Super-villains who do well against their arch-foe, but should suck against police or Army.

Doctor Octopus. Though really, even though Peter pulls his punches, Pete should pummel Doc…

Doc Ock can’t stop bloody bullets. He does great in close quarters but as soon as he leaves the bank he should be dead as ****.

Lex Luthor. That suit is great against Superman sorta…though Supes should also take advantage of the main weakness. I can see Lex’s entire head! Supes doesn’t want to kill Lex…fine. That aint got shit to do with police or the army. One sharpshooter and the threat of Lex Luthor is over.

Realistically, if it came down to it, any of Batman’s rogue’s gallery in the normal comics would be toast against a military that wanted them dead. Even the ones that are basically superhuman, such as Bane, can’t take more than a few rounds before they’re down for good, and absolutely none of them could put together a gang which could go up against so much as a platoon, let alone a larger formation with combined arms in play.

I say in the normal comics above because the characters are fluid, and change given the needs of the story. Is the Joker a jewel thief with a scarred face and a clown/playing card gimmick, a mid-level mobster rising through the ranks after an unfortunate accident with a vat of chemicals, a man from nowhere who likes burning money, a mercurial force of nature who might cut his own face off simply for a laugh, or a dead child’s mother? Joker’s been all of them, and more, and in a story where it’s Batman villains against the US Army, the Joker would be a guerrilla commander, a Tony Poe on the wrong side, a Colonel Kurtz with a cheerier disposition, holed up so deep in some jungle we could Agent Orange the whole countryside and only find a bunch of severed left arms.

That said, even in normal comics, I think Luthor would fare better than you think, Dale Sams: His superpower is wealth and political clout. He could become a genteel caudillo who’d worm his way deep enough into the politics of an unstable region we’d be courting massive civil war if we took him out.


Look, for the last few years there’s ben this fad of writers wanting to take silver age villains like Doc Ock and writing them like grim and gritty badasses. By the time Doctor Octopus died of simple cancer*, his arms were fast and powerful enough to shield him from bullets, missiles and lasers, and he easily could take on a platoon of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.
*And then took over Peter’s body, and then supposedly disappeared inside Peter’s mind and it’s been a couple of years from that so I assume he’s resurrected and died again a couple times more since then. Comics.

Caudillo in an unstable region? He literally became President of the United States during the 90’s. Yes. Really.

I know that. I’m imagining what kind of villain he’d be if he were to be in a position where he might possibly be up against the US.

You can pretty much exclude Dr. Doom or Magneto from this list. These guys could wade through a Marine division without breaking a sweat and go out for pancakes.

Plus, Doom has that diplomatic immunity thing going on. Which is nice.:smiley:

Ben Grimm (okay, sorry, he’s a hero, not a villain) as the thing, is mighty tough…but not tough enough to shrug off an anti-tank round. (Wolverine once cut him pretty badly.)

Same for a heck of a lot of the middle-class toughies. The Rhino, the Scorpion, most of The Wrecking Crew, etc. (Crusher Creel might be able to shrug off an anti-tank hit: he’s magical, so the rules are quirky. Same with Juggernaut.)

Stilt Man takes a face-plant. How anyone ever thought walking around on stilts made a functioning super-power, I’ll never know. Useful in various pragmatic ways – rescuing people from burning buildings – but as a combat power, el stinko.

One of the things I liked about the Wonder Women movie was the fact that the Amazons were plenty vulnerable to rifle fire. Of course then the damn Germans had to go out of their way to try and lose.

Most comic books are based on the same mysterious physics that is familiar to fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and movies such as Pacific Rim. Namely that monsters that can’t be destroyed by bullets or modern weapons can be defeated by punching them really, really, really hard.

To be fair, there are some physical situations where that actually works. I can shoot a guy who’s wearing really good bullet-proof armor, and he won’t be taken out, but if I swing a wrecking ball at him (or Thor’s hammer) he’s going for a rocket ride.

(As Joe Haldeman said in “The Forever War,” ever drop a wrench inside a submarine?)

I think the idea is that they’re just so tough that they need really, really heavy damage to affect them. Thor’s hammer, despite being fairly short-range, is immensely damaging. There’s no reason that one could’t in principle have a ranged weapon that’s similarly damaging, but the ordinary ones issued to ordinary soldiers aren’t.

In fact, didn’t an episode of Buffy riff on that, with a monster that was “impervious to all weapons”, but it turned out that that just meant “impervious to the sorts of weapons that existed way back when”, and it wasn’t impervious enough to an anti-tank rocket?

Specifically The Judge said that “no weapon forged” could harm him. We could assume that a gun would probably do it, for that matter a stick might. Buffy decided to go big. I don’t remember if it was ever explained where she found a rocket launcher…but it was hella cool.

The Royal Flush Gang can deal with the Justice League.
But not a SWAT Sniper.

Xander remembered that there were a couple at the National Guard armory from that seasons Halloween episode, when he got turned into a real soldier.

I think the schtick here is that he was just relatively super-tough. Enough that medieval level weaponry was useless against him, but hey times have moved on and whoever coined those millenia old prophecies hadn’t anticipated anti-tank weaponry…

IIRC, Lex’s high-tech suit includes a see-through forcefield to protect his head.

This is pretty much the TV series The Gifted. The bad guys are basically SWAT teams that can take out the mutants if caught. I don’t think any of them have been shown to be invulnerable to bullets although Polaris has a damn good defense if not distracted.

That was also a background thing in “The Boys”. The government had their own superheroes to take on rogue superheroes, but they also had specially made weapons they could issue to ordinary soldiers that could rip right through supers (though in one memorable scene a group of mercenaries armed with regular machine guns and Stinger missiles ambush a large group of superheroes and kill them all before they have a chance to react with their powers)