Sunday, November 16, 2008

Top 10 Superhero Powers

Here we are in the calm before the holiday storm. Halloween is over and soon the frenetic frenzy that surrounds the holidays will be upon us. As we near the commemoration of Jesus' Birthday, Festival of Lights, A bountiful Harvest, or just the obligatory days off that our employers begrudgingly give us in order to avoid the 'Tightfisted hand to the Grindstone' award. Thanksgiving will start us off by frazzling our nerves and then each week will increase in intensity until we hit the end of the year. It's a nice way to pass a few weeks of the cold winter months I suppose. It seems that during the holidays we tend to get just a little less patient with our surroundings. Some of us deal with this frustration by swearing, some by turning up the radio a little louder, some by kicking the dog. I, personally, like to imagine what superhero power I would need to have in order to dispense with this @#$^ IDIOT that is driving down the road in front of me at 5 miles below the posted speed limit while talking on their cellphone...There are so many powers to have, which one would I choose....hmmmm...

Superhero powers come in all kinds of flavors and shapes. Some heros get ALL the powers (superman). This of course isn't fair and quite frankly, not profitable. If one person has ALL the powers, then you have to make everyone around them equally powerful in a different way just to make them interesting. For the sake of my list, it's one power per customer. You gotta pick one.

I dedicate this top 10 list to my Sister in law Shannon who gave me the idea to include it.

10. Flying - Last on the list and yet first on the list, Flying would be a cool power to have, but really only in a gee-whiz sort of way. You could get from point a to point b in a very novel way. Just because you can fly, doesn't mean you are going to do it fast, and then you really don't have a superhero power more than you have an alternate mode of transportation. Biggest problem with this power is you can be CERTAIN that if you use it in any populated area, you are going to get some gun toting moron shooting at you because you were the 'goofiest bird I er' seen'. Funny thing is, flying seems to be a sub-power for many high end heros. Almost a prerequisite. Wonderwoman, check, Superman, duh, Green Lantern, check sort-a, Spider-man (well he can swing around on webs so) 1/2 check. Iron Man, check, even the Hulk who can NOT fly approximates it by jumping so powerfully that he in effect 'flys' to his next destination, Seems like if he can jump that far in a single bound, that would give him enough time to calm down and kill himself on re-entry.

9. Invisibility - SWEET. I believe that this would be the most used power of any standard Hero powers. Unfortunately most of the applications of invisibility would be selfish in nature and have nothing to do with saving anything unless you worked for the military. If I could turn invisible, I would probably spend more time that way than opaque. This power would have been much more usable about 30 years ago when infrared/night vision was only in the hands of the military. Aside from all the insider trading you would do and the other more prurient interests. Invisibility can only be used to get YOURSELF out of trouble and not really anyone else. This is why most people that are given invisibility powers (invisigirl, Sue Richards, Wonder woman's plane). Aside from the Invisible Man, who is definitely NOT a hero, why is it that Invisibility seems to be given only to hot looking females? That just doesn't seem right. Invisibility should be given to ugly men, do us all a favor. ALSO get the ability to put up shields around themselves or others. Incidentally, Wonder Woman's invisible plane was such a pain in the butt for the FAA that she kept it on the island of Themyscira.

8. Super Vision - Not too many hero's had this model of power and for the most part nobody wants it. Superman (yawn) of course has all methods of vision at his disposal. Heat, Infrared, Xray, I'm sure he could dazzle the young teens of Metropolis with a laser light show if he had the time. But seriously, the only kind of vision I would want is Infrared. X-ray would have to look more like an X-ray in the airport and less like the X-ray on the novelty page of a comic book (spread fingers and SEE BONES!). Heat vision unless under tight supervision would only cause you to destroy multiple TV sets and eventually make you swear off of watching news, sporting events, or politics for fear of letting loose while you are watching in a 'heated' moment...sorry. Cyclops of the Xmen had this unfortunate ability and the only way he could control it was to wear glasses made of a particular rose-quartz to filter out the astounding power and allow him to see like a normal person. Infra-vision would at least allow you to see heat signatures and not be threatening in any other way. Not too many heros with this kind of power. Cyclops, Superman, and the rest are unnotables.

7. Speed - Better than flying in my opinion. The ability to go superfast really would be the best way to be of service to your fellow man. You could have single handedly saved DHL from financial destruction. Speed of course comes in several different flavors, and if that charleton Albert Einstein is to be believed, if you are going to even come close to approaching the speed of light, you've got a lot of problems, the least of which is the whole time freezing thing. Of course you would only need to be maybe sub-sonic in speed in order to be useful. Imagine running so fast that you could skirt on the tension of the water without sinking. So fast, you could deliver a severely injured person to the hospital in time to be helped. So fast that the amount of food you would need to consume on a daily basis would require you to use these powers for financial self enrichment as well as helping others. Imagine the calories you would burn up. On a personal note, I would really only need to have twice the speed I have now, and it would be incredible. I would have twice as much time to not get things done that I had fully intended to. LOADS of heros have the speed gene. lets see, superman (wow, it's a good thing he's an alien, or the other heros would be feeling super inadequate right about now), The Flash (only a hair faster than Superman), Quicksilver, Dash (that spunky kid of the Incredibles). Speedster on Heros.

6. - Extra Brain abilities - Of course. The ability to read other peoples minds! What a great ability. Think of the damage you could do at a casino! You'd be wealthy in no time and they wouldn't be able to stop you. You would not be allowed in any casino after about a week because you would always know the dealers hole card as long as the dealer knew. You would be able to know 'what was wrong' when your wife stopped talking to you. Of course there are different levels of telepathic ability.
- 1.The ability to read minds or empathicly feel other peoples emotions.
- 2. The ability to project your thoughts into another persons mind
- 3. The ability to alter the perception of what people think they are seeing/feeling etc
Then of course there is the whole telekinetic thing where you can actually move things with your mind. Any level of this ability has actually been claimed by your average run of the mill humans. From Yuri Geller to the guy at your local carnival. The difference between the comic book guys and them is that the comic book guys are real. The carnies are just very perceptive. I would point you in the direction of Psyche or perhaps the more serious version called The Mentallist and you'll see what I mean. There are a boat load of heros with this power, but the most obvious would be Professor X of the X men. (Superman does NOT have this ability)

5. - Magic - Magic as a Hero ability? Bah! Magic is just tricks. Yes, I agree. magic is just tricks. But in the realm of comic books and TV, magic can often be real. It's not a trick or slight of hand, it's calling on unseen powers to transmute objects, curse your enemies, and of course levitate stuff. The definition of Magic is: any technology sufficiently beyond our understanding. In the comic book world there are a few heros that deal with magic all the time. Zatanna of the Justice League is the local big wig of magic. She can make anything happen as long as she says what she want's backwards. take THAT Mr. Mxyzptlk. On the Marvel side of the universe the man in the big boy pants is called Dr. Strange. In both universes they are reguarded as among the most powerful heros there are. Here's the cool part. Magic is one of Superman's few weaknesses! That's right. The Boyscout in Blue just can't take his eyes off of David Coperfield even for a moment. He's MEZMERIZED!!!

4. - Elements, Animals etc - This is a broad category because there are so many powers that are simply derived from the earth around us. There are powers of being like a sandstorm. Powers of being like just about any animal with any kind of cool and even some that have no cool at all (sorry TOAD and Blue Beetle). Seems like without the atavistic vision of the average human there would be a severe shortage of hero's to look at. On the elemental side we've got Johnny Storm for the Fantastic 4 that turns into fire at the drop of a hat. he can then blast you with fire as well as fly. SWEET. There are ice guys, water guys, and the list goes on. You name the element and someone probably has invented a hero who's powers are derived from that element. Why just the other day I had to break out Cesium Man # 221 and give it a read again. Watch out for that water Cesium Man!!! Ok, just kidding, there is no Cesium Man...YET. I would love to have several animal powers, but If they were randomly distributed, I would likely gain the power to accurately hurl my feces at suprising distances...right now I can't chuck them much more than 20 feet. Seriously, the problem with any of these abilities is that you would become SUCH a distraction at work that nobody would hire you. You'd need to become a hero for hire or something just because there would be little else you could do. There's always government work I suppose

3. - Change your shape. - Shape Changers! SWEET! Now you're talkin! The ability to take on any form or shape varies from hero to hero in the comic books. Plastic man, Rubber man, Reed Richards (Mister Fantastic was his name for a while, but that was too whiz bang for a man of Mr. Richards intellect). On the bad guy side you have Mystique and the Chameleon. In some cases you can change to look like something or someone else. in other cases you can actually become what you change into. Who wouldn't want that ability?! Once again, this is an ability we would only use for our own benefit initially. Perhaps when we had grown tired of it, or alienated all of our friends by seeing what they really thought of us would we use our powers to help people out by fooling them. We have people that walk among us that display these sorts of abilities today, we call them Politicians.

2. Money - Hey that's not a super power. Oh yea? Go tell Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark that. Heck, even the Fantastic 4 really benefit as much from Reed Richards grant money as they do from their super powers. That's why many of their comic stories revolve around them nearly going bankrupt or some such nonsense. If you have money and a good heart, you can accomplish an AMAZING amount in the world. Of course, those without money would quip that the wealthy are simply salving their hurting guilt and should give even more because 'they can afford it' Gosh I love that line. So if you have money and you do something noble with it, you get no credit for it because you have the money, and if you don't have the money, you will get more credit for having good intentions but no ability for doing good with the money you don't have. It's a power that comes with it's own weakness. It's amazing. If this is a genuine super power, then Politicians would probably be chief among it's users and abusers for/against society. Super Congressman! Able to spend more money than you have in a single session of congress! Finally, something that Superman doesn't have. You don't get rich writing by-lines for the Daily planet. On the other hand, your 401k would mature nicely over the next several hundred years.

1. Strength - Really, you are hardly super if you don't have strength. After all, everything else is just parlor tricks. Strength will help you help people as well as impress the ladies or scare the men or both. Super strength usually comes with it's own set of problems. People always asking you to come help them move or do yard work. Sometimes strength comes with it's own set of caveat's. The most famous of which is of course the HULK. Hulk can only help you get that lid off of the pickle jar if he's GOOD and MAD. Otherwise, you're gherkins will remain in their vacuum sealed tomb. The other side is, if you are SO strong, how do you keep from just demolishing every day things? Well I guess the same way we humble humans do it. We make sure we are careful! Strength is so common amongst the hero set that I won't bother going into who has it. Just assume that if they are wearing tights and possibly a cape, they are probably strong enough to back up their fashion statement.

I guess I'll go back to daydreaming about the lottery, the only superpower I posses is the ability to pull up on the door handle just as you unlock the car door from the driver side, rendering the unlocking USELESS. Bwaahahahaha! I'll take over the WORLD!!!!


Cami Rochelle said...

Awe I think I may have to take speed and magic! Imagine how fast I could clean my house! :)

Scoops Mangum said...

Excellent work as always sir!