Most superheroes were born with their powers, like Superman and Thor, or through some freak accident, like Daredevil and Deadpool, or even through massive coincidences, like Spiderman.
But some superheroes aren’t super at all – they’re just normal humans who used their brains to help the world.
Ray Palmer a.k.a. The Atom
Currently being played by ex-Superman Brandon Routh in CW’s Arrow and its spinoff, Legends of Tomorrow, Ray Palmeris an insanely smart physicist and tech wizard who used his brains put him at the forefront of nanotechnology, as well as develop his most famous invention – a piece of tech that can shrink him to the size of an atom or, say, an ant…
Dr. Hank Pym a.k.a. The Ant Man
Meanwhile, in the Marvel Universe, we have Dr. Hank Pym, who discovered what he referred to as “Pym particles” – subatomic particles that altered the spaces between atoms, which allowed him to change sizes at will.
He used this power to become a superhero, eventually helping found the Avengers. An aging Hank Pym was played by Michael Douglas in the Ant Man movie, alongside current Ant Man, Paul Rudd.
If it’s part of your daily schedule to go toe-to-toe with a red-caped god, you definitely need an ace up your sleeve.
Lucky for Lex, he’s one of (if not the) smartest man on Earth, and there is no better example of this than his green terror of a battle suit.
This hunk of futuristic armour is designed to specifically take down all of Earth’s heroes – with Kryptonite-laced missiles for Superman, to regular bullets for the Bat.
Though not technically a superhero, we’ve seen him help our costumed friends once in a while so he counts. He’s also going to be played by Jesse Eisenberg in the upcoming movie, so keep your fingers crossed!
Reed Richards a.k.a. Mr. Fantastic
Even before he invented the starship that got bombarded with cosmic radiation and caused his team’s transformation into the Fantastic Four, Richards was already considered as one of the smartest men in the Marvel universe.
After gaining his powers, he also designed his team’s suits – making them out of unstable molecules – which adapted to each team members’ powers as well as the insanely cool Fantasti-Car which could split up into individual ships, or merge into an inter-dimensional spaceship a la Voltes V.
Howard and Tony Stark
Of course Iron Man is on this list, but it would be unthinkable to include him without his old man, whose influence on Tony Stark shaped his entire persona.
Howard Stark, a brilliant scientist and engineer who started Stark Industries and helped S.H.I.E.L.D. get off the ground with his inventions, died in a car crash along with his wife when Tony was just a kid.
Their deaths affected Tony in such a way that he eventually developed Iron Man and everything else he invented to help the world.