I’ve often wished that I had a superpower. Too many times in life I feel weak, defenseless, or worst of all, ordinary. Like many others, I’ve looked to comic books for an escape. The characters and geographies provide me a brief reprieve from this a not-so-fantastic world. This little break always leaves me wanting more though. I want to be part of that reality. I want to be able to save someone from a burning building. I want to do be courageous. I want to use my telekinetic powers to shield the world from the fracturing energy of the M’Krann Crystal, unleashed by the Shi’iar Galactic Guard.
However, as much as I wish I could have superpowers, I think there would be drawbacks to a lot of them.
Flying – Flying affords you something that many people crave: complete freedom. Imagine being able to run away and clear your mind at 25,000 ft at any time you’d like. Sounds great. But being able to fly like SuperMan or the Green Lantern in this day in age would almost assuredly lead to constant TSA inspections. So even if you are Storm of the X-Men Hawkman of the Justice League, chances are you’re going to get a solid cavity search from a person in a semi-official-looking uniform before you head out to save the world. Plus, there’s precious little free airspace in the world left that isn’t monitored heavily by predator drones (thanks al-Qaeda).
Super-strength – Have you ever met someone who goes to the gym all the time? Do you find their personality even barely tolerable? Thought not. That’s why the Hulk doesn’t really have any friends. He’s always talking about how his delts aren’t quite where he wants them to be. He never asks you about anything that’s going on in your life.
Telepathy – The ability to read minds is perhaps the superpower that could lead to great advantages over your fellow humans. Being able to tell if someone is bluffing in poker, if a financial advisor is selling you bad junk bonds, or if your wife really did like your karaoke rendition of “Bad Romance.” The truth would be ever-present. And that would be terrible. If I lived in a world where I knew what most people thought about me, I’m pretty sure I’d have a nervous breakdown. I’d be reading my Grandma’s mind, “She doesn’t think I’m that cute anymore.”
Invisibility – If your wish to be invisible was granted, you would gain the ability to go anywhere undetected. It would also mean that you’re taking your creepy voyeurism fantasies to unimagined heights. It’d be sweet at first, but then you’d probably spend most of your days (and nights) in locker rooms of the opposite sex.
I think I’ve discovered my superpower. Is being negative all the time a superpower?