When you think about how many electricity-based superheroes there are, it can be pretty shocking, pun intended. Even Superman has gotten in on the fun during the Superman Red/Superman Blue days, that’s how much readers and creators love showing off electrical currents flowing out of one character and into another.
But with so many great heroes who have their powers either based fully or partially in electricity that it can be hard to figure out which ones are the best. Who has the charge to make it into the top ten? Who can charge up our phones and beat the bad guys at the same time? Who rides the lightning and goes with the current? We have a few select choices. Here are the 10 best electrically powered heroes…
10 Lightning Lad
Along with being one of the founding members of the Legion of Superheroes, Lightning Lad is also one of the oldest and best-known lightning-based heroes. The second of three children – and the older twin with his sister Ayla – Garth Ranzz and his siblings all gained electrical powers when they were attacked by Lightning Beasts from the planet Korbal.
While Lightning Lad has been rebooted and recreated numerous times, along with his other Legionnaires, one look at any of his costumes and you can instantly tell what his powers are. While his sister has also been a Legionnaire in a few versions of the team, Garth’s brother Mekt, who goes by Lightning Lord, tends to be on the evil side of the super battles of the 31st Century.
One of the most powerful of Marvel’s mutants, Storm, aka Ororo Munroe, is the daughter of a Kenyan princess and an American photographer. Her parents died when she was five years old, and Storm found herself living on the streets of Cairo as an orphan. Ororo made her living as a thief until her mutant powers kicked in when she reached her teen years.
With the power to control the weather, Storm created rain for many African tribes that were suffering through a drought. For a time, she was worshiped as a goddess but left that life behind to join the X-Men. Over the years, Storm has been more than just a member of the team. She has been their leader and continues to be one of the most respected mutants in the Marvel universe.
Created to be Milestone Comics‘s answer to Spider-Man, Static has continued to shine as one of the most interesting comic book characters to have been created in the last three decades. Growing up in a loving family, Virgil Hawkins gained his electromagnetic powers after being hit with tear gas that had been mixed with an experimental mutagen during Dakota City’s “Big Bang”.
While the Milestone books lasted just four years, Static proved too popular to be shelved. Along with his joining the Teen Titans and having a second short-lived series as part of DC’s New 52 initiative, the character had his own animated series, Static Shock, and has appeared in Justice League Unlimited and Young Justice.
When there’s a list of the greatest heroes who use electricity, you can be sure that the God of Thunder will be showing up. Thor is arguably the best-known superhero on this list, being not only one of the biggest characters in Marvel Comics but in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well. With his hammer Mjolnir, the son of Odin is able to bring the thunder, and the lightning too, when he needs it.
Based on the classic Norse mythology, Thor stands out as the best-known superhero who wasn’t a new creation when he first appeared on the four-color page. And while Marvel has the best-known version, DC has their own take on the character too.
6 Black Lightning
DC’s first black superhero to have his own title, Black Lightning has had a recent resurgence in popularity, thanks in part to the character’s critically acclaimed Arrowverse connected TV series. First introduced in 1977, Black Lightning’s title lasted just 11 issues; the series was canceled along with a number of DC books as part of the “DC Implosion”.
Originally a teacher, Black Lightning was promoted to principal in the 1990s. In both positions, the character works in a school located in Metropolis’ Suicide Slum, a section of the city that rarely sees Superman coming in to help. Unlike most of DC’s heroes. Black Lightning’s stories tend to focus on more realistic issues like drugs and gangs.
Not unlike Storm, Surge is a mutant who found herself living on the streets for a time. Where Storm’s parents were killed, leaving her an orphan, Surge ran away from home when her mutant powers first manifested. She made her way from Japan to New York where she was taken in by the X-Men and trained to use her powers.
Surge can absorb electricity and release it as powerful electric bolts at her foes. She was part of the 10% of mutants who still had powers after the events of House of M and was made a team leader by Emma Frost. Recently, Surge has shown up on Krakoa. What the future holds for her remains to be seen.
By speaking the Wizard Shazam’s name, orphan Billy Batson is engulfed by a magical lightning bolt and becomes Shazam, Earth’s Mightest Mortal. Once more popular than Superman, Shazam still stands out as one of the most recognizable superheroes from the Golden Age, and with a recent movie and a sequel in the works, it looks like the character’s popularity will only grow.
Shazam, and the whole Shazam Family, serve as the guardians of DC’s magical universe. The Rock of Eternity serves as their base of operations, and in the current series, they are exploring the magic realms, many of which readers have never seen before.
One of the Inhumans, Crystal is the younger sister of Medusa and part of the Royal Family of Attilan. She has also been a member of the Fantastic Four and was in a romantic relationship with the Human Torch for a time, but left literal hothead for the figurative hothead Quicksilver. Among her long list of powers, Crystal has both electrogenesis – the ability to affect elements on an atomic level, giving them an electrical charge – and electrokinesis – the ability to take the elements she just electrified and blast them out as electric bolts.
2 Victor Mancha
The son of Ultron, Victor Mancha was created to become a villain that would kill the Avengers and rule the world. Ultron’s plans were stopped by the Runaways, and Victor joined their team, although he was still worried that his programming would kick in and he would turn against his friends and the other heroes sooner or later.
A cyborg with human DNA, Victor has electromagnetic abilities, allowing him to send out high voltage electrical blasts from his hands, as well as use the Earth’s electromagnetic waves to fly. Along with being a member of the Runaways, Victor was also a member of Avengers AI, a team of cyborgs that included his brother, Vision.
While working in his lab late one night, police scientist Barry Allen was struck by lightning and knocked into a shelf of electrified chemicals, making him the Flash, the Fastest Man Alive. While he is powered by the Speed Force, Flash gives off an electrical charge when he runs and can even build up the charge and throw it at his enemies. This is a more recent power for Flash, first introduced on the current TV series before making its way to the comics. It is also an ability the character uses sparingly.
As with all speedsters, Flash needs to be careful when he runs. If he moves too fast, he will turn into energy and be absorbed into the Speed Force. While both Barry and Wally West have joined with the Speed Force and were able to come back out, it isn’t an easy thing to do, and it becomes more difficult each time they enter.
These electrifying heroes have found their niche, and they're doing some great things with it!