One of the most useful superpowers for any comic book character, whether they’re a hero or a villain, is the ability to shapeshift. Here is our list of the top five shapeshifters in comics.
There are several DC villains who took up the name Clayface. Basil Karlo, the original Clayface, was an actor who went crazy after he was recast in a horror film. Adopting the name of a villain he once played in a previous film, Clayface began terrorizing the cast and crew of the new movie. This brought him into conflict with Batman and Robin. Somewhere along the way, Karlo was transformed into a behemoth with clay-like skin, and the ability to shapeshift into any form he pleases.
One of the main characters of the immensely popular Teen Titans, Beast Boy is different than other characters on this list in that his shapeshifting abilities only allow him to transform into animals. However, this isn’t a weakness, as he can literally transform into any animal he’s ever seen, even if only in picture form. With the ability to alter his own body mass as well, Beast Boy has displayed the ability to transform into large extinct animals such as dinosaurs.
The race of extraterrestrial shapeshifters known as the skrulls have served as a serious threat to the galaxy for millions of years. Though they started out as a civilization of traders, the skrulls evolved to become a capable war machine through their battles with the Kree and the Shi’ar. By using their shapeshifting abilities, they once infiltrated Earth, posing as many of the planet’s mightiest heroes. The effects of that secret invasion were felt for years, as it sowed mistrust within the superhero community.
Serving as one of the 7 founding members of the Justice League of America, Martian Manhunter came to Earth from the planet Mars. He has several superhuman abilities which make him one of DC’s strongest heroes. Impressive among those abilities is his capacity to shapeshift. He often disguises himself as human Detective John Jones. He can also alter his limbs into weapons, and even grow extra arms.
It should come as no surprise that the villainous Raven Darkholme is at the top of the list of comic book shapeshifters. For starters, she just has a certain ‘mystique’ about her. In all seriousness though, one of the reasons for her taking the number one spot is that Mystique’s sense of self-preservation far exceeds most others. Raven always manages to stay a step ahead of her enemies, changing alliances depending on what best suits her needs at the time. Her shape-shifting abilities also occur on the cellular level, which has allowed her to maintain a youthful appearance despite being more than 100 years old.