Going Up: Five Heroes Who Went God-Status
Justice League #42 gave readers their first taste of Batgod, a Batman transformed into a New God by the power of Metron's Mobius Chair. The Batgod has the universe's knowledge at his fingertips, giving the Justice League a unique edge over Darkseid War and the Ant-Moniter's destruction. Batman joins a long line of superheroes and supervillains who have (temporarily) gained godlike powers during their adventures. Each hero has handled their near omnipotence differently, with some using their powers to save, and others to destroy. Here's a look at five of our favorite heroes who got godly during their careers:
Wonder Woman: Goddess of War
Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang's Wonder Woman run brought several changes to DC's most iconic superheroine. Not only did they alter Wonder Woman's origin story by making her the demigod daughter of Zeus, they also altered her status quo in dramatic fashion. After Wonder Woman's half-brother, the First Born, defeats Ares, the Olympian god of war, in battle and prepares to kill him, Wonder Woman runs a spear through both the old god and her brother. Wonder Woman's slaying of Ares makes her the new god of War by succession, earning her a spot on the Greek pantheon. Wonder Woman hasn't really tested her powers yet, although she can now telepathically communicate with soldiers and raise their spirits from the dead to fight for her. With Wonder Woman set to play a major role in the Darkseid War, it looks like she may unleash her full godliness on the battlefield soon.prevnext
Doom: God of Battleworld
This summer's ongoing Secret Wars sees the Marvel Universe's last survivors exploring a strange realm called Battleworld ruled by the God-Emperor Doom. As revealed in Secret Wars #4, Doom gained his omnipotence after attacking the Beyonders and stealing their powers for himself. Although he was too late to save the universe from total destruction, he managed to cobble its remnants together and fashion himself as its ruler. How powerful is the God Doom? Powerful enough to snap a Phoenix powered Cyclops' neck with hardly a second glance. With several of "our" Marvel heroes now loose in Battleworld, we'll see if the God Doom can maintain order as Secret Wars rumbles to its conclusion this fall.
But this isn't the first time Doom has stolen a Beyonder's powers. He first managed the feat in the original Secret Wars miniseries, using his powers to heal his scarred face and kill (but later resurrect) multiple heroes with a single glance.prevnext
The Golden God Superman
Grant Morrison and Val Semeiks' DC One Million showed a fantastical future DC Universe protected by heroes inspired by the Justice League and Legion of Superheroes of old. One of the few remnants of the past was "Superman Prime", the first and original Superman, resting in a self-imposed exile at the center of Earth's sun. Although the immortal Vandal Savage and Solaris, a sentient star computer, plotted to kill Earth's mightiest hero, Superman emerged from the sun at the end of miniseries as a golden god, his body transformed from millennia of concentrated exposure to yellow sun radiation. In addition to supercharging his other powers, Superman's godlike abilities could alter reality itself, resurrecting Lois Lane in a silver body and recreating Krypton after finishing off Solaris once and for all.prevnext
Spider-Man as Captain Universe
Not even a Wall-Crawler from Queens is immune to omnipotent superpowers every once in a while. Spider-Man briefly controlled the Uni-Power, an extradimensional force that could temporarily transform hosts into Captain Universe, a superhero with a variety of amazing abilities. The Uni-Power chose its hosts to stop specific devastating events and made Spider-Man into Captain Universe to fight the Tri-Sentinel, a monstrous robot created by Loki to destroy New York City. After stopping the Tri-Sentinel with his new abilities, the Uni-Power moved on to a different host, returning Spider-Man to his typical power levels. (Which really, still isn't a bad down-grade).prevnext
Jean Grey as the Phoenix
Like most X-Men stories, Jean Grey's history with the Phoenix Force is complicated. Originally, the Phoenix Force discovered and possessed Jean Grey to save the mutant from death by radiation poisoning. As the Phoenix, Jean Grey's powers increased a thousand fold, turning her into a cosmic -level being. But after Mastermind kidnapped and brainwashed Jean, she then transformed into Dark Phoenix and killed billions of beings by devouring the sun of an alien planet. Although Jean eventually regained control, the Shi'ar Empire arrested Jean and the rest of the X-Men and put them in a trial by combat. After transforming into Dark Phoenix once again, Jean chose to kill herself rather than unleash her powers on the rest of the universe.
A few years later, Marvel retconned Jean's death by revealing that the Phoenix Force was a separate entity from Jean and that the real Jean was actually recovering from her radiation poisoning at the bottom of the ocean. (Comics, everyone!) Since then, Marvel has periodically used the Phoenix Force to imbue other heroes (usually mutants) with godly powers. The most most host was Cyclops, who took control of the cosmic entity for a second time in Secret Wars.prev