The 6 Most Ridiculous Superhero Weaknesses

#3. Power Girl: All Natural, Unprocessed Materials


Power Girl is a fan-favorite DC Comics superhero and Superman's sometimes cousin from another reality. She's best known for her strong personality and leadership skills, which are also the key to her popularity.

Pictured: Strong personality and leadership skills.

So her powers are more or less the same as Superman's, minus the vulnerability to kryptonite (since she comes from a different version of planet Krypton). Surely the writers have made up for that power imbalance in a way that makes sense. Right?

The Ridiculous Weakness:

Actually, they replaced it with something even dumber: a weakness to "natural elements." What does this mean, exactly? Well ...

Supergirl #16 (1997)

We have to question the effectiveness of any superhero who can be knocked down with something as simple as a tree branch. In the same comic, she explains that she's vulnerable to "any raw, unprocessed natural material," which would presumably include things like water, dirt or, you know, air. She can stop a bullet, but throw a rock at her face and she's dead. Basically, the whole planet Earth is "earthonite" to her.

Supergirl #16 (1997)
"Thanks, identical twin! Maybe someone should come up with more varied character models!"

The message here is pretty transparent -- take a close look at Power Girl again:

Take your time.

Does she look "all natural" to you? Are the writers telling us that she has so much plastic in her body that the mere presence of something not made out of silicon makes her sick? Maybe not, because they've completely ignored this weakness for the past decade (you're probably starting to see a pattern there).

#2. Thanos: A Desire to Lose


Earlier we said that Thor is the most powerful superhero in comics, but not the most powerful person -- that's because some of these villains aren't even in the same league. Take Thanos, a guy so insanely powerful that at one point he became the "living embodiment of the universe."

We are but microbes in Thanos' butt crack.

Even when Thanos isn't obliterating entire galaxies at whim, he still has other powers like matter manipulation, time travel, teleportation, telekinesis and, oh, immortality. He's also a super-genius in all fields of science, because what the hell, at this point he might as well be. And yet every time, the good guys manage to defeat him and undo the damage. How come?

The Ridiculous Weakness:

"A subconscious desire to lose." Is it just us, or are these getting more and more abstract? Is there a superhero whose weakness is "any action that is described with an adverb?"

Anyway, this means Thanos "arrange[s] for himself to defeated" because deep down he knows he doesn't deserve to win. It's the same reason he can't maintain an erection.

Infinity Gauntlet #5 (1991)
"Stop thinking about me in bed. It's weird."

Surely the mighty Thanos responds to this ridiculous accusation by vanishing the orange person from existence, right? Actually, he sorta stands there mumbling excuses like his mom just found his hidden porn folder.

Infinity Gauntlet #5 (1991)
Sometimes naming the folder "Boring School Stuff" isn't enough, Thanos.

Like the orange guy said, this has happened several times, and the revelation does bring his older stories under new light:

There's also that time he was defeated by a Hostess Fruit Pie (we're guessing).

#1. Captain Marvel Jr.: Saying His Own Name


Captain Marvel Jr. is the junior sidekick of Captain Marvel (duh), and also the inspiration for Elvis' haircut and fashion sense.

He hasn't got much else going for him, sadly.

Captain Marvel gets his powers by shouting the word "SHAZAM," which grants him the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules and the "who the fuck is that guy" of Azamoncules. His junior version, in turn, must say "Captain Marvel" to activate his fantastic powers. He's exactly like Captain Marvel Sr. in every other sense, except for the fact that he's shorter, bluer and ...

The Ridiculous Weakness:

He can't say his own name.

Power of Shazam #14 (1996)

That's his weakness. He can't introduce himself at parties. Or at all.

It's like the small print at the bottom of the contract or the legally required health warning at the end of an ad, except wholly unnecessary and bizarre. If Captain Marvel Jr. says "Captain Marvel Jr." he transforms from a shimmering beacon of muscly justice into a crippled orphan, which can be a huge inconvenience since superheroes tend to fly everywhere (whereas crippled orphans do not). This can lead to uncomfortable situations ...

"... Wolverine. Call me Wolverine."

What's even more ridiculous is that, instead of using the opportunity to ditch his stupid name, modern writers decided to work around this issue by shortening the name to CM3, since he's the third most important member in the Captain Marvel Family (which also includes Uncle Marvel and Hoppy the Marvel Bunny).

Of course, CM3 is a profoundly stupid name, too. His problem now isn't losing his powers, but feeling like a douchebag every time he says it.

Also being mistaken for food supplements.

J. F. Sargent is the managing editor of He also teaches poetry to youth in jail, and you can read their work and send them comments here.

For more comic book insanity, check out 6 Superheroes Who Completely Lost Their Shit and 9 Superhero Powers That Would Be More Trouble Than They're Worth.

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