A consistent trope that comes up in comic book adventures is the quest for power. Heck, it is a standard trope in popular fiction period. There are many notable characters whose pursuit of power is their defining trait. Of course, where there is a pursuit of power there is also the fear of being corrupted by that power. As the famous saying goes, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” That has often been the case in comic book adventures, as well, where characters have not known what to do when they suddenly find themselves in possession of massive amounts of power. In other words, what do you when you become a god?
Over the years, this has been a question that a number of comic book characters have had the chance to answer. Some of them were able to say that they handled their stint as a god a lot better than others did in similar situations. Here, then, we will count down 20 comic book characters that transcended mortality and essentially become gods. We will see who handled the change with honor and who was absolutely corrupted by their newfound god-like power.
20. HANDLED IT: WOLVERINE
In X-Men Annual #11 (by Chris Claremont, Alan Davis and Paul Neary), Wolverine was having a hard time dealing with the anniversary of his former fiancee, Mariko Yoshida, dumping him at the altar. It was later shown that she was being manipulated by the villainous mutant, Mastermind, but even after he was defeated they remained broken up. So Wolverine drowned his sorrows for the night and came home to the X-Mansion just as a powerful being known as Horde arrived and kidnapped the X-Men and brought them to a bizarre cosmic labyrinth.
Horde wanted the X-Men to get through the labyrinth and retrieve a powerful crystal at the end for him or else he would just kill them there. One by one, the X-Men fell to the traps of the labyrinth, which tempts people with their secret hidden desires. Ultimately, it came down to just Wolverine. Logan reached the crystal, but then Horde arrived and killed Wolverine. However, a piece of Wolverine’s blood hit the crystal and that was enough for Wolverine to gain the omnipotence of the crystal and re-form his body. He quickly saved all of the X-Men and all the other beings captured by the labyrinth over the years and then gave up his newly obtained omnipotence to destroy the crystal to remove its temptation from the universe.
19. COULDN’T HANDLE IT: RED SKULL
The Cosmic Cube was originally created by the evil group of scientists known as Advanced Idea Mechanics (or A.I.M.). They did not realize that all they were really doing was inventing a sort of container for the cosmic energy that powered the Cosmic Cube, but in any event, they soon realized just how powerful the Cube was. So what did this evil group do? They went out of their way to try to keep it away from the Red Skull. That’s how bad the Red Skull is, the evil scientists who invented the Cosmic Cube did everything they could to not let him have it! If evil scientists are scared of you, that’s typically a really bad sign.
Sure enough, when the Skull got a hold of the Cube, he re-made the world with himself as the god of all existence. Luckily for the world, the Red Skull’s arch-rival, Captain America, was able to trick the Skull by feigning subservience. When Cap bowed down before the Skull, he surprised the villain by suddenly knocking the Cube out of his hands, sending it into the ocean. The Red Skull has pursued the Cosmic Cube ever since. He even temporarily became part of the Cube himself!