Although there are plenty of gifted mutants throughout the Marvel and DC universes, quite a few brave humans have also arisen to take on bad guys. While these not-so-average people typically pale against the likes of superhuman heroes, they still have a ton of incredible skills to offer. Stick around to find out about the best superheroes that do not have any powers of their own, ranked according to their strengths and abilities.
25. Blue Beetle
Jaime Reyes was originally just an average high-school student in Texas – up until he discovered a unique blue beetle scarab on his way home from school one day. The scarab came to life and granted him its mystical spine, turning Jaime into the newest incarnation of the Blue Beetle.
He may not have any extraordinary skills or abilities of his own, but Jaime seemed to have been chosen for greatness by some divine intervention. Jaime has outright stated that he has no idea how the scarab works, but the Blue Beetle incarnation makes him capable of doing some really amazing things – primarily revolving around his magical set of armor.
Mockingbird, formally known as Dr. Barbara ‘Bobbi’ Morse, was initially a biologist working for S.H.I.E.L.D, and she was trained by a spy while working for the organization. She gained her name from her unique psychological approaches in battle, as she was well-known for mocking her opponents while fighting.
She may not be the toughest hero out there, but she became one of S.H.I.E.L.D’s greatest assets over time. She is highly skilled in acrobatics and hand-to-hand combat, specializing in Kung-Fu and Tae Kwon Do, in addition to the fact that she’s an expert pilot and biochemist.
Numerous variants of Speedy have arisen over the years, but Roy Harpy was the very first Speedy in DC’s history. Roy Harpy is known as the second-best archer in the DC universe, having been trained by the best archer in the DC universe, Green Arrow.
Speedy paired up with Oliver Queen but he left when Queen was unhappy with his behavior, and he went on to rebrand himself as Arsenal. The ‘Speedy’ role was later filled by Mia Dearden, who was rescued by Queen and later became highly skilled in tracking, hand-to-hand combat, and archery.
Batgirl definitely deserves an honorable mention here, as she’s just an ordinary human who decided to take on crime. Inspired by Batman, Batgirl flaunts a range of extraordinary human abilities, including some stellar reflexes, agility, combat sills, and the brains to match.
One of her most exceptional qualities revolves around her smarts, as she is a highly intelligent academic. She often makes use of her grade-A cyber skills, which help her take on bad guys and solve tons of cases.
Hit-Girl is essentially the embodiment of “dynamite comes in small packages”, with an insanely aggressive approach to combat and some stellar training. Mindy McCready was trained by her father from a very young age, in the hopes that she would one day take on his arch-nemesis.
She may be a little girl with little to no physical strength or superpowers, but Hit-Girl is extremely dangerous, violent, and merciless. One would never expect this young lady to be the cause of so much blood and gore. She has mastered the art of using a katana, which is her primary weapon, but she can put up a solid fight using a ton of other edged weapons as well.
Hit-Girl is fast, agile, and deadly – with some quality hand-to-hand combat techniques in addition to her weaponry skills. She’s dead set on accomplishing her missions, whatever they may be, and she ended up training Kick-Ass in the art of fighting as well.
20. Green Arrow
Green Arrow is really tough when it comes to the archers in the superhero world – being able to shoot over 30 arrows a minute, making him the best archer in the DC universe. There are very few enemies that could dodge his attacks, making him incredibly deadly.
However, he is also pretty skilled in terms of hand-to-hand combat, and he can definitely stand his ground against a range of foes. He’s a longtime member of the Justice League and has trained various heroes that would follow in his path.
Ant-Man is definitely tough, but his skills are due to science and technology. He is incredibly smart and rather uses his abilities to take on less violent tasks during missions.
While he may not be as aggressive as the other superheroes out there, Ant-Man has proven useful in a wide variety of instances. His cheery and outgoing personality often adds a well-needed touch of lightheartedness to dire circumstances, and he’s seen as one of the most loveable characters in the Marvel universe as a result.
18. Rocket Racoon
Although it may seem like Rocket Raccoon has some superpower being a naturally talking raccoon, he actually doesn’t have any mutant abilities. The only ‘super’ trait that this fuzzy but not-so-friendly guy has is superior intellect and some skilled fighting techniques.
Surprisingly, this rough and rogue raccoon actually started his career in crime-fighting as a top policeman, but his past holds a ton of darker secrets as well. He eventually ended up joining the Guardians of the Galaxy, and he helped save the universe on numerous occasions.
He is primarily a product of scientific experiments, leading him to become the way that he is. His intelligent and cunning nature makes him a serious threat to many foes, in combination with his reflexes, agility, and combat skills – it’s really hard to pin Rocket Raccoon down.
Starlord has become one of the most loveable and comedic heroes in the Marvel universe to date, being the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy and a trusted friend for many Avengers alike. Peter Quill was initially born into a difficult situation, parented by a Terran woman named Meredith Quill and the Spartoi emperor, J’Son.
His father left shortly after he was conceived, however, and it would be quite some time before Peter learned of his ancestry. Starlord learned a ton of tricks and techniques while working with the pirates, including combat, piloting, the tricks of outer space, and much more.
He flaunts some fine marksman skills and is an expert in numerous alien martial arts forms. He left Yondu to start his own journey, where he became the founding member of the ragtag group of valiant misfits, Guardians of the Galaxy, and has been a beloved hero ever since.
Shang-Chi was initially raised to be an assassin by his father, Fu Manchu, but he later turned hero when he learned of his father’s dark intentions. He went on to work in espionage, where he gained a ton of additional skills that make him extremely dangerous.
While there are tons of martial artists in the Marvel universe, Shang-Chi is definitely the best of them all in this department. He has primarily focused on Chinese martial arts, but he’s also at peak physical condition and is a skills marksman and gymnast.
He can easily take down enemies despite their strength, as he has a thorough knowledge of pressure points that can be targeted. His unique blend of knowledge and skills makes him a seriously tough opponent, regardless of brute strength and hand-to-hand combat skills.
Helena Bertinelli (Helena Wayne) is the lone survivor of a mafia family, which was assassinated when she was only a child. She was dead set on seeking revenge for her family, which ultimately led her to the Bat-Family of heroes.
She studied numerous martial arts forms and weaponry throughout her early years, but she specialized in crossbows. She’s almost as good as Green Arrow when it comes to the use of her primary ranged weapons, and is as stealthy as one could imagine.
Huntress hasn’t gotten as much screen-time over the years, so her character and skills have generally remained under the radar – much like her style. Still, she is considered one of the most dangerous women in the DC universe.
Much like numerous heroes before her, Batwoman was trained by Batman after he rescued her from a mugging – where she decided to become a hero herself. Kate Kane was initially trained at West Point, where she honed in on her skills as a fighter and tactician, and while there have been many other solid fighters in the DC universe, Batwoman has some rather unique skills.
In addition to being a skilled martial artist, having gained experience with the Thirty-Six Stratagems, Batwoman has a special ability to analyze opponent’s fighting styles and tactics and adapt in battle. This special skill makes her a really challenging opponent, enabling her to take on some of DC’s most notorious villains with ease.
13. Nick Fury
Nick Fury, the renowned leader of S.H.I.E.L.D, may not be as physically tough as most other heroes on the list – but he definitely deserves an honorable spot here. He’s tough as nails and is incredibly powerful, making him one of the trickiest enemies to have.
He’s got quite a career under his belt, as he was the NCO responsible for the Howling Commandos, and he fought in Korea, Vietnam, and many other locations around the world. His cunning and strategic skills landed him the spot as the head of S.H.I.E.L.D where he protects the entire world from countless disasters and threats.
The main thing that makes Nick Fury one of the best heroes without superpowers is just how much force he has behind his back. But, with some grade-A marksman and combat skills combined with his unique use of technology, Nick Fury can certainly hold his own when needed as well.
Hawkeye started off his journey as a bad guy, as he worked alongside Black Widow in their attempts to take down Marvel’s finest heroes. But, he eventually turned good and has been a crucial member of the Avengers ever since.
While he does not have any superpowers or mutant abilities, Hawkeye flaunts some incredible archery skills. He developed his archery skills very early on in life as he traveled with a carnival, and he was billed as Hawkeye: The World’s Greatest Marksman.
Hawkeye incorporates tech into his bows and arrows as well. He often uses special tips that cause explosions, knock enemies out, and much more. This is topped with some well-needed martial arts skills, having been trained by Captain America.
11. Bucky Barnes
Bucky Barnes, formally known as James Barnes and also known as the Winter Soldier, is incredibly tough, but he does not have any natural superpowers. Rather, he has extraordinary human abilities as he was enhanced through technology and science.
He is trained in combat, espionage, and assassination – topped with a metal arm, and was seen as a secret weapon (initially against Marvel’s heroes). While he does not have supernatural powers, he’s definitely tough to keep up with and is considered one of the most lethal men in the Marvel universe.
Nightwing, formally known as Dick Grayson, is a natural acrobat who was taken on by Bruce Wayne’s ward, leading him to be trained as Batman’s first sidekick Robin, The Boy Wonder. When he left Batman, he went on to become the leader of the Teen Titans after which he rebranded himself as Nightwing, flaunting a new look and matured attitude to match.
While Robin has gotten a ton of slack for being a sidekick over the years, Nightwing is actually pretty tough. He is much like his mentor in terms of his skills and training, understandably so. Since Batman trained Nightwing from a very young age, his combat skills, techniques, and additional abilities are near-perfection.
Nightwing uses a variety of tools, gadgets, and weapons in order to fight crime. While Nightwing doesn’t stack up to Batman and his colleagues in a range of areas, his gymnast and athletic skills make him a seriously tough opponent.
9. Moon Knight
It’s unclear whether Moon Knight has mystical abilities or not, as Marvel has not confirmed whether the event that led to his power was a hallucination or not. This wealthy, former Marine worked as a mercenary for numerous years, and he gained some seriously lethal skills in the process.
He thrives when it comes to the art of warfare, weaponry, and hand-to-hand combat. He somehow became an acolyte of the ancient Egyptian god Konshu while he was in Egypt, who saved his life in exchange for his services on Earth.
Irrespective of his traumatic past and questionable mental state, Moon Knight takes on bad guys with ease. He’s often seen as the Batman of the Marvel universe, as he is typically keen on fighting crime using considerable combat skills and finances.
Although Daredevil definitely seems superhuman, his abilities primarily revolve around enhanced human senses. He lost his eyesight in a freak toxic spill when he was young, and soon discovered that his other senses became heightened as a result.
He can hear, sense movement, and even taste better – for example, he can tell how many bullets are in a gun based on weight. He uses all of these heightened senses to his advantage when taking on bad guys, and he’s won nearly every battle he’s been faced with.
7. Black Widow
Natasha Romanova is probably the most mysterious character in the entire Marvel Universe under Mystique, and she is known as the deadliest woman in the world. Black Widow was initially trained as a Super Spy/ assassin, receiving special enhancements like improved metabolism, immune system, strength, speed, agility, and much more.
These qualities make her far tougher than the average human, in addition to her insane training. She is a master gymnast/ acrobat, an expert when it comes to wielding a plethora of weapons, and an incredibly talented driver of numerous vehicles – including spycraft.
She is also trained in a variety of martial arts forms, including boxing, karate, judo, aikido, and more. Oddly enough, Black Widow was initially an enemy of Ironman, but she eventually ended up becoming a crucial member of the Avengers and taking on bad guys alongside Ironman and others.
6. Green Lantern
Hal Jordan started off as a regular human, but he was a skilled fighter and tactician in his prime. The only thing that grants Hal his power is his Power Ring, which grants him the power of flight, invulnerability, omnilingualism, the generation of hard-light constructs, and much more.
Creating hard light constructs is likely the most infamous of his powers, and he often uses it to construct weapons in battle. Hal has also wielded the White Ring in his career, as well as a prototype gauntlet that held the power of a dozen rings.
5. Booster Gold
Booster Gold is a former athlete, but he decided to rewrite history after he was disgraced in his own time – although, it was through some questionable methods. He is in near-peak physical condition as is, and he possesses willpower close to that of any Green Lantern member.
While Booster Gold may appear to have superpowers, he gained his abilities through advanced technology from the future, the timeline which he originates from. His power suit grants him a range of abilities, including strength, flight, force fields, power blasters, time travel, and much more.
4. The Punisher
The Punisher is possibly one of the most brutal and ruthless ‘heroes’ out there – technically, he is actually an antihero, and behaves like more of a vigilante. Frank Castle was initially trained in the Marine, and his rise to crime-fighting was brought on by a deeply tragic event, as his entire family was slaughtered in a violent event.
After this point, Frank Castle rebranded himself as the Punisher – a fitting name. He is absolutely lethal and shows no mercy when it comes to facing bad guys – one of the main differences between the Punisher and many other superheroes.
He’s skilled with numerous firearms, is well versed in martial arts, and has taken on some tough Marvel characters such as the Hulk, Sentry, and more – he even broke Wolverine’s nose! While The Punisher doesn’t have any superpowers, his savage attitude and style make him feared by anyone who’s encountered him.
3. Captain America
Captain America may be super-strong, fast, and skilled, but he doesn’t have any superpowers of his own – which actually makes him that much more impressive. The Super-Soldier serum did not grant him any mutant abilities, and it instead transformed him into a man at the very peak of human potential.
Still, he manages to keep up with superhumans and take on some mutant, tyrannous villains in the process. In addition, he is a forefront member of the Avengers, often taking the lead when no one else can.
When it comes to kicking bad guys’ butts with only classic combat skills and tech, Batman is likely the most infamous of all superheroes. Many fans may argue that he deserves the number one spot on this list, and for good reason.
Batman is all about tools, tactics, technique, and aggressive confrontations. His approaches can be compared to that of a ninja, and he is definitely one of the best-trained fighters in the entire DC universe. But, Batman also flaunts a few unique traits and skills that make him a force to be reckoned with.
He has a photographic memory, which really helps him out when acting as a detective in cases and learning new fighting styles. Batman has mastered more than one hundred different forms of martial arts and uses those styles and techniques alongside his impressive assortment of high-tech weapons.
Batman has often stood beside DC legends like Wonder Woman, Superman, and many more, and is a prominent member of the Justice League. But, many of his encounters had previously occurred alone or with his trusty sidekick, Robin, so he can certainly hold his own.
1. Iron Man
It’s hard to find any superhero fan that hasn’t heard about Iron Man, and more recent Marvel installations have only increased his popularity. It’s easy to assume that this tough and rough iron soldier has powers – but, he really doesn’t, as Tony Stark is just an average human (kind of) compared to other superheroes.
However, Tony Stark is extremely intelligent and has quite a tragic backstory that led him to his superheroic destiny. This billionaire was captured as a prisoner in his past, and he used scraps of metal and tech to create a suit that could break him out of his confinement.
Since then, he kept on adapting his suit to increase its power, durability, features, and much more. He can fly, fire off repulsor rays, and hack into nearly anything, enabling him to go up against some of the most villainous foes in the Marvel universe and become an integral member of the Avengers.
Although Tony Stark did end up gaining some sort of superpower through the Extremis virus, enabling him to manipulate any and all electronics, this was only later on down the line. Tony Stark did not have any powers, other than his supernatural intelligence and wits, for the vast majority of Iron Man’s career.
That’s all of the best Marvel and DC superheroes that don’t have any natural superpowers. While the ranking may be up for debate, all of these heroes have unique stories and abilities, many of which are hard to compare. They all bring something truly iconic to the melting pot of heroes and add something special to a world full of mutants and superhumans.