Five superheroes that don't need powers to kick ass

Kick-Ass starts tomorrow and, based on the early buzz and the trailers, it's going to, well, kick ass. In case you've somehow managed to ignore it, it's a film about superheroes that don't have powers -- just a desire to do some good and too little common sense not to dress up in outlandish costumes and get their asses kicked trying. That's classic material -- some of the best superheroes of all time had no more superpowers than being a total badass. To get you in the proper mood, we've rounded up five top examples of costumed ass-kickers in film history. Enjoy.

Zorro (various): Zorro was one of the first, if not the first, costumed adventurer in the movies. He's been in about a dozen different adaptations for film and television. Most of them are dated and/or terrible, but hey -- he's a genuine classic. If you can enjoy an old movie, the early Zorro films are totally worth your time.

Punisher: War Zone: It might be a stretch to call the Punisher a hero -- more like an assassin who happens to focus on criminals. It's also a stretch to call Punisher: War Zone a good movie -- more like a half-decent way to kill a couple hours and a bunch of brain cells watching people get shot and shit blowing up. But there's nothing wrong with that!

Hero at Large: John Ritter starred in this goofy '80s movie about an actor who ends up "playing" Captain Avenger in real life after he foils a robbery while wearing the costume for a job. It's odd, silly and seriously dated, but if you grew up in the '80s with unlimited access to cable TV, chances are good you have some fond memories of it.

Watchmen: Only Dr. Manhattan had any special powers in this movie -- the Comedian, Rorschach, Night Owl and the rest just had a boatload of mental problems and some cool costumes. Despite being a little bewildering to the uninitiated, this was actually a fine adaptation of one of the greatest comics of all time.

Batman (various): Could there be any doubt Batman was going to hold down the number one slot? Whatever your flavor -- Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale's Dark Knight, Tim Burton and Michael Keaton's '80s version, one of the animated series or even the campy Adam West '60s TV show, Batman is the ultimate non-powered yet utterly awesome bad ass. Growing up, you knew deep down you could never be Superman, but anyone could be Batman if they worked hard enough at it -- even if no one ever does.

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Cory Casciato is a Denver-based writer with a passion for the geeky, from old science fiction movies to brand-new video games.
Contact: Cory Casciato