There’s a common geek question, if you could have any superhero power, what would it be? That’s a pretty open question with lots of things to choose from. We’ll take Superman off the table though. You can’t have everything. Just one single power.
Now, Flight sounds pretty cool. Who doesn’t want to be able to fly. But just having flight doesn’t necessarily convey a lot of benefits. How fast could you fly? Just because you gain the ability to levitate yourself in the air doesn’t necessarily mean you can zip around at jet speeds. And if you could, what kind of strain is that going to take on your body? Since you can’t also have invulnerability, that’s something to consider. If you can only fly at about the same speed as you can run, would you still want to fly?
Given the option to fly, I probably still would. But over some other super powers? What about super speed? You can’t fly but you can now run at the speeds of the Flash. You could win any marathon but that wouldn’t be very fun after the first time. You could get by without a car, unless you need to carry anything. For someone who runs as slow as I do, gaining super speed would still have some perks.
Invulnerability? Losing the fear of death would be interesting. You could charge into danger without fear and stop bad guys. No one could threaten you.
But it would have downsides of its own. You’d still have the superheroes common dilemma of worrying about threats to their loved ones. You’re invulnerable, they aren’t. And just because you can’t die doesn’t mean you can’t be stopped. I’m reminded of an Angel episode, and the end of the last season of Being Human, where the immortal vampires were buried alive. And you wouldn’t even have super strength to help you. Bad guys may not be able to stop you with bullets, but they could still over power you.
Though, if you just had the superpower and weren’t going to be a superhero, it wouldn’t be a bad one to pick. Never getting sick again? Never worrying about dying from a stupid fun stunt? Ultimate stunt man. All good things.
Unfortunately, as I think about it, all powers end up palling compared to one; Mind Control. This one power would overshadow all others. And has the greatest potential to turn you evil. Think about it, if you can control others minds, you could do anything.
You wouldn’t be invulnerable, but you could make the bad guys not want to shoot you. Just walk in and tell them to surrender. No bloodshed. You couldn’t fly but you could make someone build you a jetpack. Want to become invisible, make everyone around you not see you.
Want to be rich, walk into a bank and have them give you all their money. Or if you are still able to hold onto some morals, just tell your boss to promote you and give you a raise. You probably deserve it anyways. Tired of Congress bickering and not ever working anything out? Walk to the Capital and tell them all to get along.
Unfortunately, you are now a tyrannical evil dictator and must be opposed by real superheroes. Except they can’t because you’ll just convince them you’re really not such a bad guy. I’m pretty sure Professor-X was the actual bad guy now that I think about it.
Now, assuming you don’t want to become evil, probably the most useful and least likely to be abused would be telekinetic powers. You can do all of the things already, you just have to use your hands. But with telekinetic powers, you don’t have to get up from the comfy couch to get the remote. Got an X-wing trapped in the swamp? You’re good to go. Unarmed? No worries, just throw everything not bolted down at the bad guy.
So, yeah, assuming I didn’t want to become evil, I’d probably pick telekinetic powers. Though, the allure of total power is appealing…
What would you pick?