The Avengers are called Earth's Mightiest Heroes for a reason. Even though the team roster has changed countless times since their 1963 debut, they have always been the gold standard for heroes. They are the strongest opponents that Earth's supervillains must face if they want to do anything from rob a bank to conquer the world; very few are up to the challenge. Some Avengers, like the Hulk and the Scarlet Witch, rely exclusively on their innate abilities to pull their weight on the team. Others, even if they also have superpowers, get a little extra boost from special weapons. You've probably heard of some of them, like Hawkeye's bow and arrows and Thor's hammer, Mjolnir. This list will look at a total of 20 Avengers' weapons and decide which is the most powerful of all.
Of course, it's not just about raw power. A weapon that seems useless can become lethal in the hands of an expert. On the flip side, an object of incalculable power is no good -- or worse, a danger to innocent people -- if it's wielded by a knucklehead. The Avengers, being the elite band of professionals they usually are, rarely let knuckleheads onto the team. Most of the weapons on this list have become legendary precisely because their owners are so skilled at using them. From Iron Man's armor to the Black Widow's Bite and beyond, we're counting down from the weakest Avengers weapons -- though you still wouldn't want to end up on the wrong end of them -- to the absolute most overpowered item an Avenger has ever used to save the world.
20 MOCKINGBIRD'S BATTLE STAVES
Mockingbird is a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent turned superhero with a propensity for snarking at her opponents. While she more recently acquired superpowers, including enhanced strength and agility, she started out as a non-powered vigilante. Back then, she relied on nothing more than her fighting skills, her considerable brains and her signature battles staves.
The staves can either be wielded separately or combined to create a bo-staff. While Mockingbird has inflicted more than her share of damage with them, they are still a relatively ordinary weapon in an extraordinary world. She's not the least interesting Avenger, but she does wield the least interesting -- and least powerful -- weapon.
19 SWORDSMAN'S SWORD
The Swordsman wasn't an Avenger for very long, and he was far from being their most distinguished member. But he did have a pretty neat weapon. He started out wielding an ordinary sword, and although he was very good with it, the sword itself was nothing particularly special.
But when the Swordsman briefly teamed with the Mandarin prior to joining the Avengers, Mandy upgraded his sword with lots of nifty new features. These included the power to disintegrate items, shoot gas or start fires. None of these upgrades were enough to prevent Kang the Conqueror from killing the Swordsman in Giant-Size Avengers #2.
18 STINGRAY'S ARMOR
Walter Newell is an oceanographer and occasional Avenger. He is most famous for his semi-frequent team-ups with Namor the Sub-Mariner. But how can an ordinary human keep up with the king of Atlantis? That is all thanks to his red-and-white suit, which allows him to breathe and move freely underwater.
Stingray's suit is pretty light on weaponry, as its primary purpose is to allow the wearer to safely explore the ocean. It does, however, have the ability to shoot electric charges. And it's still impressive enough that Iron Man once mistook it for a Stark Industries design and demanded it back.
17 HELLCAT'S SUIT
Patsy Walker first fought alongside the Avengers in Avengers #144. She was not an official team member yet, but she sure acted like one. That had a lot less to do with Patsy's own talents than it did with the special outfit she stumbled upon: a yellow catsuit designed by super-criminal Malcolm Donalbain.
Despite looking like an ordinary leotard, the catsuit enabled Patsy to beat up seasoned supervillains like a pro, even though she had no fighting experience whatsoever. So while it isn't strictly a weapon in and of itself, Hellcat's suit allows any woman who wears it to become a human weapon.
16 HAWKEYE'S BOW AND ARROWS
Some people mock superheroes who use archery to fight crime. That's understandable, to an extent. Shooting an arrow seems much less impressive when your teammates can breathe in space or shoot energy from their hands. On the other hand, the fact that the archers manage to hold their own on a team of such superior super-beings speaks for itself.
As the Avengers' bowman-in-residence, Hawkeye employs a broad array of specialty arrows. They may not pack the punch of some of the other weaponry on this list, but they have the advantage of being range weapons. While his teammates have to get up close and personal with the conqueror of the week, Hawkeye can shoot from a safe distance.
15 WASP'S SUIT
Back when the original Wasp, Janet van Dyne, was getting ready to launch her superhero career, she received her first costume from Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man. This costume famously allowed Jan to shrink and grow functioning wings. It also armed her with an electrical weapon. These are appropriately called stingers.
Despite her tiny size, the Wasp's stings pack a punch. All she has to do is aim her hands at something, and out come twin electric bolts powerful enough to cut through walls. They are also extremely painful and can easily stop even a super-strong tough guy in his tracks.
14 DEADPOOL'S ARSENAL
Deadpool sure does love his weapons. And why not? They've helped him kill lots of people. Unlike most of the other Avengers, Deadpool doesn't rely on one weapon to get the job done. He diversifies, easily switching from katanas to handguns to whatever he has lying around.
If it's pointy or goes boom, Deadpool can and will use it. Still, with a few one-off exceptions -- the time he misappropriated an Avengers' sky-cycle to blow something up, for example -- Deadpool's arsenal consists of regular weaponry. His ability to heal from even the most disgusting of injuries, not his weapons, is what makes him interesting.
13 BLACK WIDOW'S BITE
The Black Widow is best known for her skills as a spy. But sometimes even a spy needs more than her stealth and her own two hands to get the job done. That's where her gauntlets comes in handy. Sometimes called the Widow's bite, they have compartments for everything from knock-out gas to explosives.
This deadliest of accessories debuted along with the Black Widow's signature look in Amazing Spider-Man #86. Before that, she was a brunet in a Black Canary costume. Sure, she was still a master spy, but it's hard to imagine her achieving her current level of popularity and formidability without the iconic black catsuit and the wrist full of weapons.
12 WOLVERINE'S CLAWS
Although he's most associated with the X-Men, Wolverine and his legendary adamantium claws have made their mark with the Avengers as well. Adamantium is the toughest metal on Earth, next to vibranium. nd when it's wielded by a fighter who has had over a century to hone his fighting skills, any supervillain with a working brain cell will surrender the minute Wolverine whips them out.
Adamantium was derived from the divine metal adamantine. As you can imagine, this makes adamantium weaponry uniquely difficult to combat. About the only things it can't stand up against are vibranium and someone with magnetic powers.
11 THE EBONY BLADE
Ever since the first Black Knight pledged himself to protect King Arthur, the Ebony Blade has cut a swath through centuries' worth of bad guys. That quickly became a problem, as all the blood it spilled turned the sword itself evil. The current Black Knight, Dane Whitman, realized the blade was corrupting him and threw it into the Well at the Center of Time.
But nothing stays deceased in comics, not even weaponry. When he got the Ebony Blade back, Dane purified it and was thus able to safely use it again. That's fortunate for him, as the Ebony Blade is much stronger than your average sword. It can even deflect magic attacks.
10 CAPTAIN AMERICA'S SHIELD
As a shield, it's obviously used more for defense than for offense. But Captain America has wielded it for long enough that he's figured out all sorts of additional uses for it. He especially likes to throw it at people as a quick and easy way to disarm and/or take out opponents.
Cap didn't always use the iconic Frisbee-like shield that villains know and fear today. In his very first appearance, Captain America carried a more conventionally shaped shield into battle. This shield was much less easy to use as an offensive weapon and was replaced in the second issue of Cap's self-titled comic.
9 WAR MACHINE'S ARMOR
James Rhodes first donned a set of Stark-built armor to cover for Iron Man when Tony Stark fell off the wagon. A few years later, Rhodey finally got a suit and a superhero identity of his own: War Machine. It may not be as colorful as the Iron Man armor, but in its own way, it is more powerful than even the Golden Avenger's famed suit.
The War Machine armor is a close cousin of the Iron Man armor, boasting similar features like the repulsor rays and the uni-beam. But what sets War Machine apart is his built-in arsenal. Guy's loaded with enough guns to bring any supervillain to their knees.
8 IRON MAN'S ARMOR
Tony Stark constructed the original Iron Man armor out of desperation. It was the only way he'd be able to escape from the people holding him hostage. That first armor's main power was keeping Tony alive. But over the years, with more time and better resources at his disposal, Iron Man has elevated his armor from a mere survival tool to one of Marvel's most iconic pieces of technology.
Among the suit's most memorable features are the uni-beam, repulsor rays and, uh, rollerblades. Tony has also built a number of specialty suits over the years, including the Silver Centurion armor, which included a protective force field and lasers, and the self-explanatory Hulkbuster armor.
7 BLACK PANTHER'S SUIT
The inhabitants of Wakanda have long used vibranium to create all manner of amazing things. Among the most amazing of all is the Black Panther's suit. It's loaded with all sorts of inimitable gadgets, including vibranium claws and daggers, both of which can tear up virtually anything as easily as a normal person can tear up paper.
As seen in the 2018 film, the suit is also capable of storing energy from opponents' attacks, and then expelling it as a shockwave that can do serious damage to anything or anyone in its path. In other words, the harder you hit Black Panther, the harder he hits you back.
6 THE GOLDEN MACE
Hercules doesn't need a weapon to do serious damage. But much like Thor, he often chooses to bring one along anyway. Among the best known of Hercules' weapons is the Golden Mace. Forged by Hephaestus himself, it is made from adamantine, a mystical metal that is not only supremely durable, but also resistant to magic and energy attacks.
Hercules used the Golden Mace against Thor during a violent misunderstanding when they first met in Journey into Mystery Annual #1. Maybe it can't summon thunderstorms like Mjolnir can, but with the strength of Hercules behind it, the Golden Mace proved every inch as unbeatable as Mjolnir.
5 EYE OF AGAMOTTO
Doctor Strange is -- usually -- the Sorcerer Supreme for a reason. His magical talents are unsurpassed on Earth, but Strange's enemies are seldom restricted to just one planet. He frequently faces cosmic threats far more powerful than any mere mortal. On these occasions, he gets a little extra help from a mystic artifact called the Eye of Agamotto.
The Eye's primary purpose is not to act as a weapon in the strictest sense of the word. Rather, it shows the truth. One way it does this is by emitting a bright light that strips away all disguises and false fronts. This light has the useful side effect of weakening evil magic users.
4 THUNDERSTRIKE MACE
Eric Masterson began his superhero career as Thor. In that capacity, he wielded Mjolnir until the original Thor was able to return and take it back. But Eric's hero days weren't over yet. He changed his name to Thunderstrike and accepted a new weapon created by Odin just for him: a mace called Thunderstrike.
Like Mjolnir, Thunderstrike allows its wielder to fly, summon it from long distances and smack people really hard. However, since Thunderstrike is not actually the God of Thunder, neither he nor his mace can control lightning. So it basically is Mjolnir, but with a less cool name.
Perhaps the most famous Avengers weapon of all, Mjolnir allows a select few to fly and summon lightning. It can also be used as the ultimate blunt instrument. Anyone knocked down by Mjolnir will not be getting up anytime soon. This is especially true if Mjolnir lands on top of them. Only the worthy can lift this enchanted hammer, and odds are that if Thor's fighting you, you're far from worthy.
Mjolnir is Thor's signature weapon. But while there have been multiple Thors, there has only been one Mjolnir. It was forged by the Dwarves of Nidavellir, the greatest blacksmiths in the Nine Realms. The enchantment preventing the unworthy from lifting it was added by Odin.
2 POD SYSTEM ARMOR
The POD, or Planetary Operational Defense, System was a robotic suit of armor that fused with a young Norwegian woman, Aikku Jokinen. After single-handedly defeating the Avengers -- and several of the weapons on this list -- POD reformed and joined a different Avengers team: the new A.I.M., Avengers Idea Mechanics, led by Sunspot.
POD's arsenal includes multiple kinds of energy weapons and a supply of mines. It is also intelligent in its own right, capable of studying its opponents' skills and boosting its own power to accommodate them. POD burned itself out fighting the New Revengers and chose to save Aikku rather than heal itself.
1 THE TRIDENT OF NEPTUNE
You just aren't a proper sea king unless you have a trident to enforce your authority. Namor the Sub-Mariner understands this. For years, he has wielded the Trident of Neptune. This fancy fork can, as one would expect, control and manipulate water in a variety of ways. It is made from adamantine, just like Hercules' Golden Mace, and so it too is nigh indestructible.
As if that weren't enough, the trident also shoots multi-use laser beams and can transmogrify objects... and people. With enough raw power to kill even a demon, the Trident of Neptune is exactly as powerful as its name suggests.