Top 10 Superheroes Without Powers (Marvel & DC)
Superpowers are overrated, aren’t they? I mean, for all that they give, they also hinder. The moment a character has some sort of superpower is the moment that unrealistic expectations are placed upon them. Think about it. Did anybody ever ask Wolverine to do extraordinary things before his mutation? What about Shazam? Raven? Cyclops? Superpowers come with responsibility and as a consequence, the weight of the world is placed firmly on the shoulders of whoever has them.
I’ll go on record saying that if I was ever offered superpowers, I’d politely decline…and here’s why. For all the superheroes that have powers, there are many that don’t. This select group of individuals chose to better themselves through intense training, a desire to be more, and wanting to help those who couldn’t help themselves. Many of these heroes are actually superior to their superpowers counterparts. But who are they? Who are the best of the best superheroes who have no superpowers?
10. Booster Gold
Booster Gold…the world’s greatest superhero from the future with prior knowledge of everything that’s about to happen. Booster Gold…the superhero who stole most of the devices and gadgets that makes him super. And Booster Gold…one of my superheroes who have no superpowers. Booster Gold is what happens when a down-on-his-luck former college football star takes a job at a museum and learns what it means to do good in the world.
With the help of Rip Hunter’s Time Sphere, a Legion Flight Ring, Brainiac 5’s Force Field Belt, and a Power Suit, Booster Gold traveled back to the present day and began thwarting crimes that already happened. After successfully stopping a few of them, the world took notice and began hailing him as their next savior. Sensing he was destined for more, he embraced his role as a crime fighter and the rest, as they say, is history.
9. Dick Grayson
The remarkable thing about Dick Grayson is that for everything that he has accomplished and for all that he represents, he did it as one of the few superheroes who have no superpowers. Dick Grayson is exactly what any person can become with a lot of hard work, determination, drive, and patience.
As Batman’s first protégé, Dick learned what many other superheroes dream of learning. He learned to become a great detective (arguably the second-best in DC), one of the greatest fighters in existence, how to use his mind to get the better of his opponents, and what it means to sacrifice everything for the greater good. Rather than being gifted with superpowers, Dick is an incredible acrobat. Whether his enemies like it or not, Dick’s natural ability as an acrobat almost always assures him of victory.
8. Green Arrow
When I make these lists I try to include just one of many heroes who are similar. In this instance, it was a toss-up between Green Arrow and Hawkeye. Both are excellent archers and both are superheroes who have no powers. To make the decision, I simply asked myself who I’d rather have standing beside me in a battle. The answer was easy. Green Arrow. Here’s why.
For as similar as Green Arrow and Hawkeye are, Green Arrow is the one with massive financial backing. Now, I’m not saying that money is everything but when money helps me get an advantage over my competition, I’d take it all day long. Oliver Queen is the owner of Queen Industries. Queen Industries is a leading tech company that’s granted Oliver unheard-of wealth. With it, he’s been able to clean the streets of Star City all the while creating some of the coolest arrows and gadgets in the history of comic books.
It was tough putting Daredevil on this list of superheroes who have no powers. It isn’t as though he’s not a great superhero. Nor is it that he’s not deserving of being here. Instead, it’s more depending on what your definition of a powerless superhero is. Daredevil became a superhero after an accident left him blind and his remaining senses heightened. This leads to the question of whether or not heightened senses are a superpower. My answer is an empathic no.
I believe that with proper training and time, anyone can finely tune their senses. I mean, the military trains its soldiers to be fully in tune with their surroundings no matter the situation. If Daredevil were in the military, he would easily be the greatest soldier on the battlefield. Not only are his senses so sharp that he’s able to decipher exactly how many bullets are in a gun from its weight, but he can also guess the amount of salt on a pretzel because of its taste.
6. Black Widow
When you’re one of the world’s foremost assassins, you really don’t need any superpowers, do you? That’s the case with Black Widow. Black Widow is a former Soviet Assassin who is responsible for some of the most high-profile murders in the Marvel Universe. As an assassin, she is highly trained in martial arts, a gymnast is able to go undetected in the most secure areas in the world, and can complete her mission as quickly as it was given to her.
Although Black Widow began her career as an assassin, after meeting Hawkeye she quickly had a change of heart. Her change of heart was so incredible that she joined him as an Avenger…a place that she’s been ever since.
5. Barbara Gordon
Although an argument can be made for her time as Batgirl, it’s her time as Oracle that lands her on this list. As Oracle, rather than being able to fight one crime at a time, she could fight an unlimited amount of crimes. This meant that she became the eyes and research station for nearly every hero in DC. Oracle forced Barbara to rely on something other than her hands and feet….her brain.
She suddenly began to tap into her expansive knowledge of science, her above-normal intelligence, her photographic memory, and most importantly, her connections that were scattered across the DC Universe. Without any over-exaggeration, Barbara was the most important character in DC.
4. Iron Man
It’s easy to see why Iron Man belongs on this list of superheroes who have no superpowers. In his most stripped-down form, Iron Man is just a man in a suit. That man, Tony Stark, doesn’t have super strength, speed, durability, or stamina. He can’t fly, teleport, project blasts of energy, or perform any other superhero feat. Nope. None.
Tony Stark is only able to do anything “super” because of the specially designed suit of armor. He flies because the suit can fly. He can project blasts of energy because the suit can project blasts of energy. And he is able to perform superhuman feats because the suit allows him to. In truth, the only thing super about Tony Stark is that he’s able to stay in good enough shape to fit the suit decade after decade.
3. The Punisher
The story of the Punisher is well documented. Frank Castle is a war veteran who tries to return to civilian life. He probably could’ve done this had his family not been caught in the middle of a mob war. With his wife and children murdered, Frank tried to adhere to the justice system only to have it fail him. Once he failed, he transformed himself into a vigilante and began unleashing a brutal form of justice on any who do wrong.
Frank’s methods are extreme and always involve killing any he targets. While this is a very efficient form of punishment, his ways ruffle the feathers of most traditional heroes. While they applaud him for targeting criminals, traditional heroes do not condone the methods by which he does so. At the end of the day, this doesn’t really matter. The Punisher is deserving of being here and as such, one of my superheroes who have no superpowers.
2. Moon Knight
Moon Knight is a martial arts expert who, as a result of his business dealings, is wealthy beyond measure. He dishes out his own personal form of justice and his justice isn’t something to be trifled with. He operates on top of the dark night skies and does so at a level different from most other superheroes.
Like The Punisher, Moon Knight is an anti-hero who takes the law into his own hands. He believes that the only way to expose the underbelly of criminal activity is to submerge himself in it. Unlike The Punisher, Moon Knight proudly wears a white costume.
And why? In his own words, “I don’t wear white to hide, I wear it so they’ll see me coming. So they know who it is, ’cause when they see white it doesn’t matter how good a target I am. Their hands shake so bad, they couldn’t hit the moon.”
Honestly, is there any other powerless superhero in existence that belongs in the number one spot? Batman is the most popular, highly regarded, and copied superhero ever created. He gave rise to the term anti-hero, made it cool to work in the shadows, and proved that fear is a valuable weapon.
Batman is billionaire Bruce Wayne and Bruce Wayne is the head of Wayne Industries. Through Wayne Industries, Bruce has access to technology that could turn me from a simple father of two into Gotham’s next big hero. The list of Batman’s vehicles is long and can’t be defined fully here. It does, however, include the Batmobile, Batcopter, Batboat, Batwing, Tumbler, and Batpod. Batman isn’t just number one of all the superheroes who have no superpowers, he’s arguably the number one superhero ever created.