"A flashy feature that has limited usability for victory."

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* {{Comicbook/Aquaman}}, commander of the seas, king of Atlantis. He can summon whales, sharks, and the like to save the day. The problem is that most of the crime he fights is on land so his only useful power is SuperStrength. Is it any wonder why most fans of DC often [[ButtMonkey mock him]]?
* Marvel's premier CloakAndDagger organization, [[ComicBook/{{SHIELD}} S.H.I.E.L.D.]], prefers to operate out of a Helicarrier. It's an AirborneAircraftCarrier , and it's exactly as cool as it sounds. Unfortunately, it tends to crash. A lot. This typically causes about as much destruction as you'd expect from dropping something the size of an aircraft carrier from about a mile up, and usually has the inadvertent effect of releasing whatever superpowered psychopaths, alien viruses, etc. that happened to be locked up there at the time.
** Helicarriers fall victim to TheWorfEffect so often that in ''ComicBook/SecretAvengers'', it is shown that S.H.I.E.L.D. actually has a sign counting down the number of days since their last Helicarrier crash.
** Two out of three Helicarrier appearances in [[MarvelCinematicUniverse MCU]] films (''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' and ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'') feature them either crashing or very nearly doing so. [[spoiler:Though in ''Winter Soldier'' the Helicarriers being shot down was actually a good thing.]]
* The Quinjets used by ComicBook/TheAvengers and ComicBook/{{SHIELD}} are probably some of the most advanced aircraft in the Marvel Universe, and are miles ahead of any aviation technology used in the real world. In the first issue of ''[[ComicBook/TheFalcon Captain America: Sam Wilson]]'', we find out that they're also insanely expensive to maintain and refuel, meaning that when the Avengers end up falling on hard times, they have to be very selective about using the Quinjet. That last little bit is shown in ''ComicBook/AllNewAllDifferentAvengers'' when Iron Man decides using the Quinjet just to get to Atlantic City is a waste when 4/5ths of the team (him, Sam!Cap, Female Thor, Vision and Nova) can fly and he tells them to just carry their non-flyers (Miles Morales Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel)
* Nite Owl II was the embodiment of this trope in ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'', spending millions on awesome but impractical hardware. His famous quote:
--> "Who needs all this hardware to catch hookers and purse-snatchers?"
** The most awesomely impractical invention was his exoskeleton, which did grant him super-strength but also broke his arms the first time he used it.
** In the same mythos, there is old-timey superhero Dollar Bill who is shot to death by common crooks when his corporate-mandated-cool-looking cape [[CapeSnag gets caught in a bank's revolving door]].
* The Cosmic Cube... you can do almost anything as long as you are thinking about it. Want D.C. to be a lake of fire? It will be, until you fall asleep. Then everything's back to normal and the heroes are kicking your teeth down your throat. In fact, anything you allow yourself to think about will take on some degree of reality and if you dream, that becomes real too. Even Doctor Doom couldn't handle it for very long.
** {{Lampshaded}} by ComicBook/TheFalcon at one point, who noted that the damn thing never works right and almost always backfires on whoever is trying to use it. He went on to suggest that there may be some ''[[TheMonkeysPaw Monkey's Paw]]''-style [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor karma]] involved.
** DependingOnTheWriter, the suckers aren't actually that hard for alien civilizations to make. The Skrulls had one. Even us humans have made a couple. It's just a matter of learning the hard way that the little suckers are [[ForbiddenPlanet id monster]] factories, and then you don't make them any more.
* TheUltimates for a while. A multi-billion dollar super-squad just sitting around because they caught all the bad guys? Well, rescuing people from a fire is cool but we got guys for that.
* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'':
** Of all of the Batsuits made, [[ComicBook/{{Azrael}} Jean-Paul Valley's]] suit during ''ComicBook/{{Knightfall}}'' fits this, especially the final variation. Massively flared out armored cape segments, built-in flamethrower, armor from head to toe. Can't fit through small spaces, easily ignite yourself from leaking gas and you gotta be superhumanly strong just to move around in that thing like you were Bruce Wayne himself.
** Ironically, Jean-Paul would discover this with Batman's cape - long and billowy, but it has way too much drag. Dick Grayson, during his second tenure as Batman, would complain about the cape as well as it got in the way of his more acrobatic style.
** [[ComicBook/{{Batgirl2011}} Batgirl's latest costume]] have her a cap-like cowl that just slipped over her head. Nice, simple... easy to lose when you dive into the water. Even worse, it was 3D printed, which means it also suffers from the same things printers does.
** A few of Batman's Batmobiles can be noted here as well. One of the Batmobiles he used when teaming up with ComicBook/JudgeDredd had its nose so tall that you couldn't even drive it realistically.
* ''ComicBook/AntMan'':
** If Hank Pym is any example, turning yourself into a giant seems to be a rather impractical power for a hero. You never have enough room to move around, you're always in danger of breaking stuff or hurting someone by accident, and you're a target the size of a barn. Then again, if you're a villain who just wants to randomly smash stuff, it's pretty awesome.
** Emphasized even further in ComicBook/TheUltimates, where it's shown that the very act of getting his costume on (which unlike his 616 counterpart, does not shrink or enlarge itself to accommodate his changes in size and thus must be stored in a nearby warehouse when not in use) requires several hours of preparation. If he wants to use his powers as a spur of the moment action, he has to do it in his birthday suit.
* Adamantium. Sure, it's indestructible, but it's incredibly rare, prohibitively expensive, and almost impossible to work. You can't recycle it, either: Once it's been worked and set into a particular shape it can't be reworked. Oh, and it's highly toxic, too. The only reason ComicBook/{{Wolverine}} can even live with his indestructible skeleton is because of his HealingFactor, and the very presence of the adamantium in his body greatly impairs his ability to heal. Oh, and it's magnetic, so indestructible or not, it's pretty much worthless if you're up against someone like ComicBook/{{Magneto}}.
** The toxicity thing only gets applied to Wolverine though, as several other characters have been laced with Adamantium without the benefit of an advanced healing factor (Bullseye, Hammerhead, Lady Deathstrike) with no ill effects. Occasionally handwaved by them taking medication to counter the poisoning. And in Deathstrike's case, the fact that she's not only a cyborg but one [[{{Magitek}} created at least partially by magic]].
* In an Archie comic story, one day an elf-like wizard appears out of nowhere and bestow on Archie a gift of "magic sneakers" that enable him to run at lightning speed (think The Flash). Yet none of Archie's friends are impressed; Jughead says that he'll just have to wait for everyone else to catch up when he gets to places first, and Betty scoffs at the whole thing, that one shouldn't be in such a rush all the time and stop to smell the roses. But Archie decides he really has no use for the sneakers when his chief love-interest, Veronica, refuses to go out with him because the speed would cause windburn and mess up her hairdo.
* At one time, ComicBook/SpiderMan wore a special Spider-Armor to battle the New Enforcers when he found himself overpowered. While it did protect him, it was too bulky and it killed his legendary speed and agility. Later Spider-Armor were much more compact and allowed him to keep said speed and agility.
* ''ComicBook/TheTransformersLastStandOfTheWreckers'' has the cerebro-centric bullets Ironfist makes. They're bullets with a small onboard computer that allows them to specifically target an enemy's head. The result is a OneHitKill weapon that automatically headshots targets. This is decidedly awesome in theory, but it prevents the person using them from ''wounding'' a target rather than killing, making them useless for anything other than battles against overwhelming forces and sniping. Further, the 100% kill rate led to the use of them being declared a war crime and the manufacturing process is complex enough that they probably aren't easy to mass produce; why waste time and money on such a complicated and limited bullet system when you can just use normal bullets that are cheaper and have a far wider range of uses?
* ''ComicBook/TheTransformersMoreThanMeetsTheEye'':
** Mnemosurgery. It's essentially a form of [[MindMeld mind melding]] that lets the mnemosurgeon read and alter the memories of others. This is incredibly useful for interrogation, psychological warfare, and autopsy. Problem is, it's also insanely dangerous; one or two slip-ups can result in the surgeon frying their nervous system and surgeons sometimes "inherit" memories from their patients or autopsies, which manifests as severe PTSD and nightmares. The process is also addictive for the surgeons, meaning it can extremely difficult for them to stop performing. For these reasons, [[HighTurnoverRate most mnemosurgeons die young]] and it's usage for anything other than autopsies is banned by intergalactic law, being considered a war crime.
** The P-6 Worldsweeper starships. They're massive, powerful, and seriously cool-looking ships designed in the shape of the Decepticon symbol, giving them a symbolic factor. However they're also pretty prone to crashing or being shot down, as that symbolic design makes them really hard to maneuver properly in combat and isn't very aerodynamic. Keep in mind that these things were supposed to protect Decepticon colony worlds singlehanded. They were so useless that Decepticon high command eventually decommissioned them, bringing a the grand Decepticon imperial era to a whimpering end.
*** As if to make the P-6s even more absurd, it's shown in issue 8 that they carried large regiments of the legitimately useful cybernought mech suits... which, being incapable of flight and humanoid in shape, are best suited to ground combat. The P-6s would probably spend most of their time in space, rendering the cybernoughts worthless. So not only were the ships themselves poorly thought-out, but they hindered the effectiveness of ''other'' troops and technologies.
** Another Decepticon idea that was more cool than useful were the Phase Sixers. SuperSoldiers who have had their armature and form enhanced in nearly every way, effectively turning them into living weapons capable of taking on entire battalions single-handed. Unfortunately the element needed to turn a cybertronion into one, ununtrium, is so incredibly rare that only about six were made before it was all used up. Even if it wasn't, only cybertronions with extremely powerful bodies and sparks can survive the process, limiting possible recruits. These cybertronions also tended to be very rebellious and hard to discipline due to their extreme power leaving them with next-to-no fear; by the time of the story, only two of the Phase Sixers haven't betrayed the Decepticons and had to be put down. Their role could have easily been better served by heavy artillery and the like, ultimately making them a needless splurge.
** Really the Decepticons were prone to this in general during the Great War. Skullcruncher argues that it's why they lost; there was so much focus on making big scary things that could kill lots of enemies and decisively beat the Autobots, that nobody was making sure that all those cool weapons and ideas actually ''worked'' or were applied well.
* The Marvel supervillain Razorfist is a martial artist/assassin who's had both his forearms removed and replaced with blades. This helps make him incredibly skilled and deadly in combat, but also means that if something happens to the blades he's helpless. He also needs personal servants to attend to basic hygiene and whenever he gets arrested, the blades are taken away and replaced with prosthetic hands to which he's never been able to adjust. The character is the page image for CripplingOverspecialization.
* The Venom Serum that ComicBook/{{Bane}} used back in his early days. It buffs the user up to insane levels (well beyond what a normal human can exert), making you freakishly strong and fast. However it's also basically a steroid cranked UpToEleven, with all the nasty side effects that implies. It's beyond addictive, has debilitating mental and physical effects (Bane was the first person to take it and ''not'' die a horrible death), and needs to be constantly pumped through your system, meaning if you get cut off from the source you'll lose all that strength in a minute. Eventually Bane realized that the benefits weren't worth the trade-off and weaned himself off of Venom before building up bulk the old fashioned way. He's not quite as physically powerful as he was on Venom, but he's much more effective now that he doesn't have to struggle with the crippling side effects.
* ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'' gives us the Stub Gun, potentially the most devastating [[{{BFG}} handheld weapon ever made]]. This laser rifle is capable of cutting through almost anything; concrete, armoured vehicles, you name it. However, it has a tendency to overheat and explode if used in any kind of sustained engagement; in an average firefight, this can potentially happen after only a few shots. During the Apocalypse War, it's still officially classified as "Lethal To User" and Dredd has to determine whether the awesome outweighs the impractical given the desperate situation the Big Meg's judges are in.
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