We live in a time when superhero movies are released more often than romantic comedies. Today, superhero films are now considered the modern day equivalent of the Westerns of the past–there are so many! Like the heroes of Western classics, superheroes of today are loved by audiences because despite their extraordinary fictional abilities, we can connect with them as if we were in their shoes– or they are just pretty damn cool.
From Superman to Thor to even the Silver Surfer, there are so many superheroes whose adventures mirror our own lives. Whether it be Thor’s disposition to see everyone as equal despite his god status or Superman’s devotion to help others due to his powers, even though he really doesn’t need to, these are all lessons from which humanity can learn from. The funny thing is, both Superman and Thor are not even human.
There are so many superheroes who, despite being aliens from other planets, gods from ancient mythology, genetically-created super beings, or robots, are as human as it gets. And we sure love them because of their inhumanity.
Now, without further preamble, here are 15 Superheroes You Didn’t Realize Weren’t Human.
15. Wonder Woman
Despite being a symbol of American patriotism with her star-spangled attire, Wonder Woman is actually a demi-goddess created out of clay and brought to life by the Greek god, Zeus. Created by William Moulton Marston, Diana Prince’s origins takes us to the the land of the Amazons, Themyscira. Here, Hippolyta, her mother, carved Wonder Woman out of clay and with the blessing of Zeus, the figure came to life, donning extraordinary supernatural abilities.
In later retellings of her origins, Wonder Woman was retconned to be an actual daughter of Zeus, making her a god among the likes of Athena, Hermes, Artemis, and Ares. Versions of both origins are explained in the recent Wonder Woman movie.
Wonder Woman represents hope, compassion, love, and morality, serving as the prime pillar that keeps afloat the entire Justice League. Her beautiful humanity even transcended into her cinematic debut, giving the DCEU the hope and light it desperately needed.
14. Adam Warlock
The “perfect” golden man known as Adam Warlock is not really a man– technically. In the comics, Warlock was created by a group of Earth scientists known as the Enclave. After a quick skirmish with Thor, Warlock went into the deep vacuum of space, where he eventually came in contact with the Soul Gem. Soon after discovering the Gem’s power, Warlock faced the enemy known as Magus– who Warlock later discovers to be himself from the future.
Warlock is prominently known in the comics for his adventures with the Guardians of the Galaxy and for his battles against Thanos in various comic book series, like The Infinity Gauntlet comic run.
Warlock will make his MCU debut soon. He was teased in one of the post-credit scenes of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. In the movie, instead of being created by the Enclave, Warlock was created by Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), queen of the galactic “perfect” beings known as the Sovereign.
Like Sentry, Hyperion is also known as the Superman of the Marvel Universe. Like Kal-El, Hyperion’s alien planet was destroyed and he eventually set his course for planet Earth. There’s even a version of his origin where he was sent to Earth as a baby, like Superman. He possesses virtually the same powers as Superman; from superhuman strength to speed, flight, and durability, to x-ray vision, and even heat vision.
Hyperion made an appearance in Disney XD’s Avengers Assemble. Here, Hyperion was shown to have destroyed his planet himself, as he believed his people were nonredeemable of corruption. Wanting to bring a new world order to a new planet filled with corruption, with the help of Doctor Spectrum and the Squadron Supreme, Hyperion established a new totalitarian government on Earth. He was ultimately defeated by the Avengers.
12. Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell)
The original Captain Marvel, Mar-Vell, was a Kree spy who spent several years on Earth and became fond of humanity. Donning the alias of Dr. Walter Lawson, it was during an explosion at a military base that Carol Danvers’s DNA mixed with Lawson’s, granting her superhuman abilities. Mar-Vell has been a member of the Avengers, the Defenders, and has fought alongside Ronan the Accuser to overthrow the Kree’s Super Intelligence.
Perhaps one of Captain Marvel’s most famous stories is The Death of Captain Marvel by Jim Starlin. Here, Mar-Vell discovers the he has cancer, and rather than to fight the disease to prolong his life, he decides to accept death. To honor Mar-Vell, many of Earth’s heroes (including Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four), as well as the Skrulls (who are enemies of Mar-Vell), visit him at his death bed.
The character of Hulkling as the name implies, derives from Hulk. But Hulk is not the father. Hulkling is actually the son of Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell), and in addition to being a Kree, he is also a Skrull!
During Young Avengers issue 10 to 11, it was revealed that the Super-Skrull had kidnapped Captain Marvel and held him prisoner for the Skrull emperor, Dorrek VII. Before Captain Marvel was able to escape, the daughter of Dorrek VII, Princess Anelle, became pregnant with Mar-Vell’s child. Hulkling was then sent to Earth, where he grew up as Theodore “Teddy” Altman, in order to hide his existence from Dorrek VII.
Hulkling’s powers include superhuman strength and shapeshifting, mostly taking the form of a large muscular green-skinned humanoid similar to the Hulk. Hulkling is known in Marvel Comics to be one of the first openly gay characters.
10. The Collector
Taneleer Tivan is most known in Marvel Comics as the famous Collector. Though he looks human, the Collector is in fact part of an ancient race of gods called the Elders of the Universe. His powers range from immortality to telepathy to teleportation.
Tivan took the name of the Collector after growing bored of his immortality; he decided to collect things after his wife ended her own life out of boredom. Eventually, the Collector became obsessed with collecting rare artifacts, hoarding as many valuable objects as possible. Many of the Collector’s collection include actual people. At one point, Thor, Captain America, and even Iron Man were part of Tiven’s collection.
The Collector was portrayed by renowned actor Benicio del Toro in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 and also made an appearance in the post-credit scene of Thor: The Dark World. Del Toro is set to appear again as the Collector in next year’s Avengers: Infinity War. This year in Thor: Ragnarok, the Collector’s brother, Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) will have a prominent role.
9. Peter Quill (Star-Lord)
In just a couple of years the Guardians of the Galaxy have become one of Marvel’s most famous superhero teams. Most of the recognition is due to James Gunn’s onscreen ensemble, and leading that group of a-holes is none other than Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord.
In the comics, Quill is half-human and half-Spartoi, but in the MCU, instead of being half-Spartoi he is half-Celestial. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 we finally learned that Quill’s father was Ego the Living Planet, who was a Celestial god, unlike his comic book counterpart. This granted Quill several cosmic abilities in the movie, like flight and the ability to create anything he desired with just a thought.
We saw this in the movie when Quill transformed himself into Pac-Man. His Celestial powers didn’t last forever, though, and after killing Ego, Quill’s newfound powers went instantly away. The source of his abilities were directly linked to Ego’s essence.
8. Hawkman (Katar Hol)
While there are many iterations of Hawkman, one of the most famous versions is Katar Hol. Born in planet Thanagar, Hol became a police officer after an army of aliens invaded his planet. After successfully driving the aliens out of Thanagar, Hol became one of the planet’s greatest police officers and met his soon-to-be wife, Shayera, a.k.a. Hawkwoman.
Both Hawkman and Hawkwoman were later sent to Earth on a mission to capture a Thanagarian criminal. Upon completion of their duty, the heroes decided to stay on Earth and learn man’s ways of enforcing the law. Eventually, both Hawkman and Hawkgirl became members of the Justice League.
While Hawkman has the physical appearance of a human, his physiology is quite different. Unlike humans, Hawkman possesses enhanced strength, healing abilities, and durability. He can also talk to birds.
Hawkman made his DCEU debut on the CW’s DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, portrayed by Falk Hentschel. (Though that version of Hawkman is not Katar Hol.)
7. The Powerpuff Girls
One of Cartoon Network’s most acclaimed series, The Powerpuff Girls features three girls with incredible superpowers. They can fly, have super speed, superhuman strength, x-ray vision, heat vision, and even invisibility. Most surprising of all, they are not even human. Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup, were created by Professor Utonium with a series of chemicals. After accidentally spilling the substance called “Chemical X” in his mix, instead of creating three normal little girls, he created the all-powerful Powerpuff Girls.
Each Powerpuff Girl is unique in character, despite all having the same powers. Blossom wears pink and red attire, and is characterized by her leadership abilities. Bubbles wears blue attire, and is characterized by her extreme kindness. Buttercup is the most proactive of them all, and normally wears green and black attire.
Both in the comics and the MCU, the android Vision was created by Ultron. In the comics, Ultron created Vision as a means to defeat Ultron’s creator, Dr. Hank Pym, and the Avengers. After the Avengers convinced Vision to betray Ultron, he formally adopted the name of Vision. His synthetic body was revealed to have derived from the original Human Torch, who was an android.
In the MCU, Vision was created by Ultron to use as a vessel for himself, but after the body was sabotaged by the Avengers, Thor awakened the android and with the power of the Mind Stone, Vision was born. Unlike his comic book counterpart, Vision’s body in the MCU is made out of Wakandan vibranium; the same indestructible metal that Captain America’s shield and Black Panther’s claws and suit are made out of.
Arthur Curry is a human/Atlantean hybrid, and the current king of Atlantis. Known for his orange and green costume in the comics, and his ability to talk and influence marine life, Aquaman became a prominent DC superhero upon his inception. His first comic book appearance was in 1941 and ever since, the character has become a major piece in DC Comics along with Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.
Though sometimes underappreciated by the general audience due to his aquatic persona, Aquaman is indeed very powerful. He has superhuman strength and durability, can breath underwater, and as mentioned earlier, can speak to and has telepathic control of marine life.
Aquaman made his DCEU debut in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, portrayed by Games of Thrones star Jason Momoa. Momoa as Aquaman will star in his own film, Aquaman, releasing in 2018 and directed by James Wan (Saw, Furious 7, The Conjuring 2).
He is the star of the Dragon Ball universe and one of the most recognized characters in all of anime and manga. He is Son Goku and he is not human.
Goku’s prominence as a beloved character came about during the Dragon Ball Z anime. Here, an adult Goku from planet Vegeta fights one of the last remaining Saiyans; his own brother, Radditz. Later in the series, the Prince of the Saiyans, Vegeta himself, becomes one of Goku’s first enemies. Eventually, the two form an unbreakable friendship. With the help of Vegeta and his friends, Goku becomes one of the greatest warriors in the universe, defeating deadly opponents like Frieza, Cell, and Majin Buu.
Goku’s power increases through different Super Saiyan transformations. In Dragon Ball Z, the highest Super Saiyan level Goku achieved was Super Saiyan 3, characterized by his long blond hair. Later in the new series, Dragon Ball Super, as well as in the subsequent films, Goku achieved more powerful Super Saiyan transformations, like Super Saiyan Rose.
3. Power Girl
Power Girl is the Earth-Two version of Kara Zor-El, a.k.a. Supergirl. And you guessed it, she is from Krypton. It is sometimes easy to forget that Power Girl is Kryptonian, since she doesn’t utilize the same Kryptonian “S is for hope” costume as Superman and the traditional Supergirl. Instead, Power Girl wears a white suit, most known for its upper torso cutout.
As the Earth-Two version of Supergirl, Power Girl essentially has all of the superpowers of Kara. This includes flight, super strength, x-ray vision, and heat vision, among many other special abilities. During The New 52, Power Girl became the adopted daughter of Superman.
Interestingly, during Crisis on Infinite Earths, Power Girl was retconned to be Atlantean instead of Kryptonian. Eventually, this was later retconned to be untrue in Infinite Crisis.
Currently, there is no live-action version of Power Girl in the DCEU, but with the CW’s Supergirl entering its third season, fans are hoping that Power Girl makes an appearance soon.
Did you know Thor and Loki have a sister? Her name is Angela, and yes, she is indeed Asgardian. Angela has become a popular character in Marvel Comics in recent years, specially after her prominent role in the Original Sin storyline. But before the Odinson brothers discovered they had a sister, Angela was actually part of the Image Comics universe, appearing alongside the anti-hero, Spawn.
Created by writer Neil Gaiman and artist Todd McFarlane, after a legal battle over the character, Gaiman won the rights of Angela and sold the character to Marvel Comics. Like her brothers Thor and Loki, Angela is immortal and possesses superhuman strength and endurance. She is part of the Heven realm, a Norse realm exiled by Odin. Heven is mostly inhabited by warrior women that look like Biblical angels.
1. Sailor Scouts
In Toei Animation’s Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon anime, the main character, Usagi Tsukino a.k.a. Sailor Moon, and her Sailor Scout friends, are not technically human. In fact, all of the Sailor Scouts are other-worldly spirits reincarnated as humans. When Tsukino first meets the mysterious cat, Luna, the cat bestows on her the powers of the Moon Princess, allowing the spirit of Sailor Moon to manifest in Tsukino’s body, and essentially transforming her into Sailor Moon.
Tsukino’s goal after receiving her powers then becomes finding other hosts for the Sailor princesses, which she eventually does, forming the Sailor Soldiers. These include: Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Venus, Sailor Mini Moon, Sailor Pluto, Sailor Neptune, and Sailor Saturn. Together they must fight the forces of evil that wish to destroy the Earth and protect the “Legendary Silver Crystal.”
As Sailor Moon, Tsukino is able to fly and has other superhuman abilities.
Which superhero who’s not fully human did we miss on our list? Let us know in the comments.