Comic Characters That Manipulate Time From Marvel And DC
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Comic Book Characters That Manipulate Time – 15 DC And Marvel Heroes With Time Powers

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BY April 12, 2022

The U.S. Senate approved a bill that would make daylight saving time permanent and I am fully behind this. No more groggy mornings where I struggle to make sense of the hour I “lost” or feeling torn on whether I should celebrate when I get an extra hour in the fall, but lose daylight. If only I was a comic book character that could manipulate time to do what I wanted it to do…if Dr. Strange can do it, why can’t I? Sadly, I have not woken up with extraordinary abilities, but it got me thinking, “Who are the comic characters that manipulate time?” Here are 15 comic characters that manipulate time and instances of time manipulation in comics: it’s not all just time-travel!

DC Comics Characters That Can Manipulate Time – Superheroes and Villains!

DC Comics: Doctor Manhattan – 1st Appearance Watchmen #1 (September 1986)

comic characters who manipulate time Image via DC Comics

Doctor Manhattan (alias Dr. Jonathan Osterman) is a DC character that first appeared in the graphic novel series Watchmen. He’s the only character that possesses powers, which include a unique perception of time (being able to see past, present, and future simultaneously) and changing reality to his liking through time manipulation as seen in comics (he erased 10 years of the DCEU when Barry Allen was trying to bring his universe back to normal).

DC Comics: The Flash – 1st Appearance Showcase #4 (October 1956)

comic characters who manipulate time Image via DC Comics

For those that watch the CW’s The Flash or are looking forward to Andrés Muschietti’s movie about the superhero speedster, fans know that Barry Allen is capable of traveling back in time thanks to his lightning fast speeds. While fans only saw The Flash going back a shorter distance in Zack Snyder’s movies, Muschietti’s movie is going to see Barry traveling back further, which may or may not result in questionable results. 

DC Comics: The Spectre – 1st Appearance More Fun Comics #52 (1940)

time manipulation dc comics Image via DC Comics

The Spectre is the name given to several antiheroes in the DCEU. The one that this post is focusing on is a hard-boiled cop Jim Corrigan, who is murdered by thugs. His spirit refuses to enter the afterlife and is sent back to Earth to seek bloody vengeance. The Spectre has all the abilities of God, including manipulation of time and space, invulnerability, and reality alternation. 

DC Universe: Tempus – 1st Appearance Superman’s Pal: Jimmy Olsen 1966

comic characters that manipulate time Image via DC Comics

Tempus is the name of a number of DC Comics characters from the Silver Age. The first incarnation was an enemy of Superman’s who built the Doom Clock. Later, the Flash fought another character named Tempus who actually lives in the timestream. In the New Earth continuity, Tempus was a villain who fought with scythes who battled Supergirl. Currently, Tempus is part of a race of beings known as the Fuginauts who are responsible for preventing figures from one DC Multiverse reality from breaking into other ones. He’s not so much a villain anymore but a neutral antagonist who stops heroes and villains alike.

DC Comics: Waverider – First appeared in Armageddon 2001 #1 (May 1991)

comic characters that manipulate time Image via DC Comics

Waverider (alias: Matthew Ryder) is a time traveler who’s part of the DCEU. Unlike some other characters, he’s able to time travel at will and can access the time stream. He often monitors the time stream because he can and he looks a bit like an eccentric time traveler thanks to his fire-like hair and yellow skin with a black outline. 

Marvel Comics Superhero Characters That Can Manipulate Time

Marvel Comics: Doctor Strange – 1st Appearance Strange Tales #110

comic characters time manipulation Image: Marvel Comics

Thanks to his recent appearances in the MCU and his upcoming movie, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Dr. Stephen Strange’s time manipulation powers are well-known. He played a major role in Spider-Man: No Way Home as he helped Peter Parker turn back time and accidentally cracked open the multiverse. Doctor Strange can’t stop time completely, but he’s able to slow it down and can use the time stone to reverse the time for a single object.

Marvel Comics: Franklin Richards – 1st Appearance Fantastic Four Annual #6

comic books time manipulation Image via Marvel Comics

Franklin Richards is the son of Reed and Sue Richards of the Fantastic Four. He has god-like abilities due to Sue’s body being exposed to radiation. While he has powers like increasing his strength and telekinesis, he can also manipulate reality and time, similar to Doctor Strange. He is able to work within the multiverse and he saved it from collapse during an incursion crisis, one of the biggest time manipulations in comics.

Marvel Comics: Iron Lad – First Appearance Young Avengers #1

comic characters that manipulate time Image via Marvel Comics

Iron Lad (alias: Nathaniel Richards) is from the 30th century and is best known as being a time traveler who brought peace to Earth-6311. Much like Marvel’s Tony Stark, he is very intelligent and created a similar suit using neurokinetic armor. The armor can create temporal divergences, which give him the ability to time travel and manipulate time. 

Marvel Comics: Kiden Nixon – 1st Appearance NYX (2003) #1

time manipulation in comic books Image via Marvel Studios

Kiden Nixon is a Marvel mutant that lives in Earth-616’s New York City. After her policeman father was killed, she turned to a life of crime. She accidentally discovered her chronokinesis (ability to manipulate the flow of time) when confronting a fellow gang member. She’s able to move into a faster time-stream, shifting herself into a state where time moves so slowly in comparison to her that it appears to stop. When she’s moving like this, what are seconds to everyone else feels like minutes to her. 

Marvel Comics: Kronos – 1st Appearance Iron Man #55 (Feb. 1973) 

comic characters who manipulate time Image via Marvel Comics

Kronos is an Eternal who fought his brother, Uranos, and became the sole ruler of the Eternals of Earth. Besides being extremely smart with telepathy and cosmic awareness, he can also become the embodiment of time. Because of this, he can exert some control over its flow, whether it’s slowing it down or speeding it up. 

Marvel Comics: Magik – First Appearance Giant-Size X-Men #1

time manipulation in comics Image via Marvel Comics

Magik (alias: Illyana Rasputina) is a mutant sorceress from the MCU. She rules over a demonic realm known as Limbo following her kidnapping from her older brother, the X-Man Colossus. While she is skilled in black magic and sorcery, she also has the ability to control “stepping discs,” which she can use to teleport across interstellar distances, through time and the multiverse. She’s been known to travel through moments, days, or centuries in time, both past and future. Doctor Strange told her that she “had the potential for great feats of manipulating time on a wider scale,” so maybe we’ll see more of Magik’s time manipulation in comics.

Marvel Comics: Suzanne Chan – X-Men: Deadly Genesis #3 (January 2005)

comics that have time manipulation Image via Marvel Comics

Suzanne Chan is a mutant and a member of the X-Men. She’s also known as Sway. She has the ability to control time in her immediate vicinity, which includes stopping time in minute radiuses (freezing projectiles in mid-air), slowing time down, and replaying the past in short busts, almost like watching a video. 

Marvel Comics: Tempo – First appearance: New Mutants #86 (February 1990)

comic characters that manipulate time Image via Marvel Comics

Tempo (alias: Heather Tucker) is a mutant that first appeared in Marvel’s New Mutants #86. She is a member of the Mutant Liberation Front, a terrorist organization who’s misguided mission resorts to violence in the name of mutant rights. Tempo can manipulate time by slowing or stopping her opponents or speeding herself and her teammates up. While she’s powerful, it’s thought that her time manipulation can’t be maintained for long periods of time. 

Marvel Comics: Timeslip – First appeared in New Warriors #59 (May 1995)

time manipulation comics Image via Marvel Comics

Timeslip (alias: Rina Patel) is a mutant who first appeared in New Warriors #59 from Marvel. She experienced visions of the future growing up and only later learned that she was swapping her consciousness aross time. She can travel forwards and backwards through time, and can control other aspects of it (slowing it down or speeding it up to out-maneuver her enemies). 

Marvel Comics: Velocidad – First appeared in The Uncanny X-Men #527 (October 2010)

time manipulation in comics Image via Marvel Comics

Velocidad (alias: Gabriel Cohuelo) is a mutant that’s affiliated with post M-Day activations. His name comes from the Spanish word velocidad which roughly translates to “speed, rapidity, quickness, or fleetness.” His ability includes localized time manipulation, meaning that he can slow down the time around him while remaining unaffected by the slow down. This gives him the appearance of moving very fast. Fun fact: his powers speed up his aging greatly and he already has gray hair even though he’s in high school. 

You find stories featuring these characters on DC Universe Infinite or Marvel Unlimited

Do you wish you were like these comic characters that can manipulate time? Are there any other time manipulators in comic books that I forgot to include? Let me know in the comments below!

Featured image via Marvel Studios

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