The BIG Question: Which Superpowers Would You Choose?

I think this has to be a question as old as human imagination.  Right?  Once we began thinking of mythic beings, demigods, and superheroes – beings imbued with fantastic abilities – the next logical step after imagining their daring exploits would be to wonder what it would be like if we had those powers ourselves.  And that ties to the question this little post will consider – If you could choose, what superhero’s power set would you pick for yourself?? 

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Take THAT lamppost! / Photo Credit – Marvel Comics

As you can probably guess, I think about  this a lot.  Just the other day, Theresa and I were walking our “Atom & Eve” class down to the college behind our school to sit in one of their courtyards for a discussion of environmental stewardship (and clones (and A.I.)) and, as we strolled down the walkway, I kept imagining having Wolverine claws I could pop out and slice down the lampposts that light the walkway at night.  It would be a total dick move, if I had claws and did that, as they certainly weren’t in my way and they help people on the path at night.  But hey, you can only imagine having Wolverine claws so many times before you naturally imagine chopping stuff down with them.  How Logan avoids doing that all the time is beyond me…unless it’s because his claws also carry the weight of all the battles he’s fought and the enemies (and loved ones) he’s killed or watch die so they don’t scream “frivolous fun” to him.  YIKES.  Okay, where’d that come from??  This is supposed to be a whimsical post.  So let’s leave the dour reflections aside for now.  Here are the rules for this all-important question.

It’s pretty simple.  If given the choice, what superhero power set would you pick for yourself?  The only stipulation I’m adding is that you can’t mix and match.  So I can’t take, say Deadpool’s healing factor, Storm’s ability to control the weather, and Spider-Man’s spider-sense.  It has to be the complete power set from one single character.  From there, get creative.  You can pick from comic books, movies, TV shows, cartoons, novels…whatever your little heart desires just so long as you’re only picking one person’s abilities.

When you add up all the time I’ve spent speculating about this with family, friends, quasi-random strangers, and in my own head you get…well, probably an unhealthy amount of time.  BUT I finally found an answer to the question that felt right.  Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, given my deep and abiding love for him, I’m not choosing Spider-Man.  (Did the feature image fool you?  Ha!  Go me!  If not, well done reader, well done.)  He’s got the proportional strength, speed, and agility of a spider.  He’s got his early warning spider-sense (unless you’re watching Spider-Man: Homecoming) which would be super helpful.  And I LOVE Spider-Man.  But that’s not for me.  He’s a great mid-tier character, power level-wise, so if I’m picking ANYTHING I think I’d like to skew a little bit higher on the power spectrum.  I don’t need an Infinity Gauntlet or anything…but a bit more than Spidey would be nice.  Also, I have no tech savvy whatsoever.  So I couldn’t build web shooters or spider tracers or anything like that if my life depended on it.

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Photo Credit – Marvel Comics

My second favorite hero has always been Thor.  But I don’t think I’m choosing her either.  First, the whole balancing Asgardia and Earth responsibilities seems like a lot for me.  Ask my students.  Sometimes just grading papers takes me an awkwardly long time.  I couldn’t handle protecting nine realms from trouble!  Then, since I’m not Odinson, I’d have to worry about losing the hammer.  Just about everyone who isn’t Odinson has to remain connected to the hammer and if Mjölnir is out of your hand for more than sixty seconds – POOF! – you’re back to being a regular ol’ mortal again.  Not only does that mean I’m vulnerable to being ripped apart by evil forces but everyone could totally see my secret identity.  I don’t know how Jane handles it.

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Photo Credit – Marvel Comics

I’ve always been intrigued by telekinesis and, if we’re picking power sets here, I think I’d go for the telekinesis/telepathy combo like Jean Grey.  Think of how convenient it would be to be telekinetic!  You could just move whatever you wanted to with your mind.  It would be so cool!  AND if you’re a powerful enough telekinetic and you’re well-trained, we’ve seen you can turn the power inward and allow yourself to fly.  You can also use it to protect yourself and others from projectiles and the like.  And telepathy would be pretty sweet too.  Imagine how much easier dating would be if you could read someone’s thoughts.  And let’s not overlook how much smoother it would be to proctor exams.  It’s impossible for a student to cheat if you are literally reading their thoughts.  Oh!  I could even phase out testing entirely because a quick brain scan could show me how much a student knew.  I would save so much time!  Granted, I have diabetes so a power that could essentially allow me to never have to physically move myself again would not be a great idea.  And I’m sure poking around in someone else’s head would be a HUGE invasion of privacy and I think it would make me feel uncomfortable.  Also, it would probably be too much to constantly keep yourself from hearing everyone’s stray thoughts all the time.  It would be like that scene in Bruce Almighty when he starts hearing the prayers except you’d lack the godlike ability to help many of the people.  No thanks.

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Photo Credit – Marvel Comics

I’ve always loved the Fantastic Four.  On that note, I’ve thought on more than one occasion how great Invisible Woman’s powers would be!  First, how perfect would it be able to turn invisible sometimes?  It would be great for pranking people and for getting out of awkward encounters you’d rather not have in the first place.  Second, she’s the most powerful member of the FF, able to extend her invisible force fields in both offensive and defensive ways.  There’s flying here and all sorts of other stuff too.  But there’s still the danger inherent in not being able to hold your shield long enough or not being ready to project it in the first place.  So, as cool as she is, I’m passing here.  (But, seriously, we need the Fantastic Four to return!  Head over to Green Onion’s blog if you’ve any doubts on the matter.)

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Photo Credit – Marvel Comics

So after years of perseverating, David and I settled on an answer.  It’s Wolverine!  Think about it.  His claws couldn’t be more badass.  Can you really think of any troublesome situation you’d find yourself in where extending razor sharp claws from your knuckles wouldn’t immediately calm?  Let’s not forget those claws, plus his entire skeleton, are covered in unbreakable adamantium.  Then he has heightened senses.  That would make tracking easier, finding people/things easier, and – in general – it would just be sweet to have superhuman sight, smell, and hearing.  Finally, there’s the coup de grâce – his healing factor.  Wolvie can recover from just about any wound!  Sure, you might be slowed down here or there but there’s nothing that’s stopping you.  Disease, injury, even aging is slowed considerably.  That’s it folks.  Game, set, match.  Wolverine’s our winner!

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I mean, C’MON!  How tough is this guy?? / Photo Credit – Marvel Comics

…until Kalie had to ruin everything.  We were having this very conversation and, when I laid out our unbreakable (no pun intended) argument for why Wolverine is the best, she asked, “Why wouldn’t you pick Superman?  Who wouldn’t pick Superman?”  I explained to Kalie that, sure, Superman is completely invulnerable (save Kryptonite and magic), super strong, faster than the speed of sound, has super hearing, super vision (x-ray, telescopic, and heat ray), doesn’t need to breathe as we do (since he’s fine in outer space and underwater), possesses a perfect eidetic memory and the ability to understand/speak any language he encounters, and a genius-level mind that works faster than a supercomputer…but he’s kinda too perfect.  Right?  That’s why some people say it’s a struggle to write consistently compelling stories about Superman.  He’s too strong.  How do you create real drama?  Wolverine however is far cooler.  I mean, you’d look like a much bigger badass if someone shoots you and then they watch you slowly get up as the bullets fall out of you as opposed to them just bouncing off of you like it’s no big deal in the first place.  Of course you’d pick Wolverine!  He’s so much cooler!

Kalie looked at me like I was insane.  “Are you being serious?” she asked.  “Who would ever pick Wolverine when you can be Superman?  I don’t care how ‘cool’ Wolverine is.  If you could really choose any of these superpowers who would ever take the pain of getting shot and then healing over everything just bouncing off of you?  Plus, look at everything else Superman can do!  No one in their right mind would ever pick Wolverine over Superman, even if they thought they were less ‘cool’ as a result.  Plus, what’s ‘cooler’ than being Superman?”  I’ve been haunted by her words ever since.  Is Kalie right??  Superman is, technically, a god-like being with no conceivable limits.  I guess…well, I mean maybe she is right.  If I really got to choose, having Superman’s abilities would beat out being able to chop down lampposts with my claws or look like a tough guy if someone tried to stab me.

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Mind-blown Credit – Kalie / Photo Credit – DC Comics

But I feel like I’m betraying Wolverine (and, in a way, Marvel Comics in general) by saying this!!!  How can I pick Superman??  But, after Kalie’s remarkably bulletproof (no pun intended here either) argument…how can I not pick Superman??  Ugh.  I think she’s right.  I think, if I could really choose any superhero’s powers, I’d end up choosing Superman.  I think I was out-nerded by Kalie.  I think it’s Superman and DC for the win here.  I have so much to think about.

I’m not normally one to end posts with intentional questions to try and spark comments but I’ll ask anyway.  (Kalie’s already turned my logical understanding of the world upside down so what’s one more irregularity you know?)  If you’d like to share, what superhero power set would you choose for yourself and why?  And can anyone make a compelling case for why I should choose Wolvie over Supes??  Because I think Kalie’s right…

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Yeah, me either Supes.  Kalie bested my answer in LIKE TWO SECONDS.  Now you’re standing for truth, justice, and the WIN. / Photo Credit – DC Comics

49 thoughts on “The BIG Question: Which Superpowers Would You Choose?

    1. Ooo, yes! His powers are so broad in what they can do. And I’ve always loved the visual of him sliding around on that incredible ice sled thing he makes. It’s actually one of the most vivid comic memories I have from my youth.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Kryptonite (lol). Also for no obvious reason I’ve always wanted to be Robin. He seems such a fun character but he’d be a bit vulnerable. Wonder Woman’s skill set would be pretty neat too. Okay. Gonna have to think about this….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wolverine would totally kick Kryptonite’s butt! Wonder Woman would too, come to think of it. (Thanks :). I’m totally going to bring this up to Kalie.) You’ll have to let me know what you settle on. I could totally see you as Robin…eventually growing up to become your own independent vigilante, protecting your people with all you learned in your youth.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have to have a looooooong think on this one Michael. A long think. I’m glad though because I think we all need to turn our minds to being superheroes on a day like today.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Each culture has different sayings,phrases, ideas, etc. which
        may be slightly different, nuanced, or very similar. We get
        lost in translation when we talk about semantics, especially
        when it comes to theology. Every culture uses their history to
        develop a unique language, there is no right or wrong, only
        different ways of expressing concepts through languages.

        Going forward we are now living in the age of numbers & computer
        language, with AI that think on such a faster, deeper, different ways
        than we could possibly imagine. With the world changing so rapidly,
        linguistics and translation are so important in our communication.

        I would love the ability for instant teleportation, but thinking about it
        a bit, it wouldn’t be any fun to be able to go anywhere, but not be
        able to understand the people or what is going on around me.

        This is a topic that I’m sure everyone has contemplated at some point!
        Such a good one.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I remember, years ago, a friend of mine did her student teaching in England. She was given a list of English-English to American-English translating. That blew my mind! It was a powerful and memorable example for me of the points you’re making. When you look at all the people in all the cultures in all the world (not to mention stretching back through time and even other possible planets or dimensions) there’s SO MUCH to know. Cypher would really be a road to better understanding AND the possibility for real communion with everyone.

        As to A.I., don’t even get me started! I think about that – and all the implications – quite frequently. Once my head starts down that rabbit hole of ramifications I’m gone. We actually talk about it a lot in the science and theology course I team-teach.

        Okay, and on the things-I-think-about-compulsively note, teleportation. This is a conversation I’ve had with family and friends for years. What do you think?
        Would teleporting mess up your hair/rumple your clothes? Or not? I’ve seen it depicted both ways and I spend a lot of time discussing how it would really work :).

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I love what you wrote about English-to American.

        French Fries are Chips, Chips are Crisps,
        Cookies are Biscuits, Biscuits are Scones.
        The lists go on and on.

        Growing up on both sides of the pond there was
        a lot of jarring overlap. I remember going to an
        American supermarket and seeing a boy my age
        buying a root beer, I ran to my Mum and said that
        boy is drinking BEER! (Since there is no root beer
        in the UK) lots of cross cultural strange quirks.

        The thing that always blew my mind is in the USA you
        can buy alcohol at a gas station, and there are even
        drive-thru liquor stores, which never happen in the UK.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Drive-thru liquor stores have always seemed weird to me too, even having grown up in the U.S.! Maybe it’s because I’m not a big drinker but something about them has always seemed wrong. I used to drive by one every day, to and from my old job and I often wondered about the whole industry.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thank you! I’m flattered! Of course you’re welcome to share this or write your own version or whatever you’re feeling. The more people thinking about superpowers the better :). And yeah, Daredevil is pretty epic. I bet his radar sense is one of those things that’d be super helpful in fighting villains but also just in every day stuff too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I will choose Luke Skywalker. His evolution from farm boy to Jedi master is quite a journey. He gets to use a rebel blaster, a light saber, fly an X-Wing and a Snowspeeder. He has his spiritual side but must also ponder, perhaps with some sadness, at the death of so many people on the Deathstar he destroyed. He’s also had to battle with and reconcile plenty of family demons. This guys been through a lot of emotional and physical war, but he has a great bunch of allies and friends in both the physical and spiritual realm to assist him on his adventures!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aaaahhh, YES! I was wondering how far – if at all – anyone would go outside of the traditional comic book superhero vein with their choices. I love it. Luke’s always been my favorite character in Star Wars, for all the reasons you’ve mentioned. The Force is strong with your answer too :).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Can I pick The Beyonder? Or is that too much? 😛 Go big or go home, right?

    Naah. That’s more power than I can handle.

    Does being filthy rich count? Because there are several superheroes whose main power is money… That would be handy, but ultimately boring.

    This is not the first time I have answered a question like this, but every time I change the power set. Besides, here you ask to pick a superheroe, not a power set. I would have picked a Jean Grey/Karma/Empath mashup, because reading mind is useless if you can’t control them (yes, I sound like a supervillain!).

    Another nice group are teleporters. I wouldn’t mind having the powers of Nightcrawler or Blink… But if I think it coldly, my boss would abuse of that power… so, moving on XD.

    Overall, maybe teleknesis is one of the most useful ones. Jean Grey’s telekinsesis is handy in day-to-day life (no more climbing the wardrobe to get a shirt!!). It’s good for creating shields to protect you and your love ones. And it’s also good in combat situations. Even has a showing off potential for those days you feel cocky.

    Buuuuuut, I would enjoy more a character that needs a little bit of imagination to use his/her skills: Doctor Strange, Doctor Voodoo, Nico Minoru, Wiccan…

    Those guys are great, but if you are not a quick thinker… you are going to be in a tight spot during combat. So, I need a magic (or similar) user with something else. I know who I want to be:

    SERSI!!! http://marvel.wikia.com/wiki/Sersi_(Earth-616)

    I would enjoy her power over molecules way too much!! Ans she can fly and shoot laser through her eyes!! And many more!!

    PS: I miss her so much!!! 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First, you could have totally picked the Beyonder! It’s all up to you. You’d have phenomenal cosmic powers with no fear of an itty bitty living space :). However, I respect your restraint.

      Second, I LOVE the amount of thought you put into this! Reading your comment was like taking a trip through my own head with a thought process like this! You really weighed the options and I love it. I know, for sure, I could never handle the responsibility/practice of a Dr. Strange, etc. sort of power set. It’s too much for me!

      Third, the fact that you picked Sersi totally made my day. That was MY ERA of the Avengers! That was the main incarnation of the team when I was a kid. Obviously I loved the Black Knight as he was essentially an Avenger with a lightsaber so life was good. I feel that era is often overlooked as it wasn’t “the classic” issues nor did it heavily feature the “classic” (or movie) lineup. But I have such a soft spot in my heart for those comics and those characters.

      Lastly, do you think teleporting would mess up your hair and/or your clothes? My brother and I have discussed this for years too…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Avengers team with Sersi and Black Knight is one of my favourites, too (and Crystal!!!). So different from other Avengers teams… and, sadly, it gets forgotten more often than not. Leather jackets for everyone!! 😀

        Teleporting messing up my hair or clothes? I”ve never thought about that. I’m listing the teleporters I know in my mind and I can’t remember any issue related with that. Granted, if you end in the inside of a wall, your hair, your clothes and much more will be a mess…

        Now that I think about it. How can teleporters teleport their clothes? It seems the teleporting power creates a bubble around them or something that allows them to teleport more than just the organic parts.

        Someone should teach this in schools XD.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. YES!!!! Sersi, Black Knight, and Crystal – when I think of “the Avengers” it’s those three characters (in those classic 90’s leather jackets!) that I think of first. Cap, Iron Man, and Thor are more the “movie Avengers” first for me, given who was on the team when I was a kid.

        As to the teleportation, the movie ‘Jumper’ seemed to show teleporting would mess your hair up. So, since then, I’ve wondered how it would work. Thanks for weighing in…and now giving me a whole new question to think about in regard to teleporting!!! I would SO take a class on this :).

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I would want secret powers like bring invisible and being able to teleport. Perhaps tied into being a magician like Scarlet Witch or Wiccan. Having powers like that means I could do whatever I want, and I find that appealing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So….would teleporting mess up your hair or rumple your clothes a la ‘Jumper’ or is it an entirely smooth transfer?? These are the questions I ponder. I would be excited to follow the exploits of a magical, reality-bending Nancy too!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Definitely the power of super speed. Without. A. Doubt. If I were Quicksilver or the Flash per se I could travel fast enough to go back in time and kill the younger version of any enemy I had ever faced. The only downside is not knowing, with certainty, the repercussions my actions would have on the future. Beyond that, given my enemy isn’t a speedster, I could run circles around anyone/run fast enough to deplete the oxygen around them. Open up portals with my speed and throw my enemies through it. AND…..I will never be late for class!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent choice! Joss Whedon said the reason he did with Quicksilver what he did in ‘Age Of Ultron’ was because super speed is the unbeatable power, as long as your enemy doesn’t have it. And the never being late thing! Yep, to do all that and still always be on time is pretty sweet. I dig it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. No way would I pick Superman. I don’t want that much power.
    I’ve always liked the telekinesis/telepathy combo a la Jean Grey. Maybe because it reminds me of the Force? But nothing crazy like Phoenix, please!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha, yeah good call. The Phoenix would be TOO MUCH. I bet it’d even outmatch Superman…and then there’s the whole corruption thing. Yikes! Also, I’m really intrigued by your argument against Superman because it’s too much power… I can see that!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I AM INVISIBLE GIRL
    Th way people ignore me, esp. editors, it seems like nobody can see/sense me anyway – altho I would appreciate Sue Storm’s ability to create forcefields (then I cld protect myself from all these nerks w their phones walking into me – not a day passes)
    Would have liked to BAMF like Nightcrawler (but th smell puts me off)
    Idealistically, any hero w th power of FLIGHT gets onto my shortlist

    Ultimately, I will go for: THE VISION
    Forever my fave member of The Avengers, cos of his ability to lower density and mass in order to pass thro walls, even th floor and – yes! – to fly – th 1 power that overawed me as a kid AND STILL DOES

    Btw, Wolvie’s got chops, Supes doesn’t – how’s that for compelling? 😉
    Coolio

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooooo…I hadn’t even thought of the Vision. He is another good choice! When I first started reading the Avengers in the 1990’s the core team was Crystal, the Black Knight, Sersi, Hercules, and the Vision. Vision’s powers were always the most exciting of the set!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No worries!
        I’m pretty sure there r other amazing characters that have slipped my mind – trying to work out an All-Time Top Comic Book Characters chart and it is proving more difficult than first imagined.
        I have also dipped into some ’90s Avengers back ishs – interesting how th core team u describe is nothing like th original core team!
        Keep it cosmic!
        Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The 90’s were a weird time for the Avengers, in retrospect. But as a kid I really didn’t know any different! But those heavy hitters from the Golden Age were often in the issues only in passing. Still, I’ll always have a nostalgic spot for them! Maybe I should re-read some of those old issues…

        An All-Time Top Comic Books Characters chart would be a crazy big project! Wow. I’m impressed at the boldness of even thinking of the idea, and even more with trying to put it together. I’ll be interested to…chart your progress?! Huh? Okay, yeah, let’s not linger on that horrible pun.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Even in th early 80s – w Captain Marvel and th Black Knight (and Dr Druid?!) – th Avengers went off in bizarre tangents. Captain America had to play second fiddle to Th Wasp and other weird somesuch, so u had it pretty mild in th 90s, amigo!

        This crazy big project is getting too crazy, too big even for Brad’s aspirations, so it might not even get into th charts!
        U carry on w your brand of awesomeness, MJ, and let me do th orrible puns!
        Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s two for Ice Man. That’s awesome! I’ll never forget when I first learned there was MORE to his powers and he started controlling his shape in ice and things like that. Plus he’s pretty cool…right? Huh? Get it…he’s cool. Okay, yeah, let’s pretend I didn’t say that. I hate when I’m trying to come up with something witty to say and I just freeze.

      Like

  8. Hello Michael

    My teacher Mr. Avants showed me your post and I enjoyed it very much. I had a lot of problems choosing for myself and i can agree that Superman would be one of the best choices, but due to the fact that I am a marvel fanboy I had to chose Sentry who is often considered the Superman of Marvel. What do you think of Sentry? Do you think he is the Superman of Marvel?

    Great stuff,

    Lorenz

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lorenz! First, yay for sticking with Marvel :). I love it! And second, wow…I’m going to be honest. You sort of surprised me. My knowledge of Sentry is, admittedly, limited. I’ve only encountered him in brief. But after a little googling and a little research I think you’ve made a great call!! Also, I kind of feel like I need to read more about him now…

      For me, I’ve always seen Captain Marvel as the “Superman of Marvel.” Carol has the strength, flight, and incredible endurance/invulnerability of Supes and, while she doesn’t have the super senses/mind, she can absorb and release huge energy blasts. Also, given the Kree DNA fused to her own human DNA she’s part alien as well.

      Tell Mr. Avants I said “hi” too. As I’m sure you know, you have a wonderful teacher. I love reading his stuff and talking with him. He’s a great guy! Thank you for the comment and the kinds words too. I’m with you Lorenz – Make Mine Marvel!

      Like

  9. Not to be greedy or anything, but why not pick a shape shifter and have the entire hero/villain list at your disposal? Wolvie on Monday, Spidey on Tuesday, Thor on Wednesday, and and and. Assuming you pick one that inherits all the traits of the person you’re ‘shifting’ into, you’re golden.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Huh…I hadn’t thought of that. I guess I always presumed a shape shifter received the form but not the powers of the individual whose form they took (like Mystique or a Skrull). But are there shape shifters who gain the abilities too?? You may’ve just added a whole other dimension for me to obsess over here.

      Like

      1. Vision’s pretty fantastic too. I remember, when I was first meeting the character as a kid, I was always surprised by how many powers he had. Just when I thought I had a handle on the character I found something new about him!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. As a hero, he’s awesome. But just think of the real world applications, no more climbing stairs, no more worrying about staying in shape because he doesn’t eat (although that could be bad too, food is awesome), no more lifting heavy stuff, no more traffic, it makes real world sense. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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