Sunday, November 22, 2009


The Spiderman, Batman, and other superhero documentaries have gone a long way towards fostering understanding between humans and meta-humans, but we are still worlds apart. “Can I gain superpowers during sexual intercourse?” is still a question I get asked all the time at meta human education seminars (See Figure 1: How Are People Gaining Their Supernatural Powers?). Superpowers are, for better or worse, part of our world now, and it's best that you familiarize yourself with these “gods that walk among us,” and their accompanying powers.

Perhaps you or someone you love are struggling with strange powers you don't want to talk to your doctor or spiritual advisor about, for fear of being sent to a superhuman government detainment facility? The Superpowers chart can help you identify your power and move on from there (See Figure 2: What Should You do After Identifying Your Powers?). Superheroes hate to be “defined” by their superpower. “Oh, just because my power is superspeed, you think I have commitment issues?” Or, “Just because I'm physically invulnerable, you think I don't have feelings?” I can't tell you how many times I've heard these complaints from superpeople I know.

Should you become a hero or a villain? Both have their advantages: superheroes win more often (See Figure 3: How Often do Heroes and Villains Win Their Battles?), but super-villains have more fun. You hardly ever hear super heroes laugh maniacally after a victory, but villains can do so for hours, their manic laughter bouncing off the walls of their underground lairs. Although powers themselves are neither good or bad, there are certain superhuman abilities that seem to lead to villainy, or are difficult to use in a positive manner: Mind control (possession), darkness control, poison generation, necromancy, self-detonation, disease bestowal. Superhuman intelligence especially seems to lead people down the “mad scientist route.” But whichever side of the law you choose to align yourself on, you’ll find the same career perks: flexible hours, excitement, and travel (See Figure 4: Where do Superhumans Fight Their Battles?).

Once you figure out what your particular power is, you’ll need to identify your weakness. Don’t worry, it will be something very rare! Perhaps a relic from your home world, a rare isotope, or the love of a pure woman. (Unless you’re a member of the Green Lantern Corps., in which case your weakness will be something incredibly common and inane.) If you’re unable to discover your weakness on your own, don’t worry, eventually your nemesis will figure it out. No matter what your weakness is, you will probably also be susceptible to magic, the annoying wildcard of the superpowers world. Many superheroes who are supposed to be invulnerable are still susceptible to the effects of magic. Super strength, mental powers, power negation, illusions—a magical being could have any and all of these powers. The chief drawbacks of magic are its unreliability, high prep time, and general cornyness. 

Young meta humans often argue about what power is “the best.” Super strength and invulnerability are top contenders, as is mind control and super intelligence. But even if your super power is something more humble (See Figure 5: Lamest Super Powers) just remember, it’s not the size of your power that matters, but how you use it. 

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1. Name yourself
2. Sew a costume
3. Fight crime/commit crime
4. Battle nemesis
5. Repeat

FIGURE 5: lamest super powers

1. Super boring
2. The ability to see 3 seconds into the past
3. Animal communication: worms only
4. Impenetrable dinner conversation
5. The strength of a dog
6. Invisibility to the opposite sex
7. Ennui
8. Heightened paranoia
9. Omnilinguism
10. Je ne sais quoi

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