Armored heroes and villains in comics have a rich history. The concept has evolved a lot over the years, from simple armored knights fighting evil to the high tech armors of some of the most well-known characters in the medium. Marvel and DC have been using armored heroes and villains for years, their powerful suits making them formidable opponents.
As with all things involving super folk, people have a lot of opinions on which armors are the best. Some of these opinions are born out by facts of the armors themselves, as creators have given some abilities that outstrip others.
10 The Iron Patriot Armor Makes Up For Its Lack Of Offensive Oomph By Looking Great
Norman Osborn had a problem at the beginning of his Dark Reign. He had a bunch of villains he could recast in Avengers’ mantles to assuage the public but he had no Captain America or Iron Man, two critical parts of the equation. He did, however, have access to all of Tony Stark’s tech and some paint, leading to the Iron Patriot armor.
An older suit of Iron Man armor, it didn’t have the offensive capabilities of other suits and Osborn wasn’t as good a pilot as Tony would have been. It did look amazing, though, and allowed Norman to do a lot of damage even if he could never really figure out how the repulsor blasts worked.
9 Celestial Armor Is Some Of The Toughest In Comics
Most hero and villain armor is great offensively but not so hot when it comes to defense. Celestial armor is pretty much the opposite. It’s amazingly effective at protecting Celestials and their servants, so much so that it’s basically impregnable to anyone without an object of godlike power or an enchanted weapon.
Celestial armor is armor first and foremost. While this can limit its use when it comes to battle, as it only enhances the powers of those who wear it as evidenced by Apocalypse and others like him, it’s still one of the best armors if one needs to tank an attack.
8 The Dark Knight Returns’ Anti-Superman Armor Is Iconic
Batman’s anti-Superman armor in The Dark Knight Returns isn’t exactly an original idea, as villains had been using these types of armor for years, but it’s one of the most well-known. A big part of this is because of its place in TDKR, which remains one of the influential Batman stories of all time. Its design was lifted whole cloth for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.
As far as its efficacy, the armor was highly dependent on Superman being weakened and didn’t stand up very well to a prolonged engagement with the Man of Steel. It’s nowhere the best armor Batman used but it holds a special place in many fans’ hearts.
7 The Destroyer Armor Is One Of Asgard’s Most Feared Weapons
The Asgardian god Thor has battled many dangerous villains, but even he is afraid of the Destroyer armor’s capabilities. Crafted from Uru metal, the Destroyer armor provides near impregnable defense and devastating offense. It grants its wearer the kind of strength that rivals Thor’s and powerful energy attacks that even the strongest heroes or villains would have a tough time withstanding.
For years, the foes of Asgard quaked when someone wearing the Destroyer armor entered the fray. Later, it was used in various schemes by Loki and others to destroy Thor, even succeeding at one point and forcing him to bond with paramedic Jake Olson. Its biggest drawback is that most wearers can’t control it, losing themselves in the destruction.
6 Wonder Woman’s Kingdom Come Armor Remains One Of Her Best Looks
Writer Mark Waid and artist Alex Ross’s kingdom come is a masterpiece. Ross’s character designs were top-notch and one of the best is Wonder Woman’s golden eagle armor. Worn to fight against the metahumans breaking out of the Gulag, it’s a design that plays off of her eagle bodice from her and completely fits her warrior aesthetic from her.
It doesn’t have a lot in the way of offensive capabilities, but it doesn’t have to. Even in a massive engagement against powerful metahumans, it didn’t show any signs of damage. It makes a bold statement as well, since there’s no way to hide when wearing it, forcing its wearer to take on all adversaries.
5 War Machine’s Armor Is Just The Right Balance Of Form And Function
While it’s not as bleeding edge as Iron Man’s armors, the War Machine armor is still pretty formidable. It has the right balance of protection and mobility, allowing Rhodes to avoid hits and tank the ones he can’t, and has even more varied offensive capabilities than most of Iron Man’s armor, which rely solely on repulsors for range attacks and enhanced strength for up close ones.
War Machine’s armor combines conventional weapons like machine guns with smart ordinance, repulsors, and the requisite strength enhancements. It perfectly fits James Rhodes’s fighting style and is an intimidating presence on the battlefield.
4 The Hellbat Armor Allowed Batman To Go Toe To Toe With Darkseid
The genius billionaire Batman is known for his gadgets and has created various suits of armor over the years but all of them pale in comparison to the Hellbat. Built with the help of the Justice League, it’s Batman’s most powerful armor and has allowed him to battle against Darkseid for a limited time, which is pretty impressive. Combining traditional armor systems with nanotech, it’s a great weapon in the war against evil.
It does have some drawbacks, though, as it drains the metabolism of the person who wears it. The Hellbat can kill the wearer if used for too long but if it’s a choice between certain death at an enemy’s hands and having a fighting chance, the Hellbat is where it’s at.
3 Iron Man’s Armors Are Some Of The Most Recognizable In Comics
Iron Man is the highest-profile armored hero in comics and he’s constructed many suits of armor over the years. From his run-of-the-mill suits to the specialty ones, Iron Man’s armors are some of the most formidable in comics. The argument can be made that his more specialized suits, like the Hulkbuster and Phoenixbuster, do n’t really work very well but his main suits are always very capable.
Tony Stark is constantly tinkering with his armor, adding new capabilities and making it more formidable with every new iteration. It’s an extremely balanced suit of armor and has allowed him to become one of the greatest heroes in the Marvel Universe.
two Lex Luthor’s Anti-Superman Armor Is Some Of The Best Armor Ever
Lex Luthor is one of comics’ most intelligent people and he likes to prove he’s the best at everything. This can be difficult when going up against the Man of Steel but Lex has a solution for that: his anti-Superman armor from him. With it, Lex is able to go toe to toe with one of the most powerful beings in the universe, equipping it with weapons and tech that evens up the odds against Supes.
Any suit of armor that can make someone strong enough to hurt Superman and protect them from his attacks is next level. Luthor has created a suit that doesn’t get nearly the praise it deserves for just how formidable it is.
1 Doctor Doom’s Armor Allows Him To Beat Gods
Doctor Doom is one of the smartest people on Earth and he has the armor to provide it. While Doom’s armor may look low-tech, playing on his European monarchy aesthetic expertly, it’s one of the most powerful suits of armor on planet Earth. It allows Doom to battle just about any foe he needs to and incorporates the best technology he’s ever created.
On top of that, Doom’s armor has a power siphoning system that has allowed him to drain beings like Silver Surfer, Aron the Watcher, and the Beyonder of their powers, making their power his. Doom’s armor has so much more going on than any other suit of armor in comics and has allowed him to attain godhood, which isn’t too shabby.
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