6 Superheroes Whose Lives Would Be Terrible IRL
Superheroes are all about wish fulfillment. Nobody wants to be Peter Parker, a poor, friendless shut-in -- they want to be Spider-Man, the guy who does whatever a spider can, which presumably includes eating his enemies. However, there are some super powers that aren't as great as they might seem, and would actually make your life exponentially worse, if not flat-out kill you before you apprehended a single bank robber.
Quicksilver Would Go Insane
Quicksilver is the Marvel Comics equivalent of the Flash, a mutant with the power to move at lightning speed. As a result, he experiences reality thousands of times faster than the rest of us. It pretty much makes him a god.
No question, this would be the best power to have in real life. You get a text from Mom saying that she's coming over, and you can clean up your whole apartment in less time than it takes to message her back "OK." You'd never miss another delivery, no matter how little time the FedEx driver spent between leaving a note on your door and sprinting back to the van.
But spare a thought for Quicksilver, whose entire life would be a hell of waiting for ordinary humans to go about their slow-ass business ... to the point where it's hard to imagine he'd maintain his sanity.
They kind of make a joke of it in Days Of Future Past. When the X-Men first meet him, Quicksilver has a difficult time defeating boredom, between playing a game of ping-pong against himself, playing video games, watching television, and pick-pocketing Wolverine, all within less than a minute. But they are drastically understating the problem. The comics go into it a bit more -- there, Quicksilver has a therapist, to whom he describes the nightmare of his day-to-day life, like waiting behind someone to use a banking machine or standing in line at Burger King.
"Whopper farts seem like they take days to leave a room for me."
"Nah, that's how it is for us, too."
But even that is barely scratching the surface. Remember, he can move so fast that bullets appear to hang in mid-air, and he thinks at that speed as well. He's able to make decisions, to be present in that moment, at a thousand or ten thousand times normal speed. In other words, he doesn't think of himself as fast; he thinks of the rest of us as statues. For Quicksilver, standing in line at a grocery store would last the equivalent of years.
Bleached hair and goatees are back in style -- that's how far ahead he is.
Also, forget about normal relationships. Conversations would involve waiting hours for the next word to come out. This isn't just an annoyance, either. The brain needs stimulation -- stick a prisoner in solitary confinement for a while and they quickly lose the ability to form rational thoughts. It doesn't matter that, unlike the prisoners, he's free to interact with other people, because we're not people to him. We're snails. He'd never find anyone he could socialize with at his own pace. DC would never give up the rights.
Nearly Any Normal Activity Would Turn Bruce Banner Into The Hulk
You know that Bruce Banner's whole shtick is that he turns into the Hulk when he gets angry. Except that's not always the case. The current Marvel films establish that it's not anger which turns him into a huge green punch-monster, but his heart rate. Banner has to practice meditation, wear a heart rate monitor on his wrist, and avoid YouTube comments in order to keep his inner beast in check.
"Dislikes mean nothing, dislikes mean nothing, dislikes mean nothing ..."
The movies don't give this problem much thought beyond explaining why he can't have sex with a willing Liv Tyler. In reality, Bruce Banner's daily life must be much more difficult than we've imagined, even when bad guys aren't trying to kill him. Right away, there's the fact that not only can he not have sex, but he can't masturbate either. A quiet evening spent on PornHub would get him too worked up, and soon there'd be a fully-erect Hulk smashing through walls.
Those little pants are tight enough already.
There's also no easy way that Banner could stay as fit as Edward Norton, considering that any vigorous exercise will trigger the monster within. But maybe he eats right and uses one of those ab-electrocuting belts they advertise on late night television? Sure, but you still have the fact that running for the bus or rearranging the furniture in his apartment are probably out of the question for Bruce. He essentially has to live like an arthritic 85-year-old. But even the elderly/disabled person knows that the worst that can happen if they overexert is a broken hip or heart attack. If Bruce Banner struggles too hard with a bookcase, he's going to Hulk out and rip the building in half.
Think about how many times this would come up in an average day. What if his elevator is busted? We hope he has an audio book, because it'll be a slow climb up those stairs (with frequent breaks) if he's going to avoid exerting himself and shapeshifting into a being of pure destruction, putting hundreds of innocent lives at risk. He also presumably can't have any caffeine, and as far as entertainment is concerned, he should probably stay away from horror movies, because he wouldn't want to get too scared ... or excited ... or laugh too hard ... hell, better stay away from movies altogether.
Except for Ang Lee's Hulk. That would knock him out, easy.
And this is all the stuff he can control. He still has to worry about nightmares, which are a real possibility, considering he lives in a world where monsters and alien invasions are a thing. Hell, even getting sick is a risk, because even a fever will increase your heart rate. Shit, at this point it's probably easier to stay in Hulk form all the time. That sounds like the less stressful option.
Iron Man's Suit Would Pulverize His Body
Iron Man is Marvel's answer to what you'd get if you squashed Superman and Batman together into one character and gave him a crippling alcohol addiction. Beyond being armor, Iron Man's suit is also a flying machine which can outrun and outmaneuver military aircraft. Again, flown by a drunk person. Tony Stark's suit is so amazing that he can break the speed barrier and then make a perfect landing without slowing down or even stirring up much dust.
A perfect 10 on the Deadpool scale.
And why not? It's all based on fictional technology anyway. He has an infinite power supply and the tech to make tiny jets that fit in his palm. Hell, we'll probably have those things in the next 30 years or so! What Tony did not upgrade, however, is his squishy human body. Therein lies the problem.
Ever been in a car crash? Or even braked suddenly to avoid hitting a squirrel that clearly wanted to die? Your car stops, but your body keeps going -- that's basic conservation-of-momentum stuff. That's why your car is equipped with a whole bunch of technologies designed specifically to prevent you from becoming a human missile launched or having to wear your steering wheel as a necklace for the duration of your trip to the emergency room. If you're not wearing your seat belt, a sudden stop at a mere 30 miles an hour is enough to put your head through the goddamned windshield.
Or in his case, his whole body through the car.
Now imagine a sudden stop -- like the one Tony does above -- at 10 or 20 times that speed. Or imagine all the times we've seen Stark outright crash into hard surfaces at full speed, often due to having been flung into it by the Hulk. It doesn't matter if the machine around you is made of a perfectly indestructible substance, because your body is going to run into the machine. And that kinetic energy gets transferred right into your bones and organs. This is the problem the NFL has with concussions, by the way; no matter how advanced the helmet, the problem is that the brain is still bouncing around inside the skull every time it comes to a sudden stop against a 250-pound linebacker. And that's without having several tiny jet engines strapped to their bodies.
So to imagine what happens during Stark's mach-speed landings/crashes, take a carton of eggs and throw it against the wall as hard as you can. Now picture that inside of an Iron Man costume.
Like this, but all the time.
The Flash Would Need To Eat Every Minute Of Every Day
In the current TV version of The Flash, it's established that Barry Allen needs to constantly stuff his face with calories in order to maintain his speed powers. This makes sense for a world in which Flash's abilities are for the most part supposed to be ruled by physics instead of comic book magic. However, as is the case with most superhero fiction, grounded explanations for super abilities wind up creating more problems than they solve.
In this case, at least one expert claims that Flash would have to consume at least 10,000 calories per day, and that's if he only used his abilities for five minutes in a 24-hour period.
How much is that? Well, to put it in perspective, it's more than twice what Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson consumes on top of his strenuous workouts, and he claims to eat seven meals a day to get a comparatively paltry 4,131 calories. For Barry Allen to achieve his absurd 10,000-calorie minimum, he basically has to be eating all the time. Not just when he has the opportunity -- whenever he's punching a villain with one hand, he needs to be stuffing a cheeseburger into his mouth with the other.
Pictured: a light snack.
We also have to remember that Dwayne Johnson is a Hollywood millionaire. Barry Allen is a CSI tech, which is the job he needs to rely on for money, because vigilante justice doesn't pay much. This means that he's living on a wage of around $56,000 a year, the vast majority of which must be going straight onto his food bill. Which probably explains why he's still living with his dad. It's the equivalent of trying to feed a family of five, and that bill goes through the roof if it's all restaurant food. Which it'd have to be -- otherwise, every second of his off-screen time would be spent either preparing his food or eating it (probably simultaneously). Not even super-speed is going to help him in the kitchen. That skillet isn't going to heat up any faster, no matter how quickly you can chop an onion.
And then there's the pure stress all of this eating puts on his system. The fact that he relies on calorie-dense food explains why Allen is shown stuffing his face so often with pizza and ice cream, but eating nothing but grease is a great way to land yourself in the emergency ward before you hit 30, superpowers be damned. His body still has to figure out what to do with all of the salt, cholesterol, and fiber he takes in. On top of the stress on his liver, kidneys, etc, he's going to be shitting constantly.
Every public restroom in Central City looks like Trainspotting now.
Wonder Woman's Invisible Jet Would Have A Huge Problem With Birds
Two of the most iconic tools in Wonder Woman's arsenal are her magic lasso and an inexplicably invisible jet. We've yet to see how the DC cinematic universe is going to handle the whole invisible plane thing (seeing as how they already had a perfect opportunity to use it in Batman V. Superman, but opted to have her fly in a commercial jet instead), but it's hard to imagine them ignoring it completely, since it's such an enduring mainstay for the character. Also, it's all but impossible for a grounded cinematic world to explain an invisible aircraft when birds exist.
We're not even talking about the cost of pigeon poop power-washing.
Seriously, even in the modern world, bird collisions are one of the most dangerous hazards in air travel, and that's with visible aircraft. Since 2000, over 500 planes have collided with birds in mid-flight, and 166 of them had to make an emergency landing as a result.
If you haven't heard of this, you might think we're overstating the problem for the sake of comedy. A plane is metal, a bird is meat and feathers. Wouldn't the latter simply bounce off, leaving a faint red smear behind? That's the magic of velocity, though. Given the speed at which your average plane is traveling, even hitting something as small and fleshy as a parrot is enough to make it look like it was hit by a goddamn anti-aircraft gun, as these photos from a bird-struck passenger jet in Namibia attest:
Alas, the bird can't attest to much these days.
And keep in mind, that's a plane the birds could see and try to avoid. Wonder Woman's Invisible Jet doesn't give any nearby wildlife any such warning. Also, even if the plane is somehow super-strong and immune to bird damage, it's still going to be covered in a thick coat of bird gore long before it reaches its destination. Which, you know, kind of defeats the purpose of having an invisible plane in the first place.
There's No Way To Hide Batman's Identity From The Feds
It doesn't matter which version of the Batman mythos you're referencing; the closest thing he has to a superpower is the fact that he has all of the money in the goddamned universe. The Christopher Nolan movies lay it out most clearly. The only reason Bruce Wayne is able to indulge in his extracurricular activities is the fact that he's a billionaire CEO who funnels money from his company directly into that high-tech bat costume.
So in Batman Begins, Bruce Wayne solicits Lucius Fox, the head of Wayne Enterprises' Research and Development division, to reconfigure the whole department toward his Batmanning hobby. It's established that the military has no interest in buying any of the company's designs, so the whole program is on the verge of being canceled -- until it mysteriously cranks up again and pumps millions of the company's dollars into designing equipment for Wayne's personal use, which he writes off as a personal interest in "spelunking."
Because that's normal-sounding at annual stockholder meetings.
Oddly enough, that explanation is even weirder than if they'd just said he built the stuff himself. It's one thing for Bruce Wayne to spend his personal fortune on a Batmobile. This is America, after all, and he can buy what he wants. Instead he's cooking the books of a corporation, to embezzle not cash but military-grade weaponry. Even if Al Qaeda doesn't exist in the Batman universe, domestic terrorism sure as hell does (and is a weekly occurrence). You don't think the federal government has anyone in charge of keeping track of these stray weapons systems? This is top-of-the-line technology, too. Even if they weren't afraid of terrorism, they'd want to keep it out of the hands of the Russians or Chinese.
This is the property damage a good guy is capable of inflicting with one of these.
There would be a bitter fight over which huge agency would have the pleasure of nailing Wayne Enterprises to the wall. The Department of Defense? FBI? ATF? IRS? FTC? Homeland Security? Fooling them all would take an army of accountants and lawyers, all of them willing to be accomplices to several felonies.
Sure, there's a sequence in The Dark Knight in which a consultant stumbles across the discrepancy in their books, but Lucius and Wayne are able to shut him up and the problem goes away. But even without that guy around, you'd expect Wayne Enterprises' monthly shareholder meetings to include more than a few awkward silences when some bureaucrat admits that yet another billion dollars has mysteriously disappeared, while on an apparently unrelated note, a masked vigilante has been spotted piloting a nuclear speedboat that uncannily resembles the one their company designed, albeit with giant bat wings added to the back.
"Eh, great minds or whatever ..."
For more reasons being a superhero probably isn't all that great, check out 6 Awesome Superpowers (That Would Suck In Real Life) and 7 Awesome Superpowers (Ruined by Science).
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