Most of us are hoping that, through some kind of nuclear accident or other, we'll wind up with super powers. It's just a matter of time, right?
If you could pick what power you wind up with, what would you take? It's not as easy a choice as it sounds, because as it turns out, you can expect some pretty annoying (or deadly) side effects.
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Man, who doesn't want to be able to fly? You can laugh at gravity, zoom through the air unaided, like Superman or Neo or several thousand species of bird. And, like them, maybe find out what it's like to take a dump in mid-air. What are they going to do, arrest you? Only if the cops have a damned jet.
So how fast are you going up there? Were you assuming you'd get super speed to go along with your flight? OK. Have you seen what a bird can do to a jet engine at high speed? Imagine what it does to your face. Yeah, that's why anything going faster than a hang glider has a windshield up there.But if instead just you're flying at about the same speed you run, then, well, you're like that old couple that drives 25 on the interstate. The crime will be long over by the time your slow ass gets there.
"You've got to be fucking kidding me."
But let's say you did get some kind of speed boost, and a bird-proof face. Do you know where you're going? Up there in the wild blue yonder, without landmarks, how do you expect to navigate? Do you have an exact map of the entire country in your head? Sure, you can find the Empire State building if that's where the bad guys are, but what if the crime is happening in some house way the fuck out in the middle of nowhere, amid a tangle of looping country roads?
OK, so you get some kind of radar installed in your head. But now you have the atmosphere to deal with. Wind constantly blowing particles into your eyes and the freezing cold. Granted, you'd have to go up pretty high to get that effect, but you're not going to be a moron and fly where people can see you.
"'No, honey, you take the car, I'd rather fly'. Such an idiot.
Oh, by the way, you might want to be careful what you wear. Not only is it cold enough to freeze your balls, but lower temperatures mean you're more of a conductor of electricity. It's like when you're walking home on a winter day, come in and shock the shit out of whatever you touch. Multiply that by say, a million. If you're wearing anything like wool--though we don't know what the Hell kind of superhero would wear wool anyway--you're going to be a human capacitor. If you happen to be a supervillain, we suggest working on your Palpatine voice so you can make one Hell of an entrance when you land.
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Super strength, as demonstrated by pretty much every fucking superhero ever, is the superpower that everybody wants most. Yes, more than flight. Flight doesn't do you a damned bit of good if after you get there you can't kick some ass. But there are a couple of big problems with it. Big ones.
So the first thing you'll want to do in your career as a superhero is try to lift something huge. Hell, that's all they did in the last Superman movie and--oh no! That bus is falling off a cliff! Better go catch it!
Or you can just hold a bunch of trash, or whatever.
You jump up and catch the underside on your hands. Great job! But, instead of the relieved cries of little Johnny and Mary as they're saved from falling to fiery doom, you hear screams of agony as your hands rip through the undercarriage, up through the aisle, your arms and torso now bloodied like some B-grade zombie. It's not your blood; you just impaled little Johnny from crotch to sternum.
You can thank the laws of physics, specifically, pressure. Because all of your super strength is concentrated in your tiny little hands, you're basically like a dagger plunging into a watermelon. Remember when Superman caught that airliner in Superman Returns? He'd have just gotten embedded in the nosecone. He'd be puncturing the plane, not catching it.
Same thing when you wind up launching yourself into space to stop that asteroid. At best you'll bury yourself in the surface of the rock, at worst you'll crack the thing into pieces, turning one killer asteroid into three. If there were any life on Earth left, we're pretty sure on your tombstone it would read something like "Here lies ______, who passed away from being metaphorically slapped in the face by Isaac Newton's penis."