Why It Sucks:
Who wouldn't want to hear everything so sensitively that the sound of a pin dropping is the aural equivalent of the International Space Station falling out of orbit and crash landing 2 feet away from your ear drum?
Dale Smither, who is a woman (or at least was scripted as one, though "she" was pretty butch), could hear everything from distant wind to the sound of people's beating hearts. She would have to constantly wear headphones to drown the absurdly overwhelming sound of the world out. How this didn't make things far worse, we're not sure, since if a mouse hiccuping from a mile away makes you double over in pain, why would jamming headphones into your ear canals and cranking the latest Disaster Area album be any better?
Anyway, massive plot holes aside, we don't see any benefit to having super hearing that wouldn't be massively outweighed by the obvious drawbacks. There would be the constant blowing out of your eardrums, the not being able to function in normal society, and/or the going insane and taking it out on whomever gets in the path of the rifle you'll carry with you to the post office roof.
Molecular manipulation. Translation: Can melt toasters.
Why It Sucks:
As depicted on ,Heroes, the possibility of gaining the ability to manipulate molecules made Sylar so happy that he waited a full 42 seconds to crunch Zane Taylor's head in with a blunt object and steal it. This would seem to be awesome, assuming you could rearrange molecules into something else, turning a spork into a diamond the size of your head or a pair of socks into Angelina Jolie. Unfortunately, the ability seemed to be confined to pretty much just melting various household appliances and causing one's living room to resemble an IKEA display.
This would seem to have application for bank robbers, except the power takes several seconds to work and by the time it did and you went into the melted vault and got your money, you'd be shot in the face several hundred times over on your way out. Primarily, it would seem to only be useful for practical joke purposes, such as for melting the chair of the person in front of you in class, or perhaps fusing the fly on their pants together so that they'd pee themselves. It would be funny the first few hundred times, but we're pretty sure it would eventually get old.
Kills people with her eyes/unkills people with his hands.
Why It Sucks:
What we have here is your basic Hulk super-power formula. Just like how you "wouldn't like" Bruce Banner when he's angry; you won't like Maya Herrera (ever, because she's an incredibly weak character that doesn't seem to have anything to do whatsoever with the show other than to take up time and cry a lot). When she gets stressed out, her mascara starts to run and everyone within about a 1-mile radius chokes and dies, eyes bugging out in horror as if they'd just seen Rosie O'Donnell doing lunges.
Fortunately, her brother Alejandro is there to suck Maya's mascara back in using only his hands and a constipated look on his face. This sometimes causes people to come back to life, but sometimes not.
There are, of course, myriad ways in which this power/co-power would be useful--namely to temporarily kill people who stress you out, which would only be limited to everyone driving on the roads, holiday shoppers, college professors, girlfriends and your family. And friends. And co-workers. And that one guy who always quotes The Office at work.
If you forget to resurrect the people you kill, it's a given that you and your constipated sibling would be the only ones left alive on the planet after a few weeks of running amuck with this power. And, unless you're Angelina Jolie and her brother, it's unlikely the two of you will be willing to repopulate Earth.
Pyrokinesis. Translation: Saves $.22 cents a year on matches.
Why It Sucks:
As Claire Bennett's biological mother, Meredith Gordon has a unique power shared only by anyone who's ever spontaneously combusted and Johnny Storm from the Fantastic Four. She can create fire with her bare hands. That's one better than Pyro from the X-Men, who can only "manipulate" the fire but can't create it. With a power like that, Meredith Gordon could, dare we say, take over the world. But instead she primarily uses it to light her smokes and her propane stove, which is precisely what most people would do with it.
Sure, you'd go through at least a few boxes of plastic utensils for the first several weeks as you melt fork after fork, but after that, then what? If you really think about it, how often do you actually need to make a fire? If you're a hippie and you light candles, incense and campfires and burn your bra a lot, then sure, we'll give you that. But most normal people, especially the non-smokers of the planet, will call on this power two to three times a year, and even then, mostly to just dispose of old boxes from storage or piles of leaves in the yard.
Of course, you could use it for evil, but you need only turn to modern gun statistics to find that less than 1 percent of gun owners use it on another human being. Why would having fire hands be any different? At best, you'll be able to realistically portray the Wicked Witch of the West in your school's production of The Wizard of Oz when she says, "How about a little fire, scarecrow?" Everyone will ooh and ahh, except for the actor portraying the scarecrow, who will unfortunately be incinerated alive.
Why It Sucks:
Having a split personality is a super power the way that Alzheimer's is a super power. The same way that it would be really cool to forget how to go to the bathroom by yourself, it would be every bit as fun to be so emotionally damaged that your personality would splinter into separate entities whenever life becomes even remotely difficult.
This is one of those instances where Heroes confuses a real life disease with super powers and then tries to make it entertaining. Next season, we're sure they're going to trot out an AIDS patient and show off their heroic ability to swallow copious amounts of pills, and then maybe they'll hook up with Elle Bishop and have some sexy and exciting adventures in the intensive care unit.
If you're still playing along at home, Niki's "power" consists of turning into the slutty but violent Jessica when something violent and/or slutty needs to be done. She also turns into the slutty and coked out Gina when something slutty and/or drug-induced needs to be done, such as if you somehow needed to sleep with Screech from Saved By the Bell in order to save the world. That hasn't happened on the show yet, but the way the show has been going lately, we wouldn't be surprised if it's the entire premise of the third season.
If you like this article, check out our weekly Heroes analysis on the Official Cracked Blog.