Not even the most powerful superheroes are without their weaknesses. Since a good number of comic book characters have the power to destroy entire cities, it’s only fair they possess a debilitating Achilles heel. However, there are some very strange weaknesses — weaknesses that are so darn peculiar, they baffle the mind! Prepare to look at the weak spots you didn’t know were there with five of the weirdest comic book weaknesses!
1. Saying Your Own Name (Shazam)
When Billy Batson met the wizard, he was granted the power to become “Earth’s Mightiest Mortal”, Shazam! By yelling out his name, Shazam can switch back and forth between his normal “kid” self and his superhero form. Problem is, he can never introduce himself as Shazam or he risks turning back into a kid! Think about it — he has to write it down for anyone who asks! This hassle could be avoided if he just called himself something else, but he never does! Maybe not the worst weakness, but it’s probably one of the most inconvenient!
2. Fire! (Martian Manhunter/Venom)
Both the Martian Manhunter and Venom are powerful forces to be reckoned with. That being said, they both share the same strange weakness: fire! For the Martian Manhunter, it’s an intense phobia that was placed in the entire Martian population by the Guardians of the Universe — they did this to make sure that they couldn’t use their abilities for galactic conquest.
For Venom, it’s never specifically stated why the symbiote is vulnerable to fire. Regardless, this is actually a pretty big problem for the both of them because (unfortunately) fire is easy to start! In some cases, even the smallest amount of fire is enough considering there was a time when Venom was scared off by a tiny lighter!
While these two characters are very capable, their vulnerability could be exploited by a matchbook.
3. Ethyl Chloride (Spider-Man)
Everyone knows that after being bit by a radioactive spider, Peter Parker got the abilities of a spider! While he did get a variety of powers, he isn’t invincible. Presumably, because of his powers, one of his weaknesses is actually Ethyl Chloride.
In case you didn’t know, Ethyl Chloride is a chemical that has many uses and includes an ingredient found in pesticides. So, yeah, Spider-Man’s vulnerable to bug spray — who would’ve guessed? Getting sprayed with the stuff might not be lethal to him, but it does dampen his powers — apparently, this weakness is often exploited by Alistair Smythe and his “Spider-Slayer” robots.
And yes, it’s a little embarrassing that Marvel’s most iconic heroes is vulnerable to something anyone could find in a convenience store. Makes you wonder if he’s also vulnerable to rolled up newspapers!
4. The Color Yellow (Green Lantern)
While this one is no longer an active weakness, I have to bring it up due to its reputation. Back in the early days, Green Lantern rings could work on almost anything — it was completely powerless against the color yellow! And yes, that weakness was very easily exploited.
It was later explained that the vulnerability was due to Parallax, the yellow Fear Entity — he was trapped in the Green Lanterns’ Central Power Battery. After defeating Parallax, the Lanterns were able to overcome their weakness. Sure, it’s not in effect anymore, but it’s still remembered to this day!
5. The Many Colors of Kryptonite (Superman)
Probably the most famous superhero weakness of all time is Superman’s vulnerability to Kryptonite! Everyone’s knows about the green space rock that can hurt Superman, but did you know about the other colored forms of Kryptonite? There’s practically an entire rainbow of these things and each color produces a different effect:
- Red Kryptonite can weaken Superman and initiate random transformations!
- Gold Kryptonite can completely remove Superman’s powers!
- There are other forms that cause amnesia, kill plant life, turn Superman evil, affect only humans, affect only Bizarro, and…one that gives you a third eye in the back of your head. Yep.
In short, there’s a lot of Kryptonite out there and each newly discovered variation is stranger than the last!
Putting on a Shirt! (Shirtless Bear-Fighter)
Shirtless Bear-Fighter is a relatively new character from Image Comics who’s exactly as advertised: he can beat armies of evil bears with nothing but his fists; it’s as awesome as it is insane! Surely, someone who can do all that should be invincible, right? Well, Shirtless actually does have one weakness and it’s as weird and as crazy as he is:
Apparently, wearing a shirt saps Shirtless of all his bear-fighting strength! In fact, it makes him so weak that the poor guy can’t even tear through toilet paper (seriously)! Still, Shirtless Bear-Fighter is a nightmare to all bears and their dastardly fuzzy schemes — just don’t get him a souvenir t-shirt!
Anything I missed? Have any weird comic book weaknesses to add? Let me know in the comments below!