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Posted by Psycorvus (71 posts) - - Show Bio

I've read comic books since I was seven years old and living in the UK it was often ard to find comic books at all as I lived in a rather small area.  
The stories were also often about four years behind the US releases so I wasn't exactly u to date on my Super Hero knowlege, I had the equivelant of back issues and animated television shows as reference. 
 
Growing up I remember loving the tough guys. Wolverine was a favourite as were characters like Batman and Raphael of TMNT. Now it might of just been that I was a small and young child wishing to have the muscles and skils of these over the top characters but I believe my main reason for liking these guys was that these were the guys who got the job done. 
 
If you were a super hero and you could shoot laser beams from from any part of your body you were often (in my eyes anyway) portrayed to be the "sharp shooter" of the group or if you were a hero that relied on gadgets or tech you were often the guy that could take a few henchmen out or came up with the winning plan but weren't much of a combatant or reguarly has to recharge some kind of battery or ran out of supplies. Worse still were the "Psychic power types" as they could make things such as force fields or scan minds but they were often shown to struggle in keeping the forcwe field up or would suffer some kind of back lash for probing someones mind. Basically I thought they were wimps that hurt themselves when ever they used their own powers. 
 
However in the mid to late nineties this changed. I was still behind the curve when this happened as like I mentioned before my material was often out dated. The Psychics started becoming the power hoouses, especially if they were both telepathic AND telekinetic. Suddenly these characters who struggled to open doors with their mind were able to shatter steel with their thoughts and throw people around like rag dolls while being no where near them. Telepaths now no longer just "Sensed the presense" of other sentient beings that were near by but could effectively download knowledge and skills from others on a whim. They could even re-write memoriesor communicate with other people that were on the other side of the planet. 
 
Gone were the days where you needed someone like Wolverine to dive in as your muscle heavy enforcer or Batman swooping in to rescue Robin at the nick of time from the bear sized thugs of Gotham, now you had men and women that could wipe out an entire fleet of henchmen with out needing to flex a bicep and could extract information from the most stubborn of evil doers by simply ripping it from their mind. 
 
I'm sure anyone that has read almost any material containing the Summers/Grey bloodline can relate to this. Here are some of their feats; 
 
Nate Grey/X-Man: Once destroyed Asia in his sleep and could even manipulate matter on the molleculer level so that he could phase through walls while also sing his mutant powers to fly AND mentally scan for immediate threats. His telepathic prowes often allowed him to force others to percieve him as another person. He managed to make himself and his love interest Threnody appear as Quentin Tarantino and Naomi Campbell to an enitre restaurant of people. While investigating the case of a missing boy he telepathically assumed the identities of X-Files characters Mulder and even telepathically gave Madelyne Pryor the identity of Scully (Though they were refered to as McMulder and McScully in the issue)
 
Nathan Summers/Cable: Could scan the minds of every worker and soldier of an entire top secret millitary base for hours several hours and only recieve a headache. He also fought the Silver Surfer causing destruction as they smashed through buildings and furniture just about anything in site but managed to put it all back together seconds after destroying it mid combat. It also turned out that while having this fight he was keeping his personal island with all it's technological marvels and inhabitants floating in the sky not by powerful anti-gravity generators but by the sheer power of his telekinesis. Admittedly he burnt out and lost the battle and this is a representation of when his TK was at it's full potential but even before that he had found a way to channel his TK toward his the molleculer structure and hold back the extremely aggressive T.O. Virus that was attempting to consume his body from an early age. 
 
Rachel Grey/Marvel Girl: Was able to transport the psyche of Scott Summers and jean Grey across the timeline to help raise their son in an alternate dystopian future. She has also been seen explosively disassembling large mech suits and was even able to manipulate the structure of her DNA giving her the attributes of a velociraptor like race, 
 
I know these may only be a small selection of characters across the many different publishing companies out there but they perfectly represent my point. 
Even down grading their power how do you give these characters a reasonable threat without writing the clichéic characters of the past? 
How does a writer use these characters to the best of their abilities without making them an omnipotent beings or hampering them to the point of annoying? 
 
Personally I enjoy reading about these kinds of characters as with clever enough writing these characters come across as creative and diverse in their capabilities as a hero. It would be easy to just make them "Psi-Tanks" that obliterate all in their path, and some times they are represented that way.  
 
I suppose as I've grown and the writing teams have changed I've learned to appreciate these characters or is it that the psychic heroes now represent the new big guns in the industry? I personally am a fan of the so called "Extreme 90's" era of comic books and love the anti-heroes with shady morals and big guns but I also appreciate the character that is easily underestimated by the villains simply because they don't have hulking physiques or over the top weapons. I have a place for both styles of character in my life and as long as the writing is done well will read either kind. 
 
What do you all think? Are these modern era psychics the new Supermen and Wonder Women or are the heavy hitters still holding up skyscrapers with their bare hands and bouncing bullets of their chest? 

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#1 Posted by IfDCRuledTheWorld (761 posts) - - Show Bio

I would have to agree with you. TK and TP powers are becoming almost 'god-like' to those who have them. As stated above, just about anyone with the last name of Summers or Grey, are considered to be omega level mutants. That's why I will always like DC as opposed to Marvel. I prefer my heavy hitters to slug it out with the bad guys instead of "mind raping" them or just manipulating energy or matter in a way to make them cease to exist. I considered that almost as bad as Superman sneezing a galaxy away.

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#2 Posted by JediXMan (37508 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd say reality warpers are the creme de la creme.

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#3 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23390 posts) - - Show Bio
@JediXMan said:
I'd say reality warpers are the creme de la creme.
This. Which is why I dislike them, especially since Marvel have about 15 living on Earth -_____- 
 
The three Omni-s are still the best though.
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#4 Posted by BMEZY (1270 posts) - - Show Bio

my thoughts exactly!!

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#5 Posted by pwnda (67 posts) - - Show Bio

@JediXMan said:

I'd say reality warpers are the creme de la creme.

Agreed!

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#6 Posted by Jnr6Lil (8721 posts) - - Show Bio

@JediXMan said:

I'd say reality warpers are the creme de la creme.
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#7 Posted by Rumble Man (11197 posts) - - Show Bio

No power is actually better than the other

any power sufficiently leveled enough can beat the other

Adaptation is one of those ones

but the best one is plot armor

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#8 Posted by cloudzackvincent (1195 posts) - - Show Bio

i totally get ur point... first of all, reality warpers are the most op..however i don,t have a problem if a cosmic being is warping reality..although i don't read a lot of marvel however FadeToBlackBolt said there are like 15 of them living in earth..that's crazy...

secondly, some of the TK, TP users are basically reality warpers in their own right...

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#9 Posted by Jnr6Lil (8721 posts) - - Show Bio

I would take telepathy over telekinesis though, A telepath on the level of Professor X, could put mental barriers in your head, allowing you to not use your powers.

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#10 Posted by KingofMadCows (349 posts) - - Show Bio

I would say that telekinetics can become telepaths if they're able to refine the use of their powers since they can sense and alter thoughts through the manipulation of neurons and chemicals in people's brains. In fact, they would be even more powerful than telepaths since they'd be able to do it to robots and machines too.

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#11 Posted by Deadite (25091 posts) - - Show Bio

Anyone with immortality. Immortality means your mind have to cope with existing forever, that alone is singular existence's most powerful signature. Singular existence = Infinity construct = Most powerful. The body would probably evolve as you live through the centuries. The most fundamental aspect of a being, self-awareness, that concept will concentrate and sharpen as well.