When we talk about supervillains, it conjures up images of antagonists who can endanger the world with their powers. Whether their powers stem from being an alien race or something like radioactive exposure, villains are characters who use their power for selfish reasons. And yet even though it often takes heroes who are strong enough to lift up a car to stop these villains, there are actually quite a few bad guys who don’t even have any devastating powers.
Some of the most feared and iconic villains ever really don’t have anything that super about them. Some of them are just really good with weapons, while others are little better than an ordinary citizen. So the next time you think about how terrifying a comic book villain is, maybe consider that you might stand a better chance against them than you think, especially if it’s against these 15 Supervillains Who Are Helpless Without Their Weapons.
15. THE JOKER
Despite being one of the most feared and iconic supervillains out there, the Joker has been shown time and time again to not be a tough person once he is disarmed. Heath Ledger’s time as the Joker in The Dark Knight has proven one of the most popular modern iterations of the villain, and we saw how easily Batman subdued him when they got into close quarters. The Joker jumped Batman and started beating him with a weapon for a minute, but Batman quickly disarmed him and could have done whatever he wanted with the clown.
The Joker is not intimidating because of his physical strength. What makes the Joker scary is his absolute lack of conscience. He is capable and willing to commit any evil deed that comes to his mind, and he takes advantage of his opponent’s unwillingness to simply kill him. Yeah, the Joker is capable of mass murder through his devices and toxins, but deprived of those he is just a deranged man dressed like a clown.
14. THE VULTURE
Many fans are getting better acquainted with the Vulture thanks to his antagonistic role in Spider-Man: Homecoming. One of the most noticeable things about the Vulture is his age, since heroism and villainy are typically a young person’s game. But thanks to the special suit he wears, Adrian Toomes is given better strength and durability than a young man in his prime. The suit also can deploy weapons, and obviously gives the Vulture his signature ability of flight.
Though there have been numerous people to take up the Vulture name, Toomes is the most known as the villain, and is also part of the club that doesn’t actually have very good defenses. Obviously the Vulture’s suit levels the playing field for him, but without it, Toomes is just an old man with all the vulnerabilities that entails. You have to feel a little bad once Toomes gets caught out of his suit since at that point it’s just a fight against a senior citizen.
You’d think Batman would have a disadvantage in the world of crime fighting since he is one of the rare superheroes without powers. But fortunately for the Dark Knight, he has happened to cultivate an assemblage of villains who also lack powers in many cases. It makes things a fair fight, and also raises the stakes for a more impressive victory when Batman actually does encounter the super-powered villains.
All that being said, Harvey Dent is someone who might have a creepy face thanks to his deformity, but is otherwise a pretty normal guy. Two-Face is just like any other mobster who requires his gangsters to do his dirty work, and has little more than his guns as a last defense. Power over the criminal world still makes Harvey someone to be taken seriously, but get rid of his friends and disarm him and he’s pretty much out of options.
Deadshot’s gimmick is self-evident right from his name: he’s a marksman, often boasting about how he is so good with a gun that he never misses. Thus, Deadshot makes his living as an assassin, preferring to handle conflict from afar with a sniper rifle, or through his hand guns as a last resort. And there’s no denying that is a skill, and one that Deadshot makes good use of. The problem is that if Deadshot gets disarmed, he doesn’t have many viable back-up plans.
As a minor criminal, Deadshot’s abilities serve him well since no normal human is going to cause him problems. But as a supervillain he’s frequently come up against heroes who are fast enough to dodge his shots, or are just outright bulletproof. Not only that, but Deadshot has even suffered injuries to his hands before that have left him unable to use his guns. Amanda Waller said it best when she took Deadshot off the Suicide Squad following one of these injuries: without his hands, he’s useless.
Being able to get used to fighting at different sizes is obviously a skill that would take a lot of practice to master, as seen in the Ant-Man movie. But just like Ant-Man would be a lot less useful without his ability to shrink and enlarge on demand, his villainous counterpart Yellowjacket has that same restriction. The Yellowjacket suit is what bestows power to its user, so take out the suit and you take out the threat.
Yellowjacket himself demonstrated this in the Ant-Man movie with his attempts to steal the Pym technology. The suit Yellow Jacket wears is a far more unique weapon than most villains who rely on guns or swords, but it’s a weapon nonetheless. The only reason anyone is calling Yellow Jacket to a fight is for his size-altering capabilities; without that, he doesn’t have much to offer.
10. DOCTOR POISON
Doctor Poison is not Wonder Woman’s most famous villain, but she’s someone fans are now well-acquainted with thanks to the Wonder Woman movie. In the trailers for the film, some people might have thought there was something supernatural about her due to the distinctive mask she has on a portion of her face. But this mask was just to conceal an unsightly disfigurement she sustained as a result of her work.
As we saw in the movie, Doctor Poison has a lethal mind for engineering devastating chemicals to use against people. But unlike Ares, she can’t fly or conjure objects or utilize super strength. In fact, it was hard not to feel bad for Doctor Poison once she stood at Diana’s mercy since it was obvious the hero could have killed her with ease. Doctor Poison isn’t much better than your run of the mill terrorist; she’s certainly an evil person, but there’s nothing that protects her once someone catches up with her.
9. CAPTAIN BOOMERANG
When the Suicide Squad has included the likes of Deathstroke, Doomsday, and the Reverse-Flash, it really is surprising someone like Captain Boomerang would be considered a valuable asset to keep around. Sure, he’s got boomerangs that can do more than just fly through the air, but he’s still one of the least impressive members to be utilized in the Suicide Squad. But apparently, Amanda Waller doesn’t let resources just sit around and go to waste.
It’s not that villains without superpowers serve no purpose on the Suicide Squad, since Harley Quinn isn’t much better than an ordinary human either yet has become one of the team’s most recognized members. But take away Harley’s hammer and guns and she’s still a talented gymnast who is too crazy to care about avoiding a fist fight with god-like beings. Boomerang knows his limits, though, and usually doesn’t bother trying to fight without his weapons in hand.
8. WHITE RABBIT
Marvel and DC actually both have female villains named White Rabbit, but we can really lump them both into this entry since neither one of them actually has superpowers made for fighting. DC’s White Rabbit is the less impressive of the two, simply able to run a bit faster than most people and not get tired. She can also split into two separate people, her villainous persona of White Rabbit, and her civilian form of Jaina Hudson. But even with that up her sleeve, her best tactic is to lure heroes into traps, and when that fails she takes off since she knows she doesn’t stand a chance.
Marvel’s White Rabbit is definitely more intimidating since she comes packing an arsenal. This villain is obsessed with Alice in Wonderland and models her costume and accessories after the story, though we can’t remember any giant robotic bunny in Lewis Carroll’s classic. She fights with a variety of carrot and rabbit themed weapons, but stripped of all those she’s really just an obsessive fan of a classic book.
We’ve talked about Batman villains like the Penguin and Two-Face, who are pretty much limited to using guns to defend themselves, but a few other supervillains have managed to step it up a bit for the Dark Knight. Firefly is one such opponent, though he obviously hasn’t achieved quite the name recognition of some of those other villains. You can’t argue with his tactics, though, since flying around with a flamethrower is a pretty good deterrent for most people.
Similar to a walking arsenal like Deadshot, Firefly is packing plenty of weaponry to cause trouble for most citizens. Still, anyone could put on Firefly’s costume and pick up his weapons to unleash the same kind of chaos he does. That’s because without his flamethrower or his grenade launcher, Ted Carson is just another ordinary man committed to causing havoc.
6. MR. FREEZE
Lots of Batman villains have endured mishaps that altered them and set them on the path to villainy, but Mr. Freeze had it worse than most. People like the Joker or Two-Face were physically changed by their accidents, but they weren’t really severely impaired by what happened. But Mr. Freeze’s exposure to the chemicals he worked with affected his body temperature and made him dependent on the suit he wears to survive.
Freeze has done his best to turn his weakness into a strength by using his knowledge of the cold to construct frost-based weapons. Freeze’s suit also makes him stronger and more resilient, but it’s still a vulnerability that can be exploited. Without his guns and his suit not only is Freeze unable to put up a fight, he could simply die due to his condition.
5. DOCTOR OCTOPUS
(NOTE: We’re talking about the Doc Ock before he mind-swapped into either Spider-Man himself or a specially-designed, super-powered version of his own body.) There is no doubt that doctor Otto Octavius has a lethal mind and has put it to use many a time over the years. This is the guy that managed to do a body swap with Peter, trap his nemesis in a terminally ill body, and take over the role of Spider-Man for quite a while. So you definitely want to treat this genius with some respect when going to stop him. But of course Otto also has metal tentacles when things really get hairy.
While taking on Otto at his home base could be tough because of whatever traps he might have whipped out, when Spider-Man catches him out robbing a bank, all Doc Ock has to rely on are those tentacles and maybe a gun. That’s nothing to sneeze at, since those tentacles really pack a wallop as we saw well in Spider-Man 2. But when Spidey disables those tentacles, Otto becomes helpless pretty fast. Devoid of any powers or a physique that inspires fear, the doctor is left with little defense against a kid with radioactive spider powers.
As we said with Two-Face, a lot of Batman’s villains are bereft of super powers to get them out of tough situations, so that makes a lot of them eligible for this topic. But the Penguin might just be even more vulnerable without his weapons than the average Batman villain. Let’s face it, the Penguin isn’t a very physically intimidating guy due to his corpulent, frail and small stature. At least the Joker and Two-Face are physically fit and an average height. But the Penguin could probably be taken out by a large middle school student.
To Penguin’s credit, he does pack some innovative offense. When his underlings are defeated he does still have his umbrella to fend off his pursuers. It’s hard to make the trademark accessory of Mary Poppins seem threatening, but Penguin does it. He’s used that umbrella to dispense everything from poisonous gas to hidden blades. Admittedly, though, once he loses that umbrella, he’s pretty defenseless, be it against rain clouds or Batman.
3. CAPTAIN COLD
Since they are both powerless villains who utilize ice powers, a lot of what can be said about Mr. Freeze can also be said about Captain Cold. The major difference is that Cold didn’t turn to his abilities as a result of a physical impairment, so he’s not going to die without his tools like Mr. Freeze. Still, Cold also isn’t going to win any fights without his weapons, so he wouldn’t exactly fair loads better than his other icy buddy.
Captain Cold’s weapons might actually be even better than Mr. Freeze’s, though. In addition to having an ice gun, Cold has also invented things like ice grenades and torturous traps using his freezing technology. So all in all, it sounds like Captain Cold might be the more dangerous ice villain between him and Freeze. Of course, he still hasn’t found a good back up plan for when his weapons are neutralized.
Like the Joker, the Scarecrow relies on the fear he instills in his opponents to gain an advantage. The Joker has his Joker venom that can kill his victims, while the Scarecrow utilizes a fear toxin that debilitates his foes and makes them hallucinate things that are not there. Doctor Crane is undoubtedly a person with a dangerous mind, but he’s not going to kill anyone just by psychoanalyzing them. Crane needs his chemicals and his theatrics to be a deadly threat.
We have seen plenty of examples of how easily the Scarecrow goes down once his mind games are bypassed. Crane was a major villain in Batman Begins, but stood no chance once Batman developed an antidote to the fear toxin. Even in Arkham Knight ,where Crane was inducing widespread chaos in the city, the Arkham Knight himself was the biggest physical threat since Crane believes in the power of the mind over the body.
1. LEX LUTHOR
Lex Luthor is a bit like if Batman had devoted his life to being a villain instead of a hero. He’s incredibly wealthy, well-connected, and has access to technology that surpasses what ordinary people could even dream of. And given how adept Batman has become at clashing with the Man of Steel, it really can’t be that much of a surprise that Luthor has been an enduring threat for Superman as well. And yet Superman’s greatest foe also typically totally lacks any superpowers.
Luthor is great at putting together schemes to trick and trap Superman, but in a straight up fight there is no doubt who would win between them. Even an ordinary human probably wouldn’t have much difficulty in defeating Lex when he’s deprived of all his technology. It’s impressive how much of a threat Lex has made of himself with his weapons and power suits, but it’s also a strong testament to Superman’s aversion to killing that he didn’t simply squash Lex long ago.
Is there anyone we forgot? Who else is only as good as the weapons they carry? Let us know in the comments!
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