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Watching the laughably plot-hole ridden Heroes got me thinking.

What superhero power would I want to have, if I could choose, and would I use it for good or evil?

After thinking about super strength, invisibility, time travel, invulnerability, telepathy, flight, and others, I finally settled on super speed. And here’s my overly analytical nerdgasm of an explanation.

First of all, in order to be able to move at a super speed, which we’re going to assume is faster than the speed of light, you’d need some type of automatic aura, which would protect you from the friction of moving so fast that you’d otherwise catch fire. This protective aura would envelope your whole body and would give you a degree of invulnerability as well.

At the speeds you’d be moving, you’d almost never be visible to the naked eye, so you could enjoy the benefits of being invisible. Additionally, since f=mv, you’d have an amazing strength that would allow you to toss aside the heaviest items with ease. Finally, at the speeds that you’d be moving, you’d be able to gain altitude easily, and flying would quickly become second nature.

Super speed seems to be an amalgam of most other superpowers, and anything you didn’t have, you could emulate. Want to appear like you have pyrokinesis? Just light a match at super speed. Magnetic powers or telekinesis?? You can make anything move anywhere you want quicker than the eye can see. And I suspect that if you could move faster than the speed of light, you could probably go back in time as well.

Would I use it for good or evil? That’s a tough one. Probably evil. You’d be pretty unstoppable, so what would be the point of doing good with your powers? A sense of heroism and well-being? I think I’d rather sleep on a pile of money in my own country.

What power would you choose and why?

Tonight, we’ll be talking about circumcision: To snip or not to snip?

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39 thoughts on “Superhero”

  1. I think I would like the power to heal. That would rock.

    Speaking of which, I’m going to try and catch your show on circumcision. That always brings on a very lively discussion on the blogs I hang around. I’m sure it will be very interesting!

  2. Your analysis of super speed is excellent. I wonder if there would be a calorie burn issue if in fact you then have this “aura”… because then in theory wouldn’t you be moving at the same speed as normal and therefore not burn up any additional calories unless the aura burned it up for you?

    Personally, I think bending time and space would be a preferable super-power. The idea of being able to teleport anywhere, and at anytime is highly… entertaining.

  3. The shallow superpower I’ve always wanted is the ability to instantly dry and style my hair, remove unwanted hair, and apply makeup by snapping my fingers. I could use this for the greater good by snapping my fingers at people to instantaneously correct fashion don’ts like mom jeans and wearing pantyhose with sandals.

  4. I’d have to agree with you, but it would be a lot of fun to time travel, although you’d kinda be time traveling, too, or at least, couldn’t you?!
    I would not want to know what other people were thinking. No, thanks.
    I’ve also wanted to be like Samantha on Bewitched.

  5. I’d use my power for evil too… I wouldn’t be able to help myself.
    As for which power to have- I don’t know. That’s a tough one. Probably be able to move things with my mind. Then I could throw someone into a wall without ever touching them. Or do the Darth Vadar choke- that’d be awesome

  6. I thought I might like the power of mind reading….but then I’d know what eople ACTUALLY think of me, and that might be upsetting though helpful. Then i thought I’d want to fly, but I am afraid of heights which has greatly reduced my ability to ride roller coasters. I think I will settle on super intelligence so I can really be a fucking know it all and cure my kids diabetes so they can live a normal life.

  7. You’ve made super speed sound so good that I can’t think of anything better.

    I wouldn’t mind the ability to freeze time, though. It would give me so much more time to sleep!

    As for circumcision.. I don’t know. I’ve only ever known guys who were snipped, so I don’t know anything about being completely natural. Plus I’m a girl. 😀 Now you’ve got me thinking, though: would I snip my kid? Hmn…

  8. Just this morning my 13-year old asked what superpower I’d want. (I’m not sure what this says about you.)

    I told him I’d like to be able to fly. He thought telekenesis would be good as I’d then be able to telekenetically make myself fly — so I’d get two powers for the price of one.

  9. I’ve always wanted the power to read people’s minds, only when I want to though…not all the time. I’d probably end up hating it and everyone would avoid me because I’d know too much but hey, I’d have a lot of control.

  10. Great thoughts on super-speed, but would you really be able to light a match while going that fast? Have you tried lighting a match in a stiff breeze?

    If I could pick any super-power, I would probably go with Jean Grey’s mix of telekinesis and telepathy without the added bonus of the Phoenix Force cosmic effect.

    Knowing what anyone thinks and being able to move shit with your mind would fucking rule! And thinking along the lines of your super-speed analysis, there is so much you could do with it. You could fly with telekinesis, create a force-field with it and basicall control all matter, energy and thought with those powers.

    I would like to think that I would use these powers for good, and I think that I would most of the time. But I’m sure I would also use them in immoral ways that I can only dream about right now. Ways that no one would really know about but me. Mwah-ha-ha-ha!!!

  11. The thing I wonder about super speed is how you can see things coming and turn fast enough to avoid them. That would seem to indicate super reflexes and superfast thinking, which might mean that you exist in a state where normal people seem even slower than they already do. Even though you can run across the country in less than a second, would it seem like less than a second or would your heightened superbrain make it seem like you are just jogging across America at normal speed surrounded by tarred tards? And just how far can you run anyway? Would super speed just mean that you would have the ability to get exhausted faster than any man alive?

    I’m sticking with pyrokinesis – the ability to set and control fires with the mind. You can tell where I’m going – just follow the trail of charred corpses from my door to the office. I wouldn’t use it for evil, necessarily – I’d just randomly burn people to death for entertainment. I’m sure we both agree that most people deserve to die, so that’s kind of a neutral use.

  12. I would pick invisibility. Oh, how I would trade my kids for that superpower. (Kidding.)

    But as far as moving faster than the speed of light? Must I explain to you the problems of traveling at or beyond the speed of light. (Rolling up my physics professor sleeves…)

    You have mass, sweetie and traveling at the speed of light or faster means that your mass does not remain constant – it increases the faster you go and at the speed of light? Mass pretty much increases to infinity. And? You would need an infinite amount of energy to propel that infinite amount of mass. There is no infinite source of energy known to humankind (and chocolate-covered burritos don’t count). So, unless you can also acquire the superpower of transforming yourself to a lightwave, then you can travel that fast.

    Whew. I’m beat. Did I just burst your bubble? Sorry.

  13. whall and sybi have a good point. The analysis of super speed doesn’t account for the issue of time which severely diminishes the extent to which you might use your power. Since the superhero story generally addresses the costs of having higher abilities, this might actually add to your credibility as a superhero. You would be forced to address why and when you use your power, and the usage of your powers would reflect your core values. Who will you choose to benefit? Yourself or others? If yourself, then which areas of your life would you address? And if others, how do you decide who deserves your help? OMG, I fee like such a dork, right now.

    I would be a vampire slayer. DUH. And that is TOO a superpower, nerd boy.

  14. F=ma I think a good superhero power would be a healing power where one could cure all ailments. If I could wave my hand and cure a swath of people, that would be pretty cool. I would travel the world making people well- focusing on children who have poor drinking water resources and nutrition.

  15. Amanda, it’s a superpower. It’s not supposed to be practical!

    Poppy, take the money out of your mouth!

    BPR, why not super metabolism?

    Ginger, did you catch the show?

    NYCWD, I think that the aura would burn up any additional calories.

    Whall, no. The aura would protect you from any of those ill effects.

    Mik, you wouldn’t want people to see you fly? They’d think you’re really cool!

    SingleParentDad, that would be a nice power indeed.

    Britt, then everybody would just look up your skirt.

    Laurin, if you had super-speed, it would be like you were doing that instantaneously.

    Robin, snip snip!

    Sybil, I think you would travel fast enough that you could travel through time.

    Christie, telekinesis would be cool!

    Blondefabulous, super intelligence is a good one!

    Elizabeth, would you be freaked out by an uncut penis?

    TrishK, you’re wayyyy too nice.

    Em, why can’t you call in?

    Clown, then you’d know that everybody wants to stab you.

    Jay, so you want to be Casper.

    Metalmom, I’d love to force people to listen. I know what’s good for them!

    Delmer, clearly, your son is highly mature for his age.

    Sheila, agreed on both counts.

    Robin, do you watch True Blood?

    BE Earl, yes – your speed is relative, so it wouldn’t be like you’d be running.

    Grant, that is kind of neutral, it’s true.

    Evil Genius, that’s called being a teenager!

    Bossy, I’d just follow you around and make that sound orally.

    Michelle, I think telepathy would be more of a curse.

    Hilly, shape-shifting is a good one, it’s true.

    Heather, don’t inject logic into this. The protective aura would convert solar energy as necessary. Duh!

    Faiqa, wow, you are a dork. And are you a Buffy fan?

    Anissa, you’d use it for evil, wouldn’t you?

    Val, shit, you’re right. F=ma. Damn! And your superpower is way too altruistic.

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