12 Greatest Superheroes That Use Technology (Marvel & DC)
One thing that makes superheroes so epic and interesting to readers for decades upon decades is the diversity of their characters – and superpowers. There are tons of superheroes that don’t actually have superpowers of their own, per se, but rather rely on their brains, wits, skills, or technology. It makes them that much more relatable to readers because it shows you don’t have to be superhuman to be a hero. Without further ado, here’s a ranked list of the twelve greatest superheroes that use technology as their superpower.
12. Mister Terrific
The first version of Mister Terrific appeared even earlier, but I’ll focus on Michael Holt, who first appeared in Spectre Vol.3 #54. The DC superhero is known as the third smartest person on Earth that already had 14 PhDs by the age of 21. Holt was a brilliant scientist in countless fields, becoming an expert in quantum physics when he was still a child.
On top of that, Michael is a gold medal-winning Olympic athlete competing in Decathlon. He almost committed suicide before deciding to take the example of the first Mister Terrific, join the Justice Society, and start using his brains for good. He developed all kinds of spectacular high-tech gadgets and devices, including T-Spheres, his T-Mask, etc.
He can use the T-Spheres in countless ways, such as holograms, projectiles, protective shields, and much more. Everything works on mental or verbal command.
11. Green Arrow
I was kind of leaning towards including Hawkeye on this list instead of Green Arrow, simply because I like the character more, and they have quite a similar skill set. However, Green Arrow is far superior in terms of wealth and developing his own technology instead of just using what’s been given to him.
Green Arrow has no superpowers other than being such a prolific archer that he virtually never misses. He’s also incredibly wealthy and uses that wealth to develop all kinds of awesome gadgets and equipment, but mostly, he based his tech on awesome trick arrows.
It’s hard even to list all the different trick arrows he used over the years, ranging from explosives, nets, hooks, electric shocks, and smoke arrows, all the way to the plain, good old pointy metal projectile. Green Arrow is awesome.
John Henry Irons first appeared in The Adventures of Superman #500 in 1993. He was an incredibly intelligent scientist and engineer who felt like there was a huge hole in Metropolis that needed to be filled after Superman passed away at the hands of Doomsday – at least, seemingly.
So, he decided to use his wits and skills to become the hero Metropolis needs. Irons developed a powerful exoskeleton suit of armor that closely replicated Superman’s powers, including flight, superhuman strength, speed, and durability. He could even produce enough heat out of the suit to turn any metal into liquid.
He even slapped a big S over his chest and called himself Man of Steel as a homage to Supes. After Superman miraculously returned, he had shortened John’s moniker to just Steel.
Atom is somewhat of a DC Comics version of Ant-Man. Actually, Ant-Man is Marvel’s version of Atom because Dr. Raymond Palmer appeared years earlier in showcase #34 in 1961. Palmer was a genius scientist whose friends got trapped in a cave-in.
To save them, Raymond took a fragment of a white dwarf star and found a way to shrink himself down to the size of an atom while retaining his mass and strength. Later, he refined his inventions into a belt that could shrink him in size on a whim.
Had he never become Atom, Dr. Palmer would still be one of the most brilliant minds in the world, developing new technologies and inventions and advancing science like only a few others could. I mean, his belt allowed the guy to visit other dimensions. Talk about being epic!
8. Hank Pym
The only reason why the original Ant-Man is above Atom on this list is that he is simply the more popular character, with virtually the same merits. Dr. Hank Pym is a brilliant scientist whose life-changing technology turned him into a superhero.
Hank developed the Pym Particle, which he used to alter his size in any direction, becoming Giant-Man or Ant-Man on a whim. He could also shrink to sub-atomic levels, entering the Quantum Realm, which was ultimately depicted in the MCU and used as a technology that literally turned back time and saved half of the universe. Pretty cool, right?
So, many of you probably never heard of Forge because we haven’t seen much of the character in the movies. However, Forge was a mutant that was a part of the X-Men for quite a long time. His mutation was, well, technology. Any gadget, or high-tech weapon you could think of, Forge could create.
The reason why Forge can create almost every piece of technology imaginable is that he can actually see mechanical energy as it works. That way, he can recognize every piece of a machine and diagnose problems before they even appear, solving them virtually in advance.
Forge might not be the most popular member of the X-Men ever, but he is certainly one of the coolest technology-based superheroes out there.
We all know the Falcon from the MCU, but in the comics, Sam Wilson’s origins were a bit different. Instead of being a US Army veteran like in the MCU, Sam was actually an orphaned boy who turned to a life of crime early in his life. However, after meeting Captain America, Sam showed his true, kind nature and ultimately became Falcon.
Instead of having Redwing, the drone, he had Redwing, the actual real-life falcon. However, he still used the high-tech suit, empowered with awesome wings and sub-machine guns, allowing him to be one of Cap’s most loyal sidekicks. Same eventually became a tech-based Captain America himself after taking over the mantle from Steve Rogers.
We’ve already seen the MCU Falcon become the new Captain America in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Now, I can’t wait to see Sam in action in his first Captain America stand-alone film.
Cyborg actually had a very depressing story that somewhat ended up with him being a superhero and a crucial member of the Justice League. Victor Stone’s parents were scientists, and although he was a genius himself, he wanted to pursue an athletic career, seeing that he was also very gifted physically.
However, an accident in his father’s lab with an interdimensional being killed Vic’s mother and mauled him so severely that he was on the brink of death. His father couldn’t handle losing both Victor and his mother, so he experimented on high-tech prosthetics and made Victor a half-robot, later known as Cyborg.
Although Stone hated his father for not letting him die and himself for the “thing” he had become, he decided to harness his newfound powers and use them to be a hero. He’s the go-to guy when it comes to hacking and anything related to technology for the Justice League.
There’s probably not a single superhero in comics that uses technology more than Vision because, well, he IS technology. Vision is a sentient android artificial intelligence created by Ultron, one of the most advanced, intelligent A.I. machines ever created.
However, Vision didn’t have the same murderous intentions as his creator. He rebelled against Ultron and decided to do good. His programming broke free and expanded unfathomably to a point where he could actually comprehend and feel emotions.
Vision is a piece of ever-evolving technology that worked so well that it has created new artificial intelligence of its own, creating somewhat of a Vision family. He was one of my favorite MCU characters, despite his comic book story being pretty much entirely different.
3. Black Panther
No surprise that King T’Challa is near the top of this list. Sure, Black Panther is an incredible martial artist, in peak human condition in every aspect imaginable, both physically and mentally. However, what makes T’Challa such an epic superhero is the Wakandan technology.
Wakanda lies on tons upon tons of vibranium, an omnipotent extraterrestrial metal that’s believed to be the most versatile and strongest metal in existence. Wakanda has technology that’s practically centuries more advanced than the rest of the world, and Black Panther, as the King of Wakanda, uses that technology to the fullest.
On top of the most advanced technology in the world, T’Challa is also one of the most intelligent people on the planet. If you combine that, you don’t really need superpowers, although the Black Panther has those, too. Wakanda forever, baby.
The number one and number two spots on this list were a tossup for me, but I had to go with Batman at the number two spot on the list, simply because I find his technology just a bit less cool than our number one.
Anyways, Bruce Wayne is one of the wealthiest superheroes ever, and he uses that wealth to lead a double life – one as an entrepreneur, businessman, and CEO of Wayne Enterprises, and the other one as Batman, the Dark Knight, Gotham’s vigilante.
Batman uses his money to develop spectacular technology and gadgets that allow him to battle Gotham’s dark underbelly but also be a member of the Justice League, fighting cosmic-level threats despite being only human. Still, he’s a super-genius and probably the most skilled martial artist in the world. Combine that with his wealth, and you get a hell of a superhero.
1. Iron Man
It would be a sin not to place Iron Man at the number one spot on the list of the greatest superheroes that use technology. In RDJ’s words: genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist. And that’s without the Iron Suits.
With them, he’s one of the leading members of the Avengers. Iron Man’s technology is above and beyond anything else in the comics. There are so many different Iron Suits that it almost seems as if he can replicate any given superpower and make it his own.
Both in the comics and the MCU, Tony Stark has his issues. However, he cares about people unlike anyone else and is always willing to sacrifice. The “ I am – Iron Man” snap in Avengers: Endgame had us all in tears, and there’s a good reason why – Iron Man is the greatest technology-based superhero ever created in any comic book. Period.