10 Unpowered Heroes As Cool As Batman
Ask any Batman aficionado why they like the character and many will probably answer the same way: he’s just a normal guy. Compared to the super gods that inhabit his world, Batman’s heroism despite his human frailty is a very appealing fantasy for many comic book readers.
Often it seems like not every hero without the power enjoys the same love as the world’s greatest detective. Many behave much more human than the often inscrutable Batman. While the Dark Knight may be the most revered of them all, many helpless heroes are just as interesting and just as cool.
ten Nick Fury Sr. always acts for the greater good
A prolonged life and his stint as the unseen aside, Nick Fury Sr. is a high-level display of human excellence. From the battlefield engagements of the Howling Commandos to the secret SHIELD network, Nick Fury has had no shortage of opportunities to show off his leadership and combat skills.
Whether Nick Fury is actually a hero could be up for debate. Ultimately, though he must make tough decisions, everything he does is in service of what he sincerely believes to be the highest good.
9 There’s no doubt that Vic Sage is cool
The Question was created by the legendary Steve Ditko for the now defunct Charlton Comics. Much like the pulp heroes of days past, Vic Sage walks the streets of Hub City in costume and mask. The modern interpretation of the Question is just as likely to express paranoid conspiracies as it is to do justice with martial arts. Sage is also a relentless master detective who is on par with Batman.
The legacy of The Question extends to the Gibbons and Moore classic watchmen series. As the other characters are based on Charlton’s heroes, Rorschach is influenced by the Question.
8 Shang-Chi, the master of Kung Fu
For the vast majority of his publishing history, Shang-Chi has only had the power of his martial arts skills. Although he had an occasional upgrade (most famously with the ten rings in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings), the Master of Kung Fu is perhaps best when he relies solely on his human talents.
Shang-Chi was born in the black and white magazines of Marvel Comic. Since then, he’s worked alongside MI6, been a hero for hire, and joined a few Avengers lineups. A helpless Shang-Chi even held off Spider-Man for a while, proving that dedication to a skill can be better than raw power.
7 Dwayne Taylor bangs thugs
Night Thrasher is the leader of New Warriors, Marvel’s teenage superteam. In a very unique origin story, Dwayne witnesses the death of his billionaire parents as a young child, setting him on a path of revenge against crime.
Design-wise, Night Thrasher is very different from most Batman analogues. While most use a cape and cowl of some sort, Night Thrasher is instead dressed in extreme sports gear similar to the 90s style. This is very fitting for Thrasher as he often uses a skateboard in combat – a times even he overpowered Juggernaut with.
6 Green Arrow is more human than Batman
Although Green Arrow may have been greatly influenced by the Caped Crusader in previous years, he has since become more. Since traveling heroes O’Neil and Adams’ storyline, Green Arrow has become a more socially conscious hero. Oliver Queen’s passion for people even led him to become mayor of Star City.
Green Arrow is also allowed to be more flawed than Batman. He neglected his sidekick, Roy Harper, which led the young hero to drug addiction. He’s also been unfaithful to Black Canary, jeopardizing one of comics’ most cherished relationships. While those failures don’t make him a better hero, the humility he shows to right his wrongs does.
5 Two-Gun Kid is as cool as Batman
Perhaps the most famous of Western Marvel characters, Two-Gun Kid has battled Rogues, Werewolves, and Super Villains, all with his trusty Colts. Matt Hawk has even brought his borderline justice to the modern Marvel Universe, having been brought in multiple times. He formed close friendships with Hawkeye and She-Hulk and even became a card-carrying Avenger.
While Hawk’s combat prowess is a far cry from Batman’s, his expert firearms skills and tenacity make him just as cool. Two-Gun is also just a fun character, his “man-out-time” disorientation being as compelling as Captain America’s.
4 Wildcat is the best puncher
Ted Grant is the heavyweight boxing superhero, Wildcat. With nothing but his wits and his fists, Grant is a longtime member of the first superhero team, the Justice Society of America. In some continuities, Wildcat actually trains Batman and other Leaguers in the art of boxing. There’s just something to respect about a man facing the DC Universe with only wrapped hands and a catsuit.
Technically, Wildcat has been imbued with a “nine lives” resurrection ability, although this does not affect his boxing skills. It is also often ignored by some writers and easily overlooked by some readers.
3 The ghost is older but still awesome
Beating Superman to the title by a few years, The Phantom is considered the first superhero. The Ghost is similar in style to pulp magazine heroes like The Shadow, but the comic book medium visuals allowed for a much more colorful costume. It’s a trait that has carried over into the modern superhero.
Like most heroes of the era, Kit Walker doesn’t rely on superhuman abilities. Instead, Kit Walker relies on normal physical strength, intelligence, and technology, much like Batman would years later.
2 The Union Jack is a generational hero
The Union Jack coat has been owned by three men: James Falsworth, Brian Falsworth and Joe Chapman. Brian was eventually given a super-soldier serum and Joe was possessed by the Pendragon spirit for a time, but overall the Union Jacks have been unpowered agents for the British government.
Wielding his signature revolver and combat knife, Joe is a skilled warrior who protects the United Kingdom and its allies abroad. Union Jack works frequently with Steve Rogers, often appearing in the pages of Captain America. Like his predecessors, Joe is also a member of the Invaders.
1 Nightwing is funnier than his mentor
Dick Grayson may have started his career as a sidekick, but he managed to shine through the shadow of the bat. Although he may not have perfected himself physically to the same degree as his progenitor, Dick’s upbringing in circus life made him much more agile. With his background in the Teen Titans, Nightwing is also arguably a better leader than Batman.
What really sets him apart, and what arguably makes him superior to his adoptive father, is his personality. Dick is much more likely to crack jokes and is much more approachable and confident than Batman. Nightwing is also on good terms with most of the DC pantheon, a prized possession in times of crisis – which it always is.
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