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Top 10 Non-Super Powered Heroes

Updated on June 17, 2014
Batfamily | Source

When we think of superheroes we always think of heroes like Superman or Wonder Woman who both can fly and are super strong. Or we may think of the Flash who is super fast. However, not all super heroes have powers. There are numerous heroes who lacks super powers but rely solely on their martial art abilities and high tech gadgets to save the day.

It's not that non-super powered heroes are less effective than powerful heroes, but non-powered heroes just can't take on the same threats that heroes like the Hulk, or Thor can take on without getting killed or severely injured.

Non-powered heroes will usually fight other powerless villains like the Joker, Ra's Al Ghul, or Kingpin who are just too dangerous and unpredictable for law enforcement to handle.

I've made a list of the top ten powerless heroes based on popularity and in part my personal opinion.

Batgirl | Source

Batgirl (Barbara Gordon)

Barbara Gordon may be one of the most popular female heroines in the DC Universe. In fact, most people believe that Barbara Gordon was the first and only Batgirl (this is true with the New 52). Gordon is the daughter of Gotham police commissioner, James Gordon. Barbara was inspired by Batman to become a costumed vigilante.

At first, Batman wanted Barbara to quit crime fighting, but Batman realized that wasn't going to happen. So, Batman took it upon himself to train Batgirl in crime fighting and help Barbara to hone her martial arts skills.

Barbara Gordon's paralysis in the Killing Joke storyline, at the hands of the Joker stirred up a lot of controversy. So the character was recreated as the Oracle, the paraplegic super hero consultant and founder of the "Birds of Prey."

Captain America
Captain America | Source

Captain America

Captain America (Steve Rogers), has to be one of the most popular heroes in the Marvel Universe. Steve Rogers, was a scrawny military recruit. Then he was imbued with the Super Soldier Serum which significantly improved his physical stature and brought Rogers to peak human capacity. As Captain America, Steve Rogers was a war hero who fought against the Nazi's and the organization HYDRA. Captain America was frozen in ice for decades. However, he was recovered by S.H.I.E.L.D. Currently, Captain America, is an active member of SHIELD as well as an Avenger.

Captain America does not have any superhuman abilities; albeit, he has the the physical capabilities of an Olympian athlete. He is also a skilled martial artist and tactician And Captain American possesses a vibranium shield which is nearly indestructible and gives him an edge when fighting armed or super powered enemies.


Green Arrow (Oliver Queen)

Green Arrow and Batman have a lot in common: A) Oliver Queen, (Green Arrows secret identity), is a billionaire socialite, B) Oliver fights crime as a costumed vigilante, C) Green Arrow is a highly skilled martial artist who has his own style of fighting. D) Green Arrow is a skilled strategist. Moving on, Green Arrow is one of the most skilled non-super powered heroes in the DC Universe. Like Batman, (sorry to keep comparing Green Arrow to Batman) Green Arrow relies on his fighting ability as well as an inventory of really cool gadgets--trick arrows mostly. In addition, to being a skilled fighter, Green Arrow is also a highly skilled archer; in fact, he uses his archery skills to defeat his enemies. The Green Arrow's trick arrows includes explosives, nets, flash bombs, tear gas, boxing gloves, grapplers, or anything the hero needs. As a member of the Justice League, Green Arrow's talent as a tactician has proved to be invaluable to the League.


Black Widow

The Black Widow whose named after a species of spiders of the same name is another popular superhero who doesn't have any powers. Her real name is Natalia Alienova Romanova (she's mostly known as Natasha Romanoff). You should know that the Black Widow did not start off a heroine. As a young girl she was trained to be a KGB agent. While Romanoff was a KGB agent, she endured numerous brain washing by her superiors. And she was went on numerous missions for the Russian government and has assassinated many high profile people.

When the Black Widow was deconditioned, from her brainwashing, she became an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Eventually, the Black Widow became a member of the Avengers.

The Black Widow, does not have any superhuman abilities, but she is at peak level human performance. As a result, of receiving a weakened version of the super soldier serum, the Black Widow is resistant to injury or disease, heals at a faster rate, and has a slow aging process. She is a skilled martial artist, with proficiency in many fighting styles such as karate, jiu jitsu, ninjutsu, and krav maga to name a few.



You're probably wondering why Batman is number five on this list, considering that Batman is one of the most popular costumed superheroes. I never had any particular order in mind; the heroes are listed randomly. Even if you've never read a comic book in your life, it would be unlikely that you haven't heard of Batman.

Batman whose real name is Bruce Wayne, was born into a wealthy family. One night, Bruce's life took a tragic turn at such a young age, when he witnessed his parents' murder. The trauma of seeing his parents killed was a defining point in Bruce's life. When Bruce became of age, he travelled the world learning different types of martial arts. He even studied the escaping arts, which explains how he has escaped from deadly traps on numerous occasions.

As Batman, Bruce is determined to fight crime and corruption in his hometown, Gotham. And Batman is an active member of the Justice League aiding his super powered peers in fighting some of the most dangerous super villains in the DC Universe. When Bruce isn't fighting crime in Gotham or saving the world with the Justice League as his alter ego, he runs the family company Wayne Enterprises.

Obviously, Batman doesn't have any powers. But, he is a skilled martial arts master. And he relies on various gadgets to save the day such as batarangs, sleeping gas, explosives, grappler guns, a bullet-proof costume, and any gear Batman may need for a mission. Batman's best attribute is his genius level intellect which helps him to solve crimes and defeat his foes. It doesn't hurt that Batman is a billionaire!



Hawkeye is a lot like the Green Arrow: A) Both are master archers B) Hawkeye and the Green Arrow are skilled martial artists C) Both heroes have an arsenal of trick arrows. Green Arrow was around more than two decades before Hawkeye. Anyway, Hawkeye (Clinton Barton), was a circus act for due to his archery skills. Barton, was trained in archery by the villains the Swordsman and Trick Shot.

The thing is, Hawkeye originally intended to be a hero but he was dragged into a brief life of crime by the Black Widow. Hawkeye quit his brief stint as a criminal when a failed attack on Iron Man left the Black Widow injured. Eventually, Hawkeye becomes an Avenger.

Hawkeye, just like everyone else on this list does not have any powers but he is a skilled fighter. And just like the Green Arrow, Hawkeye is a master archer and he has an arsenal of trick arrows. He also rides a flying motorcycle!



She is the Huntress! So, there are three versions of the Huntress. The pre-crisis version of the Huntress was Helena Wayne, daughter of Batman and Catwoman. The post-crisis version of the Huntress was Helena Bertinelli, daughter of a prominent mafia family in Gotham. The New 52 version of the Huntress, is really Helena Wayne from Earth-2, who is masquerading as Helena Bertinelli.

Because, I'm not too familiar with the New 52 version of the Huntress, I'm going to talk about the pre-reboot versions of the Huntress. One thing that all versions of the Huntress have in common is the desire for revenge. Helena Wayne (pre-crisis) wanted to avenge the death of her mother, Catwoman.

Helena Bertinelli (post-crisis), wanted to seek revenge against the people responsible for the murder of her family. Bertinelli, has a strained relationship with Batman because of her tendency to use excessive force. The Bertinelli version of the Huntress, befriended the Black Canary and became a vital member of the Birds of Prey.

All versions of the Huntress are skilled martial artists at peak human conditioning.



Commonly, known as "the man without fear!" Matt Murdock, is a native New Yorker; he grew up in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan. One day, he was blinded in an accident where he was exposed to radioactive chemicals from a moving vehicle. Although Murdock lost his eyesight, his other senses strengthened significantly. After Murdock's father was murdered, Murdock studied the martial arts and became a costumed vigilante so that he could avenge his father's death.

Daredevil is a prominent hero in the Marvel Universe. He has teamed up with the Black Widow and Elektra on several occasions. Daredevil does not have any super powers except for his heightened senses due to the loss of his sight. Also Matt Murdock has an Ivy League education from Columbia University; Murdock is a high powered attorney. And he has a thorough understanding of the criminal justice system.


Roy Harper

Roy Harper is a lot like Batman's side kick Robin. Harpers was adopted by the Green Arrow (Oliver Queen). who taught him martial arts and archery. As Speedy, Harper was Green Arrow's sidekick until he became a member of the Teen Titans. In a critically acclaimed story, Roy Harper became a heroin addict. The Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Black Canary, and the Green Arrow are instrumental in helping Harper.

In the pre-reboot, Roy Harper becomes a member of the Justice League under the codename: Red Arrow.

Roy Harper like his mentor, the Green Arrow is a skilled archer and martial artists who utilizes a variety of trick arrows.


Who is your favorite non-super powered hero?

See results

Nick Fury

Colonel Nicholas Fury, is a war hero, superhero, spy, and the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury has decades of combat experience serving in the US Army. Fury is also a skilled martial artist. As a result of receiving the infinity serum, Fury has a slowed aging process.


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    • jupiter90 profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago

      That's a really good question. Yes, Captain America did receive a super soldier serum which greatly improved his physical and mental stature, granting him peek level strength, agility, immunity to most diseases and toxins, resistance to injury and increased cognitive function making him capable of solving complex problems--that is why he is a master tactician.

      Despite all of the wonderful enhancements Capt America received from the serum, his abilities are not considered at the superhuman level. And most non-powered heroes--Batman in particular--can achieve Capt America's level of conditioning through intense physical and mental training.

      Thanks for stopping by :)

    • Taranwanderer profile image


      3 years ago

      Great work here! I though that the superhero Captain America was, indeed a lower-tier superman? Didn't he have some kind of supersoldier serum injected into his body...


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