What would you do if you were from the future? I mean, what do you think your life would look like? Would it be similar to how it is now, or would it be drastically different? For many comic book characters, this thought is a reality. Comic books have characters from different dimensions, universes, realities, and galaxies. Some, like the ones on this list, even hail from the future. These heroes have the unique advantage of learning from the past triumphs and tragedies of those before them. Some use it for personal gain, while others use it as a warning to those around them.
No matter what they use it for, they all have one thing in common…each calls a time very different from our their home. Who are they, you ask? Good question. Let’s take a look at our list of the 10 best comic book characters that come from the future.
10. Vance Astro
Vance Astrovik grew up so fascinated by space that he couldn’t wait to one day get there. This was so much that when he could change his name, he dropped the “vik” and became Vance Astro. As serving the U.S. Airforce and gaining the rank of Major, Astro volunteered himself for a space mission. To fly, he was placed into suspended animation and launched to the nearest star system, Alpha Centauri. Upon his arrival, he learned that humans had already settled and inhabited the system. Furthermore, his metabolism had been damaged during the travel, meaning he could not remove his spacesuit.
Even though his mission had already been deemed a failure, he investigated the planet and logged all the information he could. Sadly, shortly after his landing, the alien Badoon attacked Centaurian and wiped out all its inhabitants except for Yondu. Around this moment, Astro learned he could release blasts of destructive force. Now aligned with Yondu, the two became members of the original Guardians of the Galaxy. Shortly after the two aligned, other original Guardians of the Galaxy members, Charlie-27 and Martinex, joined the team.
9. Spider-Man 2099
Unlike many other versions of Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2099 didn’t come to be because a radioactive spider bit him. Nope. Spider-Man 2099 came to be after an accident caused half of his DNA to be rewritten with a spider’s genetic code. Once rewritten, he learned that he possessed a superhuman performance level, had talons that folded over and allowed him to crawl walls, he could inject venom into his opponents with a bite from his fangs, healed quicker, could see farther, and, of course, shoot webs from his body.
Spider-Man 2099 was a by-product of the 1990s comic craze. During this time, publishers, writers, and artists scrambled to get as many new characters as possible into their comic books. No matter how he came to be, Spider-Man 2099 has become a fan-favorite and one of the greatest Spider-Man characters. Oh, and as his name implies, he’s one of my comic book characters from the future.
8. Cosmic Boy
The first of two members from the Legion of Superheroes to make this list, Cosmic Boy possesses the power of metal manipulation. This means that he can manipulate metal, fly, create force fields, project concussive blasts, and absorb energy. Cosmic Boy is also considered one of the greatest and most respected leaders in all of DC Comics.
At the young age of 15, Cosmic Boy left his home planet of Braal and made his way to Earth. He did this because he had spent his entire life watching his parents struggle to find work on Braal and didn’t want that life for himself. After arriving on Earth, he, Garth Ranzz, and Irma Ardeen successfully stopped the assassination of the well-known billionaire R.J. Brande.
Impressed by the three, Brande offered them a chance to do something greater. He offered them a chance to become the Legion of Superheroes…and they accepted.
7. Saturn Girl
As one of the founding members of the Legion of Superheroes (a team made up of comic book characters from the future), it’s easy to place Saturn Girl on this list. Saturn Girl comes from a moon of Saturn known as Titan. Like all who come from Titan, Saturn Girl is inherently gifted with telepathy. Unlike all who come from Titan, Saturn Girl is extremely proficient with it.
This means that among the various DC characters that possess telepathy, Saturn Girl is arguably the strongest of them all. In fact, she’s so strong with telepathy that many, myself included, believe that if she fought any of Marvel’s telepaths, she would probably walk away as the victor. Saturn Girl has been in nearly every version of the Legion of Superheroes. If you think about it, this is a testament to how important she is to the team.
6. Hope Summers
Just because Hope Summers is lesser-known than most other comic book characters from the future doesn’t mean that she doesn’t belong here. Hope Summers belongs here because, unlike many other superheroes, Hope isn’t limited to one or two superpowers. In fact, she’s not limited to any number of superpowers. Hope Summers has the power of mimicry. This means that she can copy the mutation and power of any nearby mutant. But that’s not all. After she’s copied the mutation or power, she can use either to its full potential.
Hope Summers is an Omega-Level Mutant. For reference, an Omega-Level Mutant means that she and a few others possess an undefinable power limit. The main drawback of Hope Summers, if I’m to be honest, is that while she can use the powers to their full potential, when she does, she puts all those around her at risk.
Lucas Bishop first appeared inside the pages of Uncanny X-Men #281 back in November of 1991. The powerhouse team of Whilce Portacio and John Byrne created him. Although he appeared in comic books, his time in X-Men The Animated Series solidified his spot as one of the most important X-Men of the 1990s.
Bishop is a mutant and, as a mutant, is gifted with a set of superpowers. His power allows him to both absorb and release most forms of energy. Should he choose to release any of the energy he has absorbed, he can do it in a few different ways. He often chooses to do it in the form of concussive blasts. Bishop also can control the amount of energy that’s released. Doing so will either strengthen or weaken the power of his blasts. Finally, if he chooses to hold onto the energy, he can use it to augment and heighten his own attributes. That is, he can use it to become stronger, quicker, and even invulnerable.
Bishop is highly divisive among fans. While some applaud him for his look, power set, and never-give-up attitude, others criticize him for being a little too over the top…even for a 1990s creation.
Different from most other adversaries Marvel superheroes encounter, Kang has time working in his favor. That is, he has time travel working in his favor. Kang is actually Nathaniel Richards, and Nathaniel Richards hails from the future. As a man from the future, Kang was fascinated with the past. This led him to discover some time-traveling technology. With technology, Richards traveled forward and backward through time. By traveling forward, he discovered highly advanced technology that he could use to defeat his enemies of the past.
Kang is A) one of the most intelligent supervillains alive, B) a superior combatant, and C) one of Earth’s greatest tacticians. He wears a battle suit that grants him increased strength and the ability to project energy, forcefields, and holograms. The suit also allows him to survive for extended periods of time without food or water. In addition to the already mentioned, Kang can control most forms of technology and is resistant to radiation.
3. Reverse Flash
Reverse Flash, more than any other comic book character from the future, is extremely dangerous. Like The Flash, Reverse Flash is a Speedster. As a Speedster, he can run, move, and process information faster than anyone. While this makes learning and robbing banks relatively easy, it’s not the reason he’s so dangerous. Flashpoint is.
It wasn’t until Flashpoint that the world learned how just powerful Reverse Flash is. In Flashpoint, he travels back through time, changes the past, and alters the future. Instead of a semi-peaceful world, the future was suddenly a bleak dystopia where Aquaman and Wonder Woman were sworn enemies, Thomas Wayne was Batman, Barry Allen was powerless, and Martha Wayne was the Joker. I’m saying that because of Reverse-Flash, DC Comics will never and has never been the same.
2. Booster Gold
Booster Gold…the world’s greatest futuristic superhero…with prior knowledge of everything that will happen. Booster Gold…the superhero who stole most of the devices and gadgets that makes him super. And Booster Gold…one of my comic book characters from the future.
Booster Gold is what happens when a down-on-his-luck former college football star takes a job at a museum and learns what it means to do good in the world. With the help of Rip Hunter’s Time Sphere, a Legion Flight Ring, Brainiac 5’s Force Field Belt, and a Power Suit, Booster Gold traveled back to the present day and began thwarting crimes that had already happened. After successfully stopping a few of them, the world took notice and began hailing him as their next savior. Sensing he was destined for more, he embraced his role as a crime fighter, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Cable was created by Rob Liefeld and debuted in New Mutants #87 back in 1990. Most Liefeld characters from the early 1990s were adorned with big guns, big muscles, more pockets and pouches than anyone could ever need, and almost always had a history littered with technology and time travel. Cable perfectly personifies this. Cable is arguably one of the most powerful mutants who hail from the future. Not only is he an incredible telepath, but as a result of his carrying the techno-organic virus (a mutant form of cancer), his full power is never used.
And why? Cable has to use a portion of his power to keep the virus from spreading. This means that Cable is arguably the most powerful mutant in existence. This also means that Cable is arguably the most powerful of all the comic book characters from the future.