Top 5 Powerful Unknown Superheroes
The likes of Iron Man and Hawkeye were once unknown to most people, but the success of the Avengers changed all that. Here are the top 5 big names from various comic book universes who are bursting with power and could yet reach similar popular heights. Note that these are relative unknowns to the general public, so any comic book aficionados may well find they’re familiar with at least some names on the list.
Appearing in Valiant Comics and created by writers Jim Shooter and Steve Englehart, and artists Bob Layton and Barry Windsor-Smith, X-O Manowar is certainly not going to rival Spidey or Batman in the recognition stakes. But it’s worth noting his comic book series has sold 8 million copies, so X-O Manowar isn’t exactly small fry either.
A distinctive feature of this hero is that he isn’t a single entity, but a combination of Aric of Dacia (a Visigoth from the 5th century AD) and Shanhara, living armor of organic and metallic components. Shanhara can heal Aric of incredibly serious injuries and can translate alien languages. When Aric saw demons attacking his people he went to defend them but ended up a captive aboard their spacecraft. Held there for years, he was gifted a map and managed to make his way to the armor’s location. Wearing it, he was able to return to Earth, but moving at such high speeds on the spacecraft meant it was the 20th century when he returned.
At least, that was the original story. In a reboot, the character was a scientist in the modern era named Donovan Wylie, and the X-O armor was an ancient object owned by the US Government of unknown origin. In this version, the armor is capable of gifting its wearer immense power but at the cost of sucking out their life force over time. Worse still, the armor cannot be removed without killing the wearer.
It is possible we could see the Visigoth version coming to the silver screen, with Valiant Entertainment making such an announcement back in 2016.
As we’ve seen with both the biggest names of the MCU and comic book stars yet to make a splash with the general public, such as X-O Manowar, they can fill various media niches, from original comic books to novels, manga, TV, and film appearances, video games, and online casino slots. Top online casinos are always on the lookout for fun themes, and Comic book / Superhero slots are some of the most popular new games in online casinos these days. National Casino, a new online casino, features some of the newest games on the market to play with a no deposit bonus so new players can play for free and win real cash without risking a penny.
The Living Tribunal
While many of the characters presented are from non-Marvel/DC sources, there are a few cosmic entities of substantial power from those two universes yet to make a breakthrough with the general public via the MCU or DC films (not counting outright villains like Apocalypse or initially grey characters like the Beyonder). One of the most powerful characters who turns out to be quite heroic is the Living Tribunal.
Debuting in 1967 and created by Stan Lee, Marie Severin, and Herb Trimpe, The Living Tribunal seemed to be the universe’s most powerful entity and gave Doctor Strange the task of proving that Earth deserved to survive. From there, The Living Tribunal appeared sporadically but can be said to be heroic thanks to fighting against the Beyonders, a higher dimensional race, which (in one continuity) leads to the entity’s death. Before this, The Living Tribunal teams up with the Spectre to save their worlds.
So, how does The Living Tribunal stack up to, say, Thanos? Well, this particular entity is strong enough to stop the infinity stones from being used in unison. Oh, snap.
Published by Top Cow Productions, Witchblade is not only the name of a comic book series but also a manga, anime, and novel. A film was announced (but never happened), and a TV series was said to be in development in 2017, though this too seems to have faded away. The most recent new comic series started in February 2021.
There’s a slight similarity with X-O Manowar in that Witchblade isn’t the name of the protagonist, but of the weapon. The series revolves around Sara Pezzini, an NYPD detective, who encounters the sentient Witchblade (actually a gauntlet rather than a sword) that bonds with her, conferring substantial powers. The Witchblade has bonded with humans, mostly women, previously.
The power of the Witchblade can vary according to whom it’s bonded. Although just a gauntlet, the artifact can summon armor that covers the entirety of a host, which not only makes them impervious to harm but also has powerful restorative abilities. The wearer of the Witchblade is also stronger and has more stamina than a normal human, and can summon weapons.
The newest kid on the block (well, this list) by a long shot, Radiant Black’s first issue (published by Image Comics) came out in February 2021. The name is cool, and the character can be compared to a combination of Invincible and Power Rangers. Nathan Burnett is the star of the page, an indebted writer who is forced to swallow his pride and go back to living with his parents. Things are not going so well for our hero-to-be, but an encounter with a black hole-esque phenomenon sees Nathan transformed into Radiant Black. He, and the friend he’s with when turning into a superhero, manage to escape an oncoming train when his new threads turn on their gravity powers to stunning effect.
But it seems there’s more than one suit around, as the issue ends with a Radiant Red-figure robbing a bank. At the time of writing, there are 10 volumes to the series (the first volume covers issues 1-6), with eight released and two available for pre-order. Because comic books have such a long history most of the entries on this list are slightly (or much) older, but if you’re looking for a new superhero then jumping in when the story is still being written may make Radiant Black the one for you.
Another Top Cow hero, (and, incidentally, one of Witchblade’s parents), is the Darkness. In fact, this hero’s first appearance was in Witchblade #10. The Darkness was relaunched in 2019, with Sara Pezzini (see above) and the original protagonist Jackie Estacado in secondary roles.
In the original series, Estacado was a mob hitman, and a womanizer, whose virtues included a sense of honor and loyalty. He was also romantically involved with Pezzini. At the age of 21, and already an experienced killer, his powers manifested and he tried to leave the mob, only for his boss to kill his childhood sweetheart. The hitman got revenge, at the cost of his own life, and Estacado spent a few days wandering around Hell before his body got reconstructed by the Darkness.
By accessing another dimension, immense power was bestowed to the Darkness, including control over demonic creatures called Darklings, who have abilities ranging from breathing fire to teleportation. Like the Witchblade, Darkness wielders can summon mystical armor to protect themselves and have great regenerative capabilities.
There’s no shortage of great superheroes brimming with power who could yet make it big with the general public, from classic heroes to brand new protagonists.