Superheroes Who Are Literally Gods


Kristian Wilson Colyard grew up weird in a one-caution-light town in the Appalachian foothills. She now lives in an old textile city with her husband and their clowder of cats. She’s on Twitter @kristianwriting, and you can find more of her work online at kristianwriting.com.

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Although your favorite superhero may not be the most powerful person on the planet, many in the superhuman set possess godlike abilities. But where does the line between superhero and deity actually lie? I’ve picked out eight supes who blur that line — superheroes who are literally gods — for you here.

What makes a god a god? That’s… difficult to say. Throughout history, various cultures have had some pretty unique criteria to distinguish between god and man. Even immortality, which we might think of as the bog standard deity power, isn’t a universal constant among the gods.

Because of this, when choosing the superheroes for my list below, I’ve opted for a split set of criteria. In one corner are the gods and demigods who are referred to as such in the comics. In the other, superheroes with godlike abilities, such as functional immortality and the power to travel between dimensions.

So let’s dive into the wonderful, and occasionally wacky, world of superheroes, for better or worse. I know this list won’t satisfy every nerd out there, but I hope you’ll find some opportunities to laugh and learn along the way. Presented for your reading pleasure below: eight superheroes who are literally gods.

Superheroes Who Are Literally Gods

SWAMP THING OMNIBUS BY NANCY A. COLLINS, SCOT EATON, AND KIM DEMULDER book coverSWAMP THING OMNIBUS BY NANCY A. COLLINS, SCOT EATON, AND KIM DEMULDER book cover

Swamp Thing from Swamp Thing Omnibus by Nancy A. Collins, Scot Eaton, and Kim DeMulder

He’s the master of all the elements, able to create new bodies to possess at will, thousands of miles away from his current location. Swamp Thing often gets overlooked in favor of DC Comics’ better-known supes, but he’s more than earned his place in the superhero pantheon.

Thor by Kieron Gillen, Billy Tan, Richard Elson, and Doug Braithwaite book coverThor by Kieron Gillen, Billy Tan, Richard Elson, and Doug Braithwaite book cover

Thor from Thor by Kieron Gillen, Billy Tan, Richard Elson, and Doug Braithwaite

One of the most fun things about Marvel’s Thor is that he’s canonically the actual Thor — the guy the Vikings worshiped centuries ago. We could talk about his strength and speed, his healing factor, or even his ultra-slow aging rate, but that’s really unnecessary. He’s ABD: already been deified.

Nubia: Real One by L.L. McKinney and Robyn Smith book coverNubia: Real One by L.L. McKinney and Robyn Smith book cover

Nubia from Nubia: Real One by L.L. McKinney and Robyn Smith

The Amazons of Themyscira are technically demigods, but that distinction is pretty meaningless when compared to mere mortals like us. Their superhuman abilities and functional immortality are enough to land them on this list. Queen Nubia, Hippolyta’s daughter and heir, doesn’t get nearly enough recognition, so she’s carrying the Amazonian torch here.

Watchmen by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and John Higgins book coverWatchmen by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and John Higgins book cover

Doctor Manhattan from Watchmen by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and John Higgins

Any discussion of superheroes who are literally gods would be incomplete without Doctor Manhattan. Although he began as a scientist working on the Manhattan Project, a lab accident turned him into the immortal, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent superhero we know today. He’s the complete package, folks.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson book coverThe Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson book cover

Squirrel Girl from The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson

Yes, this is me having a little bit of fun with this project. No, that doesn’t make Squirrel Girl any less deserving of a spot on this list. She’s tenacious enough to hang onto her spot for dear life, and by god — ha — I’m going to give it to her.

That tenacity is what makes Squirrel Girl, well, Squirrel Girl. She refuses to be beaten, so unless someone is willing and able to kill her, they’re going to have a bad time. Her sheer stubbornness seems pretty godlike to me, all things considered.

One-Punch Man by One book coverOne-Punch Man by One book cover

Saitama from One-Punch Man by One

He kills things in one punch. That’s it. That’s the gimmick.

Oh, and he fights God.

You do the math.

America by Gabby Rivera book coverAmerica by Gabby Rivera book cover

Ms. America from America by Gabby Rivera

Nigh-indestructible, gifted with superhuman strength and speed, and capable of punching holes through the Multiverse, Ms. America is one of Marvel Comics’ most godlike superheroes and also one of its most undersung.

Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi book coverSailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi book cover

Sailor Moon from Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi

Between her godlike regeneration, the power to control time and space, and her ability to fight for a millennium without ceasing, Sailor Moon is the godliest of godly superheroes, period.

If no one’s worshiping her already, they should be. End of story.


Want more great superhero content? Check out these novels starring comic book characters and this list of the most influential superhero comics of all time.




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