Best supernatural superheroes of all time

Cover of Werewolf By Night #33
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Not all superheroes are mutants, billionaires, or aliens from distant planets; some have seriously impressive supernatural powers. 

And, with Moon Knight set to join the MCU (perhaps with Oscar Isaac in the role), it made us think of superheroes who draw their power from magic and the supernatural.

Many folks know characters such as Doctor Strange and Hellboy that brush up against the supernatural, but they're just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to magic-wielding superheroes. 

So, say the magic words and wave your hands as we materialize our list of the ten greatest supernatural superheroes of all time.

10. Hellboy

(Image credit: Dark Horse)

While not necessarily a wizard by trade, Hellboy has extensive knowledge of the supernatural... and being the son of a demon doesn't hurt with his magical prowess, we're sure.

'Red' has had a string of limited series along the way to both live-action and animated film stardom, as well as spinoffs including the years-long BPRD title.

He's fought demon after demon, as well as a plethora of creatures from different folklore around the globe. What keeps Hellboy so alluring is the imagery that Mike Mignola first embedded in our brains 20+ years ago: the environments and landscapes of Hell, along with Hellboy's massive silhouette, and the fact that despite his bestial form, Mignola and a slew of creators over the years have made him seem human.

9. Scarlet Witch

(Image credit: Marvel)

Oh, Wanda. The origins of your powers are so back and forth, you almost didn't make the cut.

She was originally born with the mutant ability to generate "hex spheres/bolts" that could manipulate probability, then she was a caster of Chaos Magic, and then some sort of combination of the two.

Though her powers aren't magic-based in the MCU (nor particularly clearly defined), in comic books, Wanda Maximoff is one of the most powerful magic users in the entire Marvel Universe.

And, if WandaVision's apparent plot is any indication, the mystical may find its way into Wanda's MCU world yet.

8. Ghost Rider

(Image credit: Marvel)

Like Hellboy, Ghost Rider isn't specifically a magic user, but his powers are uniquely supernatural - and infernal.

Ghost Rider is the name of a few prominent Marvel characters, starting with Johnny Blaze in the '70s in the modern era. Subsequent lore has established 'Ghost Rider' as a title for those that host the Spirit of Vengeance dating back to the earliest, prehistoric days of the Marvel Universe.

With his flaming, ghastly vehicle - classically a motorcycle but the current guy drives a car, and we've even seen mounts like horses and mammoths - Ghost Rider dishes out his brutal Penance Stare to those who deserve vengeance, forcing them to feel the torment of every wrong they've ever caused.

7. The Demon, Etrigan

(Image credit: DC)

"Gone, gone the form of man! Rise the Demon Etrigan!"

Created by Jack Kirby in the early '70s, Etrigan and his human host, Jason Blood, have been staples in the magical scene of DC since their debut.

Etrigan's ties to Arthurian legend give him a prestigious, mythical feel, and being a demon, his powers are pretty profound. His hellfire breath is notoriously powerful; although, in Etrigan form, he has the same weaknesses as other demons, including being susceptible to iron and holy powers.

6. Timothy Hunter

(Image credit: DC)

With his round glasses, dark hair, and pet owl, Tim Hunter is often mistaken for Harry Potter's twin (though he predates the boy who lived). And while Neil Gaiman and J. K. Rowling may have been drinking from the same well, the two characters couldn't be more different.

Tim Hunter was the star of DC/Vertigo's Books of Magic series that told the story of Tim's destiny to be the greatest wizard of his age. Along the way he met magical guest stars like a blonde Zatanna, John Constantine, Merlin, Phantom Stranger, and of course, Death of the Endless.

Books of Magic itself was basically a comic dedicated to the mystical and magical characters of the DC universe interacting and engaging with one another, with Tim as the central character - the heir apparent to DC's magic.

A recent Books of Magic series focused on a rebooted version of Tim Hunter as part of DC's Sandman Universe pop-up.

5. Moon Knight

Moon Knight

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Resurrected by an ancient Egyptian god and imbued with super powers, Marc Spector is the Moon Knight - the fist of Khonshu's vengeance.

Despite sometimes affectionately being called 'Marvel's Batman' thanks to his cloaked cowl, vigilante ways, and arsenal of themed gadgetry, Moon Knight takes the concept of a nocturnal crimefighter in a decidedly different direction with magical powers granted by moonlight, and enemies that often amount to werewolves and vampires.

Imbued with supernatural power and a unique horror flair, Moon Knight is one of the next additions to the MCU, with Oscar Isaac in talks to play the fist of Khonshu.

4. John Constantine

(Image credit: Vertigo/DC)

Once one of the core characters of DC's Vertigo line, John Constantine has had his share of magical adventures without really using magic at all.

Though Constantine is quite an adept sorcerer, his primary skills are sleight-of-hand and hypnosis - though he is known for busting out his hellfire cigarette lighter and necromantic incantations when things get a bit thick.

His occult knowledge has come in handy countless times when aiding fellow supernatural beings and humans alike. Constantine's title Hellblazer left its mark over at Vertigo before Constantine joined the core DC Universe in the 'New 52' era as part of Justice League Dark.

Constantine has consistently anchored his own title, with his latest DC Black Label 'Sandman Universe' series having recently wrapped.

3. Zatanna

(Image credit: DC)

DC's Mistress of Magic. Everyone's favorite fishnet-clad, raven-haired, sassy sorceress. Created in 1964 by Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson, Zatanna was involved in DC's first major crossover, as she searched for her father, the famed magician Zatara, who was a character back in the Golden Age of comic books.

Instead of relaunching Zatara as DC had done with characters like Green Lantern and the Flash (giving them more sci-fi based origins this time around, and igniting the Silver Age), DC created a completely different character entirely to take the magician's mantle - his own daughter.

Zatanna's powers have shifted over the years from powerful spellcasting to just controlling the elements and everything in-between, but her magic is almost always verbally controlled by speaking her spells backwards (ekil siht). 

During the rare occasions that she's rendered voiceless, she can write out what she needs - backwards and in her own blood - and it works just the same.

2. Doctor Strange

(Image credit: Marvel)

Stephen Strange started out as a renowned neurosurgeon who lost his way and found a new life as Earth's Sorcerer Supreme. Trained by the Ancient One in the mystical arts, Dr. Strange was given powerful artifacts, most notably the Eye of Agamotto to aid in his quest to stop the threat of malevolent warlocks and demonic entities alike.

Strange has been a member of the Avengers, Defenders, Midnight Sons, and the Illuminati, making him a central figure in Marvel lore. Though he has lost the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme more than once along the way, he's always managed to prove his worth and retain it once more. His powers are unsurpassed in the Marvel Universe ranging from astral projection and telepathy to stopping time and unconsciously destroying galaxies.

Strange is also a key player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with a major part in Avengers: Infinity War, Endgame, and his own solo film series - including the upcoming sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which could change quite a bit about the MCU's landscape.

1. Lord Morpheus, Dream of the Endless

(Image credit: DC)

While the others on this list are conjurers of magic, Dream is the physical manifestation of dreams and stories. Now we're talking serious magic.

Dream is one of the Endless, created (mostly) by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg in the 1980s (Destiny is an older DC character who was adapted to the tale). They are all inconceivably powerful beings, older than gods, and each a manifestation of a universal constant. Morpheus reigns over dreams and his own realm called the Dreaming, his powers more cerebral than physical.

When we're introduced to him in the first arc of Sandman, we see what he is capable of. He tricked the Devil himself and let his enemies suffer with eternal nightmares. He's prideful and angry, and conscious of his responsibilities, yet does not accept, nor want change. His magic is infinite, and when he died, he was reborn into infant Daniel Hall with even greater power.

Gaiman is notoriously protective of Morpheus, arguably his most beloved creation, so his appearances since his original series wrapped have been limited. Gaiman did return to the character last year with a special anniversary mini-series entitled Sandman: Overture - and the Sandman mythos serves as the anchor of the current DC Sandman Universe pop-up.

Now, the Sandman has been adapted as a popular Audible audio drama series, with a Netflix TV adaptation on the way. 

Lan Pitts likes watching, talking, and writing comics about wrestling. He has mapped every great taco spot in the DC and Baltimore areas. He lives with his partner and their menagerie of pets who are utterly perfect in every way.