The Arrowverse has become a major showcase of DC Comics characters and it keeps on growing. It all started in 2012 when The CW premiered the first episode of Arrow, a show that follows the vigilante adventures of Green Arrow. Starring Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, aka the titular hero, the series proved successful enough for the network to start developing a spin-off only a year later. Barry Allen was introduced during the second season of Arrow, after which, he got his own series, The Flash, and the first building blocks of the Arrowverse were set into place. Currently, the Arrowverse consists of four shows (soon to be five once Batwoman kicks off). Over the years, and across the four shows, a lot of DC Comics heroes and villains have been introduced on the small screen, along with a handful of original characters.
Of course, since these are superhero shows, pretty much everyone is exceptional in one way or another. Whether it's superpowers, fighting abilities, intelligence, or whatever you can come up with, there are a lot of ways to make a character feel larger-than-life. Arrow, especially, has done wonders with characters who have no superpowers but are highly skilled in various fields. The truth is, the Arrowverse is packed with immensely powerful heroes and villains. Today, we're not here to rank them according to power, but rather, to see 10 Arrowverse Characters More Powerful Than They Look (And 10 That Are Weaker). Looks can be deceiving, after all.
20 MORE POWERFUL: CONSTANTINE
John Constantine is one of those Arrowverse characters that doesn’t get nearly enough credit. Dressed in a brown trench coat over a simple white dress shirt and an undone red tie, the master of the occult doesn’t appear to be all that keen on projecting power and status.
But this heavy-drinking, cigar-smoking, snarky foreign dude is a lot more powerful than he wants us to believe. As a master of the occult, Constantine can perform summons, travel between dimensions, control and banish various entities, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Constantine is one of Arrowverse’s most powerful heroes and that’s finally becoming apparent on Legends of Tomorrow.
19 WEAKER: HEAT WAVE
On the other hand, the Legends veteran, Mick Rory, might well be the team’s weakest link. Though Heat Wave was a force to be reckoned with when his partner Captain Cold was around, on his own, Mick just doesn’t pose much of a threat. He doesn’t have any superpowers and relies almost exclusively on his Heat Gun, which he didn't even design himself.
This certainly isn’t to say that Mick is completely useless in the field, far from it. He’s proved his value to the team on numerous occasions, but he still pales in comparison to most of his team members.
18 MORE POWERFUL: FELICITY SMOAK
Felicity Smoak’s fall from grace has been well documented all over the internet in heaps of articles, videos, and discussions dedicated to criticizing her character development. But, whether you like or dislike her, you better not take her lightly. Even though Felicity was first introduced as an awkward and defenseless IT girl, she soon started demonstrating pretty impressive skills.
Felicity is one of the world’s top hackers, she possesses genius-level intellect, she’s a brilliant tactician, a leader capable of overseeing and directing Team Arrow with ease, and she’s pretty good in hand-to-hand combat as well. Felicity is an invaluable member of Team Arrow, even if she never gets the recognition she deserves.
17 WEAKER: JOHN DIGGLE
John Diggle doesn’t even have to speak or move to intimidate his opponents. Just look at the guy for crying out loud, he’s massive. If there’s a character on Arrow that can put even Oliver Queen to shame, it has to be his best friend John Diggle. The former soldier is physically strong, highly skilled in hand-to-hand combat, and an expert marksman.
His time in the U. S. military has helped develop him into an excellent tactician, increased his intelligence-gathering, and heightened his espionage skills. However, while he certainly does strike an imposing picture and has a wide-set of abilities, John doesn’t have any superpowers. So, even though he's massive, he's also only human.
16 MORE POWERFUL: ATOM
Ray Palmer’s adorableness in and of itself should be treated as a dangerous weapon. This lovable geek somehow manages to melt even the toughest hearts with his genuine kindness, unbridled optimism, and friendly nature. These characteristics can sometimes make it easy to forget just how powerful he really is.
For starters, Ray Palmer is one of the smartest characters in the Arrowverse. He can MacGyver his way out of virtually anything. His Atom suit makes him bulletproof, enhances his strength, gives him the ability to fly, shoot energy blasts, and change size. He can also exist in space and onboard computers. In short, Ray is a cinnamon roll that could actually eliminate you, but probably wouldn’t because he has a heart of gold.
15 WEAKER: NATE HEYWOOD
After a trying year with the Legends, Nate Heywood decided that a change of pace is exactly what he needs. Instead of boarding the Waverider with the rest of the team, Nate stayed with the Time Bureau. And while we’re sorry his bromance with Ray has been put on a break, we can see why he’d feel more at home at the Bureau.
Nate is a historian, a detective, and is a much better asset to the Bureau than the Legends. As a superhero, even with the power to turn his skin into steel, Nate is more of a human shield as his hand-to-hand combat skills aren't that great. He's flashy, but not nearly as powerful as he looks.
14 MORE POWERFUL: CISCO
Unfortunately, Cisco Ramon often gets overlooked on The Flash. First of all, Cisco is a genius engineer who’s able to design any kind of weapon, gadget, or whatever Team Flash may need that week, and often in a day’s notice. Cisco created both the Cold and Heat Gun, Golden Glider’s weapons, and the device Team Flash used to pull Barry out of the Speed Force. There’s virtually no limit to what he can do.
On top of that, Cisco has the ability to see into the past and future, parallel dimensions, and even the Speed Force. He can also connect with various vibrations of the multiverse and influence them, travel between dimensions, and create blasts of vibration.
13 WEAKER: KILLER FROST
When Killer Frost went full-villain in season three, we saw a very different side to Caitlin Snow. Or, rather, a wholly different personality. Since then, however, Killer Frost has become somewhat friendlier and has been an ally to Team Flash on occasion. Though she’s still considered a high-level threat, in actuality, Killer Frost isn't all that dangerous.
Her powers are cool (pun most definitely intended), but she’s mostly a threat to speedsters. In fact, her ability to slow down speedsters is what makes Killer Frost dangerous in the eyes of Team Flash. Otherwise, she’s not such a formidable foe.
12 MORE POWERFUL: NORA DARHK
We gotta admit, we’re loving Nora Darhk on this season of Legends of Tomorrow, as well as her growing relationship with Ray Palmer. We’re totally on board with Mona’s ship (the Ross and Rachel of our generation). That being said, let’s talk more about Nora Darhk and why exactly she’s being imprisoned with a bunch of spooky-looking creatures.
Nora may look sweet, but she’s a force to be reckoned with. Even without Mallus, Nora retains some of her dark magic power. She can move objects and people with her mind, control lightning blasts from the Atom suit, project energy blasts, and absorb a person’s life-force with a touch. She and Ray would make quite the power couple indeed.
11 WEAKER: JIMMY OLSEN
Having Jimmy Olsen become the Guardian was a polarizing decision. Not only does this development depart significantly from the character’s comic book history, but it also doesn’t make much sense within the narrative of the show. Despite how buffed Mehcad Brooks is, we never saw James Olsen as a potential superhero.
Having muscles is great and all, but it hardly makes any difference when the majority of the people you're fighting are superpowered aliens. He's got no superpowers, no known experience in the field, and no extraordinary combat skills, making him a rather weak hero, even with the help of Winn's fancy gadgets.
10 MORE POWERFUL: RAGMAN
Rory Regan’s time on Arrow was cut way too short. The poor guy wasn’t even allowed to stick around for an entire season, even though he was the strongest addition to Team Arrow in season five. Rory Regan was a mechanic from Havenrock who inherited the mystical Devarim rags from his father and became a vigilante.
Rory shared a telepathic link with the rags, which gave him full control over the multiple cloths that composed his suit. He could extend the rags with immense speed and accuracy, which we’ve seen him do in battle. And though they may look worn out, the rags granted Rory enhanced strength and durability. Suffice it to say, Rory was powerful enough to contain a nuclear explosion.
9 WEAKER: WILD DOG
While Ragman often gets overlooked, Wild Dog’s powers are usually overestimated. As a former Navy SEAL, Rene Ramirez certainly possesses, let’s say, a unique set of skills and abilities. He’s very good with guns and can hold his own in hand-to-hand combat easily; however, his temper is a big issue.
His tendency to act recklessly and let his pride and anger get the better of him is what got him a discharged from the army. He’s constantly making unwise decisions, rushing into dangerous situations without a second thought, and he double-crossed his team. Wild Dog may have physical strength and fighting skills (albeit without superpowers), but his personality makes him more of a liability than an asset.
8 MORE POWERFUL: MISTER MXYZPTLK
Looks can be deceiving – Exhibit A: Mister Mxyzptlk. Hailing from the Fifth Dimension, this handsome, yet extremely powerful extra-dimensional imp, came all the way to National City in search of love. After having developed a crush on Kara, Mxy decided to do everything in his power to make her his bride.
Turns out, there’s little that isn’t in his power. The self-proclaimed deity, with the unpronounceable name, demonstrated virtually unlimited reality-wrapping powers and claimed to be able to eliminate the Earth with a snap of his fingers (but he don’t need no fancy glove to do it), and that's just to name a few.
7 WEAKER: RA'S AL GHUL
Here’s a character that should have been a lot more powerful than what was depicted on the show, or at least we expected him to be way more powerful. As a nemesis of The Dark Knight in the comics, Ra’s al Ghul is deemed as incredibly powerful and immortal. On Arrow, however, Ra’s never quite achieved the same status.
Despite having centuries of training in swordsmanship, he was somehow bested (and defeated) by Oliver Queen. While his archery and swordsmanship abilities were impressive, he clearly wasn’t number one. He looks tough and acts tough, but definitely isn't as powerful as he would want us to believe.
6 MORE POWERFUL: MUSIC MEISTER
Claiming to originate from a place outside the normal universe, which he described as being far beyond human comprehension, Music Meister is one of the oddest Arrowverse villains. This benevolent and charming extra-dimensional being possessed incredible powers.
His in-depth knowledge of people and places from all across the multiverse proves that he’s omniscient. On top of that, he easily hypnotized and subdued both Kara and Barry in order to trap them in a dream world. Luckily, he’s not actually wicked, since all he wanted was to teach them a lesson about love. Let’s just hope he doesn’t cross over to the dark side.
5 WEAKER: FIRESTORM
Firestorm is incredibly powerful, make no mistake. The flaming hero is a living reactor that creates immense amounts of nuclear energy. With the capacity to process both fission and fusion, Firestorm can harness energy from his own body or a nearby source, which is rather impressive.
As Firestorm, Jax and Stein become an impressive fiery vision with super strength, flight, ability to shoot fire blasts, and transmute matter. That being said, Firestorm has a crippling weakness: being made up of two people, meaning that if you take one away, you’ve pretty much won the battle. They need to merge to survive, and when apart, they’re just an elderly professor and a mechanic.
4 MORE POWERFUL: ELONGATED MAN
After a gloomy season three of The Flash, Ralph Dibny’s arrival in season four was a breath of fresh air. Watching him grow into the hero we now know and love over the course of season four was exciting, believable, and at times, heartbreaking. Simultaneously growing as a person and a superhero, Ralph quickly became our favorite.
Though his childlike nature, easy-going demeanor, and hilarious situations may make him look like a jester, Ralph is actually incredibly powerful. He's immune to bullets and even explosions, so basically, he's virtually indestructible. His stretching abilities allow him to morph his body into whatever he wants, which comes in handy pretty often.
3 WEAKER: ZOOM
One of Barry’s greatest nemeses, Zoom, is among the most dangerous villains in the Arrowverse. The wicked speedster from Earth-Two became fixated on speed and his never-ending pursuit of this trait proved to be his undoing. The Velocity serum caused cellular degeneration, which prompted him to look for speed elsewhere. So, he came for Barry's speed.
Back in season three, Zoom was indeed faster than Barry, due in most part, to the Velocity serum. However, since it was also simultaneously debilitating him, the serum was one of his greatest weaknesses. Not to mention, the Time Wraiths were hunting him because he broke the rules of the Speed Force. Thus, while Zoom's mask still spooks us, he's not nearly as powerful as the Reverse-Flash, Savitar, or Barry for that matter.
2 MORE POWERFUL: BRAINY
With those puppy brown eyes and endearing personality, Brainy comes off as a harmless cinnamon roll. But, much like Ray Palmer, this particular cinnamon roll could easily defeat you. Brainy comes from an alien race called Coluan. As such, he has the ability to shape his body and interact with technology. He can use technology to teleport, manipulate computer systems, project his mind into another, and so on.
Brainy has a 12th-level intellect, which means his mind has capabilities far beyond our grasp. But that’s not all. He also has powers like super strength, super speed, invulnerability, and flight. In a recent episode, he demonstrated his unique and efficient combat skills; so don’t let the puppy eyes fool you.
1 WEAKER: GREEN ARROW
Far be it from us to call out Oliver Queen, of all people, for not being tough enough. On the contrary, the Green Arrow is incredibly powerful, considering he is, after all, only human. Archery, swordsmanship, martial arts, marksmanship, you name it, he’s mastered it. But, Oliver’s not all brawn and no brains. He’s also highly intelligent and an expert tactician.
Well, he is when he’s not making unwise decisions. Over the course of six seasons, Oliver’s made some pretty poor choices that had put him, his family, and his team in grave danger. Contrary to popular belief, he is not above reproach and infallible. Oliver is human in every sense of the word, and that humanity is often his weakness.