The Silliest Gadgets in Comics
Not every idea is a good one. Comics -- and the gadgets given to the characters -- are often [...]
Not every idea is a good one. Comics -- and the gadgets given to the characters -- are often evidence for that simple maxim.
The medium has been around now for over 60 years, and in that time fans have witnessed the introduction of iconic characters and concepts that fans still love to this day. Characters like Superman, Spider-Man, the Batmobile, the Infinity Gauntlet, Wonder Woman, and the X-Men are all wonderful additions to the comic lexicon, but there have been some duds too.
Regardless of era, there are numerous odd concepts that make their way into various storylines, sometimes even created for the specific purpose of bringing closure to a particular story. For every Infinity Gauntlet or Lantern Battery there are 5 other things that are just insane, or for that matter useless outside of one specific situation.
Granted, sometimes useless is being too kind, as upon reading you're not relly sure why they were created in the first place. Comics has produced plenty of these gadgets and creations to choose from, so narrowing it down to just five was actually quite difficult.
Now, for this list size isn't a particular fashion, as in comics it isn't exactly uncommon to find an entire universe inside a small keychain, and Iron Man keeps his entire armored suit inside a small briefcase, so it's really rather open.
Without further ado, here's the first ridiculous gadget, and it may be the most powerful one.
The Ultimate Nullifier
First of all, this is supposed to be a weapon. Take that in for a second.
Okay, now that you're clear, try imagining that being aimed at anyone. Are you lighting someone's cigar? Heading out for a vape? Offering to clip someone's nails? All of these would be guesses before "utterly annihilating anyone this weapon is aimed at".
Granted, you need an equally extreme weapon to take down the already ridiculous looking Galactus, but this thing is just too much. It isn't threatening at all and truth be told no one really knows what it does besides the Watcher, and he sure isn't telling anyone now.
The device has been described as "the universe's most devastating weapon", but try aiming that at someone without them laughing.
It's like playing chicken for smart people, only the loser gets sent to an alternate dimension to forever deal with the fact that he not only lost to his arch enemy but looked completely asinine while doing so.
That's the Encephalo-Gun in a nutshell. Surprise surprise, it's another Fantastic Four invention, which surfaced in an encounter between Reed Richards and Doctor Doom. The two always wanted to best the other one, so that's not a shock, but going this far is a bit much.
This is the same guy who imprisoned his own friends in the negative zone back in Civil War, so no one should really be shocked, but still.
This sequence is only made better when Sue yells out "Reed! Not the Encephalo-Gun!! Not that!! You Can't!!" Was there no quota on exclamation points?
Also, why does this thing have triggers if it's a weapon of the mind? And how does that weird bar actually attach to your brain? Oh, and why of all the colors is it bright pink? These are the questions that the Encephalo-Gun makes you ask!!!!!prevnext
Spider Wave Transmitter
Heroes all over the Marvel Universe fear Doctor Doom for both his power and his villainous intellect. He always seems to be one step ahead, until he's not and defeated yet again by the Avengers. Still, feared, almost all of the time, because he does weird things like keep giant spiders around for absolutely no reason.
Well, almost no reason. You see back in Spider-Man #5 Doom spotted Spider-Man on television. Now at the time, Spidey was getting hammered by J. Jonah Jameson at every turn and on every edition of the Daily Bugle, so Doom thought he might make a good ally.
All well and good, but then Doom, somehow, figures out Spider-Man has spider sensory abilities (he hasn't met him yet mind you). Also, again, for some reason, Doom has a giant spider just toiling away in his lab. He uses the giant spider and his amazing intellect (mostly his words) to create the Spider Wave Transmitter, essentially a Spider CB Radio that only Spider-Man can hear.
Seriously, it would've been cheaper to just have a message written in the sky. Also, no one wants to party with a guy who keeps giant spiders. It's just weird.prevnext
The Thanos Copter
Some of the more popular superheroes and supervillains have their own vehicles that have become just as well known. The most well known is probably the Batmobile, with Wonder Woman's Invisible Jet and Ghost Rider's Hellcycle not far behind.
You probably didn't realize that Thanos was in that group though, did you? It hasn't been seen in some time, but back in Spidey Super Stories #39, the creative team decided to tell a cosmic cube story starring The Cat (later would become Hellcat) and Thanos. Thanos was chasing after the Cat who held the cosmic cube, but he wasn't just flying or floating.
Oh no no, he was flying a yellow helicopter, known as the Thanos Copter.
Why you ask? Well, for no other reason than it had Thanos written in big letters on the side of it. Oh, you wanted an explanation for why Thanos all of the sudden had a helicopter, nonetheless one that was customized? None is ever given, but it probably is in the same place that the logic resides for how handcuffs could hold one of the most powerful villains in the Marvel Universe.
That's also probably where the next gadget should go...and stay.prevnext
If you were worried about DC not being included enough on this list, worry no further, as they take the top prize with perhaps the most ridiculous gadget of all.
That would be the time traveling Nordic Trak the Cosmic Treadmill. You might think that is exaggerating, but it is now, as it is literally a treadmill that Barry Allen created so he could run and travel through time.
Perhaps ingenious, but it looks absolutely absurd every time it's used, and DC has used it a bit too frequently over the last few years. It's also just confusing, as at times The Flash doesn't really need it to move through time, while at others it's the only way he can make it through. Things are further muddled with all the speedsters currently active, as seen in The Button. Why can Reverse Flash run through time without it but Barry Allen can't?
It also seems to constantly break, but Allen just puts it back together like it's a LEGO set. At times, it would be better for him to just leave it in pieces and find another storyline that doesn't involve time travel.
Seeing a treadmill moving through the speed force is as ridiculous as it sounds, and deserves to be number 1 on this list.prevnext
Before You Go
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