The world that Marvel Comics has built over the years has grown to include some intensely powerful characters. On Earth, there exists a plethora of spandex-clad warriors who would give their lives to save the planet from ne'er-do-wells, aliens, or in some cases, other heroes. But that's just the planet that us humans know about. From here to the farthest reaches of space, there are races and characters whose power levels are so insane it's hard to fathom. And even on Earth, there are extra-dimensional beings who could and have threatened the entirety of the human race. Some of these characters are so strong because of where they were born. But there are others who received their mighty abilities thanks to a higher power.
So far, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has stayed pretty close to Earth and has hardly touched on holy forces. Thor has brought Norse Mythology into the fold, showcasing how an almighty deity could operate within that universe. But there are still so many others. Heroes and villains who are the way they are due to their fantastic lineage.
As that film universe continues to expand, we may move further and further into the otherworldly and see more characters who are the offspring of gods and goddesses. Thor, along with Guardians of the Galaxy and the upcoming Captain Marvel, show just how widespread the MCU is. There are even some characters who have already been introduced whose heritage hasn't been properly explored. Here are 25 Marvel characters fans may not know are the children of Gods.
Bear with us. Essentially, Nathan Summers was born to Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor, a clone of Jean Grey created by Mr. Sinsister. But before Madelyne was created, Jean Grey was put into a coma by the Phoenix Force, who then took her place on the X-Men.
The Phoenix Force is an indestructible cosmic entity that is the manifestation of the force of life. It can easily destroy anything in the universe without a purpose. And when the Jean Grey Phoenix perished, some of its force went into Madelyne. And you thought the movies were complicated.
The biggest bad so far of the MCU is more than just an angry, purple alien. Thanos comes from the Eternals, one of the many races of powerful cosmic beings. They were created by the ancient Celestials, first seen in Guardians of the Galaxy, through experimentation with early human life.
If you've witnessed Thanos' power even without the infinity stones, you can probably guess that Eternals are incredibly difficult to defeat.
Their genetic structure gives them long lives and helps them to heal from most wounds. And while they are known for being a peaceful race, Thanos certainly isn't.
This brute was recently seen in Thor: Ragnarok as Hela's henchman, and while many may have assumed he was from Asgard, that isn't exactly the case.
His mother is an Asgardian from Nidavellir, but his father is a Storm Giant.
His Storm Giant blood gives him the standard super human abilities like strength and speed, but it also means he’s bigger and stronger than regular Asgardians. Unfortunately, his genetics also make him dumb as a bag of rocks. That doesn’t matter to Skurge, though. As long as he’s got some machine guns or his trusty battle axe, he’ll be fine.
As is the case with Ghost Rider, Eddie Brock is a completely normal human. The alien symbiote he bonds with to form Venom, however, was created by an villainous God.
When the Celestials began creating experimenting and creating life a very, VERY long time ago, they ticked off an extremely villainous deity named Knull. He loved how dark and devoid of life the universe was. So, he crafted a magical sword from shadow, chopped off one of their heads, and created the symbiotic race to war against them and every other living thing. As one does.
21 Lady Sif
Not every Asgardian is a powerful God, but in the case of Lady Sif, this is definitely true. The MCU hasn't explored the lineage of characters outside of the royal family, though it may be because it isn't as concrete due to the limited texts of Norse Mythology.
Sif is said to be the daughter of the Nine Goddesses, or Nine Mothers, of the Vanir.
This is one of the two races that would combine to form the Asgardians. Though for the most part, she just seems to exist as an ally to Thor and a Goddess of War.
You may have already assumed that Heimdall was a God thanks to his glowing eyes and power over the Bifrost. But his lineage is a bit more complex than his best friend Thor.
In the comics, Heimdall and Lady Sif are brother and sister.
Therefore, they have the same lineage. Though it’s never given in full detail, Heimdall and Sif were born of the Nine Goddesses or Mothers, who were said to be the personification of the sea in Norse Mythology. Being born from the sea is just the type of history we’d expect from a God.
19 Fenris Wolf
Thor: Ragnarok had a lot of great things going for it, such as the Hulk fighting a gigantic wolf. But what some moviegoers may not have realized was that Fenris Wolf is actually the child of a God, and one that we've known for quite some time.
In the movie, he is simply Hela's steed. But in the comics, both of them are the children of Loki and the giantess Angerboda.
There was also a third child, the Midgard Serpent, though it has yet to make an appearance in the movies. Norse Mythology is weird, but awesome.
18 Karolina Dean
The case of Karolina Dean is a strange one. In the Runaways comics, her parents are of an alien race called the Majesdanians. They all have the same abilities that Karolina does, so it’s totally normal on their planet.
But in the show, it is revealed that her biological father is Jonah. He takes the place of the all-powerful apocalyptic Gods called the Gibborim that the villainous parents make sacrifices to in the comics. The show has yet to reveal much of his backstory but given that he’s immortal and has already done wondrous things, we’d bet he’s a God.
As in the giant floating face seen in the climax of Doctor Strange. Dormammu is definitely one of the most powerful villains to appear in the MCU so far, as Stephen Strange had to defeat him intellectually rather than physically.
Dormammu was created by Sinifer of the Faltinians, beings from a different dimension that are made up of pure magic energy. He and his twin, Umar, ended their father when he tried to stop them from creating physical bodies. They were then banished by the other Faltinians to the Dark Dimension, which is exactly where Doctor Strange found him.
16 Ghost Rider
There have been several unfortunate individuals to take up the mantle of Ghost Rider over the years, but the most popular will always be the original Johnny Blaze. He isn't the one who was born from a god, though.
The Spirit of Vengeance that Johnny's soul is bonded to was created by Mephisto, one of a few incarnations of the Devil in Marvel Comics. Johnny sold his soul to the demon in order to save his father, though it was a trick. As the Ghost Rider, he rides a motorcycle in search of villains to punish.
If you, like me, grew up playing one of the greatest fighting games of all time (Marvel vs. Capcom 2), you probably noticed this walking bad dream as a playable character.
But who would've thought that Blackheart was related to the fiery Ghost Rider?
Yes, another creation of the demon Mephisto, though this character's origins are much more directly linked to him. Upon visiting Christ’s Town, New York where centuries of tragedies had occurred, Mephisto created Blackheart from the surrounding energy. That’s right: Blackheart was literally brought into existence by these things.
14 Ego The Living Planet
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 introduced Ego the Living Planet as a Celestial, one of the oldest and most powerful forces in existence. And while that fit with the storyline, his origins are a bit different in the comics.
Ego was created by a being known only as The Stranger. This character claims to be a vessel in which an entire race, the Gigantians, poured their combined minds into. He is fascinated by the pursuit of knowledge. And as a god, he can pretty much do whatever he wants in that pursuit, such as creating sentient planets.
Ever wonder why Doctor Strange calls his mystical necklace the Eye of Agamotto? The name comes from the very first Sorcerer Supreme, who just so happened to also be on the first team of Avengers way back in 1,000,000 BC.
He’s taken several forms in different appearances, but he began as a tear in his mother’s eye (literally). Oshtur, a gentle Elder God of Earth, brought Agamotto into the world and taught him the ways of magic, indirectly leading to the creation of Doctor Strange’s order.
Though the MCU has featured many Norse Gods, there are still others that have made lasting impressions in the comics. Moon Knight is imbued with the powers of the Egyptian God Khonshu, who is the God of the Moon.
Many of Moon Knight’s most memorable runs have focused on Marc Spector and his multiple personalities, but Gods don’t just pop up out of nowhere. And a recent story focused on the strain between Khonshu and his own father Amon Ra, the Egyptian God of the Sun. And by “strain,” I mean intense hatred.
You may have caught a glimpse of this Panther Goddess during the opening of Black Panther. She appears in a vision to a warrior king and leads him to the plant that would give him his powers, creating the first protector of Wakanda.
But that movie already had a lot going on, and not much else is heard about Bast. But in the comics, as well as Egyptian Mythology, Bast is the daughter of the Sun God, Amon Ra. So, in a way, Black Panther and Moon Knight are related.
Daimon Hellstrom aka Hellstorm is an occult expert with magical powers and has helped several other heroes, such as Ghost Rider and the Defenders, to solve anything that requires someone like him.
Although, the occult comes natural to him since his father is the devil.
Well, not “actual” Lucifer. But not Mephisto either. In the comics there exists a group of Hell-Lords; demons who call themselves the devil to fool humans. One of them, Marduk Kurios, fathered Daimon with a human woman. Though his little son turned out to be a giant disappointment when he became a hero.
Sometimes, Marvel makes it pretty obvious what a character is like through their name and design. Satana Hellstrom, Daimon's younger sister, is one of those characters (though she didn't always have horns).
While Daimon renounced his father, Satana embraced it for a while and even spent some time in her father’s realm. She would eventually also turn on him though, and most of her time has been spent either helping heroes fight greater villains or ruling over her own version of the underworld. Most recently though, she joined her brother on the team, Spirits of Vengeance.
If you were unaware that Thanos himself was a God, you may have also been unaware that he had a son. Unlike the Black Order seen in Infinity War, Thane is Thanos’ child by blood. But he also has an Inhuman mother, giving him powers Thanos doesn’t.
His left hand could end someone by touching while his right hand could encase his enemies in amber. He even became the host for the Phoenix Force once, something only an extremely powerful being could do. Though he wouldn’t be able to hold onto it for long.
There's nothing more spooky than a cosmic super-being that likes to devour planets. But where exactly did he come from? Well, it’s a little complicated.
Marvel Comics features a Multiverse, a collection of alternate universes. The first multiverse was created during a war between the Celestials and the Aspirants and it took the form of a being called the Second Cosmos. This has happened several times, with each being or Cosmos eventually perishing and being re-created. The Sixth Cosmos fused with Galan from the planet Taa to create Galactus. Told you it was complicated.
The X-Men have featured a lot of cool characters, but one of the coolest has got to be Kurt Wagner aka Nightcrawler. Beyond his blue devil appearance, he can teleport, fence, and is acrobatically skilled.
His mother is Mystique, another mutant. But it’s his father who’s the God.
Azazel was seen in X-Men: First Class, and while he may look like a red version of Nightcrawler, he’s something far more nefarious. He’s a member of the Neyaphem, a group of demon-like mutants that date back to biblical times. They even fought a group of angel-like mutants known as the Cheyarafim.
One could be forgiven for thinking that Sindr, the current Queen of Muspelheim in the Thor comics, was just a magic combination of massive flames and wickedness. But this Goddess does actually have a parent.
That parent is also a magic combination of massive flames and wickedness, but a parent nonetheless. The Fire Giant Surtur, who made a memorable appearance in Thor: Ragnarok, is Sindr’s father. And while he has spawned countless Fire Giants, the only one who has truly been able to live up to his legacy is Sindr.
For some, the introduction of this character came in a non-Marvel comic. She was created by author Neil Gaiman and Spawn creator Todd McFarlane. But a rights battle ensued, leaving Gaiman the winner.
He would later sell the character to Marvel, who had to fit a character of her cosmic power into their universe.
Her most memorable appearance in Marvel’s world would be as a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, before it was finally revealed she was the lost sister of Thor, and therefore Odin and Freyja’s daughter.
Norse and Greek Gods are all the rage, but this hero proves the lesser known can be just as cool. Snowbird is a member of the Canadian super hero team, Alpha Flight. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because they’ve been recently teaming up with Captain Marvel.
She is one of the more fascinating characters of the team and she has an extremely long list of powers such as the ability to turn into arctic animals, flight, and a healing aura. She gets these powers from her mother Nelvanna, who is the Inuit Goddess of the Northern Skies.
The Avengers may get all the fame, but they're not the only super team Nick Fury founded. The Secret Warriors featured some pretty powerful characters, like Daisy Johnson aka Quake. But the one who was born from a God was the young Alexander Aaron aka Phobos.
Phobos is a demigod whose father is Ares, the Greek God of War.
And as such, he’s got some unique and useful abilities. He can see the future, though it has limits, and more importantly can fill his opponents with fear.
1 Lady Death
Yes, like many other things, there exists a personification of Death in Marvel Comics. Fans long expected for Lady Death to make an appearance in the MCU due to her link to the Mad Titan Thanos. He coveted her approval over everything else and wiped out half of existence in hopes to impress her in The Infinity Gauntlet.
But just like everyone else, Death has a creator. And in her case, it’s God.
Not a mystical being from a culture’s mythology, but the God that we all know. When he created the universe, he also created her.