Tulpa is a concept in mysticism and the paranormal of a being or object which is created through spiritual or mental powers. Sounds like a super power to me… Welcome to Ten Things: Ten Tulpas!

Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with An Amateur Comics Historian and the Pali Samaññaphala Sutta, Presents:



After a trip to Tibet, Earth-45’s Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Clark Kent became interested in transforming thoughts into reality, theorizing that they could create a superhero to save the world. Their combined efforts led to the creation of Superman, a thought-powered entity with high ideals and super-powers. Unfortunately, they sold their creation so the corrupt Overcorp, which twisted it into a horrifying corporate juggernaut called Superdoom, which then rampaged across the multiverse, killing other Supermen as it went.

It’s a very pointed metaphor for corporate-owned intellectual property, masked as an adventure story.


The psychic manifestation of Scott Pilgrim’s flaws, mistakes, ego and self-centeredness, the dark mirror Nega Scott also contained the real memories of Scott’s past (at least in comic book form.) On film, Nega Scott seems to be the creation of Gideon, a last-resort combatant to take down Pilgrim should he, himself, fail. In a remarkable twist and/or moment of clarity, Scott refuses to battle his darkness, instead accepting his flaws and even inviting his dark counterpart out for brunch.


A psionic entity, Onslaught was created when Charles Xavier absorbed the emotional baggage of his old frenemy Magneto while telepathically shutting off his old friend’s mind. When Xavier finally succumbed to despair about the state of his dream, the Onslaught entity manifested physically, even delivering a savage beat-down to the nigh-invulnerable Juggernaut (though Xavier’s own rage at Juggy, his abusive step-brother, probably helped to fuel that.) So powerful was he that he nearly destroyed the entire roster of The Avengers AND the Fantastic Four, and only failed due to the power of Franklin Richards.


A giant teddy bear, animated by the mind of a young girl named Melvin, Bobby is both physically powerful and occasionally invisible, as he is “shy.” It’s not clear whether Melvin (the pigtailed girl on the right of the above image) is actually controlling him or not, as Bobby seems to have a mind of his own, but he will always respond when Melvin is threatened. Melvin, Bobby and her friends Timmy Tantrum and Teether are honorary members of the Teen Titans, as Bobby saved the life of core Titan Raven by knocking the (you should excuse the expression) stuffing out of supervillain The Brain.


After being cured of her alien-gem-inspired split personality of Star Sapphire, Carol Ferris developed another subconscious personality, the heavily-armored protector known as The Predator. Somehow animated by her mind, Predator became Carol’s love-interest, competing with Green Lantern Hal Jordan for her affections before merging back into her psyche and once again become Star Sapphire. Things got freaky after that, with Carol’s male split personality (Predator) getting her female split personality (Star Sapphire) pregnant, and the resulting imaginary baby being stolen by the death-spirit Nekron.

Later retcons established The Predator as a living embodiment of unfettered love that powers the rings of an entire Corps of Star Sapphires, which… doesn’t clarify anything at all, really.


Empowered by three martial arts masters from the energies of the Morphin’ Grid itself, the Elephant (Green), Bat (Black) and Shark (Blue) Spirit Rangers serve as backup for the Power Rangers Jungle Fury team in times of dire need. Three of the Power Rangers eventually learn to manifest the Spirit Rangers themselves when they need backup, allowing for not only additional hands in battle, but additional Zords for new Megazord formations.

In reality, these three forms were created by the US adaptors so that there would be more Ranger action figures available for the shows fans, thus reminding us of the one unbreakable rule of kids’ shows: It’s all about selling the toys!


A composite projected manifestation of multiple minds (including villains Doctor Cyber, Rosie The Riveter and Brainstorm, and the hero called Automan, among others), Enginehead was designed to find and repair the flaw in the world, thereby avoiding catastrophe. Thanks to late addition to his matrix Ford Corrado, the creature actually discovered more than they/it bargained for, eventually clashing with the Justice League and the Metal Men before discorporating.


Created by Supergirl’s own mind (under the influence of Red Kryptonite, natch), Satan Girl had all her creator’s scientific genius, memories and superhuman powers. Attacking the female members of the Legion, the lead-encased Satan Girl poisoned each of them with Red K radiation, disguised as a “Crimson Plague”, in the hopes of extending her own existence. Thwarted by her creator and the Legion of Super-Pets, Satan Girl unmasked just in time to be re-absorbed back into Supergirl’s mind, leaving only self-doubt and confusion in her wake.


After witnessing the death of her beloved father, Tillie Armstrong was overcome with grief and somehow wished him back into existence, albeit wearing a tuxedo and able to fly. Dad became The Gentleman, a fixture of Astro City’s heroic tapestry, while Tillie discovered that she didn’t age anymore, allowing her to share her dad with all the people who need his help. Tillie’s nature is still unexplained, but it’s clear that she is the driving force of their arrangement.


While facing Dr. X and his super-energy duplicate, Dr. Double-X, Batman found himself temporarily overwhelmed by the one-man duo’s one-two punch of brains and power. Fortunately, Bruce Wayne is no scientific slouch himself, allowing Batman to create his own machine that projected an energy-powered Double Batman to even the odds. After defeating Dr. X and destroying his projector, Double Batman realizes that the technology is just too powerful, sacrificing himself by destroying that machine that manifested him to keep it out of evil hands.

It’s the two chest symbols that really sell it, for me.

Thanks to Major Spoilers EIC Stephen for this week’s topic, Ten Tulpas! Feel free to follow along @MightyKingCobra for more Ten Things madness on Twitter or check out the full Twitter archive here! As with any set of like items, these aren’t meant to be hard and fast or absolutely complete, if only because every death leads inevitably to rebirth. Either way, the comments section is below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!

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About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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