Who among us hasn't, at some point in their life, tried to bargain for super powers with whatever higher power they prefer. God, god, Allah, Vishnu, Xenu, Rama Kushna, a young George Lucas; you name it, some geek has prayed to it. Come on, don't act like I'm the crazy one here. And in the course of said bargaining, we've all come to the point where we say, "I don't need to be Superman-just give me ONE power!" Well, this post is dedicated to whichever lucky nerd out there gets his or her prayers answered... You don't want to be caught unawares and end up with some stinker of a power all because you were caught in the sway of its superficial coolness.
To that end, this list is, BY NO MEANS, a list of "lame" super powers. In fact, these might be some of the coolest superpowers out there. BUT, I'm judging these powers' practicality based on one's ability to immediately go out there and start "making a difference." How useful would any of these powers be when fighting actual crime, or helping actual people? Because, were any self-respecting geek lucky enough to be granted a super power, he or she is gonna run straight home, drape a bath towel over his or her shoulders, and dive straight into action! Would we have any other choice? Years of black and white comic book morality have left us emotionally crippled-I don't think we'd even be able to think of any other use for a super power. Anyway, read on to be sure you're any actual use to human kind once you've been chosen to defend it.
(or any animals really)
I feel bad about this one. Aquaman already catches enough crap from people who don't respect the King of the Sea... but really, talking to sea animals isn't gonna do you much good. The comics have us believe that there is an abundance of giant squid and blue whales; but really you'd be spending most of your time chatting with tuna and scad. And unless you're battling Somali pirates, the vast majority of crime takes place on land. And even if you could chat with land animals, in actuality you'd be mostly talking to the bottom of the food chain. Its not like there are bears and lions casually patrolling the streets waiting for your commands. Hope you know how to work with squirrels and pigeons, buddy.
This one's kind of a "no duh" case; but it's still a common enough power that needs to be addressed. Sure, as a rampaging beast of a man, you could probably stop a whole lotta crime. You could also accidentally level a city street, squash a few misunderstanding cops, and kill your loved ones with an overzealous hug. If you were able to maintain your own consciousness, then obviously this one would be a winner. But if you give up control to the reptilian parts of your brain, then your alter ego is bound to be more of a villain than a hero. Also, the replacement wardrobe costs would bankrupt you.
Unless they're backed up by Daredevil's radar sense, super senses make you little more than a super stalker. You can listen to people have sex a mile away and try to check out some girl's butt (of course all you'll see are bones), but you really can't do much to fight crime. I suppose you could be some sort of Super Snitch, just listening to people plan crimes; but you'll probably spend most of your life sucking down aspirin for all the super migraines.
(laser eyes, laser fists, etc)
We have now exited the useless-in-the-field portion of the list, and entered the walking-death-factory stretch of the list. Power blasts are cool, and really useful when fighting robots and other invulnerable super beings; BUT not so great when fighting your standard crime. We all know that a stray blast from Cyclops' eyes can demolish a steel and concrete wall. Well, imagine that same blast making contact with the fragile, waterballoon-stuffed-with-organs that is your typical bank robber: Boom! People confetti. So unless you're looking to haphazardly explode people like so many cut scenes from District 9, Power Blasts won't get you much further than a jail cell (specially designed to hold you of course).
Another power that is great on 3-color-printed paper, but not so much in practice is the popular Sonic Scream-which has been relegated almost solely to female characters for some offensive reason I'm sure. However, it's hard to imagine any situation where this power doesn't just burst everyones' ear drums within a 5 block radius. Unless you plan on handing out ear plugs to all potential victims before any crime occurs, you're going to spend most of your costumed career being scorned for deafening an entire populace for a few purse snatchers and a car jacker.
(e.g. The Human Torch)
Fire's totally awesome! And the thought of being enveloped in living flame while being unscathed is equally awesome. Plus, you can fly! Bonus awesome! Too bad you'll be responsible for the burn ward overflow at all the area hospitals. You probably couldn't even get close to anyone, victim or aggressor, without melting flesh from bones. Extra minus: do you know any super smart, stretchy guys who can manufacture your clothing from unstable molecules? No? Well, then you'll have to find someplace warm and private every time you "flame off," cause you'll be spending alot of time naked... and alot of money replacing charred jeans.
This might be one of the most popular of all time... naturally thanks to one of the arguably baddest assest superheroes of all time. But let's be honest, the claws aren't what makes the mutant; it's his healing factor. That's why Wolverine is the workhorse of the X-Men, the claws are just the garnish. Also, when not coupled with a healing factor, they can be more trouble than they're worth (as this video clearly demonstrates). Even if we can ignore the massive amounts of personal blood loss, you basically just have 6 deadly knives attached to your hands. You can go out, right now, and try to fight crime with a knife in both hands, and you're practically there... and there wouldn't be too good. You're either eviscerating muggers and landing in jail, or you're just gonna get shot. Either way, the style points don't make up for the all the blood loss and severed digits.
This last one isn't so much a power, as it is a successful formula for superhero makings. It works great in the comics! Bruce Wayne, Tony Stark, Oliver Queen, Ted Kord, Danny Rand, whatever Moon Knight's name is (I won't even bother looking it up)... all turned out great thanks to their money and various emotional problems! Why is this not a practical "power"? Because it actually exists! And we don't have a single super hero! You're telling me, out of all the thousands of spoiled rich kids with rage issues, not a one of them bothered to dedicate their life and wealth to fighting crime? This isn't a formula for nigh-invincible, robot armor; so much as it is a recipe for date rape. Wealth and emotional problems are wasted on the rich and emotionally disturbed.
So that's my list of impractical super powers. I look forward to any arguments you may pose... as I'm sure you're all straining your brains to think of practical crime-fighting applications for these stinkers. Either way, when you do get that one wish from a genie, make sure you think long and hard about the power you choose. May I suggest super speed or a green lantern ring?