10 Marvel Comics Characters & The Animal They Are Most Associated With

The Marvel Universe has plenty of animal-related heroes, but with the likes of Moon Knight currently rising in the spotlight, there are those characters that might not have the most obvious choices when it comes to animal associations. On the other hand, there are plenty that wear their animals symbolically on their uniform, but the reason they do so has a far deeper meaning.

Whether it’s part of the gimmick or an aspect of their character, these comic book personalities will forever be linked to these parallel animals. They might continue to boast those very specific powers, or perhaps sport the familiar logos with pride and a sense of legacy.


Steve Rogers – American Eagle

Captain America and his Shield.

Steve Rogers has embodied the role of Captain America and is perhaps a symbol unto himself. There’s a certain imagery that’s usually linked to the WWII veteran, from the stars and stripes to the iconic shield. However, while Sam Wilson might now be linked to the falcon, Rogers is usually depicted with the American eagle.

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The Eagle is very much the strong and proud bird of prey usually associated with the United States. It’s thus appropriate that their hero, who ironically holds a far more global message, is so linked to the American eagle. In many ways, the recent depiction of Peacemaker is somewhat of a parody of that.

Jean Gray – Phoenix

Jean Gray using the Phoenix Force in Marvel Comics

Jean Gray is one of the most powerful telepathic Mutants in history. Her abilities are genuinely extraordinary, which is why the galactic Phoenix Force is so drawn to her. Gray has thus been long-associated with the image of the phoenix because of this cosmic calling.

What’s intriguing about this is that the phoenix is ​​known for its resurrection, as is Jean Gray who has cheated death multiple times over. What’s more, the pheonix as a symbol usually indicates a fiery power, perhaps reflecting the sheer strength of the X-Men member.

Miles Morales – Spiders

Miles Morales's 2020 suit on the cover of Miles Morales: Spider-Man #13, with art by Rahzzah.

It seems obvious that Spider-Man would be associated with arachnids. Miles Morales’ powers of course stem from the very animal he gets his name from him, with his abilities actually superseding that of Peter Parker, including the power to briefly camouflage and to blast an opponent with a shock.

But Morales could have taken on any kind of image, he didn’t have to continue the same themes as Parker. Instead, his costuming and spider links are all about legacy. He respects the hero that Parker has become and wants to do good in the same role, demonstrating anyone can be under the mask. That’s why that particular animal association is so integral to the character.

Laura Kinney – Wolverines

Wolverine X23 Laura Returns From The Vault

Laura’s own path somewhat reflects that of Miles Morales. For Kinney, whose narrative is strongly linked to Logan, taking on the wolverine mantle was focused on continuing to reflect her heritage from her. The wolverine is a vicious but beautifully strong animal and can represent both iterations of the character.

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In the superhero world, the name Wolverine holds great respect. X-23 was almost like having no identity for the clone. Instead, by using the wolverine as a symbol, Laura belongs to something far greater; to family. Dropping the X-23 name and getting linked to such a fierce animal was really the making of the character and a dawning of a new X-Men era.

T’Challa – Black Panthers

Black Panther and a panther

The Panther God Bast has blessed Wakanda with all of its gifts. The people of the mighty nation have thus worshiped and paid homage to the deity. The champion of Bast is the Black Panther, a mantle that passes between the royal family and has long been held by T’Challa.

It’s obvious that T’Challa and his father before him, T’Chaka, alongside his sister Shuri, have all been linked to the black panther. Yet, the cultural significance of this is perhaps far deeper than many might believe. The beauty of such a rare animal shouldn’t be underestimated.

Marc Spector – Falcons

Marc Spector and Khonshu in Moon Knight by Jeff Lemire

Marc Spector is known as the Moon Knight or Mr. Knight in some iterations. The character should in theory be linked to owls or other such nocturnal animals, some of which he actually draws imagery. But his link from him to the moon God Khonshu is what defines his animal association from him.

Khonshu, a guide, and the entity that grants Marc and the rest of his personalities their powers is usually depicted as a rotting bird. The bird was usually a falcon in Egyptian mythology, a bird of prey that was as stunning as it was dangerous. There’s a duality to the falcon that surely could be applied to Moon Knight.

Thor Odinson – Goats

Thor Goats Toothgrinder Toothgnasher

Thor Odinson has had plenty of animal companions. The horse-headed Beta Ray Bill or the amphibious Throgg are just two examples. Although there are a number of creatures that could thus be linked to the God of thunder, it’s the goat that ironically he’s usually depicted with.

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In Norse mythology, Thor’s chariot-esque transport is pulled by two goats. Their names are Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr and they are depicted with quite unique personalities. The comic book versions of these animals are actually set to make their debut on the big screen!

Danny Rand – Dragons


Danny Rand has been the Immortal Iron Fist for some time in the comics. The character sports a dragon upon his chest, despite the fact that he doesn’t breathe fire or fly. That symbol of the mythical animal links back to how he originally got his powers from him.

In order to be granted the gift of the Iron Fist, Rand had to defeat a ferocious dragon. He succeeded and thus became Iron Fist. Others have attempted to kill the dragon with no such luck, demonstrating the resolve it must take to actually have the honor to become a martial arts expert.

Carol Danvers – Cats

Captain Marvel Carol Danvers cat

All of Carol’s best friends know that she has a soft spot for cats. On-screen she befriends a Flerken in the guise of a cat, who she names Goose. In the comics on the other hand, she names her cat Chewie, although it does once again turn out to be an alien creature.

Regardless, it can be quite difficult to find any company in space. The cats she keeps give her companionship in a way that others can’t. Since she spends so much time coming and going, there are certainly parallels to her being made with the feline habits of her pets.

Doreen Green – Squirrels

Squirrel Girl flying away in her gyrocopter in GLX-Mas Special

Doreen Green is perhaps one of the strongest characters in the Marvel Universe. She’s rather unassuming but can be pretty fierce in the right opportunities. The squirrel is also quite small and underestimated, but can achieve big things. Ultimately, these rodents are survivors.

Green takes the association with squirrels to a new level, calling herself Squirrel Girl. However, it’s a role that fits her considering she’s even blessed by allies like the squirrel deity itself, Ratatoskr. There might be something laughable about her powers and her animal choice, but she’s always proving her doubters wrong.

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