The Marvel universe (like all comic universes) is full of some fearsome weapons. The Ultimate Nullifier is a weapon that can kill anything from a person to a planet, as long as the person wielding it has enough mental strength to get the job done. Thor’s infamous hammer Mjolnir gives anyone deemed worthy to wield it the power of Thor. Iron Man’s iconic armor turns the wearer into a human tank. These are just some of the devastatingly awesome weapons in the Marvel universe.
However, for every formidable weapon in the Marvel universe, there exists a weapon the is confoundingly stupid and useless. For example, there are weapons that kill you when you use them, weapons that are useless except as eye candy inspired by the ego of the artist, and weapons that would not be weapons at all if it weren’t for the person holding them. Some of these so called weapons are iconically stupid within the Marvel universe, while others might be a surprise in their stunning uselessness.
Here are The 15 Most Useless Weapons In Marvel Comics.
15. Shatterstar’s Double sword
Swords are universally cool. So it should be impossible to mess up a good sword right? That’s true– unless said sword was created by comic artist Rob Liefeld. Liefeld is the notorious creator of such legendary characters such as Cable and Deadpool. Of course, what he is actually most known for is his over-the-top art. When Liefeld created Shatterstar he did something seemingly impossible: he made a sword dumb and impractical to use solely because he thought it looked cool.
Shatterstar wields a double bladed sword. Unlike Darth Maul’s lightsaber, the double blades on this sword are next to each other – as in parallel. Swordsman using it might have issues that include getting the sword caught on everything (including its victim) and being severely off balance. This sword is an excellent example of the poor choices made in character creation in the ’90s, but it’s hardly the most useless thing on the list.
14. Adam X the X-treme’s Shredder costume
How do you make the ultimate ’90s comic book character? You start by adding dreadlocks to a white character, a backwards baseball cap, some knee pads, and armor with blades and spikes all over it to act as a weapon.
Adam X the X-treme was a mutant/Shi’ar (alien humanoids that evolved from birds) hybrid who had the power to burn people’s blood. Since apparently that wasn’t a good enough ability, Adam donned a weaponized suit of armor that was clearly stolen from Shredder from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic. If you have the ability to boil the blood of your enemy, this kind of weapon seems unnecessary. In the rare occasion that your enemy is immune to your power, a nice big gun seems like a logical substitute. No reason to risk personal contact in a fight when you can handle things from a distance. Of course, maybe that isn’t x-treme enough for Adam X.
13. Moon Knight’s Golden Ankh
Having personalized weapons is a must for any good vigilante. Batman has batarangs, the Batmobile, and the Batwing. The Fantastic Four have the fantasticar and Fantastic Four Plaza. Face it, the first step to being a successful superhero is branding and name recognition. Keeping that in mind, it might be a good idea to make sure the weapon you create is useful before committing to it.
Moon Knight’s Golden Ankh is a perfect example of a weapon that fits a theme but is useless against pretty much any other weapon imaginable. The Golden Ankh is a stick in the shape of an Ankh that glows whenever Moon Knight is in danger. That’s it. It is a glowing stick he hits people with. Considering the only times we really see Moon Knight use this weapon is when he is in the middle of a fight, the ability to warn him of danger by glowing seems a bit unnecessary. True, Spider-Man’s spidey sense does something similar, but that is always on and isn’t showy when warning him.
12. Paste-Pot-Pete’s Glue Gun
Guns are probably the most common type of weapon in the Marvel universe. There are guns that do pretty much anything you can think of, like shoot lightning, ice, fire, plasma, and your basic everyday bullets. As great as all of those are, there is one set of guns in the comics that boggles the mind: the glue guns of Paste-Pot-Pete.
At what point did the creators of this character think, “Why don’t we make a villain who uses glue as a gimmick?” Paste-Pot-Pete, AKA the Trapster, AKA Peter Petruski was a research scientist who made a fortune off of a special glue he patented. Then, instead of living the sweet life, he thought that changing careers to “glue-based villain” was a smart move. His glue-gun and everything else about him are such jokes that he is never taken seriously when going up against heroes, especially Spider-Man. No one could be blamed for laughing at this guy; this gun is useful pretty much only to kids at craft time.
11. Absorbing Man’s Ball and Chain
So you’re a big strong guy in the Marvel universe with the power to change your skin into the same material as anything you touch. You are a living weapon. Sadly though, you need a weapon for promotional purposes: something that audiences will identify you with. What do you choose? To match the ease of his natural ability, Absorbing Man chose the super difficult to wield wrecking ball and chain; a weapon that is powerful but only if he’s given enough time to actually build momentum by swinging his chain around.
Since he needs a lot of space to spin the wrecking ball, it is basically impossible to use if he isn’t in a wide open space. The writers must have realized the weapon, by itself, was stupid, so they enchanted it a little, letting Absorbing Man extend his ability to the weapon itself, making it a little better, but… no, still pretty much a total waste. There are literally an endless amount of bludgeoning weapons that are a better choice than this. Our vote? A frying pan maybe?
10. Captain America’s Shield
This one may confuse a lot of people, but Captain America’s shield as a weapon is incredibly useless and downright dangerous to almost everyone in the world except for a select few (like Hawkeye and the Winter Soldier). After Captain America’s apparent death following the first Civil War in the comics, Tony Stark and S.H.I.E.L.D. were tasked with finding a replacement Captain America. While trying to discover someone worthy of taking up the mantle, many highly trained S.H.I.E.L.D. agents tried out the shield itself; all of them got hurt.
The amount of strength and skill required to use the shield the way Steve Rogers does is beyond the realms of average (and even above average) people. As a defensive item it is great; the vibranium and adamantium alloy is great at stopping and absorbing damage. In other words: it works great as a shield. Trying to use it offensively though is just a good way to get yourself and all your friends hurt.
9. Phoenix Gun
When trying to decide on the right weapon it’s hard to go wrong with a nice gun. They are the weapon of choice for so many favorite Marvel characters like Cable, Deadpool, Domino, Star-Lord, and Rocket Raccoon. Of course the one gun none of them would willingly use, let alone touch, is the Phoenix Gun.
The Phoenix gun is a very special gun that fires a bullet containing the Phoenix force, you know that cosmic god-like force known for destroying entire stars. Sounds like a no brainer of a weapon when dealing with large cosmically powered threats… except for one little drawback. The gun kills whomever pulls the trigger. Sure you would technically defeat your opponent, but it is the last fight you would ever be in. Even if you did have a group of people willing to fire the gun and make the sacrifice there is only one bullet. One shot and the user is dead whether he hits the target or not. Those are not great specifications for a reliable gun.
8. Maggott’s maggots
There are plenty of characters in the Marvel universe who use insects or animals as weapons during a fight. Ant-Man is probably the most famous of this group and controlling a legion of ants is actually pretty cool. What isn’t cool is controlling two giant maggots that grew out of your intestine. Maggots. Does it really matter what they do? Would you honestly choose maggots as your go to weapon in a fight?
Well, in the case of the mutant Japheth, AKA Maggott, he doesn’t really get a choice. Magott’s maggots can digest any form of matter around, which is a good thing, because Japheth himself can’t eat. His maggot friends impart energy to him; like a mother bird feeding her young… but grosser. The worst part about his powers is that if he gets separated from his slugs for too long he basically will starve to death. These are useless, gross weapons that also become a life threatening liability if they get lost or stolen… Or stepped on.
7. Goldballs’s gold balls
Mutants have it pretty rough when it comes to weapon selection, since they rarely get a choice. Fabio Medina, AKA Goldballs is one such mutant who lost the genetic lottery in both ability and moniker. His mutation gives him the power of dodgeball! And to add insult to injury, he also got himself a terrible code name.
No really, he shoots gold balls from any part of his body. If he loses focus, the gold balls can explode from all over his body. If the character was created by anyone other than Brian Michael Bendis it would seem like a joke, as if he were a character thrown together at the last minute with a power that only seems useful at recess or during gym.
Going into battle against a Sentinel or Apocalypse? Cyclops or Wolverine are the mutants you want on your team. Challenging the cool kids at school to a game of dodgeball? Goldballs is your man. As long as you don’t have to call him by name.
6. Iron Man’s arctic armor
Iron Man has some of the coolest armors to play with. His classic armor, the Hulkbuster armor, the War Machine armor, and dozens more are awesome to see in a fight. However, even super-genius Tony Stark has had some stinker ideas when it comes to his Iron Man Weapon Systems.
In what seems like a lazy attempt at creating a new armor, Tony introduced the Arctic Armor in Iron Man issue #318. It was supposed to keep “evil” Tony warm in the arctic while traveling to his secret base. The problem with this is that his regular armor already accomplishes this. Iron Man can fly at altitudes similar to that of commercial airliners. The outside temperature at that elevation can reach -60 degrees Fahrenheit, while the average temperature in the arctic is approximately -30 degrees Fahrenheit. On top of keeping the pilot no warmer than normal, this armor has less armaments built in, so it is also weaker. A sad stunt to get people excited for a new armor resulted in what has to be the most useless Iron Man armor ever built.
5. Hawkeye’s suction cup tipped arrows
When you are an archer armed with an arsenal of trick arrows, it should be obvious that said arrows should be of the useful variety. This is mostly true for Clint Barton, AKA Hawkeye, although he does have some stinkers. There are none more smelly than the suction cup tipped arrow.
Is there really a situation where Hawkeye would need to shoot this arrow in the middle of a fight or on patrol? When would he use this? Nerf gun fight at the local preschool? Hanging lost dog signs around the neighborhood? Are they used to humiliate foes by sticking an arrow to their head after they have been defeated? Or maybe the arrows are just handy for sticking notes to the fridge at home. Marvel actually had him using these to swing around the city until they realized it made no sense. A suction cup shot from a bow would never be able to hold his weight, so the arrow was changed out for a grappling hook arrow.
4. Doctor Strange’s Pincer of Power
In the world of magic, a spell is as much as weapon as a sword or an axe. Just like there are useless swords (cough-Shatterstar-cough) there are also seemingly useless spells. For example: the Pincer of Power. The best way to describe the Pincers of Power seems to be that they are magic handcuffs.
In a duel between Doctor Strange and the dreaded Dormammu (a super powerful demon with a flaming skull) the Pincers of Power are the only magic allowed. For some reason, two of the most powerful sorcerers in the Marvel universe agreed to duel using only a spell that would leave them both wrestling with magic handcuffs. During the fight, Doctor Strange had both hands restrained by the Pincers, but still managed to overcome the evil Dormammu with the cunning use of Judo. This story was so bad that the Pincers of Power have not been heard from since, a decision that everyone should be able to get behind.
3. S.H.E.E.P. guns
First thing to understand about this gun is that it exists in the world of Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham, and S.HE.E.P. is that universe’s version of S.H.I.E.L.D. Just like S.H.I.E.L.D., S.H.E.E.P. has tons of advanced weaponry and all of it shares a rather unique feature. In Issue #13 of Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham, S.H.E.E.P. director Nick Furry was attempting to apprehend Deathsquawk.
Furry believed standard weapons wouldn’t be enough to stop the cyborg – leading him to shoot not just one, but three different specialized guns: the Webly 237.BX5, a pistol-like gun; the Vandercleef X.LK5, a machine gun; and the Esterhauser 22B/Z-14, a rifle. All three exploded in his face. A fourth gun was available, but Nick Furry didn’t want to risk another gun exploding. Needless to say, if you live in an animal version of this world, stay away from the specialized guns. They will probably just blow up in your face.
2. Beak’s Metal Bat
You just recently discovered you’re a mutant and by the luck of the draw you have received what is possibly the worst mutation ever. If this just happened to you, then you very well could be Barnell Bohusk, AKA Beak. Beak’s mutation consists of turning into a terrifying giant chicken man. He has no special powers, no useful skills (unless you count causing nightmares), nothing useful imparted to him at all – not even common sense.
This is illustrated beautifully in a battle with Magneto. Beak’s weapon of choice was a nice metal bat… against Magneto. Beak apparently didn’t see the problem with this and his logic mistake resulted in Magneto launching him a few stories into the sky. Beak bringing a metal bat to fight Magneto is essentially providing your opponent with his own weapon. An argument could be made that his bat wouldn’t be a useless weapon in most circumstances, but context matters. Plus, points deducted for but choosing a weapon that has nothing to do with his mutation. Seems like Beak needed a dash of common sense before being sent out of the coop.
1. Gambit’s playing cards
Forget what you have seen in movies like Now You See Me: playing cards are not a weapon. It doesn’t matter how good you may or may not be at throwing them. They are still not a weapon. That is why everyone’s favorite cajun X-Man Gambit is a fool for using them. Gambit’s mutant ability allows him to change the potential energy of an object into kinetic energy. The bigger the object the bigger the explosion. This means that anything is potentially a weapon – which is very cool.
However more than once the X-Men have been victims of some device, villain, radiation, or plot device that has caused them to lose their powers. These situations leave Gambit with a pack of cards to dispatch his enemies with. Besides not being inherently lethal themselves, they make for poor projectiles without his mutant energy behind them. Even considering that Gambit probably can throw the cards fairly well, in those instances, playing cards are just not an acceptable weapon, something that even the Mythbusters television show has investigated and agreed upon.