Magical powers in the comics are nothing new – one of the most popular superheroes of the Golden Age era of comic books were sorcerers or magicians. DC and Marvel Universe made sure to cover all different types of superheroes and we got to say, there are plenty of them. Some superheroes look the type and for some, you would never guess they are experts in magic and sorcery. In this article, we will cover the top 15 superheroes that use magical superpowers from DC and Marvel Universe.
When we looked through superheroes that use magical superpowers, we did not expect there would be that many of them. To be fair, there are not that many superheroes out there. Why? Well, magical superheroes, like the ones you will see on this list, were a bit on the nose. Creators decided to move away from them and go for more realistic powered superheroes with whom the fans would relate. However, as we saw in both DC Extended Universe and Marvel Cinematic Universe, there has been a massive spike in the popularity of those superheroes, and that motivated us to make this list. So, without further ado, let’s start!
Zatanna Zatara or just Zatanna is a superhero that mostly resided in Hawkman and Hawkgirl comics. She first appeared exactly in the Hawkman comic in 1964, with the quest of finding her father Zatara, who has been with close ties with Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha, and fellow Homo magi. Like her father, Zatanna has been in close ties with the likes of the Justice League, and other teams like Justice League Dark, Sentinels of Magic, Young Justice, and more.
She is a really talented magician – her abilities include telepathy, teleportation, telekinesis, chronokinesis, elemental control, and dimensional travel, she is a master stage magician and escape artist and many more, with advanced hand-to-hand skills. Her father was thought of being an incredible magician but Zatanna is on an all different level. She appeared in the live-action TV show Smallville, portrayed by Serinda Swan.
Iliyana Nikolaievna Rasputina aka Magik is a magical superhero coming from Marvel comics. She is a younger sister of Colossus and part of the X-Men team like her brother. Besides X-Men, she is affiliated with New Mutants, Hellions, Phoenix Five, and more. Magik first appeared in the comics in 1975, and in the first several years she was only the background character, until 1983 when she was included in more important stories. Her powers a really impressive – she can teleport between dimensions, which ties to teleportation, she is a very capable magical user, wears mystic armor, and uses a powerful sword called Soulsword.
She appeared in live-action in Disney’s movie called The New Mutants, where she was portrayed by a talented actress Anya Taylor-Joy. Unfortunately, the movie “bombed” at the box office and received mixed to negative reviews, however, there are always comics, and those are pretty great.
One of the oldest superheroes in the DC Universe and the original member of the Justice Society of America, Spectre is a great user of magical powers. There have been five known versions of Spectre and all of them a quite known to fans. Jim Corrigan was the original one and probably the most known Spectre character in the DC Comics. Crispus Allen was also a notable Spectre but the most recent one. Hal Jordan, usually a Green Lantern, had a stint as Spectre because he wanted to make amends for everything he had done as the villainous Parallax, with whom he destroyed almost the whole universe.
In the Arrowverse, Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow had a stint as the Spectre as well, during the Crisis on Infinite Earths event.
4. Doctor Fate
Doctor Fate also had various different versions of the character. Nabu was the original Doctor Fate who dedicated his life to fighting his biggest enemy – Lord of Chaos. Nabu’s name was inspired by the Mesopotamian god of the same name, and he later served as a mentor to several other Doctor Fate who took over the mantle. The first mortal to bear the mantle of Doctor Fate is Kent Nelson, who with his father, discovered the sealed tomb of Nabu and his Doctor Fate equipment.
After his death, Erik Strauss and his stepmother Linda Strauss were chosen as the new Doctor Fate, but could only become one if they became “one”. After Erik was killed, Linda followed shortly, the new Doctor Fate became Inza Cramer Nelson, the canonical wife of other Doctor Fate Kent Nelson. Demon hunter Jared Stevens was quite different from the rest and his superhero name suggested it as well – he went by the name Fate.
Hector Hall, the son of Hawkman and Hawkgirl, after he was resurrected, became Doctor Fate. Kent V. Nelson, grand-nephew of Kent Nelson, was the next one in the queue, and his struggles with magic and spells were portrayed pretty deeply during his comic book run. Last but not least, a current Doctor Fate in the comics, Khalid Nassour, became the first Muslim character to headline a solo series. He is also a grandnephew of Kent Nelson, who was his mentor. Magical powers and ancient artifacts make Doctor Fate one of the most powerful superheroes in DC Comics.
Stepbrother of Thor and an adopted son of Odin, Loki, has been in different roles in the Marvel Comics. He was originally a supervillain to Asgardian heroes like Thor, Odin, Lady Sif, and Valkyrie – Avengers and other big superhero teams as well. However, his evasive nature made him help the superheroes a few times – namely Thor when fighting evil cosmic forces and more. His powers are not underestimated – he is a master of manipulation and deceit, has superhuman abilities, and Asgardian powers that include astral projection, energy blasts, flight, illusion casting, inter-dimensional teleportation, shapeshifting and more. In the comics, he is a lot more ruthless than in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Portrayed by Tom Hiddleston, Loki showed his evil intention but showed his good side, especially during the Thanos arc and the recent Loki series, where he showed viewers more than before. One of the most powerful magicians in the Marvel Universe.
In the comics, Doctor Clea Strange is a sorceress, and the disciple, lover, and an eventual wife of, you guessed it, Stephen Strange aka Doctor Strange. She is also Strange’s successor as Sorcerer Supreme. She is a niece to the demonic tyrant and biggest Doctor Strange villain, Dormammu, and a ruler of the Darm Dimension. Of course, having all of the mentioned titles, Clea is a powerful user of magic and her powers include superhuman strength, mastery of magic, energy bolts, teleportation, telekinesis, mind control, illusion generation, and many more.
She appeared in the live-action movie Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, portrayed by Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron. Her cameo makes us really excited for her character in future MCU projects.
One of the first magical superheroes created by Fawcett Comics and later DC Comics, Shazam is truly an iconic and unique character. His suit alone brings attention to him in the instant, but his powers are what makes him truly great. His name, Shazam, is actually an acronym for his powers:
- S (Wisdom of Solomon) – vast knowledge, eidetic memory, clairvoyance
- H (Strength of Hercules) – infinite strength
- A (Stamina of Atlas) – infinite stamina, infinite endurance
- Z (Power of Zeus) – electricity generation, regenerative healing, magic
- A (Courage of Achilles) – infinite courage, mental resilience
- M (Speed of Mercury) – infinite speed, superhuman reflexes, flight
Basically, he is untouchable. He is one of the most powerful superheroes in the DC universe. With power comes powerful enemies – Black Adam, Blaze and Satanus, Doctor Sivana, and many more, who are one of the most powerful supervillains in the DC universe. Shazam is affiliated with the Justice League, Justice Society of America, and Squadron of Justice, and will see him in his second live-action movie from DCEU, Shazam! Fury of the Gods.
8. Doctor Druid
Another doctor on this list, Doctor Druid is a mystic, supernatural monster-hunter who appeared in the Marvel Comics in 1961 and stayed a relevant part of the comics even today. He has been affiliated with teams like Monster Hunters, Legion of the Unliving, and Avengers. He is a Druid, which means he can produce magic if our WoW references have anything to go by.
His powers include limited telepathy, telekinesis, hypnosis, magic detection, and mystic manipulation and he is a scholar of magic. His backstory is tightly connected to Doctor Strange because he was actually an inspiration for Strange’s character creation back in the 1960s. Because of that, Dr. Anthony Droom was put aside for a decade or so and finally came back full-time as Doctor Druid in 1976.
9. Scarlet Witch
Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch is a human mutate from Marvel Comics and at this moment one of the most popular superheroes in the Marvel Universe. Or supervillain. We never know. Her character is absolutely amazing – the depth and struggles of being the most powerful sorceress in the world. Her backstory was changed quite a few times in recent history – Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were not mutants anymore but human mutates, on whom an organization experimented on them. Their initial father, Magneto, 2015, is not their father anymore.
Wanda is considered the most powerful sorceress in the universe because of abilities like access to chaos magic, reality and time manipulation, spell casting, teleportation, reality-warping, and many more. We recently saw her in the Doctor Strange movie as an unhinged villain, we can’t wait for her future appearances.
10. Doctor Voodoo
We mentioned Jericho Drumm in our previous list, and his magical prowess needs to be mentioned in this list as well. He is closely connected to Doctor Strange lore, and Voodoo’s backstory is really interesting. He also helped other notable Marvel superheroes, Moon Knight and Spider-Man. He has extensive mystical knowledge, with other powers including superhuman strength, spirit possession, fire manipulation, generating mystical powers, summoning powers, and bears the title of Sorcerer Supreme, which grants him access to ancient magical artifacts.
He is truly a powerful magician, and hopefully, we see him in the MCU soon.
11. Ghost Rider
Ghost Rider like Doctor Fate has various characters acting under its mantle. Johnny Blaze is the most notable one out of the bunch. Ghost rider is iconic by his look itself – his skull head in flames, leather jacket, chains, and motorcycle make him one of the most iconic superheroes in the Marvel Comics. He is really powerful and it is not surprising since he fights with literal demons in hell. His powers include immense super strength, use of enhanced hellfire and weaponry, invulnerability to fire, resurrection, inter-dimensional travel, immortality, pyrokinesis, and many more.
He is affiliated with all big Marvel superhero groups, most notably Avengers, Defenders, and others, and his Demon Magic Manipulation grants him the place on this list.
12. John Constatine
DC’s Hellblazer, John Constantine, has some similarities to our previous entry Ghost Rider – he keeps demonic beings at bay and prevents them from entering reality. Constantine is also an expert in the occult, the user of magic like necromancy, illusion projection, pyrokinesis, teleportation, and more. His comics are one of the best DC Comics released in the last decades and his character is one of the most interesting superheroes ever. Magician in the tan trench coat and overall grungy look? Who would have thought?
13. Adam Warlock
Adam Warlock first appeared in the Marvel Comics in 1967, and since then, has been a consistent member of big arcs and storylines. He is an artificially created human, a cosmic being that was created by the organization Enclave. They wanted to make a perfect human but after some time became sentient, and left the Earth altogether. He actually saved the Earth from Thanos in comics by turning him to stone.
Adam Warlock is affiliated with Guardians of the Galaxy and Infinity watch. He is an expert magic-user, and other abilities like superhuman ability, flight, energy manipulation and absorption, and matter manipulation. He will be portrayed in the Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 movie in 2023 and portrayed by Will Poulter.
Daughter of the Demon and a human woman, Raven is a superhero from DC comics. She first appeared in 1980, and since then, is a consistent part of the comics continuity. She is affiliated with Justice League, Teen Titans, Titans, Sentinels of Magic, and more, and is truly a powerful sorceress. Her powers include flight, teleportation, empathy and psionic powers, mastery of magic dark force manipulation, molecular manipulation, and many more.
She is truly powerful and often a member of superhero groups that protect the Earth. She’s been appearing in DC’s Animated Universe, in the popular TV show Teen Titans, and live-action show Titans.
15. Doctor Strange
Last but not least, it is another doctor, Doctor Strange. Dr. Stephen Strange, with Scarlet Witch, is probably the most popular superhero at this moment – he has appeared in a lot of Marvel projects, and we do not think only about MCU. Animated series, video games, and Doctor Strange have been anywhere. Sorcerer Supreme and a Multiverse connoisseur, Doctor Strange deserves of being on this list. We can’t wait to see Benedict Cumberbatch in action again.
This is it for this article. Some superheroes got more space in analysis some less because they are pretty well known right now. Hopefully, you liked our list. Thank you for reading, and until next time!