The DC Universe is known for its powerful characters. It includes a number of aliens from other planets who display enhanced abilities on Earth -- the most popular of these being Superman. There is also an entire race of invulnerable gods called the New Gods, who live in a realm that exists outside of normal time and space. In addition, the universe contains physical embodiments of powerful forces called The Endless, which is what Dream from Sandman is. However, there are many popular DC characters who cannot match the physical power of these entities. In order to level the playing field, there are a number of powerful weapons in the universe that give a lesser being a fighting chance.
Many of the most powerful weapons have appeared in DC films over the years, beginning with the campy gadgets of the 1966 movie Batman and evolving to the life-destroying weapons of the 2017 movie Justice League. They exist in a variety of forms. A combat weapon is ranked according to the amount of damage it can cause, taking into account whether it is effective against merely humans or also enhanced beings. Sometimes the weapon’s level of power is enhanced by its wielder’s proficiency. Not just anyone can pick up a throwing knife and be a threat. While combat weapons make up a majority of the following list, there are also environment altering machines that have the power to change the atmosphere or harness energy. In this list we count down the 25 most powerful weapons that have appeared in the DC films.
25 RORSCHACH’S GRAPPLING GUN
Rorschach is one of the most popular characters in Watchmen. He believes in moral absolution; he sees everything in black and white and strongly feels that criminals should be violently punished. Rorschach is a brilliant improvisor and carries only one weapon, a gas-powered grappling hook.
While the grappling hook helps Rorschach get around with efficiency, he is also seen firing it at a S.W.A.T. team member, knocking him to the ground with a severe wound. In the hands of the tactical expert Rorschach, the grappling gun is powerful and dangerous.
24 V’S THROWING KNIVES
V is the main character of the film V for Vendetta, which is an adaptation of a Vertigo comic. He is a freedom fighter who wears a Guy Fawkes mask and strives to overturn a totalitarian leadership. V shows enhanced agility and strength in the movie and a proficiency with throwing knives.
The knives may not seem like much, but in the hands of V they are incredibly dangerous. He uses them to defeat 15 men who fire automatic weapons at him, all in the time it takes them to reload.
The Batarang is the Dark Knight’s most iconic handheld weapon. It is used by every iteration of Batman, from Adam West’s campy version to Ben Affleck's shoot-em-up rendition. Despite its name being derived from the word boomerang, the Batarang hasn’t returned to its thrower since the early comic years of the Caped Crusader.
Batman uses the weapon as a shuriken to disarm and distract his foes. He also utilizes the sharp edges to inflict pain on his targets, or simply sticks it into a wall to let them know he is always watching. Criminals squirm at the sight of a Batarang.
22 SIDE-SADDLE GATLING GUNS
The 2010 film Jonah Hex, has its fair share of firearms. While Jonah is often seen wielding two revolvers, it is his dual crank side-saddle gatling gun that makes the list. In a bounty-collection-gone-wrong, Jonah unveiled that the horse he rode up on was fitted with the powerful firearm.
Although the gun doesn’t have a high level of accuracy, it is more of a quantity-over-quality weapon. Unfortunately, the apparatus is underutilized in the film, but it had a lot of men ducking for cover when Jonah began to crank.
21 EXPLODING SHARK
The campy 1966 movie Batman, starring Adam West, is full of ridiculous action sequences and surprisingly a few powerful weapons. At the beginning of the movie, while Batman is suspended from a helicopter ladder over the ocean, a shark bites down on his leg. Despite the shark’s rubbery appearance, it meant to be a real shark.
After Batman is able to free himself from the beast’s jaws, the vicious shark explodes. The unexpected combination of the ocean’s most dangerous fish with destructive explosives could have caused some real damage. Thank goodness for shark repellent.
20 AQUAMAN’S QUINDENT
The trailers for Aquaman have made it quite clear that the weapon the Atlantean uses in Justice League is not the powerful Trident of Neptune we are accustomed to seeing the hero wield. In fact, in Justice League, Aquaman uses a five-pronged weapon to deal out damage to Steppenwolf’s Parademons.
While the "quindent" does not contain the magical power of the infamous trident, it still proves to be an effective weapon. Aquaman adeptly uses it in both short and long range combat to take out multiple dangerous foes.
The other weapon to make this list from the ‘66 Batman movie is the Dehydrator. This weapon is able to dehydrate a person and turn them into dust. If the dust is properly collected, it must be combined with water to reanimate the person.
In the movie, The United Underworld are able to dehydrate the United World Organization's Security Council, keeping the dust of every member in separate test tubes. When the test tubes break and the dust mixes, Batman tries to restore the leaders with his Super Molecular Dust Separator. Unfortunately, he wasn’t entirely successful.
18 RIDDLER’S MIND CONTROL MACHINE
Batman Forever is a lot more colorful and fun than its predecessors. One of the villains of the movie is Edward Nygma (Riddler), who has a personal vendetta against Bruce Wayne for not funding his mind-controlling TV box.
After being turned down by Bruce, Edward realizes that while people watch his TV box, he is able to leach their brainwaves and become smarter. He creates a massive version of the machine and attempts to get his box in every home so he can absorb the mental capacity of an entire city.
17 STEEL SUIT
While it is hard to identify any actual “steel” on perhaps the worst on-screen superhero costume of all time, don’t let the bad design fool you; the suit is strong. In the movie Steel, the suit is created by weapons designer John Henry Irons so that he can combat a group of organized gang members who he witnessed using modified weaponry.
The suit provides Irons with enough enhanced strength and protection to be the hero of the movie. The suit is so powerful, it turned Shaquille O’Neal from athlete to superhero.
Every Batman film has its own iteration of the Batmobile; from the iconic red stripes of the 1966 model to Nolan’s “tumbler”. For this list we want to focus on the one from Batman Returns. The Batmobile is the star of the first action scene, as Bruce takes on the Red Triangle Gang from the driver seat.
It provides a great deal of protection and is fitted with a number of versatile weapons. It is Batman’s goal to strike fear in the hearts of criminals; rolling up in the Batmobile is a good way to start.
15 FEAR TOXIN
In Batman Begins, the Scarecrow uses his signature Fear Toxin to attack the citizens of Gotham City. It is a fast-acting gas that sends the infected person into a fit of hallucinations. The Scarecrow is the primary administrator of the Fear Toxin, but it is Ra’s al Ghul who has a grand plan for its use.
After dumping a liquid form of the toxin into the Gotham City water supply, he uses a giant microwave emitter to vaporize the water and send the entire city into a fit of madness.
14 HOLY SHOTGUN
In Constantine, starring Keanu Reeves, the demon hunter’s weapon of choice is the Holy Shotgun. It is a shotgun made almost entirely out of gold that resembles a cross. The weapon fires gold rounds which cause critical damage to half-breed demons.
While at first glance it may not appear to be one of the most powerful weapons in the DC films, it is the shotgun’s effectiveness against supernatural threats that justify its high ranking. If a half-breed is running at you, it is better to have the Holy Shotgun than an exploding shark.
The most powerful weapon in the movie Jonah Hex is not explained well in the movie. The Superweapon that the villain Turnbull builds is a gatling-style cannon. It is designed to fire a number of explosive cannonballs into a given area.
The rounds are then detonated simultaneously by firing an orange cannonball from the gun’s central barrel that acts as the “trigger” for the other rounds. There isn’t much more explanation for this weapon, but Turnbull plans to use it to level Washington, D.C., which grants the powerful gun a high ranking on our list.
Jack Nicholson's goofy, yet maniacal portrayal of Joker certainly was disturbing to watch. The most morbid scenes are accompanied by jovial music with a comedic Joker front and center. The Joker’s weapon of choice in Batman is his chemical creation Smilex.
He hid the chemicals in a number of beauty products and when the right two products are combined, the infected user will laugh uncontrollably until they keel over deceased, still with a smile on their face. The lethal, mysterious and versatile nature of Smilex solidifies its spot on this list.
11 KRYPTONITE SPEAR
The Dark Knight is well-equipped to take on the Kryptonian alien, Kal-El in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Bruce creates many weapons for the battle, but there is only one that is truly powerful enough to defeat Superman and that is the Kryptonite spear.
Eventually, the two unite over their mother’s shared first name and join forces to take on the real villain of the movie, Doomsday. Superman uses the spear to defeat Doomsday, but is destroyed in the process. If a Kryptonian was writing this list, the spear would be number one.
Suicide Squad is a mess of a movie, but it does showcase some of the most powerful weapons in the DC films. One of these weapons is Katana’s sword, called Soultaker. Adaptly named, it has the power to trap the soul of its victim. The wielder of the sword is able to communicate with any souls the blade has claimed.
It is a powerful piece of weaponry and unfortunately underutilized in the film. The sword is compelling enough to form a rich backstory for Katana, but instead she is thrown into the movie with little to no character development.
9 DEADSHOT’S WRIST MAGNUMS
One of the bright spots of Suicide Squad is Will Smith’s performance as Deadshot. The character is an exceptional marksman and known as one of the most dangerous assassins in the world. He uses a number of firing weapons throughout the movie, but the most dangerous and unique are his wrist magnums.
He has two wrist-mounted semi-automatic pistols which he can use in close combat and at range. In the dangerous Deadshot’s hands, the wrist magnum is the most powerful gun in the DC film universe.
8 NUCLEAR MISSILE
In 1978’s Superman, Lex Luthor buys a large piece of worthless desert land east of California. He then reprograms two test missiles to target California in order to sink it into the Pacific Ocean and make his worthless land the new West Coast. Despite the convoluted plan, the nuclear missiles in this movie cannot be ignored, as they are extremely powerful weapons.
Luthor is actually successful in setting off one of the missiles in California, but while earthquakes are occurring and people are perishing Superman flies around the Earth so fast he is able to rewind time and save California.
7 LASSO OF HESTIA
The Lasso of Hestia, also known as the Lasso of Truth, is a gold indestructible weapon that Wonder Woman uses in battle and interrogation. The weapon contains a great deal of magic; when the Lasso is wrapped around someone, that person is compelled to tell the truth.
It is also useful in battle as an indestructible restraint that no amount of strength, not even Superman’s, could break. The Lasso is 20 feet in length, granting the wielder the ability to use it in long or short range combat. It is definitely one of the most powerful weapons in the universe.
6 ZOD’S WORLD ENGINE
In Man of Steel, General Zod follows Kal-El to Earth after Krypton is destroyed. He plans on using a number of terraforming machines, the largest called a World Engine, to transform Earth into the new Krypton.
Although Zod does not succeed in ending the Earth and all of its citizens, he is able to start the process and causes a great deal of damage to Metropolis before Superman destroys the machines. With the power to transform a planet, the World Engine earns a top spot on this list.
5 GREEN LANTERN POWER RING
One of the most powerful weapons in the universe is in one of the worst DC movies. In the poorly received Green Lantern, the Power Ring selects Hal Jordan to be its next bearer. The Ring grants the owner a protective field and the power to generate anything imaginable.
Throughout the movie, Jordan learns how to harness willpower and channel it through the Ring. The Power Ring is thought of by some to be the most powerful weapon in the universe. However, since this is an origin story for Jordan, we don’t see the full extent of its power.
4 STEPPENWOLF’S ELECTRO AXE
The axe wielded by Steppenwolf in Justice League has great power. Steppenwolf is able to defeat the Amazons and Atlanteans with the axe. When struck against a surface it emits an energy blast that turns any nearby victims into Parademons, increasing Steppenwolf’s army.
The axe is nearly indestructible and has the strength to battle Wonder Woman’s weapons. It only fails at the end of the movie, when the axe is not strong enough to withstand an attack from both Superman and Wonder Woman, who destroy it and defeat Steppenwolf.
3 BRACELETS OF SUBMISSION
Another of Wonder Woman’s infamous weapons, the Bracelets of Submission, rank high on this list. She wears two body armor arm bracelets, which can deflect any attack, including bullets and powerful energy blasts. However, the bracelets aren’t only used defensively in combat, they are also an offensive weapon.
Wonder Woman can generate an energy blast from the bracelets strong enough to knock back Doomsday. In the DC films they are Wonder Woman’s most powerful weapon and one of the most powerful weapons across all of the films.
2 CYBORG’S BODY
Victor Stone was a young man who experienced a fatal car crash that ended his life. His father, Silas, was able to salvage his head and part of his upper body, which he fused to a cybernetic body using the Mother Box.
Silas saved his son by creating Cyborg. The robotic body is one of the most powerful weapons in the universe. Victor can manipulate the suit to create powerful weapons and useful tools. He is potentially more powerful than Superman and as a weapon, the suit is only runner-up to its creator.
1 MOTHER BOX
The most powerful weapon across all of the DC films is the Mother Box from Justice League. On their own, the three boxes have the power to manipulate life on a cellular level. A Mother Box is used by Silas Stone to save his son Victor, creating the Cyborg body for him in the process.
Another Mother Box is used by Batman and Cyborg to resurrect Superman. If the three boxes are united they form Unity, which can be used by Steppenwolf to conquer worlds. The Mother Boxes act as both the creator and destroyer of life.