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Quote1 Taking away a meta-human's powers isn't the same thing as taking away a gun from a criminal. Erasing our powers is erasing our identity. It's saying, "Hey, you were made bad, change that." But shouldn't justice be about changing the way a person acts, not the way they were born? I get it. You fear us because we're different. You'd feel safer if we were the same. But different can't be cured. Quote2

Metahuman is a human being who has a Meta-Gene, a genetic mutation (being on par with Mutants in the Marvel Universe, and Post-Humans and Gen-Active in the Wildstorm Universe), which when activated can give them super-human abilities. The activation can occur through different methods, including high levels of physical trauma, chemistry, and magic. The term "metahuman" was first coined by the alien Dominators and it has been used to describe any human being with what are commonly described as "super powers".



The Metagene

One of the Dominators discovered that some humans had a "biological variant" he called the meta-gene. This gene often lay dormant until a moment of extraordinary physiological stress activated it, and upon activation it would use the source of the biostress as a catalyst for "genetic change," resulting in metahuman abilities.

There are also people born with superhuman abilities, suggesting the metagene can activate spontaneously and without any prior appearance in the ancestry. One well-known example involves Dinah Laurel Lance, the second Black Canary. Although her mother (Dinah Drake Lance, the original Black Canary) was a superhero, neither she nor her husband Larry Lance were born with any known metagenes. However, Dinah Laurel was born with a metagene, from which her famed ultrasonic scream, known as the Canary Cry, developed.

Some metahumans may be born with incredible and incomprehensible powers and abilities. Examples of powers shared by many individuals include telepathy, telekinesis, flight, the ability to project energy, accelerated healing; and enhanced physical strength, agility, or senses—all to variable limits. Other metahumans may also experience a minor to radical alteration in physical appearance from the human norm—wings, gills, a tail, fur, altered skin-color, etc.

White Martians

The genetic potential for a future metagene was discovered in ancient human DNA by the White Martian race. The White Martians performed experiments on these primitive humans, changing the metagene. Due to their experimentations, they actually altered the destiny of the human race. Whereas before evolution would have eventually made mankind into a race of superhumans similar to the Daxamites and Kryptonians, now only a select few humans would be able to develop metahuman powers. As punishment for this, the group of renegades known as the Hyperclan was exiled to the Still Zone, a version of the Phantom Zone.

The White Martians also created a metavirus, a metagene that could be passed from host to host via touch. This metavirus was responsible for the empowerment of the very first Son of Vulcan. And from that time onward, the Sons of Vulcan passed the metavirus down in an unbroken line, sworn to hunt and kill White Martians.


There exists a toxic mutagen called the Exo-gene. It is a toxic gene therapy treatment created by Lexcorp for the Everyman Project, which creates metahuman abilities in compatible non-metahumans.[6] The project was controversial, creating a lot of unstable heroes and gave Luthor an "off-switch" for their powers, creating countless mid-flight deaths.




S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator's explosion

In Earth-1, Eobard Thawne (disguised as Harrison Wells) created several metahumans (including the Flash) when his Particle Accelerator exploded in Central City on the night of December 11, 2013. The metas gained their abilities after being affected by the Dark Matter released from the explosion, this altered their DNA cells, augmenting their physiology to access their newfound powers, wich were influenced by unusual conditions at the time of exposure. The Flash was struck by a lightning and became a speedster, giving off electricity when he runs, while Girder and Tar Pit gained the power to transform into the substance they were immersed in during the explosion (steel and tar, respectively). According to the Thinker, 2,600 people developed the Meta-Gene in that night.[7][8][9]

The Meta-Gene activation can also occur through different methods, including the Green Light drug, Harun-El, Mirakuru, X-Kryptonite, Venom, and Thanagarian technology. The first metahuman created on Earth-Prime was Tyson Sykes, a World War II soldier who was injected with an unknown substance that had previously killed hundreds of men, but this activated the meta-gene in him and transformed him in a meta.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16]

Zoom's meta-human group Arrowverse 001

Zoom's meta-human group

The Particle Accelerator explosion also happened on Earth-2, Earth-27, Earth-Prime, and possibly Earth-19, also creating several other metas.[17][18][3][19]

In 2016, Zoom's metahuman army invaded Central City, but they were repelled by Team Flash. In October 2017, The Thinker created twelve new metas when he forced Barry Allen return from the Speed Force. The dark matter energy released from the Speed Force affected everyone on the Central City Bus 405, transformed each of them in metas with powers that the Thinker had carefully anticipated to steal for himself.[19]

In Black Lightning's Earth, the Markovians created their own metahumans; the Masters of Disaster. In 2019, the Markovians invaded Freeland in order to abduct their meta children; creating a military occupation in the city. They were eventually defeated by Black Lightning's team during the War for Freeland in 2020.

Particle accelerator metahumans


Meta-human Cure 001

Meta-human Cure

The first attempt at a metahuman cure was created by Cisco Ramon, to cure Caitlin Snow from her evil alter ego Killer Frost, which worked for a while, but not completely. After Cisco's hands were injured by Cicada's daggers, the shards were removing his powers. So this inspired him to use his knowledge of it to make a metahuman cure along with his friend Caitlin. The cure healed Orlin Dwyer, the first Cicada, and temporarily healed King Shark, who rejected the cure to save Central City from Gorilla Grodd. When Grace Gibbons aka Cicada II started killing metahumans like her uncle, Team Flash hid the metas in the CCPD Headquarters while doing the metahuman cure. Then, Grace invaded the CCPD but was defeated by the Team. Two years later, A.R.G.U.S. developed a new metahuman cure, which provided sergeant Kristen Kramer to shoot all the metas and cure them against their will, but this was denied during Killer Frost's trial.

Erased Future

In a dystopian future of Earth-1, metahumans were outlawed in 2021 by the Anti-Meta-Human Act developed by the A.R.G.U.S. agency. In 2017, the Legends traveled to this future, where they rescued Zari Tomaz, a wielder of the Air Totem, and released the meta inmates inside A.R.G.U.S..[20] After the battle of Heyworld, this reality was erased[21] and replaced by another peaceful future.[22]



The prefix meta-, in this context, simply means "beyond"—as in metastable, which is "beyond regular stability; ready to collapse at the slightest disruption", or metamorphosis, which is "the state of going beyond a single shape". So, "metahuman" simply describes persons and/or abilities beyond normal human limits.

The terms "meta" and "metahuman" do not exclusively refer to humans born with biological variants. Superman and Martian Manhunter (aliens) as well as Wonder Woman (a near-goddess) and Aquaman (an Atlantean) are referred to in some instances as "metahumans",[citation needed] and even Batman was once called one.[23] It can apparently be used to refer to anyone with extranormal powers, no matter the origins and including those not born with such power.

The term "mutant" has sometimes been used to describe humans who were born with super-powers that manifested spontaneously, without any apparent catalyst. This term was mostly used before the discovery of the meta-gene. It is unclear if so-called mutants like Captain Comet or Jericho are metahumans or not.


By the definition that Checkmate uses, there are roughly 1.3 million metahumans on Earth, 99.5% of which are considered "nuisance-level" (such as kids who can bend spoons with their mind and the old lady "who keeps hitting at Powerball").[24] The other 0.5% are what Checkmate and the O.M.A.C.s consider Alpha- and Beta-level threats. For example, Superman and Wonder Woman were categorized as Alpha-level, while Metamorpho was considered a Beta.

Powers and Abilities


Several, unique to each person


See Also

Links and References