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Shape-changing is one of the coolest powers/abilities ever conceived. Writers of comics, novels, TV, and movies have imagined creative ways for one person to look just like another. From mutant powers to alien beings, there has been a veritable cornucopia of changelings, duplicators, and polymorphism throughout the annuls of fiction.

These beings appear as people you know: your boss, girlfriend, or brother. They can manipulate us with the greatest of ease. Some can appear as inanimate objects to spy and uncover our darkest secrets. Shape-changers are not to be underestimated and can be anywhere, anyone, or anything. They can be right under your nose, and you’d never know it. In hopes of educating the public on these devious beings, here’s a list ranking fiction’s ten best shape-shifters.

Related: Top 10 Comic Book Characters the Movies Got Wrong

10 Beast Boy: DC Comics

Beast Boy has been a constant in the Teen Titan’s runs for decades. Beast Boy is the backbone of DC’s second-biggest team in comics, cartoons, and live-action TV. Also known as Changeling in the 1980s, he originally appeared in Doom Patrol #99 in 1965. Over the years, his origins have changed slightly on more than one occasion.

That said, invariably, he gains the ability to transform into any animal he’s seen. However, he has green skin, hair, fur, scales, feathers, and other animal parts. He’s always green and so easy to pick out among a crowd. While Beast Boy has had his emotional issues dealing with his uniqueness, he’s generally pretty happy about who and what he is at any given time. In recent years, he’s been able to change into extinct animals (dinosaurs), mythical creatures (phoenix, dragon), and even animals from different planets. When he changes, it only takes a couple of seconds. It does not matter how big or small; there’s no creature he can’t mimic.[1]

9 Clayface: DC Comics

Clayface is the alias used by several Gotham City villains, starting with Basil Karlo in 1940. Almost all of them possess the ability to shapeshift. The most popular version of the character was the Matthew Hagen version, which appeared in Batman: The Animated Series and was prevalent during The Golden Age of Comics. Hagen was an actor with sociopathic ambition who stumbled into a substance that changed his body’s molecular structure into a clay-like material.

However, all the Clayfaces faced off with the vigilante, Batman. Frequently, he would appear as someone Batman was just speaking to and trick the Dark Knight into dangerous situations to gain the upper hand and achieve his fiendish and often corny plot. His clay-like body allows him to alter his shape and size, as well as mimic other people’s appearances and voices. He can also regenerate from almost any injury and absorb other materials to enhance his body’s strength and durability. Clayface’s shapeshifting powers are not limited to his physical appearance; he can also change his internal organs and chemical composition to resist toxins and diseases.[2]

8 T-1000: Terminator 2: Judgment Day

The Terminator series is one of the most successful and beloved science-fiction movie series of all time. Fans had to wait seven years for the first sequel, but when it hit theaters, it was massively and explosively popular. In Terminator 2, the T-1000 is made of liquid metal. The T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) explains that the T-1000 is a more advanced Terminator, composed entirely of a “mimetic poly-alloy,” rendering it capable of rapid shapeshifting, near-perfect mimicry, and recovery from damage.

There’s a popular meme based on the T-1000’s ability to appear and sound like anyone it’s met but exhibits the machine’s inability to know what its victims know. In addition to morphing into other people, the robot’s ability to shift between solid and liquid form meant it could get past almost any obstacle, including metal bars, which made for some iconic and scary scenes. The T-1000 was one of the scariest shapeshifters ever![3]

7 Count Dracula: Bram Stroker’s Novel and Other Stories

Everyone’s favorite vampire can turn into several shapes other than humanoid. Dracula can change form at will and is able to grow and become small, with his featured forms in the novel being that of a bat, a wolf, a large dog, and a fog or mist. He can travel as elemental dust within its rays when the moonlight shines. He can pass through tiny cracks or crevices while retaining his human form or in the form of a vapor, described by Van Helsing as the ability to slip through a hairbreadth space of a tomb door or coffin.

“Count Dracula is not only an undead vampire searching for fresh blood. His character is remarkably complex, in part due to his shapeshifting abilities. It’s hard to tally the number of animals that Dracula shifts into. Still, his abilities appear endless and ingeniously elusive.”[4]

6 Skrulls: Marvel Comics

The Skrulls are an alien race directly connected to Captain Marvel’s storyline in the Marvel Universe. The Skrulls are a technologically advanced race of reptilian humanoids native to the destroyed planet Skrullos. They are notable for their shapeshifting abilities, allowing them to replicate other lifeforms and infiltrate planets without suspicion seamlessly.

The Skrulls have made their way onto the big and small screens in recent years. In Captain Marvel, they appear as the sworn enemies of the Kree. This similar alien race had brainwashed Carol Danvers and ultimately led to her becoming the famed superhero. More recently, in Secret Wars, Talos (a Skrull) is a key character working closely with Nick Fury for several decades. The mini-series also marked Emilia Clarke’s foray into the MCU as Talos’s daughter, G’iah, a talented shapeshifting Skrull agent.[5]

5 Professor McGonagall: Harry Potter Series

The Harry Potter book and movie series was wildly successful. Full of magic from spells to creatures, there was no end to the fantastic. More than a few characters would shift from one form to another. This magical universe allows for several ways to pull this off. Minerva McGonagall is a master of transfiguration. Her ability to change from human to animal is so advanced that she can do it as casually as putting on a jacket.

While shapeshifting is seen somewhat frequently in the “Wizarding World,” Professor McGonagall is known as an Animagus, a witch or wizard who can transform into an animal whenever they want. She prefers cats but can turn into many different animals if needed. She used her abilities during the first Wizarding War to greatly help the Ministry of Magic’s resistance by spying on Death Eaters and bringing the Aurors crucial information on their activities. McGonagall became concurrently Deputy Headmistress and Headmistress of Hogwarts.[6]

4 The Evil Queen: Snow White & the Seven Dwarves

From one of the most famous stories of all time, based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, comes the Evil Queen, who has appeared in movies, TV shows, and literature for over 200 years. While shapeshifting isn’t her go-to move, she has been known to do it. Whether she casts a spell or concocts a potion to do so depends on the particular version of the story; either way, she uses the power to perfection.

In the classic story, she appears to Snow White as an elderly woman offering an apple to the young woman. Of course, the apple is poisoned, and Snow White falls into a deep coma. In Once Upon a Time, the character uses the ability via glamour and transfiguration spells, depending on the episode and situation.

She has appeared as other and entirely new characters, such as the old woman. The Evil Queen is generally regarded as one of the most iconic and menacing villains in cinematic history, once being voted the 10th greatest movie villain of all time by the American Film Institute.[7]

3 Odo: Star Trek

Constable Odo from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was a member of an alien race known as the Founders. The Founders are natural shapeshifters or “changelings.” Ironically, most Founders are better shapeshifters than Odo, but his natural detective instincts and shape-changing abilities make him formidable. He often keeps his frenemy Quark, a known criminal, at bay by appearing as furniture and the like during illegal meetings and transactions.

Odo grew up among “solids” and did not discover his people or where he came from until he was middle-aged. When it is discovered that the Founders seek violent expansion of their empire, Odo is forced to choose sides, and he sides with the Federation, Starfleet, and Bajor. He has become a better shapeshifter over the years, but the one thing he has never mastered is the human face. Odo helped defeat the Founders’ Dominion but eventually returned to his people to teach them about the “solids” in hopes of preventing another war.[8]

2 Mystique: Marvel Comics

Mystique first appeared in Ms. Marvel #16 (April 1978). A member of a subspecies of humanity known as mutants who are born with superhuman abilities, she is a shapeshifter who can mimic the appearance and voice of any person with exquisite precision. Rebecca Romijn and Jennifer Lawrence have portrayed her on the silver screen.

She often works closely with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants leader, Magneto. Whoever Mystique works for and whatever the job, more often than not, Mystique works to further the Mutant agenda, whether through proper channels or not. She learned to use her shape-changing power at a very early age, for there is no evidence known to the public or the government that Raven Darkholme ever looked like anything but a normal human being. Mystique has claimed to be the mother of Nightcrawler.[9]

1 Plastic Man: DC Comics

Plastic Man is easily the most underestimated character in the entire DC universe. He can be anything or anyone at any given time and is completely unkillable. He can shrink to a few inches tall or become a titan the size of a skyscraper. He can contort his body in ways that are impossible for ordinary humans, such as being entirely flat to slip under a door, using his fingers to pick conventional locks, compressing himself into a ball to ricochet off of things, and inflating his body. He can also use it to disguise himself by changing the shape of his face and body.

Due to his fluid state, Plastic Man can open holes in his body and turn himself into objects with mobile parts. He’s invulnerable, immune to telepathic attack, and immortal. He’s a prankster and loves to disguise himself as household items and scare his coworkers as inanimate objects come to life.[10]

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