We have all had the thought, “if I could pick one superpower, what would it be?” Thanks to popular media, comic book superheroes are all around us now, in television, in movies and in videogames. I can recall several serious conversations I have had with friends and co-workers concerning the subject of our own desired superpower. Everyone has opinions on the matter. Still, I haven’t been able to definitively conclude what superpower I would want. What follows are just a few of the common powers possessed by superheroes that I have considered.
Wishing for super strength like the Hulk feels cliché. That’s why everyone goes to the gym anyways. Besides, I can go buy human pituitary glands from that guy behind the Seven Eleven if I want to extract the human growth hormone for some serious mass
(maybe, I’ve done it already and perhaps you shouldn’t judge). Additionally, the idea of super strength feels very two-dimensional. At the heart of it; all you really do is lift heavy things, not very exciting at all, if you ask me. So, regardless of whether or not I am involved in the trafficking of human organs for personal profit, I am certain that I don’t want to waste my superpower wish on muscle mass.
I could wish for the power of flight. Wonder Woman flies all over the world and it looks pretty fun, Part of me can imagine flying great distances or cruising above the buildings of a city. The problem arises when I consider that I’d likely be shot out of the sky. These days, North Americans seem to be in a constant state of paranoia over terrorist attacks. Even though I am Caucasian and therefore normally immune from suspicion, I’m pretty certain that a guy flying around skyscrapers would send alarm bells ringing. Another issue is that I may be a teeny bit afraid of heights. Not a lot, mind you, it’s just that if I get more than seven feet off the ground I can’t breathe and my legs
start to shake uncontrollably. I’d be a pretty lame superhero if I never flew more than seven feet off of the ground. Also, we have these fancy things that already fly called airplanes. I can pretty much go anywhere in the world in a plane so spending my one superpower wish on the ability to fly could be considered foolhardy.
Another hero, The Flash, has the ability to run at the speed of light and beyond. I’m not going to spend much time on this power because it’s stupid. Firstly, if I were running at the speed of light I would probably trip over everything. I wouldn’t be able to see the obstacle as it approached until I had already run into it. Secondly, like the Flash, I would have to consume vast amounts of calorie dense foods just to provide the fuel for moving at such a high rate of speed. There is no way I could afford that. My food bill would go through the roof. I would have to become a super villain and use my power to rob banks just to support my food habit.
What about magical accessories? The Green Lantern has his ring that feeds off his willpower. With it, the Green Lantern can create things like a giant boxing glove to punch a villain or a locomotive to run down a bad guy down in the street. These are just
examples, the ring is limited only by the imagination of its bearer. The problem with this is that I have no will whatsoever. Give me a challenging situation and I fold faster than a blind poker player. I would likely abuse the power as well and use the ring to construct a long arm to stretch from wherever I am to the kitchen to get me a fattening snack. Even more shameful, I would be inclined to use the powers of the ring to self-pleasure. I imagine that would likely be a ‘don’t’ in the ring manual.
Invulnerability seems promising at first. At least, until I considered that it means that I would never ever die. Ever. I would survive any harm or conflict. Life would present no risk anymore and, as such, it would no longer be exciting. Disease and time wouldn’t leave a mark on me because even my cells couldn’t die. Eventually, I would outlive loved ones and even, one day, the Earth. I would be trapped alone on a barren globe. I can’t even think of anything funny about this scenario, it would just suck. Hopefully, if that situation did arise I would at least have a deck of cards or something.
See? This is the problem. I can’t pick just one superpower. Maybe it would be better to not have to pick. It’d be far easier to just be irradiated in the glow of a nuclear explosion like a normal person and have the wonder that is nature pick my superpower for me.