In X-Men: Dark Phoenix, a race of shapeshifting aliens known as the D'Bari is shown. Other than shapeshifting, what superpowers do they possess?
The D'bari are a race of green-skinned peoples from the Shi'ar Empire who lived on D'Bari IV until the Phoenix consumed their sun and eradicated the species save for a handful. The people, colloquially known as the Asparagus people, have only two remarkable abilities attributed to their race:
They can reproduce both sexually and asexually (via budding). Asexual reproduction can only occur once per millennium. This has been observed one time in Wolverine II #136 when Vuk spawned his son Bzztl on the Collector's "Prisonworld."
Their other extreme ability is simply an enormous life-span, measured in centuries vice years (Vuk AKA Prime Matrix, The D'Bari AKA Starhammer).
Shapeshifting is not an innate ability of these people. In their first appearance, a D'Bari disguised as a photographer used the Petrifactor to turn several Avengers to stone. This was a weapon, not an ability. The disguise was simply a very compelling mask. In many other comic book appearances, Vuk has had to conceal or disguise his very obvious non-human appearance. Notably, his disguises are often successful so he does have a talent for this.
The Dark Phoenix aliens are an invasion force, not necessarily typical representatives of the race. In preparation for the invasion, it is fair to assume Vuk made offensive and defensive tactical augmentations to his team.
- The D’Bari seems to be wearing a nano-mechanical morphing armor rather than shape-shifting.
- The armor can be damaged during combat and repairs itself, as seen below when the D'Bari hand is exposed after punching through a steel plate.
Other powers demonstrated by the invasion force:
Vuk himself took the appearance of a woman and was able to absorb Phoenix energy.
The mimicry disguise disappears when the wearer is hit in the head (from the helicopter scene on top of the train).
Super strength - can rip a steel plate of the train car
Super durability - can punch through a steel plate
Super regeneration or nanite regeneration, similar to Omega Prime Sentinel.
Because the invasion force did not bring advanced weaponry, the large discrepancy between what Vuk can do in the comics and what these D'Bari can do will best be explained by some technological or mutagenic enhancements they made before assaulting Earth. The D'Bari people were known to be peace-loving, however, they were part of the militaristic Shi'ar empire who tend to violently protect their subjects. The Shi'ar Imperial Guard of elite superpowered beings was created to defeat the Phoenix Force. Thus, the D'Bari invasion force would have ready access to many Shi'ar technologies and was well prepared to battle the Phoenix. Some possible explanations may include:
- Armor, repair, and mimicry is most likely a result of nanite technology similar to Iron Man's Mark L suit and the Nimrod Sentinels. Possibly acquired from The Collector.
- The entire invasion force could be an illusion created by Mastermind, who has in the past successfully overthrown an entire country with an illusionary army of thousands and has brainwashed Jean Grey before; or a 3D Illusion created by Shi'ar magician Magique.
- Vuk's invasion may not be D'Bari at all, they were possibly from the Chameloid race which have both shape-shifting and power mimicry abilities and serve the Shi'ar Imperial Guard; or possibly they are shape-shifting Skrulls who have allied with the Shi'ar, particularly the WarSkrull subspecies. Again, the movie does not seem to show them shapeshifting as Mystique does, but these are possible alternatives consistent with the Dark Phoenix plotlines.
Unless explicitly called out in the plotline we should assume most of what we know about the race itself follows how they were originally portrayed. This entire story is one D’Bari’s personal vendetta against the Phoenix Force. We should be careful not to paint the entire race with this brush: Consider if the X-Men travel to another world to battle, the inhabitants should not assume all humans have those abilities. I can find nothing in Dark Phoenix which specifically reveals the D’Bari as a race have innate superhuman abilities different from what the comic book portrayal shows.