Top 10 Superheroes with Energy Based Powers (Marvel & DC)

Top 10 Superheroes With Energy Based Powers

My two boys have a lot of energy. I mean, they run, wrestle, jump, and play on a level that I just can’t keep up to. Sometimes I actually believe that they have an infinite amount of energy. Then, when they go to bed and are peacefully sleeping the night away, I’m reminded that they don’t. 

Some superheroes have energy too. Different from my boys, the energy that they have is often released in destructive and world-saving ways. These superheroes use their energy to fend off evil all the while protecting those closest to them. Some of these battles take place in space, some on Earth, and some take place in otherworldly dimensions. No matter where the battles take place, each can be counted on to use their energy for the betterment of humankind. Having said that, let’s take a look at our top pick of superheroes with energy-based powers!

10. Dr. Strange

Doctor Strange Comics

Dr. Stephen Strange was a surgeon who thought himself to be the best at what he did. He worked on only the most high-profile of surgeries and amassed the wealth that most dream of. With his work, however, came selfishness and egotism. 

While driving his car, Stephen Strange was involved in a car accident. Although his life was saved, the car accident cost Strange the use of his hands. Now a surgeon without the use of his hands, he sought out the help of the Ancient One. Sensing his arrogance, the Ancient One told him that there’s more to life than money, luxury, and fame. 

Eventually, the Ancient One did take on Strange as a student. Under his guidance, Strange became a Master of the Mystic Arts and one of the most powerful characters ever created. As a Master of the Mystic Arts, Dr. Strange is gifted in telepathy, and invisibility and can reach the Astral Plane. Of course, he is one of the many superheroes with energy-based powers.

9. Captain Atom

Origin of Captain Atom

Captain Atom was originally created by Joe Gill and Steve Ditko for the Charleton Comics imprint of comics. After 89 issues of the book, it was canceled. The character was relaunched in 1987 by Cary Bates and Pat Broderick. This version was not the same as the previous version. Instead, this was US Air Force officer Nathaniel Adam.

Adam became Captain Atom after being framed for a military crime that he didn’t commit. He was sentenced to death but was offered the opportunity to participate in an experimental program that had little chance of survival. The program, “Project: Captain Atom” saw Adam placed inside the hull of an alien spacecraft. Once inside, an atomic weapon was to be exploded underneath it. The idea behind this was to test the durability of the craft. Adam got inside and the bomb was set. The resulting explosion appeared to have disintegrated Adam.


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Eighteen years later, he reappeared encased in the metal of the ship. The metal gave him incredible abilities. Of them all, the most impressive was he was now able to tap into the “Quantum Field” as well as absorb and utilize energy. Naturally, this makes him one of my superheroes with energy-based powers.

8. Bishop

Origin of Bishop

Lucas Bishop first appeared inside the pages of Uncanny X-Men #281 back in November of 1991. He was created by the powerhouse team of Whilce Portacio and John Byrne. Although he appeared in comic books, it was his time in X-Men The Animated Series that 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. Most often, he chooses to do it in the form of concussive blasts. Bishop also has the ability to 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.

7. Gambit

Gambit Remy Lebeau

Gambit has been a fan favorite since the day he arrived on the pages of Uncanny X-Men #266. Sorry. I’m wrong about that. Even though Uncanny X-Men #266 introduced the character, it was his time on X-Men The Animated Series that elevated him to fan-favorite status.

Gambit has the power to charge up objects thereby turning them into an explosive. He’s also a master thief, a charmer with women, one of the best fighters on the X-Men, and a role model for many of the new students at the Xavier School for the Gifted. Although you may not agree with me, Gambit is one of the coolest characters to come from a time period known mostly for terrible characters.

Let me explain. Gambit was the by-product of creating as many new characters as possible in as little time as possible…or as comic fans know it, the 1990s. The 90s were littered with bad ideas and even worse characters. 

6. Superman


Is there anything that I could tell you about Superman that you probably don’t already know? I’d be willing to bet that there isn’t but I’ll try anyway. Superman is one of the most instantly recognizable superheroes in the world. His name has inspired adults to do better, children to want more, and everyone in between to treat those around them as they’d want to be treated. 

Superman is one of the original Justice League members and almost single handily laid the foundation of what it meant to be one for future members. He is the light in the dark, the hope when there is none, and the reason that superhero comics survived when nobody was interested in them. The team was built around him and will always be built around him because, well, he epitomizes what it stands for.

Superman has become such an important figure in history that his motto was recently changed. Instead of “Truth, Justice and the American Way”, it now reads “Truth, Justice and a Better Tomorrow.”

5. Nova

Origin of Nova Richard Rider

Richard Rider first appeared in The Man Called Nova # 1 back in September 1976. He was created by Marc Wolfman and John Romita Sr.

After the dying Xandarian Rhomann Dey was struck down in battle, he randomly chose Richard Rider as his heir to the Nova Corps. Now a member of the Nova Corps, Rider was suddenly pushed into a life he wasn’t prepared for. As a superhero, Rider was forced to come to blows with the likes of Condor, Photon, Sphinx, and Powerhouse

Eventually, Nova learned that Xandar had been threatened by the Skrull Empire. He and a few others joined forces and pledged to help the planet. Together, the group successfully fought off the Skrulls. With the Skrull retreating and Xandar safe, Richard gave up his power and returned back to Earth. 


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As a member of the Nova Corps, Richard Rider has superhuman durability and strength. He can also fly, has the ability to understand almost any language, projects energy blasts, is telepathic, can create forcefields, is able to open wormholes, and is able to breathe underwater and in space. 

4. Kyle Rayner

Kyle Rayner Origin

I suppose I really could’ve chosen any of the Green Lanterns for this list of superheroes with energy-based powers. After all, each uses a Green Power Ring to create energy constructs that are only limited by their imagination. So, why did I choose Kyle? Simple.

First, of all the Green Lanterns none may be as gifted as Kyle Rayner. At his heart, Kyle Rayner is an artist with a wild imagination. Considering that the Power Rings allow the user to create anything they can dream up, the way in which he uses his Ring is second to none. Second, as a fellow artist, Kyle Rayner holds a special place in my heart. When I read any of his stories, I often find myself imagining what I would create should I be chosen to wield the Ring.

Third, and most importantly, for a time Kyle was considered the most powerful Lantern in the galaxy. In fact, it was he who was entrusted with becoming a White Lantern. Remember while each of the Lantern colors harnesses the power of one part of the Emotional Spectrum, the White Lanterns harness the power of all the Spectrums.

3. Havok

Origin of Havok

Havok is an integral member of whatever team he’s a part of. Whether it be X-Factor, X-Men, or Uncanny Avengers, Havok is always one of the first into battle and the last to leave. Like his brother Cyclops, Havok is a born leader who commands the respect of those around him. Also like his brother, Havok is one of my superheroes with energy-based powers.

Havok is a mutant who has the ability to absorb ambient cosmic energy, process it, and project it outwards as plasma-like energy. His beams always take a circular form and are both destructive and battle-changing. For the first while, Havok wore a specially designed suit to help control his mutation. Over time, however, he learned to control his mutation. 

As the brother of Cyclops, Havok is immune to the blasts of concussive energy that emanate from his eyes. In return, Cyclops is also immune to Havok‘s plasma-like blasts. 

2. Starfire

Origin of Starfire

Starfire is an alien from the planet Tamaran. She is the daughter of the Royal Family of Tamaran and as such, royalty. Although she was second in line to assume the throne, through a series of events her older sister was deemed unfit to rule. As such, Starfire was hailed as the next Queen of Tamaran. This, however, wasn’t meant to be. 

After her sister led the sworn enemy of Tamaran inside the walls, Tamaran fell and Starfire was ordered to be executed. What nobody foresaw was that the Psions were about to invade and take captive the two sisters. While in captivity, Starfire was experimented on and given a set of completely new powers.

Starfire is one of the most powerful superheroes with energy-based powers. She possesses superhuman strength, speed, durability, agility, reflexes, and stamina, and is nearly invulnerable. She is also able to fly, is long-lived, has immunity to cold and heat, can survive in space, is able to manipulate ultraviolet energy, absorb and project energy, and emit supernova-type energy. For obvious reasons, she is one of my superheroes with energy-based powers.

1. Cyclops

Scott Summers Cyclops

Scott is the son of the wealthy Christopher (Corsair) and Katherine Summers. While riding in their private plane, Scott, Christopher, Katherine, and his brother, Alex was attacked by a Shi’ar Starship. So that her children would not be harmed, Katherine put a backpack containing a parachute around Scott, attached his brother Alex to it, and tossed them both out of the plane.

The two of them crash-landed on the ground leaving Scott in a year-long coma. The coma left Scott unable to control his mutation. Like most mutants, Scott’s powers emerged in his teenage years when he unintentionally shot a crane high above a building. The blast caused the crane to drop what it was carrying. The falling debris could’ve killed some nearby bystanders. Luckily, Scott acted quickly and shot another blast to destroy the debris.

Seeing what he had done, Scott ran from the scene and joined up with a criminal only known as the Living Diamond. Lucky for him, Professor X heard about the event and rescued him. Cyclops is one of, if not the most well-known of all the superheroes with energy-based powers.

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