Comic book universes are littered with violence. Therefore, inhabitants of these universes would be nothing without their weapons.
Superheroes and villains need an arsenal of weapons to keep up with the times. In fact, many of these characters are defined by their gadgets and simply wouldn’t succeed without them. For example, what’s Iron Man without his suit?
Throughout comic books we have seen some amazing weapons such as Thor’s hammer, Wonder Woman’s lasso, and Captain America’s shield. However, not all weapons were created equally, so we've also seen some that aren’t nearly as mighty. This list will focus on those weapons – the weapons that are best left at home when it's time to fight.
These gadgets are the most useless throughout comic book history either because they do no harm, they harm the holder of the weapon, or because they are just downright impractical.
And let’s be honest – we could’ve filled this whole list with Batman and his villains, but the Dark Knight isn’t the only one with some useless comic book weapons. There are many characters across multiple universes that have somehow managed to survive with weak and useless weapons of choice. You may even be surprised by what’s in their weapons arsenal.
So, get ready for a fight, because here are the 15 Most Useless Comic Book Weapons.
15 Scott Pilgrim's Deveganizing Ray
People only use a small fraction of their brain because the rest is filled up with curds and whey. However, by practicing veganism, it opens the brain up to its full potential. This is why vegans in Scott Pilgrim gain psychic powers.
These powers, though, come with rules that are strictly regulated by the Vegan Police. If vegans violate the rules by eating dairy products, the vegan police will strip them of their vegan abilities using the deveganizing ray.
This happened to Todd Ingram, Ramona’s third evil ex-boyfriend. Todd was being investigated by the Vegan Police for a while and was convicted of eating gelato and chicken parmesan. He was then shot with the ray and stripped of his powers, allowing Scott to headbutt him.
In the movie, Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Scott tricks Todd into drinking half and half, causing the Vegan Police to apprehend him on his third offense. They use the deveganizing ray to strip Todd of his powers and, just like the comics, Scott headbutts him.
The deveganizing ray is useless because it can only be used on vegans who break their diet-- hence why it was only used once in the comics.
14 Batman's Female Villain Repellent Spray
There’s no doubt that Batman has his fair share of useless weapons and gadgets, but this one may just take the cake.
In the crossover Planetary/Batman: Night on Earth, there is an alternate universe Batman who portrays a different personality from the typical Dark Knight. However, despite the difference in personality, this alternate version of Batman still has a knack for creating useless weapons.
In this comic, Batman says he can’t hit a girl and therefore uses his Female Villain Repellent Spray to stun Jakita.
Not only is the weapon slightly sexist – showing just how little Batman views his female villains – it is also highly impractical. A spray has a range of what, one foot? This means that, by the time the female villains are in range of the spray, it’s most likely too late for Batman.
What is it made out of anyway? Axe body spray?
13 Rainbow Raider's Googles
Rainbow Raider, appropriately named Roy G. Bivolo for the colors of the rainbow, was a DC villain who made his debut appearance in The Flash #286.
Bivolo was a colorblind artist who turned to a life of crime when the world rejected his artistic talents. On his deathbed, Roy’s father gave him a pair of goggles that created beams of rainbow colored light. This became Roy’s weapon of choice and thus the Rainbow Raider was created.
Rainbow Raider’s googles allowed him to ride on a beam of light, drain the color out of people and objects, and manipulate people’s emotions. At one point, he even drained the colors from his surroundings and gave himself the sight of color that he always wanted. However, it didn’t work well-- he thought the Flash and Santa Claus wore the color blue.
If Rainbow Raider had been smarter, he could have transformed his goggles into something more powerful. However, this never happens and thus his goggles remain as one of the most useless weapons of comic history.
In 2005, comic writer Geoff Johns even criticized the Rainbow Raider saying he doesn’t have an affinity for him and never really understood why he was created.
12 Dogwelder's Welding Dogs
Dogwelder was a part of Section Eight, a band of crazy and delusional superhero wannabes led by Six-Pack.
First appearing in Hitman #18, Dogwelder was a mysterious character. He never spoke and no one ever saw his face because it was always hidden behind a welding mask.
Dogwelder was also a disturbed individual who liked to hide in alleys. In these alleys, he would set up traps for stray animals and create his steady supply of weapons: dead dogs.
Dogwelder’s signature move is perfectly described by his name. He simply welded dead dogs to the faces of unsuspecting criminals.
Not only was this move unorthodox, but it was also useless. He didn’t have to kill innocent puppies to support his crime-fighting spree. The welding equipment alone could’ve done harm to his victims.
11 The Heart Ring from Captain Planet
Captain Planet is summoned by the combined rings held by each of the Planeteers. There is a ring for Fire, Water, Earth, Wind, and Heart. According to Gaia, or Mother Earth, the Heart Ring is the most important of the rings. However, compared to the rest of the rings, it’s pretty useless.
Mai-Ti drew the short end of the straw by receiving the Heart Ring, which gives the ability of telepathy and empathy to its holder. It can also communicate with Gaia and the holders of the other rings, deliver mass warning messages to nearby citizens, locate any ring separated from its owner, detect the presence of animals, and summon animals for help. Basically, it's no more useful than a cell phone.
The ring has many limitations, though, that diminish many of its more useful powers. Many Eco-Villains are immune to the Heart Ring because their hearts are pure evil. Therefore, the ring cannot help Mai-Ti read their thoughts or control their heart. Also, the heart ring cannot communicate with the other holders of the rings in the presence of a villain.
A gadget that renders itself useless when around villains doesn’t seem to work too well in our book.
10 Slipknot's Durable Rope
Slipknot worked for a chemical company where he developed the formula that he uses for his durable ropes. These ropes are unbreakable and allow Slipknot to hang, hold, or attack his enemies. Although Slipknot has a cool name, his weapon of choice is “knot.”
Quite frankly, Slipknot is a worse version of Spider-Man. While Spider-Man uses his webs, Slipknot uses ropes and knots, which can be made by just about any Boy Scout.
Slipknot was popularized by the recent movie Suicide Squad. In this film, it is also easy to see how useless Slipknot and his ropes are. He seems to stand out from the rest of the squad and is simply depicted as a man “who can climb anything”. His uselessness to the team is likely why he is so quickly killed off in the film.
9 Madcap's Bubble Gun
Madcap was once a normal religious man who led a typical, boring life. However, one day, tragedy struck...
While on a church retreat, his bus was hit by a tanker truck, killing everyone inside including his family. Madcap was thrown off the bus and landed in a puddle of Compound X07, which managed to spare his life.
Madcap never got over the randomness of the tragedy and drove himself insane searching for a reason why he was the only survivor. Through his search and an attempted suicide, he found that he had retained the ability to rapidly heal, as well as the power to drive people insane. This is when he decided to terrorize people and convince them that life has no meaning.
To support his villainous act, Madcap waltzed to a general store and bought a weapon: a bubble gun. Costing just $1.49, the gun was never altered and is simply what it is -- a bubble gun that shoots regular bubbles. It’s just like any toy bubble gun that parents would buy for their kids.
The gun is simply a distraction tool used to draw the attention of people towards Madcap’s insanity-inducing eyes.
8 The Condiment King's Condiment Weapon
“The Riddler’s got riddles, Poison Ivy’s got plants – with this guy it was condiments.”
The Condiment King is the ultimate wielder of weapons that dispense sauces to make your food taste better. Formerly known as Mitchell Mayo, the Condiment King first appeared in Batman: The Animated Series before his debut in the comic world. He can now be found spicing up Gotham in Batgirl: Year One, Robin #171, and Birds of Prey #37.
The Condiment King’s weapons literally shoot condiments at people. He was never taken seriously, but during a stint at Arkham, he learned a thing or two about spices from Poison Ivy and developed a new secret recipe in Birds of Prey #37.
This secret sauce could send his victims into anaphylactic shock, but it still was no match for Gotham’s heroes, who very easily counteracted the shocking effects with milk.
Although it may hurt to get hot sauce squirted in your eye, the Condiment King’s weapons are simply useless in the DC universe.
7 Asbestos Lady's Suit and Asbestos Handguns
Asbestos Lady, also known as Victoria Murdock, absolutely hated the Human Torch and dedicated her life to taking him out.
As a scientist turned criminal, she made a costume for herself made of asbestos that protected her from temperatures up to 1600 degrees Fahrenheit. She also carried handguns that fired asbestos-laced bullets.
Although she was a formidable opponent for the Human Torch, her weapons would stand no chance against other heroes.
The main reason why Asbestos Lady’s gadgets are on this list is because they ultimately led to her death. As most of us know, it isn’t good to be constantly surrounded by asbestos, because it leads to many deadly diseases. Eventually Murdock developed cancer from her suit and extreme exposure to asbestos. She succumbed to the disease at the young age of 45.
Although they served as a great public service announcement about the risks of asbestos, Asbestos Lady’s weapons were basically useless.
6 Lady Stilt-Man's Stilts
As if one Stilt-Man wasn’t enough, Marvel created a Lady Stilt-Man who used the same weapon: giant mechanical stilts.
Lady Stilt-Man made her debut in The Amazing Spider-Man #611, paying homage to the original Stilt-Man. She used the same stilts that allowed her to rise above her enemies, with some added slight upgrades.
For example, her suit was much more flexible than Stilt-Man’s original suit and slightly more powerful. However, the upgrades didn’t do much to improve an already useless design. She was ultimately defeated by her own mechanical legs and a basic manhole cover.
Deadpool simply removed a man hole cover, and Lady Stilt-Man lost her balance, getting her stilt stuck inside the sewer. She fell to the ground and began to cry about her defeat.
5 Robin's R-Shaped Batarangs
As a blend of the words “bat” and “boomerang,” the batarang is a bat-shaped throwing weapon that Batman uses for ranged attacks.
The first Batarang was created by Lee Colins, a boomerang expert who helped Batman to capture a criminal. After Colins’ first design, Batman started designing his own, and now has many different varieties including the remote-controlled batarang and the freezing batarang.
Other superheroes that fight alongside Batman, such as Batgirl, also use his batarangs. However, Tim Drake's Robin decided to create his own specialized R-shaped batarangs.
Have you ever thought of how many dull edges are on the letter R? Robin’s batarangs are rounded, making it extremely hard for them to latch onto objects or people.
For it to be useful, a R-shaped batarang would have to be perfectly thrown so that it landed on one of the two sharp edges. This is a hard feat and Robin is much better off using Batman’s multi-edged, bat-shaped batarangs.
4 Speedy's Chimney Sweep Arrow
We’ve all spent countless years making fun of Green Arrow’s Boxing Glove Arrow. However, this arrow will make even the Boxing Glove Arrow look like the most ingenious weapon of all.
One of the most useless arrows ever created was Speedy’s Chimney Sweep Arrow. Designed specifically to clean chimneys, the arrow used a set of whirling blades to push all the soot from the inside of a chimney to the top. It is not very useful for anything besides a side job cleaning chimneys, which is why it was only used once.
However, what’s even more ridiculous is the reason why Speedy created the arrow. He was mad that the Green Arrow refused to raise his allowance and buy a boat for him. Therefore, he created the arrow and set off to clean soot out of a factory worker’s chimney for some extra cash.
Some other arrows that could’ve made the list include the Antler Arrow, for those times you need to combat antlered animals, and the Tumbleweed Arrow, for the times you need to disguise yourself from a criminal in the Wild West.
3 Iron Man's Arctic Suit
Identified by its blue and white icy design, Iron Man’s Arctic Armor may look cool, but looks can be deceiving.
The armor was introduced at the end of Iron Man #318 in order to help Tony Stark keep warm while he traveled to the Arctic.
This is pointless, however, because Iron Man’s regular suit can already withstand freezing cold temperatures. He does go into space with it, after all. The Arctic suit also has less firepower than the original, so why even bother?
This is most likely why the armor was only used once in the comics and once in the Iron Man: Armored Adventures television series-- it simply has no purpose. It’s weak, and it’s not like there are a lot of villains hiding out in the Arctic.
2 Batman's Shark Repellent Spray
What kind of list would this be without Batman’s Infamous Shark Repellent Spray?
The ridiculousness of the Shark Repellent Spray has become iconic in the world of superheroes. It was popularized in the infamous scene of the 1966 Batman movie where Batman fights off a shark attached to his leg. However, the spray was actually introduced in the comics eight years earlier.
In the 1958 comic Batman #117, Batman and Robin end up on an alien planet. On this planet, they are attacked by a giant sea beast and, after some quick thinking, Batman sprays the creature with his Shark Repellent Spray.
Now the ridiculousness of the spray does not have to be explained, as it is basically useless in all but two instances. However, despite its uselessness, Batman even has a whale, barracuda, and manta ray spray.
1 The Mithril Skateboard from Scott Pilgrim
Scott wins the Mithril Skateboard after defeating Ramona’s second evil ex-boyfriend Lucas Lee. Combined with the non-existent element Mithril, the board is a strong weapon that increases speed by 4, kick by 3, and will by 1.
However, the reason why the board is so completely useless is because Scott can’t even skateboard. When he receives the board, he says “N-no! I can’t even use this! Why didn’t I pick up that Skateboard Proficiency back in Grade Five?!?” Then the board simply vanishes into thin air, so what's the point of even including it?
In the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game, the skateboard appears after defeating Lucas Lee. However, it’s simply a joke and the player can never actually use it.
Can you think of any other useless comic book weapons that should have made the list? Let us know in the comments!