Ever since Superman writers came up with the concept of Kryptonite, other comic book writers have been rushing to find their own story MacGuffin that can be used to stop a seemingly unstoppable hero to even the playing field a bit and give the bad guy a chance against a hero who can rip mountains apart with his bare hands.
Yet, sometimes, the specific weaknesses that writers come up with for heroes are more baffling than their origin stories of getting bitten by radioactive vermin and gaining powers instead of dying a slow, painful death. Here are some truly ridiculous weaknesses found among Marvel's superpowered roster.
10 Thor Losing His Hammer
The God of Thunder has faced a lot of adversity, but he has always managed to come out on top thanks to his never-say-die spirit. That is, except in the early days of his Marvel comics career when losing his hammer for more than sixty seconds would cause Thor to lose his powers and revert to his regular human form.
So, in those days, all it took for Thor to lose was holding anything that required the use of both hands. The best time to attack him would presumably have been when he was playing video games on Nintendo, taking a bath, or eating food with a knife and fork. Who could have imagined attending fancy dinners would prove Thor's downfall?
9 Venom Won't Go Near Lit Matchsticks
Venom might be one of the most overpowered villains in Marvel, and the fact that he regularly loses to Spider-Man after having gone toe-to-toe against the Hulk is a testament to popularity rather than strength determining who wins a comic book fight.
Anyway, since Venom is afraid of fire, Spidey has often used the fact to beat the symbiote—except for that one time when Venom was beaten, not by Spider-Man wielding a flamethrower, but an ordinary guy wielding a cheap lighter. So, Venom better not attend any birthday parties. Standing near the cake with all those birthday candles lit on top would render him catatonic.
8 Thanos Wants To Lose
Thanos in the movies was an unstoppable force, and yet he was only a fraction of the Thanos from the comics. So unstoppable was comics Thanos that he destroyed and then rebuilt the universe one time, but he was defeated by the heroes anyway. Not because of anything they did, but because he wants to lose.
It might be because he secretly deems himself unworthy of absolute power due to years of being treated like a freak and a mutant on his home planet, or maybe because he has a crush on the embodiment of death and yearns to die and join her. Whatever the reason, Thanos's biggest enemy is literally his own self.
7 Dark Elves Can't Handle Metal
The dark elves are an ancient race of warriors who are blessed with great speed, strength, and immortality. But all of that counts for nothing when the elves come into contact with the element iron. Not a special, magically imbued version of the metal, but just any iron compound in general.
The iron from Iron Man's armor? Yep. The iron found in ancient swords and shields? You know it. The extra blunt butter-knife your little sister uses during breakfast so she doesn't hurt herself? Oh man, the dark elves are so screwed.
6 Gladiator's Crippling Insecurities
Gladiator is a powerful warrior who has been known to tear apart black holes with his bare hands and take out The thing with a couple of punches. With such a fearsome and skilled warrior, the writers knew they had to give him a totally unexpected weakness to give his opponents a sporting chance at beating him. And they did... by having Gladiator lose his powers if he ever lost his self-confidence.
That's right, one of the most overpowered beings in Marvel comics has the same weakness as a teen girl with a zit before prom night. You don't even technically need to beat Gladiator at all. All you have to do if laugh mockingly in his face when he challenges you to a fight and maybe make fun of his hair; Gladiator's crippling insecurities will do the rest.
5 Daredevil Fears Loud Concerts
Daredevil is the man with no fear, which you pretty much have to be if you're going to be a blind superhero who regularly launches himself off of rooftops. Daredevil's thing is his heightened sense of hearing, which allows him to create an echolocation map of sorts of his surroundings via soundwaves.
But this also means that loud noises have the potential to trip up the hero. Not just super loud noises that would burst an ordinary person's eardrums, but just loud noises in general, the kind that you can't even call the police to complain about for disturbing the peace. Among the most dangerous places for Daredevil to visit are music concerts, traffic jams, and children's sleepovers that are getting too noisy.
4 Asbestos Overwhelms The Human Torch
The Human Torch has a pretty impressive ability to conjure and control the fire that his body naturally emanates. And yet, despite also having the ability to fly and Reed Richard's genius array of technological gadgets, the Human Torch was beaten by Asbestos Man.
This seems to be a case of the comic writers randomly asking someone "what thing is fireproof?" and when someone said "asbestos," they shrugged and said, "alright, that's the new villain." Not only did Asbestos Man prove impervious the Torch's flame, but he nearly overwhelmed the hero by stuffing his every orifice with Asbestos.
3 Water Shorts Out Electro
Electro is the master of electricity and one of Spider-Man's most powerful enemies. Unless there happens to be water nearby, which shuts down the villain immediately. This proves quite problematic when two-thirds of the planet is covered by water, every city ever designed has massive amounts of the stuff, and every third-grader knows water shorts electrical wiring.
Naturally, Spider-Man routinely uses electricity to take out Electro. And yet, the villain still acts surprised and outraged every time he is beaten in this manner.
2 Spider-Man Doesn't Like Ethyl Chloride Injections
Spider-Man has no specific weakness as such. This has led his arch-enemies to resort to the inelegant solution of regularly trying to beat him to death instead. But, as it turns out, Spider-Man's kryptonite is Ethyl Chloride, the solution injected into patients to ease their pain. Turns out the solution carries anti-spider venom within it, and that dries up Spidey's powers from his body. So, not only can Peter Parker not afford expensive medical treatment, but even regular injections can really screw him over.
1 Wolverine's Favorite Sword
The Muramasa blade is a sword that carries within it a part of Wolverine's soul, and it is the only blade in the world that can harm and kill Logan. Wolverine keeps the sword in his house and randomly passes it on to his friends, like Colossus and Cyclops, with instructions to use it on him if he ever went rogue.
First of all, Wolverine is not an unstoppable being like Superman who only has that one weakness to Kryptonite. Any sufficiently powerful energy attack can kill Wolverine. And yet, Logan feels the need to add to the list of things that can kill him by keeping the sword near him and telling everyone they can use it to kill him. That would be like Superman carrying around a glass case of kryptonite at all times with the words 'Break glass in case I turn evil' emblazoned across it.