Superheroes, by definition, are living weapons. Although their abilities and powers vary, the result of any unchecked or undisciplined display can ultimately end in total destruction. Some heroes, as you’ll read here, supplement their gifts with fashionable accessories befitting a mighty being in tights. These accessories range from “the practical” (Spidey’s web-shooters), to the “mythical” (Thor’s hammer). Culled together from stories past and present, here are ten of the most iconic and recognizable superhero weapons in comic book history.
Captain America’s Shield
Forged from one of the most indestructible alloys on Earth, the Vibranium in Captain America’s shield comes from the nation of Wakanda, home to another budding superhero: Black Panther. The shield can withstand just about any type of adversarial punishment, even that of the equally indestructible Adamantium in Wolverine’s claws. Its construction – whether through shape or material – also allows it to be thrown (and returned) like a boomerang.
Pronounced “myul-nir,” it is the hammer of Thor. Able to not only punch a hole through a mountain, but also propel the God of Thunder over great distances, the mythical weapon answers only to the Asgardian superhero himself, retreating to his possession with the mere gesture of a hand. Enchanted with spells by his father Odin, the hammer is completely indestructible and can only be wielded by those who are worthy of its power.
Fun Fact: Myth postulates the extinction of Earth’s dinosaurs as a result of the hammer’s creation.
Created from the sheer ingenuity of the web-slinger’s brilliant mind, Peter Parker constructed these wrist attachments when he was just in high school. Worn under his costume, they shoot a web-fluid (also of Peter’s design) which, upon ejection, solidifies into a web-like string for him to swing throughout New York City with. The shooters also allow Peter to create varying web-designs to serve his every need.
Wonder Woman’s Lasso
Like Thor’s hammer, Wonder Woman’s lasso is indestructible. It can reshape itself into any length, hypnotize, restore memories, and protect occupants held within its confines. But most notably, it compels anyone held in its grasp to speak and understand the absolute truth, despite any attempts to resist its power.
Consisting of the indestructible alloy known as Adamantium, Logan’s claws extend and retract from his hands (varying interpretations place them either between or on top of his knuckles). They can cut through just about any known solid on Earth save for Vibranium – the alloy which makes up the structure of Captain America’s shield.
The Eye of Agamotto
It is the “eye” which resides in the amulet worn by Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange. Created by the mystical being Agamotto, the amulet possesses the power to dispel disguises and illusions, grant its user telepathic abilities, and “record” events for later viewing. It can only be used for good and does not respond to a user who isn’t pure of heart and soul.
Iron Man’s Armor
Crafted to mirror the aerodynamics of a fighter-jet, Tony Stark’s armor possesses similar capabilities – albeit on a smaller, human scale. Having undergone various alterations over the years, Tony’s armor reached the pinnacle of its potential when it became part of his biological make-up due to an exposure of the Extremis serum; an enhancement which henceforth allowed the armor to construct itself over Tony’s skin with a mental command.
Not a “weapon” in the conventional sense, but one that has the potential to wrought immense destruction nonetheless. As a matter of fact, so dangerous is this “other side” of Bruce considered by his fellow heroes, a small contingent of them secretly met and decided Earth would be a safer place without him. So they tricked him into taking a trip into space only to then launch him out of the solar system. Unfortunately for them, after a tragic experience on a war-torn planet, he returned to Earth to exact revenge on his conspirators.
Green Lantern’s Power Ring
Alien technology harnessing the raw power of sheer “will,” the ring submits to those with a mental prowess to control it. Worn by members of the intergalactic police armada known as the Green Lantern Corps, the ring can manifest (through green, solid-light constructs) anything its ring-bearer can mentally conjure; a power limited only by a being’s imagination.
Designed and built by Bruce Wayne, it is his alter ego’s primary mode of transport. Endowed with every conceivable accoutrement one might need while engaged with Arkham’s finest, it’s more tank than sports car; yet navigates all variations of terrain the Dark Knight could be required to traverse while out on patrol in Gotham.
Of course, these are but a few of the many weapons that have made a debut at some point in time throughout the medium’s longstanding publishing history. Readers will no doubt recognize the list as only including those of “heroes” and not of “villains”. This was intentional, as there had to be a focal point to keep it from evolving into a nerd-dissertation. If there is one which you feel should have been included, and are overcome with that good-ole-fanboy need to curse me through the interwebs for its exclusion, drop me a line or two in the comments section. Until next we meet to discuss all things “geek,” be sure to read your comics and support the cause, kids.
If retaining an inordinate amount of pop culture knowledge was a sport, I’d be a Michael Phelps-level Olympiad. I’m a lover of film, comics, and writing. Serf by day; scribbler by night. Although, I am merely a Padawan-learner in the art of rhetoric; but like all beginners, I strive to possess and wield a proverbial pen capable of dueling with the mightiest of swords!
Eric is part of Purecostumes.com Digital Ideation team.
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