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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Which superpower would you choose if you could? That is a tough one but I’ve cracked it.

I watched some X-Men yesterday and engaged myself in a very serious thought process about this, as if i really needed to decide soon. When asked about it by the best teacher in the world, allegedly, i responded with “to be able to fly”. I see. I wasn't totally satisfied with my answer, but you know what? I said that because that’s the easiest to remember. I guess Superman is engraved in my brain, from my childhood movies. But after all my thinking, actually just after a little thinking, flying isn’t even in my top ten.

From the more up to date movies, Wolverine is the engraved one. The problem is that he doesn’t have just one superpower. And as i’m writing this now i realise that, in my mind at least, mostly DC characters have “superpowers”. Marvel people have mutations or skills. I can even see Batman as superpowered, but Iron Man as skilled and rich. Maybe you could change your question to reflect that, teacher.

So I can’t answer with “Wolverine”, although he really isn’t in my top ten either. After all he has, just for starters, super healing and claws. Consequently, he is “immortal”, which is very tempting, probably the most tempting part. But in real life, besides living forever, his abilities are not very useful.

Think about it. When we answer this question we are thinking about empowering our current lives, not saving the world or fighting baddies. We want money and sex. And I’m not saying that we will be evil, not by a long shot. We want those things in the most legal and moral way possible. One of my first thoughts was: “which power will make me rich most discreetly?”. I need to make money the easy way, without attracting attention to myself and being able to justify it. See? I even want to pay taxes.

I won’t talk about the sex bit for the sake of maintaining a high standard in this discussion. But we all want a little fun, like going to parties and the Lamborghini factory, being able to enjoy it and not having to worry about the police afterwards, right? So slicing through the security guards with your claws is not the best idea. A superpower that people can see, it turns out, is not what you want after all. So much for flying then, since you can’t take off or land near anyone.

How about invisibility? That was my first choice for a moment. Sneak anywhere, steal someones Lamborghini’s keys, disappear. But then i remembered the first Fantastic Four movie: should i have to take my clothes off or do they become invisible as well? Since the invisible clothes seemed like a bit of a stretch, which is kind of the same problem of shapeshifting like Mystique, i dropped this one and went for super speed.

The big scene of the speedster in X-Men: Days of Future Past is one of my favourites. But I remembered that in real life I would have a lot of air moving around, breaking things, making noise, not so undetectable. Shame. How about controlling the weather? Sorry, Storm. Not very good. Magneto is amazing but not very inconspicuous either.

Teleportation must be the answer. But it isn’t. You could travel and enter anywhere, sure, but the problem with knowing where you’re “landing” is a biggie. If someone misplaced a chair, you’re literally stuffed.

Finally, my not so exciting answer came: psychic abilities. Professor X without the legs, without his legs i mean, without the impossibility of walking, argh, being able to walk. There. Reading and controlling minds, that’s the ticket. You just influence people into doing what you want. You could do more, like making them understand something, like being a dictator is an arse move. There, superhero you are.

On a day-to-day level, you can “convince” people to give you information, authorisation, safe passage or simply make them give you attention, so you can say what you need to make a point, for instance. That way you don’t even need to do evil actions, like “making” the girl like you. You just grab their attention and show how great you are. Privileged information gets your money without strings, you can get to any means of transportation, be invited anyplace and get there with one of your Lamborghinis that you bought legally.

This is the best of both worlds: if the mood strikes you, Trump is gone and the economy doesn’t collapse, North Korea is gone and we can have a bigger South Korea with all its technology and K-Pop. You’re a superhero, making the world you live in a better and enjoyable place for you, your peers and everyone else. Meanwhile, you can drive your Gallardo with the real Mystique by your side all over the world without getting a speeding ticket.

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