Comic characters who manipulate time from Marvel and DC


The US Senate has approved a bill that would make permanent summer time and I am fully behind that. Gone are the groggy mornings where I struggle to make sense of the hour I’ve “lost” or wondering if I should celebrate when I get an extra hour in the fall, but lose the day light. If only I was a comic book character who could manipulate time to do what I wanted it to do…if Dr. Strange can do it, why can’t I? Unfortunately, I didn’t wake up with any extraordinary abilities, but it made me think, “Who are the comic characters who manipulate time?” Here are 15 comic book characters who manipulate time and examples of time manipulation in the comics: it’s not just about time travel!

DC Comics characters with the ability to manipulate time – superheroes and villains!

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

Image via DC Comics

Doctor Manhattan (aka Dr. Jonathan Osterman) is a DC character who first appeared in the graphic novel series watchmen. He is the only character who possesses powers, which include a unique sense of time (being able to see the past, present, and future simultaneously) and changing reality to his liking through time manipulation as seen in the comics (it 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 watching the C.W. the flash or wait impatiently Andrés Muschietti’s film About the superhero speedster, fans know that Barry Allen is able to time travel thanks to his blistering speed. While fans have only seen The Flash come back a shorter distance in Zack Snyder’s films, Muschietti’s film will see Barry come back further, which may or may not lead to questionable results.

DC Comics: The Specter – 1st appearance More Fun Comics #52 (1940)

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The Specter is the name given to several anti-heroes in the DCEU. The one this post focuses on is tough cop Jim Corrigan, who is murdered by thugs. His spirit refuses to enter the afterlife and is sent back to Earth to seek bloody revenge. The Specter has all of God’s abilities, including time and space manipulation, invulnerability, and reality alternation.

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

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Tempus is the name of a number of Silver Age DC Comics characters. The first incarnation was an enemy of Superman 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 fought Supergirl. Currently, Tempus is one of a race of beings known as the Fuginauts who are tasked with keeping characters from one DC Multiverse reality from entering others. He’s not so much a villain anymore but a neutral antagonist who shuts down heroes and villains alike.

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

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

Marvel Comics Superhero Characters Able to Manipulate Time

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

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Thanks to her recent appearances in the MCU and her 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 Coming Home as he helped Peter Parker go back in time and accidentally open the Multiverse. Doctor Strange cannot completely stop time, but he is able to slow it down and can use the Time Stone to reverse the time of a single object.

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

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Franklin Richards is the son of Reed and Sue Richards of the Fantastic Four. He has godlike abilities due to Sue’s body being exposed to radiation. Although he has powers like increasing his strength and telekinesis, he can also manipulate reality and time, like Doctor Strange. He is able to work in the multiverse and he saved it from collapse during a foray crisisone of the greatest time manipulations in the comics.

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

comic characters who manipulate time Image via Marvel Comics

Iron Lad (alias: Nathaniel Richards) is from the 30th century and is best known as 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 discrepancies, giving it the ability to time travel and manipulate time.

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

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Kiden Nixon is a Marvel mutant who lives in New York on Earth-616. After her police officer father was killed, she turned to a life of crime. She accidentally discovered her chronokinesis (ability to manipulate the flow of time) when she confronted another gang member. She is able to shift into a faster time stream, moving into a state where time moves so slowly relative to her that it seems to stop. When she moves like that, what is seconds to everyone seems like minutes to her.

Marvel Comics: Kronos – 1st appearance Iron Man #55 (February 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 Earth’s Eternals. Besides being extremely intelligent with telepathy and cosmic awareness, he can also become the embodiment of time. Because of this, he can exercise some control over his flow, whether he slows it down or speeds it up.

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

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Magik (alias: Illyana Rasputina) is a mutant witch in the MCU. She rules over a demonic realm known as Limbo after her abduction of her older brother, the X-Man Colossus. Although she is skilled in dark 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 is known to travel through moments, days or centuries in time, past and future. strange doctor tell him that she “had the potential for great feats of time manipulation on a larger scale”, so maybe we’ll see more of Magik’s time manipulation in the comics.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Featured image via Marvel Studios


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