Destiny City, from my new Altered Destiny serial, features superheroes and supervillians with a lot of different powers. Starshyne has flight and energy projection, Black Pariah has heightened reflexes and an alien computer sidekick, Virtue Maroni is an expert marksman and tech genius, Dreadlock is superstrong with limited teleportation, Thixotrope is a futuristic nanite swarm, Neverland Nuance is a fairy, and Rembrad has a cosmic paintbrush that can paint reality, and that’s not even including the heroes that dies in the plague.
With all the vast different types of superpowers that have, and have yet to be, created, which would you choose? And why?
As a kid, my favourite superheroes were The Atom and The Flash. Even now I’d still love to have superspeed. Of course, it’s important to realize that each power is not a single power, but rather a host of powers. Superspeed is an excellent example. What good would superspeed movement be if you couldn’t think fast enough to process what was coming at you? Or if your reflexes weren’t good enough to dodge it? What about surviving the tremendous wind ripping against your body, bluring your vision? And that’s even ignoring the metabolic issues required with generating that much energy (from this, you can easily see the genious in creating the ‘speedforce’ in the flash comics, which solves all these problems).
And there are other issues.
In literature, superpowers fall under the category of magic. And all magic that is interesting to read about has a cost. If it didn’t the user would be a god and could solve all their problems instantly. That would be boring (although it would lead to a discussion of the character’s own flaws, as in Marvel’s Infinity Guantlet series). The most interesting heroes are the ones were forced to give up something important on their path to greatness.
So, considering that, would you still choose that power, and all the good it could do, even if you had to give up what was most important to you?
Starshyne gained cosmic powerbeams and flight, but lost her parents. Adam Johnson has amazing reflexes and an alien computer as a friend, but lost his wife. Even Dr. GrimLaw, supergenious, lost something. It’s easy to say ‘I’d love to have superspeed’, but much harder to accept the power if it comes with loss. So, would you still choose your power, if it came with great loss, or even a Faustian deal?