If I Could Have One Superpower…

Warning: Total comic-book-inspired geekery ahead. Like, full-on nerdgasm alert. Don’t judge me.

It’s 8 o’clock PM. I am getting ready for bed (yes, I go to bed at an hour that your grandparents would envy. The alarm clock starts going off at 4:30 every weekday morning so we can try to get up and exercise before work. No, it isn’t fun.). My wife is washing her face. She turns to look at me in the mirror, brow furrowed and face intense. “I have a question,” she says, using the tone that I know marks the beginning of a serious discussion. I put on my serious face, ready for a deep and thoughtful interaction. She pauses, then says, “If you could only have ONE superpower, what would it be?”

Whoa. This is heavy shit right before bed.

Our discussion lasts for close to an hour. Practical implications like how you’d make a living with the power come into play. Even after it’s done, I lay awake and ponder the implications. This is serious. Careful consideration has to be made: anything too overt could lead to a future locked in a lab while experiments are performed. That would not be fun. Plus, it’s just ONE superpower, not any hero’s full arsenal, so I’d get either Superman’s strength, OR speed, OR flight, OR whatever one of his eleventy-billion abilities that show up whenever he seems to need them (seriously, freeze breath? Criminy.) After our back-and-forth, deep thought afterwards, dreams about it, and more pondering the following morning, what follows are the choices I would make. I still don’t know which one I’d choose, but it would be from this list:


The ability to move shit with the power of the mind is one of my all-time favorites, as long as I could move some serious mass. As much as I would like to go full-on Phoenix Mode and have the ability to manipulate individual molecules, I’ll limit it for practical purposes and the fact that I’d have no idea what I was doing with a bunch of molecules. I’d be lucky to not to make everything into tapioca pudding by accident. Anyway, I’d love to be able to just move shit around. It’s not too overt as long as you’re careful, and you could have a ton of fun with it. Need money? Knock over that armored car. Go into underground boxing and add a nice jolt of telekinetic force with every blow. Good times.

Super Strength

It would just be fun to be the strongest person in the world. Bully everyone you want! Protect the innocent! Punch people really really hard! Win bar bets with your arm-wrestling prowess! Maybe it’s a guy thing.


Way too much fun. Robbing banks would be a snap. The more I think about it, the less it seems like I’d be a superhero. I’d totally be a villain.

Mind Control

Everything you want with zero effort involved? Yeah, OK, I guess I could live with that. This power is always portrayed in the comics as A Bad Thing Only Bad People Would Do. I am apparently a bad person. Don’t you think this Slurpee should be free? Yeah, I agree.


Mind control’s nicer cousin. Reading minds would make for a cushy living as a poker player. The only tough thing would be knowing exactly how much people don’t like you.

Photographic Reflexes

That is the name of the Taskmaster’s power (he’s a villain in the Marvel Universe. He rocks the short cape and skull facemask.). Essentially, if you see someone do something physically, you can do it too. Become a marksman in a minute. Learn martial arts by watching movies. Become an X-Games idol. Learn to knit, if you like. Whatever. First thing I’d do is teach myself parkour, then I’d run around like a monkey all day.

Healing (Others)

I would totally become a televangelist and do real faith-healing. Only drawback is the high likelihood of getting nailed onto something.

Healing (Self)

Be like Wolverine minus the claws, adamantium skeleton, build, accent, and sideburns. I’d still take it. Slow the aging process? Sweet. Smoke and drink with impunity? Nice. Get up after being shot? I could deal with that. I see no drawbacks here.

Phasing (Added later)

Like Kitty Pryde, the ability to pass through solid matter by becoming insubtantial like a ghost. Once again, I mostly think of Nefarious Deeds to do with it. Hello, Bank! Plus, imagine how much fun it would be to dress up in Victorian clothes and make people think you were haunting some random hotel. That’d be worth it too.

I can’t really pick between them. I know it’d be one of them, but if you put a gun to my head and made me choose, I would struggle. It was also an interesting lesson in what kind of person I am. I’d be a bad guy. Not necessarily the world-dominating type with minions that all dressed in ridiculous uniforms (although, now that I think about it, that would be a riot), but more like a hedonistic jerk who took whatever he wanted from life. I’m apparently not a very nice person.

So, if you could have just ONE power, what would it be? Don’t be restricted by my list – go crazy. Just make it ONE.

About Alan Edwards

Former cancer caregiver. Husband of the most magical and amazing person who ever lived.

Posted on July 28, 2011, in Kerfluffle and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. I’m thinking mind control. 🙂

  2. Duuuuude, you totally wrote my blog entry before I could! HAHA! That being said I’m still flip flopping between Photographic Reflexes and Mind Control. I think mind control would seriously go to my head, no pun intended.

    • Awwwww, I didn’t know! =( I feel bad now, stealing your idea.

      Mind Control would without a doubt become the most abused power on my list.

  3. Yeah, I gotta go with Mind Control, too. Telekinesis is tempting.

    I’ve always cheated on this one and just said: “Magic. Like Doctor Strange.” See, he only *technically* had one power…magic. And he could do all sorts of shit with that one power.

    So, if using my own list, I’d totally go with “Dr. Strange style magic”. From your list, Mind Control, no doubt. (MU HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!)

    • Dr. Strange magic would be sweeeeet – but probably disallowed under the rules here.

      We’d be one serious group of Mind Controllin’ people. The Legion of Evil is winning in a landslide.

  4. You guys are killing me! Teleportation isn’t even on that list? I am disappoint. Of your list, Telekenesis would be the easiest(Roulette? That’s your ATM), but Photographic Reflexes would be the most fun. I am with you on the Parkour.

    Mind Control is tempting, but I would be the darkest Jedi in all the world if I had that power, so probably should shy away from it.

    • Well, to be fair, it was MY list, not the End All Be All List, so feel free to pick your own. Teleportation was big on Mirwyn’s list, but I’ve never been as enamored of it. I also should have added Phasing (like Shadowcat). That’s another favorite of mine.

      • I may not have superpowers (beyond the ones I already have), but I have the power to edit my post! Muahahaha!

  5. Your wife is cool.

  6. I’d kill for Teleportation, I’d like to be able to teleport myself and objects. I figure I’d be able to simulate flying and a bunch of other powers by utilizing it creatively. I mean it’s just as useful as telekinesis.

  7. I might have actually reached an age of maturity where my first pick isn’t invisibility!

    Yeah, I’m guessing flight falls in with telekinesis and I’d be pretty happy with it. Teleportation always sounds really good when I first get to work. An extra 1 hr and 20 minutes per day and no gas expense … kind of a low level money making scheme.

    Gonna go give it more thought.

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