- Video Games
- About Us
For the past nearly two weeks, the world has been witness to the greatest athletes in the land exhibiting their prowess during the Olympic Games. Comic books have a great deal of amazing athletes, which I examined in a list of superheroes who actually competed in sports. This time, let’s look at a different type of hero athlete list – the strongest and fittest superheroes with no superpowers. This is a list not of the best characters but of the “strongest” in the broadest sense, including speed, quickness and agility. In other words, who is in the best physical shape? I’m excluding heroes who rely heavily on technology like Iron Man. I’m also avoiding heroes who have powers, even if they are not physical, such as Daredevil.
Dick Grayson is a tremendous athlete. He spend a great amount of time in his youth in the circus as an acrobat, so he is clearly a skilled gymnast. That takes a great amount of strength and agility. Once he joined up with Bruce Wayne though, Grayson learned various fighting techniques and became even stronger, first as Robin and later as Nightwing. He even took over for a time as Batman when Bruce Wayne was “dead.” Grayson has added many cerebral abilities over time while working with the world’s greatest detective, but he is also one of the most fit non-powered members of the DC Universe.
Black Widow was trained from an early age to be an assassin. Therefore, in addition to her many lethal skills, she is a very talented acrobat and skilled fighter. Also, Natasha Romonov(a) may not have the brute physical strength that some other heroes have, but she has an impeccable sense of balance and body control that allows her to fell men three times her size. Additionally, Black Widow has a literal killer’s instinct, finding her opponent’s weaknesses and exploiting them.
Depending on which iteration of Oliver Queen you choose, he might not necessarily be one of the strongest heroes. However, in most versions, he survived stranded on an island for years, meaning that he developed extraordinary quickness, strength and agility. In the DCTV Universe, Stephen Amell (who plays Oliver on Arrow) is clearly in peak physical shape, and the show highlights Oliver’s intense workout regiment. Likewise, on a list loosely connected to the Olympics, you have to include a hero who fights evil through archery, an actual Olympic event.
This one has an asterisk next to it because there have been points in the history of Marvel Comics when Captain America’s super soldier serum actually bestowed superpowers. The official story now, though, is that the super soldier serum actually allows Steve Rogers to perform at the peak of human levels. So technically Rogers has strength, speed and agility at the limits of human possibility. It still requires dedicated work-outs to gain these attributes, and you have to think that Steve Rogers would do quite well in track and field events.
There is really no doubt about the top of the list, since Batman was the first major superhero and probably the most famous to not have any powers. What makes Bruce Wayne the most powerful superhero without powers is his obsession with justice, forcing himself to push past the limits most humans feel. He has sustained many injuries – perhaps most famously a broken back from Bane. In some writers’ hands, Batman really stretches past the limits of what is physically possible for a human. For the most part though, Batman is the top human specimen, both physically and mentally. He does use some gadgets and occasional armor. However, most of his crime fighting is done with his body, which makes him the strongest superhero without powers.
If we expanded this list to include those who use armors/large weapons or who have non-physical powers, it could look very different. Which superheroes without powers do you think are in the best physical condition? Who do you think are the strongest?