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Shapeshifting
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Sylar shapeshifts into Danko
Ability to:
alter one's appearance and body
Character(s):

Shapeshifting is the ability to alter one's appearance and body.

Characters

Limits

James Martin

James seemed only to be able to shift his entire body, and only to copy the forms of others. It is unknown whether he could have in future learned to change specific aspects of his appearance. He needed to gain physical contact with the person before he could shift into them, or access their DNA in another way. The process appeared to be painful and slightly slow. It was shown that his own DNA did not alter when he shifted his appearance, meaning this could still be used to identify him.

Rhia Petrelli

Rhia can shift either small aspects of her appearance, or her entire body. She also doesn't need to copy an existing form, and she doesn't need contact. However, if she attempted to copy the form of another, she'd need knowledge of it and would be likely to make mistakes or miss something. The process is painful for her too, but she has by now learned to bear it. She has also occasionally used the ability for other purposes apart from changing her appearance, like shrinking her throat to avoid being choked, and increasing her muscle mass to increase her physical strength.

Hannah Deveaux

Hannah can change her appearance at will, and can also change the appearance of any clones she produces using replication. She can also copy the appearance of any existing people, and tends to change her appearance completely instead of altering specific features. She previously had a selection of favourite faces which she'd use often, but doesn't do this as regularly, recently, having grown out of doing so.

Gabriel Gray

In World 2, Gabriel gained this ability from James Martin, and therefore has the same version as he does. At first he did not have much control over this ability - it would activate subconsciously, triggered by identity crises, and he would often find that he would shift in his sleep. However, he has also shown that he can shift small aspects of his appearance, such as changing one eye or moving the spot in his brain which controls regeneration. He has also gained conscious control over the ability. It is unknown whether the capacity to change small aspects is a part of this increased control. In World 8 he gained the ability from Rhia, and therefore has her limits.

Peter Petrelli

In World 2, Peter has absorbed the ability from both Hannah and James Martin indirectly, therefore he has both of their versions. He did not suffer any of the crises Sylar did at first. In World 8 he has similar limits to Rhia.

Noah Gray

Noah has the same limits as James Martin and as Hannah. He can mimic a complete appearance if he has access the person's DNA, and can also change his appearance at will. He has never suffered the identity crises which his father did at first.

Abbie Gray

Abbie has the same limits as her twin brother.

Robert Max

Robert seems to have the same limits with the ability as Rhia does.

Jessica Sky Petrelli

Jess has similar limits to her mother.

Josh Davis

Josh can use his ability to make himself look physically like anybody else.

Tori Petrelli

Tori will be able to change any aspect of her appearance at will, and will also be able to copy the appearance of others perfectly in order to impersonate them. She'll use this ability as an adult to give herself what she feels is the perfect appearance for her. At first she'll find the process of shifting painful, but she'll overcome this when still a child.

Unnamed Villain In World 2

This villain used the ability to pose as Elle Bishop successfully. He or she hadn't needed any contact with Elle or exposure to her DNA to do so.

Leo Castern

Since Leo gained this ability from Rhia, he had the same limits as she does. He used it twice to disguise himself before he lost it.

Peruvian Terrorist

This individual's limits are unclear, but are likely to be similar to James Martin's. He is likely to need access to a person's DNA before he can mimic their form, and can only probably copy another.

Tyler Cooper

Tyler can use this ability in two ways. He can either shift small aspects of his appearance at will, or he can copy another's appearance completely if he has previously accessed their DNA through touch. He can alter his face, his physique, his skin, his hair and his voice. He tends only to use the ability on missions, to disguise himself if he needs to. The process is easy, quick and painless for him.

Unnamed Villain In World 8

The villain used the ability to impersonate Peter Petrelli, in order to abduct Jess Petrelli, after seeing a photograph of Peter. 

Kosei Akiyama

Initially, Kosei will only be capable of altering his physical appearance by copying others. He will need to have seen the person but will not need contact or genetic material. He could theoretically shapeshift from a photograph. The process will be fast, and his skin will seem to ripple and move as he changes. Later in life, he will occasionally be able to alter small individual aspects of himself too. One of these uses will be moving the weak spot given by his dragon mimicry.

Similar Abilities

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