The vast majority of heroes, despite their other abilities, make use of a unique weapon that provides them with more flexibility when they make their battle plans. Marvel Comics has had almost 80 years to come up with some very unique weapons. Now that the MCU has come about, these weapons are being adapted to be on the big screen and since movies are a different medium than comic books, many of these weapons had to be altered to make sense within the different Marvel Universe that is the MCU. These alterations sometimes make them more powerful than their comic book counterparts or weaker.
This distinction is important to make because it changes the dynamic of the character. If the MCU characters’ weapons can do things that their comic book counterparts can’t, then that changes how powerful they are and how they match up against other heroes and villains. MCU Yondu’s Yaka arrow has been greatly strengthened and that made him one of the most dangerous characters we’ve encountered. Meanwhile, the Destroyer went from a Celestial weapon in the comics to barely a match for Thor in the MCU. We’re here to keep track of the differences with 10 Weapons The MCU Made OP (and 10 it weakened).
20 OP: YAKA ARROW
Yondu’s Yaka Arrow has a legitimate claim to be the most powerful non-Infinity Stone weapon in the entire MCU. With Yondu’s new fin, he was easily able to decimate his entire faction of Ravagers with minimal help from Rocket. Keep in mind that these are the same Ravagers were able to do battle with Ronan’s forces on equal footing in the first Guardians of the Galaxy.
In the comics, Yondu’s whistle can control only the direction that his arrows travel, but they don’t possess anywhere near the raw destructive power of the MCU’s single Yaka arrow. There doesn’t seem to be anything that the Yaka Arrow can’t penetrate and it even showed the ability to combust into a fiery explosion on command. Yondu’s arrows in the comics are powerful but they do have their limits and cannot fly indefinitely.
19 WEAKENED: RONAN’S UNIVERSAL WEAPON
Ronan was not the most effective villain in the MCU. He was a fair threat to the Guardians, but fell short of being truly menacing. Some character development and a coherent purpose for his actions would have gone a long way towards building Ronan’s menace.
The comic book version of his Universal Weapon may have done the trick as well.
In Guardians of the Galaxy, Ronan’s signature weapon was pretty much just a huge hammer with the ability to project concussive energy and bash his enemies’ heads in. But in the comics, it’s far more powerful. Ronan’s Universal Weapon can absorb and project cosmic energy, manipulate matter, create force fields, control gravity, and allow for interstellar teleportation, hyperspace travel, and flight. In the comics, Ronan is a heavy hitter because of his Universal Weapon, but in Guardians, much of his power came from the Power Stone.
18 OP: WEB-SHOOTERS
There aren’t many more iconic gadgets in the Marvel Universe than Spider-Man’s web shooters. His web shooters serve as a versatile set of weapons in addition to his main form of transportation. Spider-Man has used his webs to subdue his enemies, create weapons, blind or gag his enemies, clog up important technology, and many other things. He’s done a great deal of things in his many years as Spider-Man, but he’s never had as many web configurations as he does in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
When Tony Stark made Peter a suit, he went overboard and gave him 576 different web-shooter configurations. These configurations included taser webs, web grenades, splitter webs, and web bullets. They were also able to shoot small spider-trackers and possessed an instant kill mode that was never fully explored.
17 WEAKENED: BILLY CLUB
This may be the least flashy signature weapon on this list. Daredevil’s billy club has been a part of his character since his creation. It’s more intricate than it lets on though. The club can split into two to turn into eskrima-like weapons. On top of that, the club is wound up with thirty feet of aircraft control cable which is spring-loaded so that it can be launched out of the billy club to allow him to entangle his enemies and swing from structures.
Throughout the two Daredevil series and The Defenders, Daredevil’s equipment has evolved.
He initially didn’t have a billy club, but by The Defenders, he had a billy club that resembled Daredevil’s from the comic books. Unfortunately, the billy club doesn’t have a spring-loaded launcher, severely limiting the range that he can project the billy club.
16 OP: SUPER SOLDIER SERUM
The Super Soldier serum was designed to make the ultimate soldier and it definitely succeeded. Captain America, the most well-known beneficiary of the serum, has been enhanced to the peak of human conditioning, but it seems that the comics and the MCU have a different idea of the human peak.
In the comics, Captain America can bench press 2,000 pounds. However, the MCU version of Captain America can stop a helicopter from taking off, toss a motorcycle with no effort, punch through the glass of a submarine, run 13 miles in 30 minutes, and take blasts from Ultron and Iron Man and continue to fight after getting up and dusting himself off. The MCU’s Captain America seems to be far more powerful than his comic book counterpart.
15 WEAKENED: THE DESTROYER
The fact that Thor completely destroyed The Destroyer is proof enough that it was weakened for the sake of the MCU. In the comics, The Destroyer may be the most powerful weapon that Asgard has ever created. It has physical strength is greater than that of Thor’s who can lift the planet-sized Midgard Serpent. On top of that, it can withstand obscene amounts of damage, can travel at supersonic speeds, and has a disintegration beam that can destroy virtually anything.
In Thor, The Destroyer was indeed powerful, but it was nowhere near as powerful as its comic book counterpart. It was destroyed fairly easily by Thor once he reclaimed Mjolnir, but The Destroyer in the comics was only destroyed by the Celestials and, even then, it was easily reanimated. Its strength wasn’t enough to kill a powerless Thor and the Warriors Three were able to put up a good fight against it.
14 OP: VULTURE’S FLIGHT HARNESS
Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes probably takes the cake as the coolest costume in the MCU. His flight harness was a massive, nimble, and powerful piece of technology crafted from the remains of the Chitauri invasion during The Avengers. The flight harness granted Toomes increased strength and enough durability to survive a plane crash and still handily defeat Spider-Man.
The harness can operate remotely, fly fast enough to catch a Starktech jet and cut through metal with no effort.
In the comics, Vulture’s flight harness looks silly and grants him superhuman strength, but he’s never been as threatening as he is in Spider-Man: Homecoming. The Vulture’s harness can’t be controlled remotely, it isn’t particularly dangerous, and his augmentations are very slight. Toomes more relies on cunning to defeat his enemies and not his strength or ferocity like the MCU’s Vulture.
13 WEAKENED: WINTER SOLDIER’S ARM
According to Sam Wilson: “Everybody’s got a gimmick”. While that may not be 100% true, it does seem that everybody who is involved in the world of superheroes and supervillains either has powers, a unique weapon, or a combination of both. Bucky Barnes’s unique weapon is his bionic arm and it is surprisingly powerful. The arm is strong enough to crush Iron Man’s armor, catch Captain America’s shield, and smash concrete.
Though powerful, the Bucky’s bionic arm isn’t quite as powerful or diverse as its comic book counterpart. In the comics, the arm can emit electrical shocks, generate EMPs, appear as a normal human arm, and be controlled remotely via Bucky’s mental implants. The arm’s strength and durability seem to be similar to the MCU’s version, but the comic book version’s versatility gives it an edge.
12 OP: BLACK PANTHER’S SUIT
In the comics, much of T’Challa’s strength comes from his cunning and advanced technology. His abilities are powerful and his suit is durable, but it’s his planning and fighting ability that usually allow him to overcome his enemies. In the MCU, he does possess these traits, but the technology he has access to is incredible. Wakandan technology is unlike anything ever seen in the MCU before and that’s proven to be one of Black Panther’s greatest strengths.
The Black Panther suit is the most obvious example of advanced Wakandan technology.
It’s made of self-repairing nanobots that also have the strength and durability of vibranium. On top of its incredible defensive capabilities, it has the ability to absorb kinetic energy and release it in a destructive burst. This burst is strong enough to completely destroy a car and toss dozens of men like ragdolls.
11 WEAKENED: HAWKEYE’S ARROWS
MCU fans have always given Hawkeye a hard time for his penchant for archery, but his arsenal is actually quite impressive. Hawkeye’s quiver contains a variety of gadget arrows that have an array of effects. He has explosive arrows that can take down bunkers, taser arrows that put Scarlet Witch out of commission, trap arrows strong enough to temporarily incapacitation Vision, sonic pulse arrows that can clear a room, incendiary arrows that can melt through Chitauri metal and more.
But as vast as an armory as the MCU’s Hawkeye has, his comic book counterpart’s is far greater. In addition to all of those listen above, he has Pym Particle arrows that can change sizes, unbreakable adamantium arrows, rocket arrows with incredible range, glue arrows to incapacitate enemies, freeze arrows to encase his enemies in ice, and even more fantastical arrows.
10 OP: CAPTAIN AMERICA’S SHIELD
If there was a symbol for the Marvel Universe, it’d easily be Captain America’s indestructible shield. It was made when vibranium and an iron alloy was fused together with an unknown catalyst and it has created a shield that has proven to be largely impenetrable. It’s been shattered before, but by truly extraordinary circumstances.
In the MCU, however, Captain America’s shield is not only indestructible, but it’s also reflective.
In The Avengers when Thor slammed into his shield with Mjolnir, it completely reflected the force and lightning back at him with literally no harm done to Cap. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Cap reflected the bullets of a minigun off of his shield and took out a squad of Hydra agents using only the reflected bullets. He’s also weaponized the reflective power of the shield by allowing Thor and Iron Man to reflect their attacks off of his shield.
9 WEAKENED: MJOLNIR
Another classic weapon of a founding Avenger, Mjolnir is the main weapon of whosoever wields the power of Thor. It is an incredibly powerful weapon and can only be wielded by those who it deems worthy. In the comics, it’s one of the most powerful weapons in the Marvel Universe. It’s incredibly durable and can absorb and redirect energy, project extremely powerful lightning blasts, and it possesses a fraction of the Odin Force which is more powerful than a herald of Galactus. Mjolnir in the comics is powerful enough to destroy planets in a single blast.
The MCU’s Thor has been nerfed because he’d be too powerful for audiences to feel any danger otherwise. But on top of that, Thor: Ragnarok revealed that all of Thor’s power comes from himself and not the Mjolnir, further weakening the legendary hammer.
8 OP: GUNGNIR
The mighty Odin was the strongest person in Asgard and may have been one of the most powerful beings in the entire MCU. And of course the most powerful being will wield one of the most powerful weapons. Gungnir is Odin’s weapon of choice in the MCU. It’s a mystical spear that possesses truly great power. With it, Loki was able to destroy Laufey, the king of the Frost Giants.
On top of that, the spear enabled a much weaker Loki to do battle with Thor and Mjolnir on equal footing.
But the most powerful ability Gungnir has is its ability to control The Destroyer which was powerful enough to press Thor and defeat the Warriors Three. In the comics, Gungnir essentially has the same abilities as the MCU’s version except that it cannot control the Destroyer. Also, it’s not even Odin’s only weapon -- he also wields the mace Thrudstok.
7 WEAKENED: IRON MAN’S ARMOR
Tony Stark in every universe is one of the world’s foremost weapons designers. He’s designed some awe inspiring weapons to defend the Earth. Obviously, his most impressive one has always been the Iron Man armor and he’s constantly improving it. However, he’s had much more time to do so in the comics compared to the MCU. In the MCU, his latest armor appears to be constructed of nanobots and possess the ability to form different weapons and devices seemingly out of nowhere.
This is most like the Mark 51 or Model-Prime armor from the comics which possesses similar abilities but to a greater degree than the MCU version. The Model-Prime armor can change its size from the Hulkbuster to a child-sized suit. On top of that, if the armor is damaged, it can just reorient its nanobots to cover up any damaged portions.
6 OP: THE CLOAK OF LEVITATION
The standout character from Doctor Strange, the Cloak of Levitation is an enchanted cloak that allows for the wearer to levitate to an unlimited degree and look cool while doing so. In the comics, the Cloak does this and nothing more, but the MCU added an additional wrinkle to it that made it far more powerful and hilarious.
In Doctor Strange, the Cloak is actually sentient and has a very unrestrained personality.
The cloak is completely responsible for Doctor Strange’s first defeat of Kaecilius and saved his life when he was stabbed by an acolyte. The Cloak seems to have knowledge of the mystical artifacts in the New York sanctum and is capable of blocking blows from opponents and grabbing enemies. It even managed to incapacitate Kaecilius’s acolyte so completely that he had to use his astral form to escape. It’s the ultimate partner.
5 WEAKENED: THE TESSERACT/COSMIC CUBE
It’s weird to say that an Infinity Stone is weaker than its comic book counterpart, but this is an interesting case. While the Tesseract does indeed hold the Space Stone, the casing has been referred to as the Cube, aka the Cosmic Cube, from the comics. In the comics, Cosmic Cubes are powerful objects that have the ability to rewrite reality at the user’s will. They can do virtually anything and work by granting the user access to power from the Beyonder’s universe.
In the MCU, the Cube appears to just be a housing for the Space Stone as Thanos crushes it to obtain the Space Stone in the Avengers: Infinity War trailer. Even if you link the Cube and the Space Stone, the Cosmic Cube would still be more powerful as the Space Stone is used primarily for transportation.
4 OP: THE EYE OF AGAMOTTO
The Eye of Agamotto is one of Dr.Strange’s signature magical artifacts, but the MCU and comics differ greatly in their interpretation of the artifact. In the comics, the Eye of Agamotto is sentient and is used to find “truth” and that manifests in many forms. The Eye can emit a light that breaks through all illusions, play back events it has witnessed, read others’ minds, create portals to other dimensions, and track ethereal or corporeal beings.
But in the MCU, the Eye has nothing to do with revealing with truth. The Eye in Doctor Strange actually houses an Infinity Stone, the Time Stone to be exact. It powers spells that allow for the manipulation of time. It allows users to rewind, freeze, or fast forward through time in a localised area. It is powerful enough to undo whole events and can even trap opponents in a time loop.
3 WEAKENED: ULTRON
In the comics, Ultron is an insanely powerful and dangerous opponent capable to taking down any and all of the Avengers without much trouble. He possesses incredible strength, speed, Adamantium-induced durability, and weapons that are powerful enough to kill any of the Avengers (including members as strong as Thor and Hulk) and he continues to upgrade himself. But his greatest advantage is his incredible intellect which allows him to stay 15 steps ahead of the Avengers and defeat them before they even know it’s coming.
Ultron’s characterization was one of the main complaints of Avengers: Age of Ultron.
He wasn’t as serious or as menacing as he was in the comics, but the biggest problem is that he was seriously underpowered compared to his comic book counterpart. His final form may have been a match for Thor, but the Avengers as a team never felt like they were truly in danger.
2 OP: HULKBUSTER ARMOR
One of the best parts of Avengers: Age of Ultron was easily the Hulkbuster battle that took place in South Africa. When the Avengers went to confront Ultron, Scarlet Witch incapacitated the majority of them and manipulated the Hulk into rampaging through Johannesburg, forcing Iron Man to don the Hulkbuster armor to try and stop him. After a lengthy battle, Tony was able to defeat the Hulk by knocking him out.
In the comics, the Hulkbuster has never been able to defeat the Hulk. They’ve fought numerous times, but the Hulkbuster has never been able to do the one thing it was designed to do. It usually puts up a good fight in the initial stages of the fight, but the Hulk always gains the upper hand with his immeasurable strength.
1 WEAKENED: STAR-LORD’S QUAD BLASTER
The Quad Blaster is Star-Lord’s signature weapon in the MCU. They’re a pair of double-barrelled directed energy handguns. One barrel shoots a lethal plasma-like blast while the other fires a nonlethal electricity blast. While the Quad Blasters versatile and are able to do serious damage, they aren’t devastating weapons. Korath was able to shrug off a blast from them with seemingly no damage even despite him using the lethal blast.
In the comics, Star-Lord’s signature weapon is actually his Element Gun which, you guessed it, can project any of the elements.
He can blast enemies with fire, water, air, earth, and even lightning. This is an incredibly diverse weapon as each different element can be useful in different ways. This weapon would be far more effective than what really just equates to a space pistol.