There are stories of gods who fly high above the clouds on feathered wings. These stories have captured our imaginations for centuries. Wings are majestic, beautiful, and awe-inspiring. Although human bodies aren’t made to have wings (our bone density among other things makes us too heavy), we have done everything we can to have them. Airplanes, helicopters, and hot air balloons exist so that we can get a small taste of what it feels like to have wings. Even Red Bull uses our fascination to market their product. Remember, “Red Bull gives you wings.”
We’ve dreamed of being able to fly for as long as humans have existed. So, when comic books began creating winged superheroes, it wasn’t really a surprise. After all, comic book superheroes are often modeled to do that which we can’t. Believe it or not, although many superheroes can fly, not nearly as many have wings. Creating a list of superheroes who have wings, while not impossible, wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. Alas, I did it anyway. Let’s take a look at our list of the 10 best superheroes with wings in both Marvel and DC universes.
Bumblebee came to be in a non-traditional manner. Bumblebee (Karen Beecher) is the girlfriend of Teen Titans member Herald (Mal Duncan). Wanting to help her boyfriend impress his teammates, Karen created a bumblebee costume and attacked the Titans. Although she took a couple of bumps, her mission was a success, and Herald was seen as a hero. After explaining to Herald and the Teen Titans what she had done, both were so impressed that she was offered a spot on the team.
Most of Bumblebee’s powers are derived from her suit. The suit grants her increased speed, strength, stamina, agility, and reflexes. It also grants her flight, and protection from harm, and emits a honey-like goop that caused her opponents to stick to whatever surfaces it adheres to.
A product of the 1990s, Darkhawk was created by Tom DeFalco and Mike Manley. In addition to being one of my superheroes who have wings, Darkhawk possesses a multitude of other powers teleportation, mysticism, night vision, energy shields, and blasts, accelerated healing, superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes, and agility and many more!
Darkhawk came to be after a young Christopher Powell watched his police officer father take a bribe from a crime boss. Enraged, he wanted to fix what was wrong in the world. The problem was that he didn’t have the means to do so. That changed one day after finding a mysterious amulet.
The amulet allowed him to switch places with an extremely powerful android. The android, however, was unable to operate on its own. Thankfully, in addition to switching places with the android, the amulet also allowed him to control it with his mind.
8. Tempest – Angel Salvadore
Sadly, Angel Salvadore didn’t grow up in the perfect family environment. Far from it, actually. As a teenager, Angel was subjected to abuse at the hands of her father. One night in the woods after running away from home, Angel awoke inside a protective cocoon. After emerging from the cocoon, she learned that throughout the night she had grown fly-type wings. However, before she could come to terms with her mutation, she was attacked by the U-Men.
For reference, the U-Men are a group of humans who hunt and harvest mutant body parts. Once harvested, the U-Men graft the parts into their own bodies. Luckily, before they could attack the young mutant, Wolverine showed up and rescued her. He offered her a place at the Xavier Institute, which she reluctantly took.
As one of the newer superheroes who have wings, Pixie doesn’t have a history as rich as the others on this list. This, however, doesn’t mean that she’s not worth talking about. Pixie was created by Nunzio DeFilipis, Christina Weir, and Michael Ryan. She first appeared back in 2004 in the Marvel title New X-Men: Academy X.
Pixie is a mutant. Like other mutants, she was born without any sort of power. Her powers came to the surface during her teenage years. Once they showed themselves, she learned that A) she had green wings and B) that she could throw “pixie dust” at her enemies. The dust, if it makes contact with her enemies, causes them to hallucinate. After an encounter with Magik, she also became attached to the Limbo Dimension. Through the attachment, she learned to teleport long distances and could draw out her version of the Soulsword, the Soul Dagger.
Zauriel is the creation of comic book legends Grant Morrison and Mark Millar. He was created by the duo after Morrison asked DC for a replacement for Hawkman in the Justice League of America book. However, because Hawkman had been written and rewritten multiple times throughout history, the uppers at DC told Morrison that he couldn’t use him. Even though Morrison explained that Zauriel had no ties to any previous versions of the character, his pleas went on deaf ears.
Rather than having any connection to Hawkman, Zauriel is a servant of the Presence (DC’s God). His purpose was to protect the souls of women all over the world. This would’ve worked for him had he not met Shannon Coyne and inadvertently fallen in love with her. Wanting to stay on Earth with her, he pleaded his case before the other Gods. Although they warn him that nothing good would come from falling in love with a mortal, he did not relent. As a consequence, the other Gods granted him mortality. As a former God, Zauriel is capable of doing just about anything you can think of…flight included.
Hawkgirl first appeared inside the pages of Flash Comics #1 back in January of 1940. She was created by the now-iconic duo of Gardner Fox and Dennis Neville.
In her original origin story, Hawkgirl is actually Shiera Sanders Hall who is actually the reincarnated version of the Egyptian Princess Chay-Ara. Chay-Ara and her husband, Khufu, were given powers after stumbling upon a crashed ship. The powers, however, came at a cost. In addition to the powers, their sworn enemy, Hath-Set cursed them. His curse made it so that they would die and be reborn over and over again at the peak of their love for one another.
A couple of centuries later, Chay-Ara was reborn as Shiera Sanders. Because the two (Chay-Ara and Khufu (Hawkman)) still shared a bond, they quickly found one another and resumed their relationship. During this time, Shiera was kidnapped by Dr. Anton Haster (the reincarnated form of Hath-Set). Khufu, now Carter Hall, set out to and successfully rescued his love. Now together again, Shiera was given a costume, a belt made from the gravity-defying Nth Metal, took the name Hawkgirl, and began fighting crime with and without her lover.
If you’ve watched any of the Marvel movies over the last 13 years, you know that Falcon (Sam Wilson) flies. Heck, even his name implies it. As such, he’s an easy choice for this list of superheroes who have wings.
Falcon is one-third of a trio of best friends. He, along with Bucky Barnes and Captain America form one of the greatest friendships in all comics. It’s so strong that each time Steve Rogers was unable to carry the shield as Captain America, either Sam Wilson or Bucky Barnes did.
Falcon is different from the other two in the sense that his battles aren’t only won on the ground. Because he can fly, his battles have the opportunity to, and are usually won from the air. Falcon is one of the most important superheroes ever created. This isn’t only because he can fly, however. It’s also because he was one of the first mainstream black superheroes ever created. As such, his mark on the history of comic books is immeasurable.
The world was introduced to Janet Van Dyne as she accompanied her renowned scientist father on a trip to visit Dr. Henry Pym. What she didn’t realize at the time was that Henry Pym was actually Ant-Man.
From the moment the two met, an immediate attraction was felt. While she was awestruck by his good looks, he couldn’t help but notice that she looked much like his deceased wife, Maria. Janet’s father explained to Hank that they had come for help in putting together a Gamma Ray Beam so they could detect signals from other planets.
Hank explained that his specialty was not associated with Gamma rays and as such, didn’t see how he could help. Despite this, Janet’s father continued his work. His work accidentally led to a portal to another world being opened. Through it, he discovered a planet called Kosmos and inadvertently teleported the most dangerous criminal on the planet into his lab.
Janet returned to the lab to find her now-dead father on the floor and the machine smashed to pieces. In a panic, she called Hank Pym. He immediately shrunk down and appeared at the scene of the crime. He quickly deduced that the crime was, in fact, the work of an alien.
Back at his lab, he called upon Janet and asked her to become his sidekick. He shared that he was Ant-Man. Janet was given the ability to shrink and grow. Above that, she was genetically modified to grow wings and antennae whenever she had shrunk down. She was also given a costume and a weapon that fired blasts called Stings. From this point forward, she was called Wasp.
In his original origin story, Hawkman is actually Carter Hall who is actually the reincarnated version of the Egyptian Prince Khufu. Khufu’s life was cut short after he and his partner (Chay-Ara) were killed by the Egyptian Priest Hath-Set. Over 1,000 years later, Khufu is reincarnated as an American Archaeologist. During a dig, the archeologist, Carter Hall, inadvertently stumbled across the knife used to kill Khufu. Once he touched it, the memories of Khufu filled his mind and Hall merged with Khufu.
The merger triggered Hall to realize that the scientist, Anton Hastor was the reincarnated version of his enemy Hath-Set. Even worse was that Hath-Set had taken his wife Chay-Ara (now reincarnated as Shiera Saunders), captive. Hall immediately set out to rescue his wife and defeat his foe. To do this he used the Nth Metal to craft a gravity-defying belt. He also created a set of wings and a costume. With all three, he set out to find Hard-Set. Shortly after finding him, Hawkman used his new powers and abilities and easily subdued his enemy.
Warren Worthington III was born into a very wealthy family. Even though he grew up with everything that he could possibly want, Warren continuously worried his parents with his adventurous demeanor and risk-seeking attitude. As a way to teach their son discipline, his parents sent him to a boarding school. While there, the young Warren exceeded any and all expectations placed in front of him. He also began noticing that his body was mutating. Much to his initial horror, his mutation came in the form of wings from his shoulders.
One night at school, a fire broke out trapping Warren and some classmates inside the building. Because he had wings, he was easily able to escape. After escaping, he realized that he should help others do the same. Fearful of being outed as a mutant, he pieced together a costume and flew back inside.
Professor Xavier heard of his story and sent Cyclops and Iceman to recruit him to the X-Men. Initially, he resisted the two, even so far as to fight with both. Eventually, Professor X was able to convince him to join his team and Angel became one of the original members.