It is the 21st Century. Information and innovation come at a dizzying pace. Many people have a powerful computer in their pockets, we can get any information we want with a few keystrokes and distance is a thing of the past. We can speak to someone on the other side of the world with ease.
Their heroic careers and, in a few cases, the very existence of these characters is dependant on living in a technologically advanced world. These people would be lost without their circuits, terabytes, and motherboards. Staying on the cutting edge is vital to their existence.
10 Metal Men
The Metal Men were created by Dr. Will Magnus, the world’s foremost authority on Elementics, the synthesis of chemistry and robotics. Magnus developed the Respondometer, a microcomputer that can animate pure metals into humanoid robots capable of independent thought, initiative, and emotions. The Metal Men usually deal with threats of “weird science” .
The Metal Men could not exist without technology, specifically, their Respondometers. They give them “life” and their personalities. Mercury is mercurial and arrogant. Tin is shy and stutters. Gold is the leader and always out front and Platinum is flighty and hopelessly in love with Magnus.
9 Doctor Octopus
Dr. Otto Octavius was a highly respected nuclear physicist and inventor who developed four manipulator arms attached to a harness and controlled through a brain-computer interface. A radiation leak and explosion fused the apparatus to Octavius’ body. Octavius called himself Doctor Octopus and embarked on a criminal career.
Without his tentacles, Octavius is a portly, myopic man well into his later years. Even with them, his body has begun to feel the years of repeated battles with the much younger and more agile Spider-Man. The telepathic ability to control the tentacles even if they are disconnected is his sole power.
Victor Stone was a brilliant young man that pursued his athletic gifts, much to his scientist parent’s chagrin. Victor went to his parent’s lab and an other-dimensional creature broke through, killing Victor’s mother and severely injuring Victor. Knowing that his son was near death, Silas saved him with state of the art prosthesis developed for the military. Horrified at what his father had done, Victor had to endure months of painful rehabilitation. He stopped a gang from attacking the United Nations and Victor became the hero Cyborg.
As much as he hated his father for it, without the prosthesis that makes him Cyborg, Victor would have died. In conjunction with his intellect, Victor has become the go-to tech person on both the New Teen Titans and the Justice League but that requires the very parts of himself that he still hates on occasion.
7 Chase Stein
Chase Stein is the son of evil scientists and engineers Victor and Janet Stein of The Pride. Chase and the other Pride children saw them murder a teenager and the children ran away, with Chase driving. Chase stole some tech from his parent’s lab and took the others to The Hostel. When the Pride was killed by the Gibborim, the Runaways stayed together to support one another and help others.
Chase’s contributions to his team come from his piloting skills of the Leapfrog, their flying transport. He uses the Fistigons gauntlets that launch missiles, fire an electrical charge and shoot flames in various shapes and patterns. He also has the Footsigons, which are boots that allow him to fly and X-Ray goggles that allow him to see through most substances.
Barbara Gordon started her heroic career as Batgirl until the night that the Joker shot her in the spine. Thanks to her eidetic memory, her indomitable will and a massive array of computers, Barbara becomes the information guru, Oracle. Working first with the Suicide Squad and the Bat-Family, she created her own team, the Birds of Prey. She started with Power Girl, but after a disastrous mission, Black Canary joined her and the two became a successful team and friends. Eventually, the team grew to include Huntress, Lady Blackhawk, and others.
While Barbara’s mental and physical talents cannot be discounted, Oracle is a hero for the digital age. The vast computer array, the information that Oracle gathers, compiles and archives and her use of the internet are integral to her heroic endeavors.
The Vision was created by evil robot Ultron and Phineas T Horton from an alternate body of the original Human Torch and the mental engrams of Simon Williams, the future Wonder Man. Ultron’s plan was that Vision would infiltrate and destroy the Avengers but Vision broke free of his programming.
The Vision is technology created by technology who created a technological family of his own, with his daughter Viv Vision the only survivor. As a Synthroid, he replicates a human body but his body is many times more resilient and his computer brain is able to store many libraries' worth of information.
Brilliant physicist Ray Palmer took a fragment of white dwarf star and shrank himself to free some friends from a cave-in. After refining the fragment into a belt that allowed him to change his size and weight all the way down past microscopic, Ray became The Atom. Palmer is one of the Justice League’s chief science advisers.
Without the Atom size-changing belt, Ray Palmer would be the most popular physics professor at Ivy Town University. He learned judo and became a proficient swordsman but it is the belt that allows him to alter his size, mass, fly on air currents and travel in other dimensions.
Sam Wilson grew up in a tough Harlem neighborhood as the son of a minister. The Cosmic Cube gave Wilson the telepathic ability to communicate with his falcon, Redwing. The Red Skull used Wilson in a plot against Captain America. After an initial fight, Wilson broke his conditioning and became Cap’s new partner. Cap taught him various fighting skills and Wilson took the name Falcon but it wasn’t until Black Panther created his first harness that he took to the skies.
Falcon’s wings allow him to soar high in the air at speeds up to 250 mph. Mixing his gymnastics and martial arts training from Capt. America and his own experimentation with his flying harness, Falcon is one of the best aerial fighters in the world.
2 Mr. Terrific
Michael Holt was mastering theoretical and quantum physics and advanced science at an age when most kids are struggling with Sesame Street. By age 21, Holt had 14 Ph.D.’s and assorted other degrees as well as being an Olympic Gold Medal Decathlete. With the accidental death of his wife and unborn child, Holt contemplated suicide but the Spectre appeared and told Holt about Terry Sloane, the first Mr. Terrific. Holt chose to follow Sloane’s example, joining the Justice Society and became its chairman.
Having “natural aptitude at having natural aptitudes”, Holt’s mental skills are formidable but it is his creation of the T-Spheres and T-Mask that truly made him Mr. Terrific. The Spheres are data links, create holograms, can be projectiles and much more through his mental and verbal commands. The Mask made him invisible to all electronic and video detection and spared Holt from mental or chemical attacks.
1 Iron Man
Tony Stark was wounded while demonstrating weaponry he designed in a foreign country. A piece of shrapnel was lodged close to his heart. He was taken hostage by warlords who wanted him to create weapons for them. A fellow prisoner helped Tony create his first suit of armor with an electromagnet to keep the shrapnel in place. Tony escaped and returned to civilization where he used the armor to become the superhero, Iron Man. He continually upgraded his armor, even after his heart is repaired.
Tony may be a billionaire, genius, playboy, and philanthropist but without the ever-evolving array of armors, he is not Iron Man. Each armor has Repulsor hand weapons, boot jets for flight, incredible tactical and computing capacity with an onboard AI like FRIDAY or JARVIS and a variety of suit specific weapons for every contingency. Tony has suits to fight specific foes and even a few friends as well.