Boys love their toys, a time-honored adage to which all superhero mythology can attest.
Batman is literally a walking vigilante-toy store, what between the Batmobile and his Utility Belt. Green Lantern has a magical ring, Thor has that unpronounceable hammer of his, and Captain America’s got an indestructible shield. For all their ass-kicking powers, most prominent superheroines don’t get to play with as many fun gadgets and gizmos.
Captain Boomerang and Green Arrow are named for their famously nifty weapons, after all (to be fair, so is Katana). SuperGirl is 100 (1,000?) armies onto herself (if those armies had heat vision and indestructibility), Jean Grey moves things with her mind, and Scarlet Witch, well, can do anything (we mean, anything) with her mind.
Harley Quinn carries a mallet/baseball bat as pretty and crazy as she and Gamora of Guardians of the Galaxy packs as many knives as her assassin-friendly leather outfit will allow. But with the following extremely cool exceptions, it only takes a cursory look of the comics and their live-action TV/movie adaptations to realize female superheroes don’t get the geek-lusty toys the boys do:
1. ALL of Wonder Woman’s Accessories
Lasso of Truth? √ Invisible Plane? √ Bracelets of Submission? √ A sword called GOD KILLER? √√√! So… what do they all do?
Lasso of Truth: This golden, glowing Lasso compels whomever it’s bound around to tell the truth and obey the will of its wielder.
Fun Fact: Originally belonging to the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite, the Lasso was intended by its creator, William Moulton Marston, as an allegory for the feminine wiles.
God Killer: Capable of killing the immortal, God Killer comes in handy especially to Wonder Woman as some of her biggest foes (Hades, Ares, etc.) are of the deity variety. A pretty standard stabby-looking sword, God Killer also possesses some measure of self-consciousness, to the point where it can alter its physical form to better suit its user’s needs. (e.g. It can grow heavier to faster move the wielder’s hand toward its victim)
Bracelets of Submission: Completely indestructible, they can absorb or deflect all kinds of projectile weaponry and what a badass name! Sure, a whole suit made of the same material may be even more useful but then Wonder Woman can’t do cool-looking moves like these:
Invisible Plane: Way more practical than it sounds, Wondie’s invisible jet is actually an incredibly effectual advantage over enemies. Although Wonder Woman herself can fly, the jet provides protective shelter, unique onboard equipment (i.e. weaponry), and, obviously, invisibility for Wonder Woman and itself as they move silently in stealth mode.
Fun fact most people don’t know about the plane: It is psychically connected to Wonder Woman and her tiara. She can remotely control/pilot the plane through her tiara, rendering the headdress another weapon in her extensive arsenal.
2. Black Widow’s Gauntlets
After Wonder Woman, any other super-female’s weapons are going to pale in comparison, but they still rank high on the badassery scale, like Black Widow’s gauntlets. Criminally underused in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), these gauntlets pack the exact technology that lends Black Widow her code name… She’s known for her sting. Their full capacities in the comics:
- Widow’s Line – Retractable grappling hook and cable connected to the gauntlets, mostly used for rooftop gliding, rappelling and climbing up steep cliffs and hills.
- Widow’s Kiss – An aerosol instant knock-out drug, pioneered by Russian Spetsnaz. When used, it appears to be purplish pink fumes that can knock out a person for more than twenty hours.
- Widow’s Bite – A high-frequency electrostatic charge that also act as percussive energy blasts, the effects of which can be felt for at least a month. It can deliver charges up to 30,000 volts. The “Bite” can be set to deliver minor shocks with stunning or lethal high voltage currents.
This is most similar to what we see with the MCU Black Widow:
In Avengers: Age of Ultron, we saw her use batons mimicking the gauntlets’ bite:
- Explosives – Explosives like grenades are stored in the gauntlet.
- Tear Gas Pellets – There is also tear in the gauntlet that can cause blindness when released. It can also render the opponent unconscious.
- Radio Transmitter – This enables Widow to lock onto a target and track its every move. If placed on a moving vehicle like a car or bike, it enables Widow to track down its location.
It is too bad that, in the MCU, her gauntlets just deliver electrocuting shocks. I know, just electrocuting shocks. Meh! At least she also has her guns, pepper spray… and an incredibly lethal body:
3. Medusa’s Hair
Yes, hair as a weapon. Believe it or not, the ability to mentally manipulate one’s hair at will is called something: Trichokinesis. Medusalith Amaquelin-Boltagon, Queen of the Inhuman Royal Family, can control the rate of growth and movement of each strand of her tougher-than-steel hair individually. Each strand of her hair has far greater tensile strength, elasticity and durability than an iron wire of the same thickness. Among the ways she can weaponize her hair:
- Snap it like a whip at a rate faster than the speed of sound
- Bind enemies or objects as if it were rope or to lift them (The weight is supported by the psionic force coursing through her hair, not by her skull, neck, or scalp. Hence, why Medusa’s hair is more an accessory than a part of her body)
- Rotate it in a fan-like manner
- Pick locks, type or write with a pen if her hands aren’t free, etc.
She maintains control over her hair even if it is cut from her head. Also, due to all hair’s lack of nerves, Medusa cannot be harmed by attacks on her hair but she can “feel” sensations on it through its psionic field.
OK… that’s a lot of sci-fi geeking out.
4. Psylocke’s sword
Psylocke’s katana looks just like any other katana, except it is 100% psychically conjured. See, Psylocke, being a powerful telepath, can kill or harm her enemies in a vast variety of creative ways but ever since swapping bodies with a Japanese ninja, she chooses to fight up-close with a conjured blade.
A list of the greatest female-wielded super-weapons would be remiss if it didn’t include The Witchblade. An offspring of the “primal forces in the universe,” The Darkness and The Angelus, it usually manifests as a metal gauntlet and, being male in nature, apparently only seeks out female hosts. Most famous among the hosts was the live-action adaptation of Sara Pezzini, a NYPD homicide detective. Armed with the Witchblade, it allowed her to:
- transform the gauntlet into a bladed weapon, chain, hook, shield or full-body suit of armor if need be or a discreet bracelet when inert
- generate wings so she can fly
- shoot energy blasts
- fire projectile darts or whip-like grapples to attack or to climb
- heal wounds on her own, including mortal ones
- reanimate the dead
- empathically show her scenes of great trauma and relive the experiences of past wielders as dreams
- damage incorporeal beings
- slay other-dimensional entities and deities
Which of these (sets of) weapons would you most want to rock?