Whether you grew up reading comics or you’ve only recently between introduced to the world of Marvel and DC by the plethora of comic book movies that’ve been released over the last decade, we’re willing to bet that you’ve spent some time fantasizing about which superpower you’d like to have if given the opportunity to run afoul of some radioactive waste (trust us, you aren’t alone. We’ve spent years thinking on the subject). Regardless of where your interest in the super-powered comes from, we here at Goliath want you to know that we think it’s an important subject to think on, which is why we’ve taken the time to research the 10 super powers we think are the coolest, along with the heroes or villains who best represent that power. Feel free to sound off in the comments and let us know what you think; until then, here are 10 superpowers we wish we had.
10. Energy Blasts (Cyclops/Gambit)
While we’re sure having the ability to manipulate energy wouldn’t be without its consequences (we’re looking at you, Cyclops), especially if that consequence is getting to wear extra cool sunglasses all the time, but you’ve gotta admit it’d be pretty cool to be able to fire off an energy blast every now and then. Sure, it’s more practical in the superhero world than it is in its everyday application, but imagine you’re a lumberjack…I think cutting down all those trees just became a whole lot easier. Or maybe, just maybe there will be a terrifying alien invasion or zombie outbreak or apocalyptic event where those energy beams might come in very, very handy. Of course, we can’t predict the future and a lack of everyday application is why energy blasts are way down here at the bottom. Still, explosions are tempting…just ask Michael Bay.
9. Shapeshifting (Mystique)
Now here’s a power that would have some real world applications. Shapeshifting, perhaps best seen in the comics by villainess Mystique (although it’s a surprisingly common ability in the Marvelverse), is achieved by altering the shape of one’s cells so as to assume a new form, be that form human or otherwise. Looking beyond your impending career as the world’s greatest secret agent, there’d be innumerable ways to use this power for both good and evil. Anything you want to steal? Yeah, you could get away with that. Want to infiltrate and bring down a terrorist organization? Also an option, depending on where your moral compass points on that particular day. Also, an underrated boon for a power like shapeshifting might be an immunity to aging; with the ability to alter your cells, staying young forever wouldn’t really be an issue. Pretty cool, huh?
8. Super Speed (Quicksilver)
We’re a little surprised that super speed didn’t wind up a little higher on this list, given that the past two years have given us two extremely cool versions of Quicksilver to gawk over (played by Evan Peters in X-Men: Days of Future Past and by Aaron Taylor Johnson in Avengers: Age of Ultron). Also seen in Pixar’s The Incredibles, super speed would be a damned cool ability to be able to whip out on queue. The possibilities are endless, really…professional sports, no problem. The Olympics? It’d be like speed walking to you. The only reason we’ve got super speed all the way down at number eight on our list is because it seems a little…one dimensional? Limited, in a way? We don’t want to offend any die hard speedsters out there, but we think there’s abilities that offer a little more variety in their applications. And variety is the spice of life!
7. Invisibility (Sue Storm)
Also seen in The Incredibles, but perhaps best exemplified with the Fantastic Four‘s Sue Storm (A.K.A. The Invisible Woman), invisibility is the dream power of introverts everywhere that has some interesting applications in the everyday world (and innumerable applications in the superhero world). Invisibility, which often goes hand in hand with force field generation (even more applications in the superhero world), can often be used either on oneself or others (Sue Storm has been shown numerous times using her powers to actually bend the light around a subject other than herself, rendering them invisible as well). A neat party trick, most definitely, but also could be used to help or hinder the world as you see fit. Strange how many of these powers go both ways, huh? Nobody ever stops to wonder whether those superheroes get tempted to use their powers for their own gain!
6. Super Strength (Hulk)
This one doesn’t really require much of an explanation, but we’ll give it our best. Sometimes, just like the Hulk, we too want to smash things, and we want to smash ’em good. The big, angry green guy just looks so content when he’s out there tossing whomever incited his wrath around, we can’t help be a little jealous. We’re fans of the most recent iteration of the Hulk (played by Mark Ruffalo in The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron), and the super strength he’s displayed in the films mentioned has us hankering for the ability to toss some cars, jump real high and wrestle some bad guys for the sake of the greater good. We’ll make sure we buy the highest quality spandex we can find, too. Super strength, which is exhibited in heroes as varied as Ant Man, Thor and The Thing, is a staple of the comic book world and one of the most common super powers we found in our research.
5. Healing (Wolverine)
Wolverine is everyone’s favorite tough talking hero, but the odds are good that all that tough talking wouldn’t have gone over so well if he didn’t have the ability to heal nearly any injury extremely quickly. Wolverine, who shares this ability with a ton of other comic book characters like Deadpool and Sabretooth, may still feel the pain of the injuries themselves, but his body rejuvenates and restores injuries in minutes rather than the weeks or years it would’ve taken a normal human. Now, the benefits of this superpower should go without saying; a longer lifespan, resistance to disease and injuries, and a tolerance for alcohol that would make all your college buddies marvel in awe. Plus, you could definitely feel a little safer any time you felt like doing your best Wolverine impression and talking a little trash.
4. Time Travel (Cable)
There’s a bevy of time travellers in the comic book world; we chose the big guy, Cable, best known for his short lived and much loved “buddy” series with Deadpool, as the character to exemplify the ability, mainly because he’s really, really awesome. Time travel, which has been explored in a ton of genres outside the comic book medium, would most definitely be one of the coolest powers you could ever get your hands on; we’ve left it at number four because we feel like there’s just so many ways it can go wrong. So, so many ways. We’ve seen it time and time again; people go back in time to make things better, and lo and behold it just makes everything worse. We’ve also knocked it down because it’s one of the more destructive powers on this list, especially if used for evil. It’s a cool ability in the hands of someone determined and noble like Cable, but in the hands of your everyday American? Eh, we’re not so sure.
3. Teleportation (Nightcrawler)
Of all the extremely cool scenes Fox’s X-Men films have given us, there’s a legitimate possibility that the opening scene of X-Men 2: X-Men United is the absolute coolest. The scene, which shows Nightcrawler infiltrating the White House and taking on the Secret Service while attempting to assassinate the President of the United States, was an effective mix of traditional and computer generated effects that made viewers everywhere wish they, too, could teleport at will, although we’re willing to bet most audience members would happily do without the tail. The teleportation depicted in the film occurs when Nightcrawler actually travels from one point to another via an extra dimension; we’re not really sure whether we care how we’d be teleporting about, just that we’d love to be able to teleport to the fridge and back on NFL Sundays (never miss a touchdown again!).
2. Telekinesis (Jean Grey)
Similar to time travel, telekinesis is a power that has a long and storied history outside the comic book medium; inside the medium, however, it’s best illustrated by looking at Jean Grey, the wildly powerful psychic and one of the fundamental members of the X-Men. Jean, whose cerebral powers also include telepathy (which is the ability to communicate with and manipulate minds, while telekinesis is the ability to manipulate objects with the mind), has been a routine user of telekinesis since her introduction to the comic book universe; along the way, she’s made many a young reader wish they had her impressive set of telekinetic powers, which allow her to do most anything she sets her mind to (pun intended!).
1. Flight (Superman)
This is the king of all super powers, despite the fact that there are many on this list which are arguably more powerful or more interesting. This one appeals to the humanity in us, though; who among us hasn’t looked up at the sky and yearned to put on our red cape and simply fly away? Speaking of that red cape, we chose Superman to represent the power of flight simply because he’s been doing it longer and better than anyone else has. The iconic character, whose flight powers have taken many different iterations over the years (originally, Superman couldn’t fly. Know what he could do? Leap over tall buildings in a single bound…), is a symbol of hope, and much of the meaning imbued in that symbol stems from Superman’s ability to patrol the skies as our chosen protector.