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The 25 Greatest Superheroes Who Don't Actually Have Superpowers

Updated January 25, 2021 16.3k votes 1.8k voters 66.9k views25 items

List RulesVote up the superheroes who do the most without relying on superpowers to save the day.

Superheroes like Superman and Spider-Man are incredible characters that fans love, but they stand as ideal people that no real person could ever emulate. They are, after all, superheroes with superpowers, but they aren't the only people in their respective universes fighting crime and kicking butt.

There are plenty of men and women in the various comic book universes who are trained to perfection and can stand beside giants whenever they receive the call. The powerless heroes are usually the most beloved, simply because they stand as something that anyone could hope to emulate one day.

Granted, it's unlikely anyone will don a suit of armor and fly around the world, but it remains a remote possibility, which is why fans love to read about regular people doing amazing things. After all, superheroes are inherently unrealistic, so there's an alluring quality to characters who aren't super because they gained powers. There are tons of heroes who don't have the benefit of superpowers helping them in their careers - including a few who need a particular object to make themselves super - and these are some of the best.

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  • Photo: DC Comics

    Batman is the quintessential superhero who doesn't rely on superpowers to get the job done. He's all about tactics, technique, tools, and kicking the living snot out of anyone he goes up against.

    Batman is a ninja, pure and simple, and while he dresses a little bit flashier than the rest of the ninja community, he is one of the best-trained fighters in the DC Universe.

    He has a photographic memory, which helps him as a detective, but it also aids in learning new fighting styles. He is a master of 127 different forms of martial arts, and he uses those skills alongside an impressive array of weapons and gadgets to stand beside the likes of Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Green Lantern as a prominent member of the Justice League.

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    • Photo: DC Comics

      Looking at Iron Man, it's hard to believe he doesn't have any superpowers, but that's the case for this incredible fellow! Tony Stark's origin has been tweaked over the years to bring him into the present, but basically, he's a guy who ended up nearly perishing when he was captured. He created a rugged iron suit to save himself, and since then, he's gone on to become Iron Man.

      Iron Man has some serious skills in tech, and through the use of his suits, he can go up against the most powerful people in the Marvel Universe. He can fire off repulsor rays, hack into anything, and is almost as strong as the Hulk.

      Tony did receive something of a superpower via the Extremis virus, which gave him the ability to manipulate any and all electronics, but for many decades, it was just a man and his suit... granted, it's one heck of a suit.

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      • 3

        Nightwing

        Photo: DC Comics

        Dick Grayson was an acrobat before his parents perished during a trapeze act. He was adopted as Bruce Wayne's ward, which naturally meant he would be trained to fight bad guys as Robin, the Boy Wonder.

        Robin eventually left Batman to strike out on his own, and when he did, he rebranded himself as Nightwing. In terms of training and skill, Nightwing is much like his mentor, Batman. He was trained by the best from a young age, so he's honed his fighting skills to near-perfection.

        Like Batman, he has numerous tools, weapons, and gadgets he uses to fight crime. He's not as skilled as Batman in a few areas, but he has the Dark Knight beat when it comes to overall athleticism where gymnastics are concerned.

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        • Frank Castle lost his family in a bloody and brutal event, which didn't sit right with the Marine. He did what anyone in his situation would do, and that's strap on a ton of firearms, put a giant skull on your chest, and slaughter everyone involved in the hit.

          He became the Punisher, a vigilante who uses his impressive skills and knowledge of weaponry to track down and slay anyone he deems worthy of his particular brand of justice.

          The Punisher is lethal, and his name is well-chosen as he is skilled with all types of firearms. He is also an expert martial artist and can handle himself against superpowered foes. 

          He's fought some of the Marvel Universe's more powerful superheroes, including the Hulk, Wolverine (he broke his nose), Sentry, and more.

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