- "Our city has seen incredible...impossible things. Meta-humans, men and women with extraordinary abilities. The ability to soar above buildings, to run faster than the speed of light. Unfortunately, most of these meta-humans have chosen the wrong path with these powers, a dark path."
- —Harrison Wells[src]
Meta-humans, commonly shortened as metas and often referred to as super-humans, are individuals who acquired powers and abilities unlike those of normal humans after experiencing mutation of their bodies (in comparison to magic users, who learned how to harness primordial energies without being mutated themselves). On Earth-27, meta-humans are referred to as hyperhumans. On Earth-1, most obtained their powers after surviving an explosion caused by a malfunction of the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator on December 11, 2013, releasing a wave of dark matter throughout Central City. These people were exposed to the particles and dark matter that altered their genetic, chemical, or even atomic structure, giving them a variety of abilities. Their abilities seem to often relate to what energy or matter the future super-humans were directly in contact with at the time of exposure.
According to Clifford DeVoe, approximately 2,600 people became meta-humans the night of the accelerator explosion. Only certain people became metas as only a handful of people in Central City carried a unique and dormant "meta-gene" that allows the pituitary gland to process dark matter in order to manifest stable abilities. Team Flash has recently developed a cure for meta abilities that involves suppressing this gene to remove the meta's ability to process dark matter and the powers they gain from it.
On Earth-2, intending to prevent the negative effects of the particle accelerator, Dr. Harrison Wells of that universe allowed excess radiation to flow underground, with the first meta-human appearing eleven hours following.
On Earth-203, many meta-humans are implied to have been born with their powers, leaving the reason for them developing their abilities in the first place uncertain.
On Earth-TUD5, meta-humans, often referred to as superhumans or Green Light Babies, are individuals who acquired powers and abilities unlike those of normal humans after experiencing mutation of their bodies. Most obtain their powers from taking the drug Green Light which is a manufactured vaccine. These people were exposed to the Green Light drug that can alter their genetic, chemical, or even atomic structure, giving them a variety of abilities. Many others have gained their powers naturally, by specific things that have happened.
Meta-humans are represented by a wide spectrum of mutated people, with mental state, physical appearance and physiological specifics unique for each individual. The conditions they were in during the exposure to the mutative element seem to affect how the mutation changes a person. Furthermore, there are dormant meta-humans, like Henry Hewitt and Jefferson Jackson, whose powers did not resurface until the connection to the Firestorm Matrix, which either re-enabled their mutative physiology or represented a new mutation altogether. Within the spectrum of meta-humans, there have emerged a few specific classes or sub-species that share common traits and powers; speedsters, for example, are meta-humans who are connected to the Speed Force and collectively possess speed-based powers. Vibers are another example; meta-humans who possess psychic connections to the dimensional energies of reality, allowing them to open breaches to parallel universes at will, generate vibrational energy and giving them powers of retrocognition, clairvoyance, and precognition.
Most meta-humans seen on Earth-1 and Earth-2 mutated after exposure to the dark matter connected to the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator. Some meta-humans acquired their powers through other means, not directly related to being hit by the wave of dark energy after the particle accelerator explosion. Among such meta-humans are Eliza Harmon (used Velocity serums to give herself superhuman speed, although she may have been a dormant meta-human prior to that), Valentina Vostok (used the Operation Svarog version of Firestorm Matrix to become a Soviet Firestorm) and Jake Simmons (source of mutation unknown). Through unknown means, meta-humans of Earth-19 and Earth-3 also acquired powers. In other universes, like Earth-38, humans would mutate as part of an accident without any dark matter involved, like what happened with Livewire. There's a middle-ground case regarding advanced cyborgs, like Metallo: while mostly enhanced by cybernetics, Metallos were mutated on some level, surviving despite their bodies being filled with Kryptonite energy, and requiring the Kryptonite "heart" to function properly.
It is debatable whether those affected by the Mirakuru drug can be considered true meta-humans. On the one hand, their case is similar to that of Eliza Harmon, who amplified herself with the Velocity drug, receiving meta-human powers at the cost of negative effects for sanity. On the other hand, their condition is reversible, as a Mirakuru cure was created, that allowed them to cure Slade Wilson and Roy Harper. However, the Flash's meta-human powers were also taken away from him when Hunter Zolomon stole his speed, turning him into a normal human once again. Additionally, Slade Wilson was affected by the Mirakuru for years, implying that he would retain his superhuman abilities if not for the cure. One way or another, Barry Allen researched the case of Cyrus Gold, a Mirakuru-affected member of the Church of Blood as part of his hunt for "the impossible," which otherwise included meta-humans. Furthermore, Cisco Ramon eventually concluded that it would be possible to create a meta-human cure, further supporting the fact that, like individuals enhanced by Mirakuru, a meta-human's condition is also reversible.
Some meta-humans consider themselves separate, or at least different enough from the regular humans to identify as something else. The prime example of such thinking would be members of Zoom's meta-human group, who ushered in the Metapocalypse upon Central City. In the speech before his followers, Zoom depicted humans as the archetypal "Other," claiming that they think that Earth-1 belongs just to them, and inciting the meta-humans under his command to take over this world. Characteristically of this group, Killer Frost, Black Siren, King Shark, and Reverb were all shown preferring to refer to themselves with their meta-human "names," instead of their original ones. Interestingly, Hunter Zolomon himself preferred to be called by the name of the man whose identity he stole, Jay Garrick, rather than his own meta-human nickname, or especially his real name, as shown when Caitlin Snow called him "Hunter", causing Zolomon to relive a painful traumatic flashback.
Meta-humans are not to be confused with magic users, like Damien Darhk or John Constantine, who receive their powers not thanks to mutation, but by manipulating primordial energies of the universe, such as Light of the Soul. However, it is possible for an individual to exhibit both magic powers and abilities related to mutated physiology, Vandal Savage being a prime example of such.
Due to the rogue time remnant of future Barry Allen's machinations, he created a legend that the "God of Motion" Savitar was the first meta-human and speedster of the entire multiverse. The legend says that this "god" would hunt multiple universes to fight and destroy every speedster whom he considered a challenge. To prepare these worlds for his arrival, Savitar would interact with the humans through his avatar as Alchemy, possessing them to do his being and create cults in his name. Savitar's source of powers was the Brahmastra, commonly known as the Philosopher's Stone, an ancient Indian artifact able to mutate people into meta-humans. Savitar used this artifact on himself, tying it to his destiny forever, resulting in him depending on the Brahmastra to lure new candidates to be his "Alchemy," whom would free him from the prison in the Speed Force along with the Philosopher's Stone. However, his original self from a possible future was the one who initially managed to imprison him, forcing Savitar to swear revenge on Barry, as he waited for millennia to be freed.
The race of Dominators studied meta-humans for many years, considering their threat level, but it was the Flashpoint caused by Barry Allen that alerted them to the need to hunt down all meta-humans. Before an eventual invasion in 2016, the Dominators appeared at Redmond in 1951, alerted by the appearance of the Justice Society of America, which included meta-human members of unknown origins. Due to the efforts of time traveling Legends, along with Felicity Smoak and Cisco Ramon, one Dominator was saved from cruel experiments performed by the United States' secret services' members. This made the Dominators reconsider their approach towards their invasion, as they decided to propose a trade: the lives of all meta-humans on Earth-1 for Barry Allen, whose ability to change timelines was perceived as the greater threat.
Other than the Justice Society, a source of meta-humans in the times before the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator's creation, was a biomolecular enhancer created by the time criminal Eobard Thawne. Thawne's meddling led to Nazi Baron Krieger turning into Übermensch, and time traveler Nate Heywood turning into Steel.
Due to the time travel adventures of the Legends, meta-humans such as Firestorm have been sighted in different points of time. After witnessing Firestorm, Vandal Savage started an extensive study of meta-humans. On the one hand, his research proved fruitful when another meteor from Thanagar landed in Harmony Falls, allowing Savage to create imperfect Manhawks using mutative Thanagarian technology. On the other hand, Savage assisted the Soviet Union with research of his own, culminating in Operation Svarog, which would produce a Soviet Firestorm. Additionally, Eobard Thawne has been using his powers while traveling throughout time, 1927's Chicago is one of the earliest points in his travels.
Nevertheless, the meta-humans remained a mystery to the world at large, and superhuman powers were generally considered impossible. The trend would continue until 2013, when the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator, created by "Harrison Wells", exploded, giving birth to many meta-humans such as the Flash. These events were manipulated by Eobard since his travel to 2000, first by slaying Nora Allen, the mother of Barry Allen, the future Flash, and then by being stranded in time and having to take on Harrison Wells's identity, to ensure that the particle accelerator explodes and Barry becomes the Flash. As the result of Eobard's knowledge from the future, S.T.A.R. Labs was able to create a working particle accelerator much earlier than in the supposed original timeline, resulting in a massive influx of meta-humans in the years 2013-2014.
Barry Allen, who witnessed "the Man in Yellow," was sure that he was the culprit that killed Barry's mother, and Henry Allen was wrongly accused of the murder. Seeing his mother killed by "something impossible" motivated Barry to give special attention to cases connected to the meta-humans, which would appear paranormal to the general population, trying to prove that "the impossible" was real. After becoming an assistant CSI in Central City Police Department, Barry started searching for super-powered beings in hope that he would one day prove a case true and, subsequently, find answers to clear his father's name. Among such cases was the rampage of Cyrus Gold, a man mutated due to the Mirakuru drug, giving him superhuman strength, endurance, and vitality. Mirakuru was also harmful to one's mental state, turning its users into killing machines, something that was also characteristic of the meta-humans post-explosion of the particle accelerator. Additionally, not everybody could survive the mutation, just like dark matter exposure.
In the year 2013, S.T.A.R. Labs' particle accelerator exploded, covering Central City and its outskirts with a wave of dark matter energy, exposing countless people to physiological mutations. Hartley Rathaway, one of the victims of dark matter exposure, suspected that Dr. Harrison Wells knew of the high probability of the explosion, and still risked with the lives of many people. However, with Dr. Wells actually being Eobard Thawne, a meta-human from the future, the explosion was his goal all along. "Wells" assembled a team with his loyal employees Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon and asked Joe West, Barry Allen's foster father, to be allowed to care for the comatose Barry in S.T.A.R. Labs, intending on making sure that Allen becomes the Flash.
Barry eventually started to work with "Wells" and the other scientists of S.T.A.R. Labs, organizing themselves as Team Flash, with their goals turned to fight crime in the Central City area, specifically, with apprehending meta-human criminals, which were sent to the Pipeline, or, later, to the Iron Heights Prison. Some meta-humans were recruited by Leonard Snart, who broke them from captivity along with Lisa Snart. Eventually, other members of Team Flash discovered Dr. Wells's true identity as the Reverse-Flash, the man who killed Nora Allen, and managed to defeat him with the help of the Arrow and Firestorm.
After the confrontation with Eobard Thawne and the resulting appearance of the singularity above Central City, the Flash and Firestorm saved the day at the cost of Ronnie Raymond's life. Their victory darkened by the loss and the betrayal, Team Flash members temporarily went their separate ways, before having to reunite due to the appearance of "breacher" meta-humans from Earth-2, led by Zoom. Team Flash, joined by such denizens of Earth-2 as Dr. Harrison "Harry" Wells, Jesse Wells and Jay Garrick, opposed Zoom's meta-humans, culminating with Jay's apparent death. In truth, "Jay" manipulated the events all along, being the mastermind behind Zoom's invasion. Declaring Earth-Two to already be on its knees before his power, Zoom led the meta-humans of his home universe to Earth-1, capturing the CCPD station and declaring that this Earth belongs to meta-humans. Zoom's invasion, nicknamed "the Metapocalypse" by the people of Central City, was ultimately stopped thanks to the joined efforts of CCPD and Team Flash, with most of Zoom's army being incarcerated in the meta-human wing of the Iron Heights, while a few (who were known to have Earth-1 counterparts) were locked in the repurposed S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator.
Among other meta-humans Barry Allen encountered were specific individuals that mutated without direct relation to the particle accelerator explosion. The real Jay Garrick, for example, exhibited speedster powers similar to Barry's, but the origin of his powers is unknown. Some meta-humans stayed dormant for a while, before their hidden powers being awakened by specific events, like memories of a changed timeline (Vibe experienced his meta-human powers after Barry aborted a timeline in which Central City was destroyed by a tidal wave and Cisco was slain by Eobard Thawne), or Firestorm Matrix exposure (Henry Hewitt and Jefferson Jackson were both diagnosed as being mutated just enough to allow for a merge with Martin Stein in form of Firestorm, and although the former was unsuccessful, the experiment awoke his own powers as "Tokamak"). However, Barry Allen recognized that Vandal Savage's fighting abilities were not meta-human in nature, but a result of magic, much the same as Kendra Saunders, initially thought by Cisco Ramon to be a meta-human.
However, while Savage was indeed a magic user and wasn't affected by the particle accelerator explosion, he later found out and revealed to Kendra that his powers of immortality and regeneration, as well as Hawkman and Hawkgirl's bird-like powers and reincarnation, were not actually magic, but a result of physiological mutation due to the exposure to Thanagarian technology, advanced beyond that of humanity's, and stored in what appeared to be meteors. Savage intended to use this technology to wipe out the timeline and reverse it back to the times of Ancient Egypt, allowing himself to rise as Hath-Set, as Pharaoh rather than simply being Pharaoh's adviser as he'd been originally. However, he was ultimately slain by Kendra Saunders and Scythian Torvil in the year 2021, his plans foiled.
An unidentified number of meta-humans appeared in Central City through unknown means during the "Flashpoint" timeline, created when Barry Allen saved his mother from Eobard Thawne and imprisoned him in a version of 2016. For unknown reasons, rather than reverting to the state the timeline was in before Thawne's time travel to 2000, it changed instead into an altered reality, in which neither Harrison Wells, nor Eobard Thawne posing as him, created the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator, with Ramon Industries becoming the main scientific corporation in its stead. It's unknown whether Ramon Industries was related to the appearances of meta-humans, since, according to Wally West of this alternate timeline, he gained his powers after a lightning bolt zapped his car, which had been full of his newest nitro formula. With his anti-friction suit designed by alternate Cisco Ramon, Wallace became a hero known as the Flash, stopping meta-human criminals, including the infamous Rival.
When Eobard Thawne restored the version of the timeline that was created by his actions in the year 2000, the reality was still somehow altered, an effect that Jay Garrick described akin to a broken cap being glued together, but remaining visibly cracked. The appearance of Julian Albert at Central City Police Department as if he worked there for quite some time, as well as his connections to the Philosopher's Stone, were not evident in any of the previous timelines. The meta-humans from the Flashpoint timeline lost their powers but were recognized by Savitar, who appeared to them in the guise of Alchemy telepathically and guided them to his lair. The Philosopher's Stone restored powers of four meta-human criminals, along with Wally West. In addition, according to Craig, one of Savitar's acolytes, it could also "cure" somebody of their powers. Furthermore, an unclear case appeared with Caitlin Snow, whose powers were either already present, yet dormant, or became part of a new timeline by Eobard's helping Barry undo Flashpoint. However, it was later confirmed that Caitlin's powers were present before the particle accelerator exploded; or even before Barry created Flashpoint.
When Barry Allen came out of the Speed Force in late 2017, the portal that he ran through released a wave of dark matter, giving a dozen people on a nearby city bus meta-human powers. All of the meta-humans created in this incident had gained some kind of power that Clifford DeVoe desired to harness to bring about the Enlightenment, as this combination of powers would allegedly allow him to defeat Team Flash, and any allies they may potentially call to their aid to stop him, effectively allowing him to rule the world, with DeVoe having carefully manipulated events in the lives of each of these people's lives to make that they'd be on the bus, while forcing Team Flash to bring Barry back from the Speed Force, all to ensure that metas with the specific powers he required would be created. In the case of most of these meta-humans, he wished to absorb their powers into himself (killing them in the process), while in the case of a few of them, he also transmitted his consciousness into their bodies for a time, as his ever-expanding mind was taking a toll on his own body, and was slowly killing him. Every time he moved his consciousness into a new host, he'd take all of the powers he'd acquired with him into his next host body, leaving his previous host body dead.
Ultimately, Clifford transferred his consciousness into the body of Ralph Dibny; one of the meta-humans created by the dark matter released from the Speed Force, whose elastic powers were immune to the negative effects of DeVoe's condition. After Clifford's plans to bring about the Enlightenment were foiled by Team Flash, with Ralph regaining control of his body, forcing DeVoe's consciousness out of it, Clifford proceeded to transfer his consciousness into his hoverchair, living on as a hologram. When DeVoe's wife, Marlize removed a key component of the chair, thereby killing Clifford to put an end to his insane plans, his death triggered a dead man switch, knocking the S.T.A.R. Labs satellite, which he'd taken control of as part of his plan, out of orbit, causing its remains (which he'd loaded with dark matter) to fall down into Central City. While Barry and his daughter from the future were seemingly able to keep the falling debris from killing any civilians, dark matter-packed pieces of the satellite still hit certain people and other things. This caused the creation of an unknown number of new meta-humans, and imbued certain nearby objects with dark matter, giving those items powers akin to those commonly attributed to meta-humans.
As of December 10, 2019, during the Anti-Monitor Crisis, after every Earth was destroyed by an antimatter wave, Barry Allen was one of only meta-humans left alive in the multiverse; having been sent to the Vanishing Point (which exists outside the multiverse) along with his fellow Paragons, leaving them safe from the Anti-Monitor for the time being. Jennifer Pierce also survived the Crisis, due to the fact that her powers allowed her to teleport to her "safe place".
In what is now an erased future, at some point between 2021 and 2042, meta-humans were branded "people of interest" and subject to imprisonment, with any association with them also being considered illegal. In this future, innocent meta-humans are captured, (wrongfully/unfairly) imprisoned, tortured and experimented upon by A.R.G.U.S.. Aside from the actual mutants, A.R.G.U.S. also targeted users of magic (such as Zari Tarazi and her family) along with people allied with meta-humans, but are not metas themselves; for example, members of the Legends, such as Mick Rory, Sara Lance and Ray Palmer. However, thanks to the Legends' efforts to open Heyworld, a theme park dedicated to showing people that magical creatures are nothing to be afraid of, the future has changed so that the anti-meta-human law never comes to pass.
In one of the universes that exists Post-Crisis, Earth-Prime, the circumstances and details surrounding meta-humans have changed thanks to the merging of various Earths and their impact on the timeline. People's powers, such as Hartley Rathaway, who had the power of superhearing in the the pre-Crisis timeline of his home universe (Earth-1), now has the power to create a sonic scream in addition to his enhanced hearing. Then there's others, like Kimiyo Hoshi, who took up the mantle of Dr. Light on Earth-Prime, and was identified by Cisco as a new villain and meta that now exists on Earth-Prime thanks to the Crisis. The Crisis also changed the metas that had interacted with Earth-1 but were originally from other Earths in the original multiverse; making it so that they've always lived on Earth-Prime. An example of this is Hunter Zolomon and his army, who were all criminals that gained their powers in Earth-2's particle accelerator's explosion, but have now been changed so that they got their powers from an event known as The Singularity, likely the one that appeared in the wake of Thawne's defeat in 2014.
Any speedster in any universe who drew their power from the Speed Force began experiencing disruptions in their abilities, such as taking a long time to heal or sporadic loss of their speed. It's eventually revealed that when Oliver Queen as the Spectre interacted with the Speed Force to unlock Barry's full potential during Crisis, he introduced something into the Speed Force that was causing it to deteriorate to the point of collapse, essentially dying. That meant that any speedster who had a connection to the Speed Force now had a limited supply of speed within them, and when they ran out, they would return to being regular humans. Though Barry and S.T.A.R. Labs have started working on a potential alternative to the Speed Force, giving hope that these particular brand of meta-humans will still exist.
- Main article: Meta-human cure
After Cisco's hands got cut by Cicada's dagger (which was capable of negating the powers of meta-humans who gained their abilities from exposure to dark matter), Cisco began having trouble using his powers. After removing small shards left behind in the wounds in his hands inflicted by the dagger, Cisco decided to run some tests on the shards and his hands' tissue. These tests revealed that the shards hadn't been dampening Cisco's powers, as he'd originally thought, but removing them, giving Cisco the idea to use this new-found information to concoct a meta-human cure. However, it's implied that this cure only works on meta-humans who'd gained powers by being exposed to dark matter.
Powers and abilities
- Main article: List of powers
There is a wide range of meta-human powers, including everything from time distortion to elemental manipulation. Meta-humans who gained their abilities from the dark matter explosion in Central City often have powers influenced by unusual conditions at the time of exposure: Barry Allen was struck by lightning and gained access to the Speed Force, giving off electricity when he runs at superhuman speeds, while Tony Woodward and Joseph Monteleone gained the power to transform into the substance they were immersed in during the explosion (steel and tar, respectively).
Due to their altered physiology, certain meta-human powers affect meta-humans differently than normal humans. Likely due to his heightened immune system, Barry had a delayed reaction to Roy Bivolo's rage-inducing powers while a normal person would be impacted immediately. The emotional state of a meta-human also has an influence on their powers; reacting and strengthening when the meta-human is in a state of emotional stress. For example, Caitlin Snow's anger amplified her growing Killer Frost powers, to the point when she was so "drunk on power" that she forgot that this anger initially came from wanting to get rid of those same powers, and instead reveled in them and threatened to kill or harm Team Flash members.
Earth-1/Earth-Prime particle accelerator meta-humans
Earth-2 particle accelerator meta-humans
Earth-27 particle accelerator meta-humans
Meta-human status unclear
Individuals with Thanagarian mutations*
Individuals mutated by Mirakuru*
- Cyrus Gold/The Acolyte (deceased)
- Roy Harper/Arsenal (formerly)
- Slade Wilson/Deathstroke (formerly)
- Slade Wilson's army (formerly; some deceased)
Individuals with Harun-El mutations
- Adam (deceased)
- Red Daughter/Snowbird/Linda Lee (non-human; Kryptonian Harun-El copy; merged back with Kara Danvers)
- Ben Lockwood/Agent Liberty (formerly)
- Lex Luthor (formerly)
- Olivia/Yuda Kal (temporarily; only while being exposed to the Rock of Yuda Kal)
- James Olsen/Guardian (formerly)
- Bitsie Teschmacher
- Eve Teschmacher (presumed; pre-Crisis multiverse only)
Individuals with other sources of mutation*
Speed Force dark matter wave meta-humans
S.T.A.R. Labs satellite shrapnel meta-humans
- Orlin Dwyer/Cicada (powers later neutralized by the meta-human cure; deceased)
- Grace Gibbons/Cicada (powers later neutralized by the meta-human cure)
- David Hersch/Cicada (erased timeline)
- Peter Merkel/Rag Doll
Individuals with temporary mutations*
- Children of Liberty members (using Rage)
- Gardner Grayle (using Lynn Stewart's meta-human serum)
- Eliza Harmon/Trajectory (using Velocity serums; deceased)
- Josh (using Rage)
- Krieger/der Übermensch (using Eobard Thawne's biomolecular enhancer; deceased)
- Bobbi Miller (using Rage)
- Sange members (through mind control by Looker)
- Spencer (using Rage)
- Lynn Stewart (using her meta-human serum)
- Carl Tanner (using experimental drugs)
Individuals with inherited powers
- Anissa Pierce/Thunder/Blackbird
- Anissa Pierce
- Anissa Pierce's Earth-2 doppelgänger
- Gen Pierce
- Jinn Pierce
- Jennifer Pierce/Lightning/Blackbird
- Nora West-Allen/XS (erased from existence)
Individuals with an unknown source of mutation*
The Flash (CBS)
Birds of Prey
The Flash (The CW)
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Chronicles of Cisco
Freedom Fighters: The Ray
The Flash: Season Zero
The Chronicles of Cisco
- "Clayface" and "Chris Cassius" (real name unknown) each gained powers from drinking a special chemical formula, reacting to it in similar ways due to the fact that they're father and son, and therefore are genetically similar. However, unlike other meta-humans in their universe, they weren't born with their powers.
- While Guy was born with his powers, unlike most meta-humans in his universe, it is known how he obtained them; he was genetically engineered to live out an entire life cycle all within a few days, aging at an accelerated rate every time he fell asleep.
- Unlike most meta-humans on Earth-203, Harleen Quinzel was not born with meta-human powers. Instead, she gained the power of hypnotism in manner similar to the way that Clifford DeVoe stole the powers of the 'bus-metas' on Earth-1; through an experiment to transfer meta-human powers from one host to another. Also like DeVoe, this left the meta-human who originally had this power dead.
- Hawkman and Hawkgirl were originally referred to as meta-humans by Cisco Ramon, but Vandal Savage was described by Barry Allen as something other than a meta-human, a user of magic. However, while Vandal Savage can use magic, it was eventually revealed that both his and his nemeses' powers come from a mutation triggered by Thanagarian technology. Whether this confirms their status as meta-humans is unclear.
- Those infected by Mirakuru show signs of mutation similar to people affected by dark matter: either mutating and surviving, or dying after irradiation. Additionally, Mirakuru-infected Cyrus Gold was part of Barry Allen's initial investigation for the sightings of "the impossible", which included other meta-humans. However, Mirakuru-infected were not directly called meta-humans.
- These individuals were either directly called meta-humans, or exhibit mutations identical to other characters that were called meta-humans, but weren't directly affected by a particle accelerator explosion themselves.
- These individuals were directly called meta-humans, but the source of their mutations is unknown.
- In an alternate timeline where David Hersch presumably became a serial killer known as Cicada (who targeted meta-humans), Floyd Belkin was his first victim. However, because Orlin Dwyer became Cicada in the new timeline instead of Hersch, Belkin was never one of his victims. It's currently unknown whether Floyd Belkin even became a meta-human in this new timeline at all.
- Many of these individuals each gained powers by taking some type of drug, but in each case, the respective drug's effects did not grant them permanent powers, making their status as true meta-humans debatable. In a few cases, temporary powers were gained due to mind control being used upon that person.
Behind the scenes
In the DC comics, "Metahumans" are a loose term to describe any and all beings with superpowers. Although stricter classification exists in-universe (with Homo Maji, magic users, being a separate group from the wielders of "Metagene"), different types of superhumans are often lumped together, while the Arrowverse continuity distinguishes mutated humans from other beings with powers.
- The term "meta-human" usually refers to a mutated human. The prefix "meta-" means "beyond", denoting abilities beyond human limits. However, animals can go through similar mutations, like Grodd; a meta-gorilla. The meta-spiders are a similar known case.
- Meta-humans used to rarely appear on due to the show being more realistic. However, due to the introduction of Dinah Drake and Earth-2 Laurel Lance, since "" meta-humans have appeared on every episode; except for "" .
- While it seems that the meta-human powers are transmissible to a meta-human's offspring (as seen in the case of Nora West-Allen), it is clear that powers deriving from Thanagarian mutations are not transmissible, due to the fact that Aldus Boardman (the son of Edith and Joe Boardman; incarnations of Hawkgirl and Hawkman who lived during the early twentieth century), and the children of Vandal Savage born over the millennia did not possess them.
- However, the status of individuals with Thangarian mutations (like Hawkgirl, Hawkman, and Savage) as meta-humans is unconfirmed.