Published February 28, 2019

A Taste of the Infinite: 8 Characters Who (Briefly) Went Cosmic

With Superior Spider-Man going cosmic, we recall other characters who touched such power.

Living in the Marvel Universe means that there exists a good chance you might someday finding yourself possessing incredible powers from beyond the stars. In SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #3, available now, Otto Octavius rides that dragon for the first time. However, he enters good company. Here are some heroes and villains he may want to contact after the high to get support in the come-down.

Doctor Doom

Cosmic Doom

Doom does not enjoy playing second fiddle to anyone. He refuses to accept Mr. Fantastic’s intellectual superiority, for instance. So when the Marvel Universe first revealed the cosmic powers that lay beyond Earth’s fragile atmosphere, it should come as no surprise the Doctor viewed this as a sort of challenge to his mindset.

Therefore, Victor quickly set his sights on a tasty target: the shiny surveyor of the skies, the Silver Surfer. And Doom showed that, in fact, he does have a few tricks up his sleeve. Not only did Doom steal all Surfer’s power but he snagged Norrin Radd’s board for good measure. Only the barrier that trapped Surfer on Earth in the first place kept Latveria’s ruler from going HAM on the wider universe.

Doom took on the Power Cosmic again during the first SECRET WAR, when the Beyonder makes the mistake of giving Doom a new body. Doom needed a new body after he obliterated his last one by, you guessed it, trying to steal a herald of Galactus’s power. After refusing to learn a darn thing, Doom immediately attempted to steal the Beyonder’s abilities and succeeded. No wonder he never learns – he gets it right WAY too often.

The power ultimately overwhelmed Victor in short order and the Beyonder took advantage of it, taking back what was rightfully his.


Regardless of how you may feel about Galactus’s appetites, one has to admit he has a great eye for talent. Take the time he looked to Marvel’s greatest pop star and realized, “Yes, she can handle the Power Cosmic.”

So he plucked her from Earth and gave it to her. Then, to really up the ante, he exposed her to all the noises of an exploding galaxy. However, he knew that Dazzler, at her core, remained too dedicated to justice to find him a midnight snack so he directed her on a mission of mercy. The Mistress of Sound delivered, of course, by snagging Terrax the Tamer out of a black hole, saving his life and giving Galactus back a herald who would not let him go hungry.

Human Torch

Cosmic Johnny Storm

This one has some complexity so we will try to make it as straight forward as possible.

In order to punish and put Marvel’s First Family off their game, Doctor Doom changed all their powers around. Johnny Storm ended up with his sister Sue’s power set, meaning he could go invisible, project a force field, and, most importantly in this case, see things that have gone invisible.

Galactus, meanwhile, discovered that after treating the known galaxy as his own personal buffet for nigh on a millennia, the denizens of said galaxy realized something: Galactus cannot eat what he cannot see.

However, Galactus knew a certain woman with the ability to make the invisible visible. So off to Earth the Devourer of Worlds went, only to find that the Human Torch now had that gift. Galactus improvised, adapted to the environment, and in the end, Johnny Storm got the Power Cosmic.

Thankfully before the Human Revealer had to expose a planet for Galactus to snack on, his family bailed him out, returned Galactus to his long-ago human form, and let Johnny ditch the power.

Aunt May

Oh, you don’t know about the Golden Oldie? Goodness! How embarrassing for you!

Red Hulk

Cosmic Red Hulk

Forced into gladiatorial combat, Red Hulk wasted no time in going for the big prize: the Silver Surfer. Improbably getting the upper hand on the former Galactus herald, Red Hulk absorbed his tremendous power before turning it loose on the other heroes and villains the Elders of the Universe had selected for their sick games.

In the end, Red Hulk could not hold onto the power. But he was able to steal Terrax’s ax and punch Dormammu right in his face.

The Phoenix Force

Cosmic Phoenix Force

After the death of Jean Grey, the Phoenix seemingly disappeared. However, it soon reappeared, rushing towards Earth. With Hope Summers prepared to fulfill her destiny by taking it into herself, some other X-Men under Cyclops had a better idea: they took it instead.

The Phoenix Force—made up of Cyclops, Magik, Colossus, Emma Frost, and Namor—became beacons of powers with the ability to make incredible change in the world. Instead, they behaved like monsters, destroying nations and killing mentors, until they turned on each other. In the end, Cyclops stood alone and finally let go of the spectacular power. Alas, far, far too late.


As you may recall, Wolverine’s blood once landed on a powerful crystal, merging him with it. For one brief moment, Logan had all the power he needed to remake the world, the universe even, in any way he saw fit. Thankfully, he had self-control and opted to just reverse the events of the past hour or so and destroy the crystal and, with it, the temptation.


Captain Universe

While we feel sure Otto will pretend this did not happen, he cannot claim to be the first arachnid to possess incredible cosmic power. Peter Parker did it before he did when a failed college experiment somehow connected Parker to the Uni-Power. For those that do not know, the Uni-Power makes the recipient into Captain Universe, also known as “the hero that could be you!”

Spidey eventually used the power to put down the impressively dangerous Tri-Sentinel, but he honestly kind of wasted it until then, living under the mistaken impression that his usual powers had just increased by a bit. Eventually, the full Uni-Power revealed itself and the wallcrawler caught on. However, due to the vagaries of the way the Uni-Power works and Parker’s own morality, the full union ended up a short-lived one.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #3, written by Christos Gage with art by Mike Hawthorne, is available now online and at your local comic shop!

Superior Spider-Man #3 cover