the ocean, Amy Rose is this, but on a supposedly limited scale after having absorbed the Chaos Ring in a desperate attempt to be older and a Freedom Fighter. So far, the most she's seen doing is summoning her Piko Piko Hammer. There's also Knuckles during his "Chaos Knuckles" phase. He even goes so far as to try to alter time to save his people, but that goes as well as you expected.
  • In Über, this is the true power of distortion halos, which can twist matter so precisely that they can kill a man without even breaking his skin. At one point, Katyusha uses hers to instantly process soil into edible paste. Sieglinde uses hers to blow people up, build a bridge, and lighten her hair. Siegmund uses his to melt Hitler's mouth to shut him up and twist a valve in his heart.
  • The Rumor in The Umbrella Academy has the ability to tell lies that come true, which she usually does by saying "I heard a rumor that..." As her power is speech-based, it can be disabled if anything happens to her voice.


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