Reality warping is a superpower in superhero fiction. It is the ability to reshape matter and energy, create or alter life forms, turn a person's thoughts or desires into reality, simulate any and all other powers and abilities, bend time and space, and possibly even rewrite the laws of physics.

All things are possible for a reality-warper, making them seem omnipotent with the only limit on reality warping is the users imagination. The Joker, wielding the power of Mr. Mxyzptlk as "Emperor Joker," was even able to rewrite logic itself, for example, making the whole world believe that 2 + 2 equals "fish."

Some of the most extreme reality warpers, like Mxyzptlk and James Jaspers, are not even limited by their own physical bodies and can alter their own stature and appearance at will to become whatever they want to be, no matter how bizarre it might be. In DC comics, the fifth-dimensional imps that sometimes visit the DC universe, of which Mxyzptlk is the most common and well-known, seem to be the most common and also the most powerful reality warpers.[citation needed]

Rarely in fiction are reality warpers depicted as heroic or benign. Reality warpers in fiction are almost always antagonists, villains or otherwise depicted as dangerous. This generally is a necessity of the plot; a reality-warping protagonist would face few, if any, true challenges. Reality warpers exhibiting a childlike (such as Anthony Fremont) or insane personality (like Proteus or Mad Jim Jaspers) are also common. Often, in the few cases of protagonists having such power, they have difficulty using it: in Ben 10: Alien Force, the hero, Ben Tennyson, can transform into a powerful alien form dubbed "Alien X" (also stated as the most powerful force in the universe), who has reality-warping powers but also contains two other distinct and powerful personalities of which they must agree to an action before it can be done, which makes the form and its powers virtually impossible to control to such a level that Alien X can't even communicate to the outside world: to others, Alien X is little more than an immobile statue.

Another typical theme in fiction is for the protagonist to be granted this ability and then struggle to resist abusing the power for their own personal benefit. Reality warpers are also commonly affected by their subconscious minds, which cause reality to change against their will (like Magician of Ultimate X-Men or Doctor Doom with the Beyonder's power).

A common issue with characters with the ability to warp reality is that they may not be aware of their talent, and, having less conscious wishes, rarely manifest their powers (as in The Man with the Power). Often, excessive want and distress causes them to become threats to themselves and those around them so that the supporting characters must attempt to mollify the situation so that the reality warper doesn't cause any major damage or discover their power (like Haruhi Suzumiya).

In cartoons, the effects of reality warping are often shown to be temporary. For example, in Superman: The Animated Series, reality returns to normal after Mr. Mxyzptlk is tricked into going back to his dimension.

It is important not to confuse reality warping and matter manipulation. Characters like Vulcan, Mister M, and the Silver Surfer can change and manipulate matter, but they cannot alter the fabric of reality itself.

Marvel's reality warpers[]

The Marvel Universe is known to have a large amount of individuals that can manipulate reality. Characters with potential for reality warping encountered in Marvel comics include:

  • Anomaly
  • Beyonder
  • Dream Weaver[1]
  • Eternity
  • Fan Boy
  • Franklin Richards
  • Freedom Ring
  • The Impossible Man
  • In-Betweener
  • Jamie Braddock
  • Kelly Kooliq[2]
  • Korvac
  • Kubik
  • Kulan Gath
  • Living Tribunal
  • Mad Jim Jaspers
  • Magician
  • The Man with the Power
  • Mephisto
  • Galactus
  • Grandmaster
  • Onslaught
  • Phoenix Force
  • Proteus
  • Scarlet Witch
  • Genis-Vell
  • Sentry (Robert Reynolds)
  • Shaper of Worlds
  • Sphinx
  • Twilight
  • Tyler Trevor Chase[3]
  • Willie Evans, Jr.[4]
  • Wiccan
  • Ray Thompson

Also, anyone wielding certain artifacts gained reality warping powers:

Other comics reality warpers[]

Apart from the MU reality warpers, many other different beings in DC and other comics also possess reality warping powers, or powers which might potentially be used for reality alteration. These include, amongst others:

  • Angelus Askari
  • Ambrose Chase (WS)
  • Bat-Mite (DCU)
  • The Doctor (WS)
  • Doctor Manhattan (DCU)
  • Enerjak (Archie Comics)
  • Ion (DCU)
  • Mammoth Mogul (Archie Comics)
  • Matthew Cable (DCU)
  • Mr. Mxyzptlk (DCU)
  • Neron (DCU)
  • Parallax (DCU)
  • Qwsp (DCU)
  • Spawn (Image Comics)
  • The Spectre (DCU)
  • The Thunderbolt (DCU)
  • Trigon the Terrible (DCU)
  • Amazo (DCAU)
  • Elyon Brown (W.I.T.C.H)
  • Solar (Valiant)
  • Mothergod (Valiant)
  • Ace (The Justice League)
  • Minus (webcomic)

Non-comics reality warpers[]

Apart from comic characters, there has been a number of science fiction and fantasy characters who have exhibited reality-warping powers of various forms, at least within the boundaries of certain environments and/or restrictions. Such characters include:

Limited to probability or uncontrolled reality manipulation[]

Character Media Publisher(s)/Series Source
Amos Fortune Comic books DC Comics Inherent
Black Cat Comic books, animation Marvel Comics Induced
Calamity King Comic books DC Comics Inherent
Domino Comic books Marvel Comics Mutant
Jinx Comic books, animation DC Comics, Warner Bros. Animation
Kunogi, Himawari (九軒ひまわり?) Manga, anime xxxHolic Inherent
Longshot Comic books Marvel Comics Inherent
Lord of Games (LOG) Video games Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts Inherent
Major Disaster Comic books DC Comics Inherent
Mat Cauthon Novels The Wheel of Time Inherent
Kuramitsu, Mihoshi (九羅密 美星?) Anime Tenchi Muyo! Inherent
Kuramitsu, Mitoto Anime Tenchi Muyo! Inherent
Roulette Comic books Marvel Comics Mutant
Sakuraba, Milfeulle (ミルフィーユ 桜葉?) Manga, anime, video games Galaxy Angel Inherent
Pride Anime, Manga Fullmetal Alchemist
Scarlet Witch Comic books, animation Marvel Comics Mutant
Shamrock Comic books Marvel Comics Mutant
Suzumiya, Haruhi Anime, Manga Haruhi Suzumiya Attained
Tetsuo Shima Anime, Manga Akira
Janemba Anime movie Attained

Artifacts with reality warping abilities[]

In addition to individuals, objects in fiction have also been attributed with the ability to alter reality, typically in response to its owner's thoughts and/or desires.

  • Cosmic Cube
  • Infinity Gauntlet
  • The Sphere from Michael Crichton's novel by the same tile.
  • The Reality Gauntlet from Danny Phantom

See also[]