The comic book industry has been reinventing itself for decades, and the evolution of the superhero genre is far from complete. Now and then, the superheroes themselves undergo personal growth - gaining amazing new superpowers and fantastic abilities that help them fight crime with even greater efficiency.
Casual fans who don't keep up with the ever-changing continuity of Marvel and DC Comics might be surprised to learn about lesser-known superhero superpowers. But even more surprising, they might be shocked to learn that the classic superpowers they dreamed about while growing up have been altered - drastically, in some cases.
In Wonder Woman’s solo cinematic debut, she battles Ares, the God of War, to the fateful end. She does that in the pages of DC Comics, too, but there her actions have significantly greater consequences. After her defeat of Ares, Diana of Themyscira is summoned to Mount Olympus, where the pantheon of Greek gods names her the new God of War.
Wonder Woman’s impressive new designation comes with a bounty of new powers, including the ability to mentally command any and all soldiers. In other words, all the armies of the world are at Diana’s disposal whenever she wishes - fortunately, she’s inordinately responsible with her godhood.
For many X-Men fans, Jubilation Lee is their favorite mall-rat with fireworks powers. Fans of Marvel Comics, however, know she's gained other major - and magical - powers. During one of the X-Men’s many supernatural conflicts, Jubilee is bitten by the son of Dracula - yes, the Dracula - and becomes a vampire.
The incident grants her all the usual vampiric abilities to go along with her existing “energy plasmoids,” and teammates like Wolverine help Jubilee manage her bloodthirstiness so she can maintain a public presence.
Wolverine passes in the aptly titled Death of Wolverine miniseries, but it’s only a matter of years before he comes back in the also aptly titled Return of Wolverine. This time around, the man they call Logan has a brand-new superpower to go along with his claws and healing factor - and many fans are confused.
For reasons that have yet to be explained, Wolverine’s claws can now turn red-hot once they’re unsheathed. In their previous state, his adamantium-coated claws could cut through pretty much any substance known to humanity, so it’s unclear at this point what advantage the higher temperature will give him.
Wanda Maximoff - a character who is sometimes a mutant, an Avenger, and the daughter of Magneto, and sometimes none of those things - has always had a complicated backstory. The powers of Scarlet Witch used to be limited to ill-defined “hex bolts,” but they’ve expanded dramatically in scope since then.
Scarlet Witch eventually develops the ability to alter probabilities, and that soon grows into the power to change reality itself. Wanda puts this god-like power to terrible effect during the events of House of M, but she also uses it to save the world a time or two.