Of all the extraordinary powers exhibited by comic book characters, telepathy stands out as the most powerful. From reading minds to erasing memories, it is a devastating ability that requires the user to show restraint and discipline unless they wish to be the story's villain.
So, it comes as no surprise that some of the most powerful characters are telepaths.
There are numerous telepaths between Marvel and DC comics. While some use their abilities for the greater good, others use them to bend others to their will. Then, there are those that have danced on both sides of the line between good and evil.
These characters are the strongest with this ability in comics
These telepaths can see what you're thinking before you even know what you're thinking. They are some of the most powerful in their respective universes.
5) Saturn Girl
Imra Ardeen was born on Titan, the colonized moon of Saturn. It is a world of telepaths where she is powerful enough to be considered a prodigy. When she eventually traveled to Earth, her telepathic abilities played a prominent role in foiling an assassination attempt.
Imra's telepathic abilities allow her to read minds, send messages to others' minds, cloak her presence from others, and even communicate mentally with people in the Phantom Zone. In the early years of Saturn Girl's adventures, her power got her in a lot of trouble because she would pick up thoughts from people around her and jump to wrong conclusions.
David Haller, the son of Professor Charles Xavier, is an Omega-level mutant and one of the most powerful telepaths in the entire Marvel comic universe. However, Dissociative Identity Disorder limits him from accessing the full potential of his power set.
There was a short time when he had more control over his multiple personalities, which allowed him his full power.
David gets his alter ego name "Legion" from being able to create spontaneous mutations, which, in turn, create new personas to govern the mutation. It is on record that he had "200 Omega-level split personalities" at one point.
These personalities possess powers from time manipulation to telepathy, making him a god. Don't cross him on a bad day.
3) Emma Frost
Emma Frost is another Omega-level telepath who has been a villain and a hero. She has exhibited the same discipline it takes to control the destructive potential of mind powers.
She also has the ability to transform her skin into diamond. While in this form, she is protected from psychic, energy, and physical attacks. She can even resist extreme temperatures.
Emma has bested some of the greatest telepaths in the Marvel universe, such as Professor Xavier, Hope Summers, and Nate Grey. There was even a point where she used her diamond form to trap a sliver of The Void in her forehead.
Emma currently sits on The Quiet Council, the governing body of the nation-state Krakoa.
2) Professor Xavier
Possibly the most recognizable face in X-Men comics, Charles Xavier is the founder of the X-Men and possesses the most potent brain in Marvel, rivaled by few.
Xavier can touch anyone's mind within a 250-mile radius from his location and can increase that range to the whole planet with the help of Cerebro.
He has been known to cloak his presence with his telepathy, create realistic illusions by manipulating another's mind, possess another's mind, create astral projections, and much more. While commonly known to be confined to a wheelchair, that isn't the case anymore.
Xavier can now walk due to the events from House of X.
1) Martian Manhunter
J'onn J'onnz is a Martian in the DC Universe commonly seen as another Superman-type hero. However, he is much more than that.
J'onn is considered the most powerful telepath in DC. The Martian Manhunter can communicate with people on Earth while on the moon, a range greater than Professor Xavier of the Marvel Universe.
He commonly links the minds of his fellow Justice Leaguers to act as a conduit for communication during battle. J'onn can also be seen controlling the minds of others, astral projecting his body, tracking a being by sensing their mental signature, and much more.
If it wasn't for his simple weakness to fire, J'onn J'onnz might be the most powerful being in the DC Universe.
Whether it's used to communicate with friends or wipe someone's memory, telepathy is a power that is equally as inspiring as it is fearful. There are not many ways to defend against it.
Unless one has training against it, an ability that counters it, or a special helmet, there is not much to do in the face of a telepath.
Note: This article reflects the author's views.