Super-hero Weaknesses

The suggestion box on my Flash site has picked up a couple of requests for the Flash’s “weakness.” The concept doesn’t really apply to the Flash’s powers, though. Thinking about it, if your hero has to have an off-switch, that’s kind of a sign that they’ve been over-powered, isn’t it?

It reminds me of a line that bothered me in Unbreakable. (Minor spoiler.) Samuel Jackson’s character explains to Bruce Willis that water is his Kryptonite. That’s hardly the case, though: a glass of water isn’t going to take him out of commission. He’ll still be invulnerable and super-strong while swimming. All it means is that he still has to breathe (and, presumably, eat and drink). A plastic bag over his head would be as effective as drowning.

Compare that to, say, Superman and Kryptonite, or Wonder Woman and being tied up, or past Green Lantern books and yellow objects or wood. It’s not in the same league (pun not intended).

Which brings us back to the Flash. What “weakness” does he have? Well, he’s a specialist, so he doesn’t have the advantage of super-strength or invulnerability. He can get tired. Like David Dunn, he has to breathe. He can get distracted. He can make mistakes. He can act without thinking. Are any of these really “weaknesses” in the Kryptonite sense, though?

16 thoughts on “Super-hero Weaknesses

  1. West

    I only saw “Unbreakable” once, so I may be misremembering, but I thought water sapped Willis’ strength, too. I thought that was why he got sick… just that one time.

    The water didn’t just deprive him of oxygen. It made him vulnerable in a way he’d never been before or since.

    As far as Flash’s “Kryptonite,” it’s tough to say, considering how many extra powers he’s gotten over the years. Even Barry-Flash could do more than just move his legs quickly – by the time he died, anyway.

    Taking him back to basics, his only “weakness” would have to do with his traction-dependency. Maybe leverage, too.

    In later eras? Maybe his access to the Speed Force? Now? Heck, it depends on which speedster one means since Jay’s not Speed Force-dependent, anymore.

    Reply
  2. Andrew Perron

    As for Unbreakable, IIRC, didn’t he have a hard time holding his breath underwater or something? Or there was some plausible-sounding medical condition that meant a sudden dunk in the deep end was a no-no.

    Reply
  3. Nathan

    Re: Unbreakable, Bruce Willis’ character did indeed have a “kryptonite” reaction to water, it reduced his general abilities.

    I have been readin a few sites where people have asked about superhero weaknesses, n while for the most part they get them right, there is almost always some character that has some of the weaknesses/details incorrect or misunderstood.

    A classic example of this is Wolverine, now, everyone goes on about the magnetic forces to his metal skeleton, except they are forgetting one crucial piece of comic history, namely, the “Fatal Attraction” story arc, where Magneto PERMANENTLY removed the adamantium from Wolverine’s skeleton, almost killing him in the process, therefore, the magnetic weakness no longer apllies.

    Thank you for lettin me get that off my chest, couldnt b bothered signin up to Answers dot com, just ta b able to say it.

    Reply
    1. leonard

      Wolverine did get extremliy weak after magento stripped him of his adimentium
      that it burned out most of him healing powers trying just to keep him alive but the weird thing is it lasted only a few issues then his powers came back full force and even more so that it made him more animal like it was said that the adimentium actually weaken his healing cause it was like a foreign object constantly trying to heal him and remove it. it was after it was remove that wolvering became stronger but more feral so his weakness is inside him its the metal but on the other hand he is still merely a man and dose get tired and he still need to eat drink and sleep he just can survie longer without this things but would eventully need it……

      Reply
  4. Danbamina

    Herm, I honestly don’t know. I mean, the Flash is actually very vulnverable if you really stop to think about it. He runs fast and the whole thing with the “speed force” i have no idea which ones that applies to, there’s been so many. I want to know about wally west (he’s my favorite Flash). I suppose he DOES have to eat, sleep, drink etc. and there’s defintely gotta be something about friction and traction and what-not. I was looking for something like the color yellow and the GL or kryptonite and superman. I cant seem to find it anywhere and i dont like hte DC website, it confuses me. ;) If any of you know please do tell me. THANK YOU!

    Reply
  5. Kelson Post author

    What I was trying to say in the post is this: the Flash doesn’t have a specific weakness that overrides his powers like Kryptonite or the color yellow. He just has a simple power. (Well, relatively simple, anyway.) Instead of going after an off-switch, villains work around his power, trying to catch him off-guard, or prevent him from keeping his footing, or use his speed against him (imagine hitting a tripwire or getting clotheslined at Mach 5), etc.

    Reply
  6. Mad Hatter Madigan

    Batman , a valued member of the Justice League keeps all types of weapons to kill certain fellow heroes just in case they go rogue.

    Here are the most notable:

    Superman- Kryptonite
    Zatana- A magic neutralizer
    Green Lantern- a power yellow emitter
    Flash- A Hyper Sonic Bullet that pulsates (and can still hit him if he decides to vibrate his molecules), killing the Flash with a lightspeed burst.

    Reply
    1. sancheca10

      can you please tell me which comic talks about the hypersonic bullet because i realy want to know if batman has more than one if its hidden away etc. because since he’s dead can anyone realy find it anymore? i can’t find the answer online and your the only person who realy mentions it

      Reply
      1. Kelson Post author

        I believe you’re looking for the JLA collection, “Tower of Babel,” in which Ra’s Al Ghul steals Batman’s plans to take out the other members of the Justice League in case they go bad. Here’s some more information on it: Tower of babel how did batman defeat the justice league?

        Also…you may want to look up a book called “Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne.” I’m just sayin’…

        Reply
    2. Anonymous

      he might have a bullet like tht but the chance of the flash letting batman get the gun pointed at him to get shot at by tht thing is close to impossible. the flash would probably kill him before he brought the gun up to shoot it at him

      Reply
  7. shelby stelly

    It is driving me nuts can anybody just tell what flash’s weakness is like spider man weakness is his girlfriend and batman is if somebody hurts robin and love so somebody just right down tell me what his weakness is. Okay yea I know he can get tired and stuff but does he have a weakness like spider man and bat man are does he really not have a weakness besides geting tired. Please somebody tell me what his weakness is striat up.

    Reply
  8. shelby stelly

    nevermind the flash can get hit with a hypeer sonic bullet that can kill him. and batman is wrong for having that stuff to kill them.Flash is my favroite superhereo.

    Reply
  9. cool fox

    the third flash that they creted the one with the lightning bolt around his west and rest and on his chest with the bolts on the sides of his ears thats my fav flash.

    Reply

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