Isekai Superheroes: Ranking the Top 5

They’re Not in Kansas Anymore

Aku:Long ago in a distant land, I, Aku, the shape-shifting master of darkness, unleashed an unspeakable evil! But a foolish samurai warrior wielding a magic sword stepped forth to oppose me. Before the final blow was struck, I tore open a portal in time and flung him into the future, where my evil is law! Now the fool seeks to return to the past and undo the future that is Aku…

Samurai Jack

Earth can be boring. Your younger years are spent trapped in school until responsibility shackles your adult years. Wouldn’t it be nice to start again in another, more fantastic world?

Isekai (Japanese for another world) is a genre where someone is sent to another planet or dimension. The other world is often led by an evil overlord and features video game mechanics and monsters, though steampunk settings and the distant future are also common. The main character is always given a Cheat, such as a legendary weapon or 21st century engineering knowledge in a Dark Ages setting.

Getting to the other world is the easy part. The main character either wanders through a multiversal portal, or dies (almost always getting hit by a truck) and is given a second chance by the gods. The former option is perfect for writing crossovers between established series while the latter is good for signaling that the ultimate goal isn’t to return home.

Isekai may sound strange, but you’ve seen it many times before. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Labyrinth, Space Jam, Back to the Future 2, the list goes on. This is a perfect genre for heroes. So who are the Top 5 Isekai Superheroes? Let’s find o-OH GOD, TRUCK! [CRASH!] Another poor bastard Isekai’d before their time…

#5 The DigiDestined

Played By: Ensemble
World: The Digital World
Cheat: Digivices

Gatomon:I was waiting for the eighth Chosen Child, Kari. I was waiting for you.”

Digimon Adventure “The Eighth Child Revealed” (Season 1, Episode 34)

Children are often the stars of Isekai stories. Adventures in dangerous settings force them to mature as the story progresses. They are also more likely to accept the weirder parts of the new world at face value. These Isekai superheroes form a small army.

Seven children attending summer camp were summoned to The Digital World, a bizarre dimension based on the internet. They met digital monsters called Digimon, who had been assigned to protect them. Many Digimon have been corrupted and driven berserk by Dark Gears. The children, known in prophecy as the DigiDestined, and their Digimon are the only ones who can free them.

Tai is the DigiDestined’s brave but reckless leader. Matt is his aloof, street smart second-in-command. Sora is the team’s mediator. Tech expert Izzy excels at identifying hostile Digimon. while stereotypical teenybopper Mimi and cowardly Joe help when when the chips are down. Matt’s brother T.K. is the youngest DigiDestined although Tai’s sister Kari joins them later.

The kids discovered digivices, which allowed their Digimon to digivolve into stronger forms. Have you noticed the writers really like the prefix “digi?” Digimon can naturally digivolve, but the digivices make it easier and allow them to revert to their more marketab-, err, their smaller and cuter forms. The digivices also allow the Digimon to become more powerful forms than would usually be possible.

#4 Isekai Superhero: Adam Strange

Played By: Michael Trucco, Shaun Sipos
World: Rann
Cheat: Rannian Flight Suit, Mega Zeta Beam

Adam:So long, Earth. You’ll get along just fine without me.”

Adam Strange #2 (2004)

Most Isekai stories stick to one setting. The story begins on Earth, changes, and remains on the new world. There may be rare times through flashbacks or a story arc where the main character returns to Earth, but this Isekai Superhero has a commute.

Archeologist Adam Strange was hit by a radioactive beam that teleported him to another world. A native named Alanna saved him from local predators and brought him to her father, Sardath. Adam learned that he was on Rann, a technologically advanced world. He was transported there from Earth by the Zeta Beam, a natural phenomenon that temporarily teleports unwilling passengers to other worlds.

Adam became Rann’s protector and learned to predict where Zeta Beams would strike. He dated Alanna, but the pair struggled with his abrupt departures when the beam effect wore off. Adam even teleported back to Earth in the middle of their wedding. Sardath eventually discovered the Mega Zeta Beam, which permanently teleported Adam to Rann.

Adam Strange wears a space suit with an attached jetpack and built-in Zeta Beam generator. His suit is also equipped with ray guns and an onboard AI. Adam is a crack shot and martial artist, but just as often prevails by relying on his wits.

#3 Howard the Duck

Played By: Chip Zien, Seth Green
World: Earth
Cheat: Quack-Fu, Overall Strangeness

Howard: “Aw, clam up, bud! You don’t even know the meaning of the word! Finding yourself in a world of talking hairless apes… Now that’s absurdity!”

Adventure Into Fear #19

Many Isekai superheroes leave Earth to find adventure in more interesting locales. Most, but not all. There is a subgenre called reverse Isekai where strange beings are trapped on Earth, including works like The Devil is a Part Timer and E.T.: The Extraterrestrial. This Isekai superhero is emblematic of that genre.

Howard is an everyman from Duckworld, a world similar to Earth populated by intelligent, bipedal ducks instead of talking apes. He accidentally wandered through the Nexus of Realities and became involved in a demon’s scheme on Earth. Howard the Duck teamed up with Man-Thing and sorceress Jennifer Kale to defeat the demon. They were unable to send him home, leaving Howard to find a new home on Earth.

Howard’s wanderings brought him to Cleveland, where he worked odd jobs when not fighting odder villains. He started a detective agency and fell in love with a human woman named Beverly. Howard is a master of Quack-Fu and was noted by The Watcher to be an underperforming super genius.

Fun Fact: Howard the Duck starred in the first Marvel movie, with George Lucas directing. It’s bad, but Howard walked so that the MCU could run.

#2 Isekai Superhero: Gwenpool

Played By: Brenna Hines
World: The Marvel Universe
Cheat: Fourth Wall Comic Knowledge

[Gwenpool is trying to prove the Marvel Universe is fictional]
Gwen: “
You don’t remember much before your first fight with Captain America.”
Batroc the Leaper:What? Of course I do. I… hm. Well, that’s odd.”
Gwen: “You didn’t exist before then. It was your first appearance. Also, you were created to be a big, goofy, French stereotype.”
Gwen: “It’s in your Wikipedia article. ‘Batroc’ sounds like ‘Batrachian’, which means frog-like. Your thing is jumping around. French. Frog. Get it?”

The Unbelievable Gwenpool Vol. 1: Believe It

Who hasn’t wanted to enter the world of their favorite story? You can meet your heroes, crush the villains, and revel in your new powers because you know the plot. This Isekai superhero’s wish came true, but she should have been more careful about what she wished for.

Gwen Poole was a lonely teenager obsessed with Marvel comics. She literally escaped into the comics and became a character. Gwen knew her best chance at survival lay in becoming a superhero. Her tailor thought her name was an alias based on Deadpool and gave her a variant of his costume.

Gwenpool became a mercenary to make ends meet and hunted Howard the Duck in her debut. She was forced into MODOK’s gang at laserpoint and found a mentor in Captain America foe Batroc the Leaper. Gwenpool escaped and resumed her madcap attempts to become popular, spurred on by fear of ceasing to exist if her book was canceled.

Gwenpool subconsciously retcons the Marvel Universe to give herself main character-level plot armor. She also knows every Marvel character’s backstory except for Deadpool’s, ironically. That knowledge is her greatest weakness. She underestimates characters that fans consider goofy and views everything through the lens of a story. Knowing secrets also makes enemies. If Gwenpool shouts The Mighty Thor’s real name as a distraction, Jane Foster is going to be mighty pissed.

#1 Supergirl

Played By: Melissa Benoist, Sasha Calle, Kiana Madeira 
World: Earth
Cheat: Kryptonian Physiology

Supergirl:Baffled, Superman? Let me tell you my story, as my parents told it to me! When Krypton blew up, you were not the only one to escape alive…”

The Supergirl From Krypton

Superman is technically the most famous Isekai superhero of them all. He was born on Krypton and rocketed to Earth. But he barely knew Krypton before he left. This Isekai superhero knows what was lost when the planet exploded.

Kara Zor-El was the heir to the House of El. Her uncle Jor-El warned his brother Zor-El that Krypton was dying. Zor-El made the domed city of Argo spaceworthy and engineered it so the city would be blown to safety when Krypton exploded.

Kara and the Argonauts lived in peace for months, but a kryptonite meteor shower contaminated Argo. Drawing inspiration from his brother, Zor-El built a rocket to send Kara to Earth. She was found by Superman and developed superpowers like him. Kara swore to protect her new home and became Supergirl.

Want more info on the last daughter of two worlds? Our Supergirl Backstory has the details. 

Which Isekai superhero is your favorite? Is there another one who should be summoned to this list? Tell us in the comm- [BEEEP] Nice try, you truck-driving bastard! You’re not Isekai-ing me that easily!

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