Off My Mind: What is the One Best Superpower for Heroes?

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Posted by gmanfromheck (42524 posts) - - Show Bio

Quick, answer this question: what is the one best superpower to have? How many times have you been asked that? If you haven't been asked or had this come up in conversation, I'm sure it's something you've at least thought about when reading comic books. A quick common answer might be invisibility. That way you could walk into banks or spy on the opposite sex (both would be very bad and an abuse of the power, of course). 

There's been debate over what is the best superpower. If you look, you could probably find a few different threads around discussing it. It's one of the biggest components in the battle threads. 

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Let's set some parameters. Let's say you're about to be given the opportunity to become a superhero in a comic book world. You will be granted one, and only one, superpower. We're going to rule out godly powers because that's just too cheap. What would be the best one to have to fight and vanquish evil? 
 == TEASER ==


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Who wouldn't want to be super-strong? Imagine if you had the power to punch the lights out of any villain that came your way. It wouldn't matter if the villain had a shield or armor. It'd be like punching a wet paper bag. But would it be the best power to have if you could only have one? Would strength help if your opponent could fly? Hulk is able to take giant leaps but would that be enough to chase after your enemy? What if there was more than one and they split up? Strength may not always be the answer.


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If I could fly, I could get to the office in time. Traffic jams and rush hour would be a thing of the past. Let's keep in mind we're talking about fighting super-villains. Is there any hero that can only fly? Falcon sort of fits that bill but he also has the ability to see through the eyes of other birds in the area. You could fly around your enemy but if they were really fast or strong, they might be able to take you out when you swooped in to apprehend them.


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Moving at super-speed would easily allow you to capture your enemies, right? Isn't that the Flash's main schtick? I'd say not really. I won't go into the time traveling ability the Flashes have had before and I'm not sure if all speedsters would be able to vibrate through objects. What would a speedster do against a villain with a forcefield? What if they could turn invisible? With super-speed, you could probably run and get help from another nearby hero if you needed to. But that'd be like going to get your older brother to fight your battles for you. You could run out and try to get a gadget that could help. Speed would be cool since you could avoid their punches but might not be enough against some opponents.

Time Manipulation 

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If you could control time, wouldn't life be really easy for a hero? You don't really see many heroes that can stop or travel through time. Is it because it would make things too easy. If you could stop time, you could stroll around or even build a barricade around the villain. We all know that messing with time can get super messy. Look what happened when Marty McFly went back in time. He had to make out with his mom. That's just wrong. Messing with the concept of time seems to be asking for trouble. Stopping or manipulating it too much could create a paradox or even break the timestream. That wouldn't look too good on your superhero resume´.

We could probably sit here all day and list every single superpower. Look at how many we have listed here on Comic Vine. Other high contenders would include invulnerability (good for defense but on its own, not much of an offensive power), immortailty (again, not much good if you don't have other powers or skills), invisibility (besides sneaking into the girls' locker room, you could sneak up and knock out your opponents, provided they don't have sensors or forcefields), telepathy (you could defeat someone with just thoughts as long as they didn't have a Magneto or Juggernaut helmet) or shapeshifting (you could try to trick your enemy but would you be able to apprehend them?). What about super-fighting skills? That's sort of Batman's superpower, right? Not really. He's got brains that allow him to out-think his opponents.

That leads me to my choice for best single superpower to have. I'll admit I'm a little hesitant to committing to just one. I honestly don't think I've ever really answered this question before. Maybe I've managed to avoid it or it was never specified that you could only have one. There may be ways around this but my choice would be:


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What if you were super-smart? What if you could outthink anyone? You would be able to think of a solution to any problem that comes up. If you were faced against a villain, if you had a chance to observe their abilities in the past, you should be able to come up with a plan or invent some gizmo that could defeat them. Isn't what MacGyver basically did? He wasn't even super-smart. I'd say he was just really smart. Look at how many times the Fantastic Four have won because of Reed's fast thinking. Spider-Man's been using his noggin a lot more lately. You can even say it's Batman's ability to make plans against others that allows  him to defeat everyone.

Without over-analyzing every single power, that's the one I'm going to stick with. Now it's time to let the debate begin. If you could have only one superpower to fight super-villains, what would you choose?
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#1 Posted by NightFang3 (12364 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd say "Super-intellect" is the best power and if you don't believe me then just look at Dr. Doom and Lex Luthor and think of all the things their both capable of doing.

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#2 Posted by webling (152 posts) - - Show Bio

My friends and I have pretty much agreed time is the best one, if you get the option of also being able to stop it. I think I'd like having control of light, like The Ray.

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#3 Edited by Man of Lengend (1019 posts) - - Show Bio

i would have to say neither speed or time abilities are the most useful.... personally though i enjoy  .... hand to hand fighting abilities are my favorite and what i personally look at to difine the character i read ( even if not a technical power) ... batman, deadpool, wolverine, cap, thor, iron man( at times) are few examples 

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#4 Posted by RedK (2541 posts) - - Show Bio

either intellect or telekinesis, with intellect i could create other devices to replicate other abilities or give myself new ones and with telekinesis you can fly, create force fields and create the illusion of super-strength

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#5 Posted by Omertalvendetta (509 posts) - - Show Bio

Franklin Richards... enough said.

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#6 Posted by Spiderslike (653 posts) - - Show Bio

Intellect with an advanced brain you could build a method to give you all the powers you listed basically pulling a Tony Stark. Build a powerful battle suit to enhance all your features and give you flight as well as any other extra powers or weapons you could think of. Then if your mind is unique enough you could also pull a Taskmaster and learn all forms of combat you would need. Hands down I think intellect is better

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#7 Posted by Eyz (3187 posts) - - Show Bio

Super strength...Flying...that's too common, as superpowers go :P

Anyway, me? I'd love something fun, something original.
But right now, amongst those, I'd surely pick up super speed, 'always been fascinated by that aspect. I mean, moving faster than sound? Be able to do so much in a fraction of a second while the world seems to stop around?
Also, superhero-ing-wise, it's one of the most efficient powers against villains!

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#8 Posted by cyberninja (10669 posts) - - Show Bio

Their superhuman ability for fight for what they believe in against all odds, even if it's for chimichangas.

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#9 Posted by ironshadow (1583 posts) - - Show Bio

Time manipulation is the best power to have but if don't know how to use it'll cause more problems than solve.

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#10 Edited by EdwardWindsor (14582 posts) - - Show Bio

In the real world probably Forges power is the best to have for money making, can jsut make a new super machine worth billions and then chill out.. In terms of actual powers i would like to have i would go with the healing factor or iceman style ice manipulation.

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#11 Posted by Maverick7 (89 posts) - - Show Bio

advanced healing ability which has a byproduct of infinite life.

or being able to convert manly spirit into fighting strength.
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#12 Posted by AFArtist1973 (119 posts) - - Show Bio

Superspeed or telepathy.  Either be faster than they are, or prevent them from doing anything with the power of your mind. 



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#13 Edited by cmaprice (867 posts) - - Show Bio

Omnipotence, duh.

But short of that, I'd say precognition with full causality. Meaning you can see how every action/inaction will ultimately affect reality. You'd pretty much always know what endgame everyone has and how to effectively change the world.

My personal favorite, though, is teleportation. Especially if in conjunction with the aforementioned power, that'd be my perfect build.

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#14 Posted by Kesho_Ronin (242 posts) - - Show Bio

 wolverine's and deadpool's regeneration

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#15 Posted by stuamerica (335 posts) - - Show Bio

Invulnerability.  Take anything and keep coming definitely has its advantages when going after bad guys (and not just super-powered ones).

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#16 Posted by TheBuck (109 posts) - - Show Bio

Well if we can only pick from what is listed I would say  Time Manipulation but if I had to pick it would be it would be  complete control over the molecular structure of matter and energy (Mister M) but I think the coolest maybe True  Immortality (Mister Immortal). 

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#17 Posted by ChadwickDavis (477 posts) - - Show Bio

Teleportation--removes the need for gas prices moving truck fees, easy opportunities for vacation time and i would never have to miss a comic convention ever again.
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#18 Posted by EternalBiker (177 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd want to have a healing factor
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#19 Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir (19151 posts) - - Show Bio
@NightFang said:
" I'd say "Super-intellect" is the best power and if you don't believe me then just look at Dr. Doom and Lex Luthor and think of all the things their both capable of doing. "
Unfortunately megalomania is a side effect.
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#20 Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir (19151 posts) - - Show Bio

Above all else

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#21 Posted by HumanNumber (1457 posts) - - Show Bio

Super strength. Just cause I've always wanted to throw something really far, like into space.

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#22 Posted by Iron_Turtle (590 posts) - - Show Bio

I think the best power would be one with many applications like TK. Or Magneto's magnetic field manipulation (Which effectively works in the same way.) That way you can emulate things flight and super strength as well as augment your natural physical attributes.

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#23 Posted by NightFang3 (12364 posts) - - Show Bio
@Emperor Gonzo Noir said: 
" I'd say "Super-intellect" is the best power and if you don't believe me then just look at Dr. Doom and Lex Luthor and think of all the things their both capable of doing. "
Unfortunately megalomania is a side effect. "
             Either that or complete insanity with a self-destructive hunger for more knowledge.
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#24 Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir (19151 posts) - - Show Bio
@NightFang said:
" @Emperor Gonzo Noir said: 
" I'd say "Super-intellect" is the best power and if you don't believe me then just look at Dr. Doom and Lex Luthor and think of all the things their both capable of doing. "
Unfortunately megalomania is a side effect. "
             Either that or complete insanity with a self-destructive hunger for more knowledge. "
and narcissism, let's not forget that either.
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#25 Posted by NightFang3 (12364 posts) - - Show Bio
@Emperor Gonzo Noir said:
" @NightFang said:
" @Emperor Gonzo Noir said: 
" I'd say "Super-intellect" is the best power and if you don't believe me then just look at Dr. Doom and Lex Luthor and think of all the things their both capable of doing. "
Unfortunately megalomania is a side effect. "
             Either that or complete insanity with a self-destructive hunger for more knowledge. "
and narcissism, let's not forget that either. "
Narcissism not that bad if its earned, like if I cured cancer then I can be as much of a jerk as I wont.
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#26 Posted by kitsuneconundrum (204 posts) - - Show Bio

luck and some good story writing.

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#27 Posted by Billy Batson (60950 posts) - - Show Bio

reality manipulation :P

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#28 Posted by Evpraksiya (268 posts) - - Show Bio

Super Speed.

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#29 Posted by CrimsonAvenger (1288 posts) - - Show Bio

Eagle Vision. Either that or reality manipulation, though with that you would probably need super-intellect.

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#30 Posted by Psycorvus (71 posts) - - Show Bio

Surely the best power would be either Telepathy or Telekinesis. Emma Frost style T.P. means they would never see you coming, they'd think they were running down a side alley when BAM! base ball bat to the knees. T.K. Would also be great because it meant you could fly over head with a force field to protect you from gun fire or what ever the villain may have before you lift them and slam them in to a wall with out ever needing to get near the crooks! In short the psychic powers = SWEET!
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#31 Posted by craigbo180 (198 posts) - - Show Bio

I just really want the ability to be able to see perfectly in the dark. I will finally be able to stop eating all those carrots!

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#32 Posted by TheCheeseStabber (8212 posts) - - Show Bio

Blowing stuff up with your mind ;3

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#33 Posted by Deadknight (1047 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd go with shapeshifting along the lines of Morph, Metamorpho, or even Alex Mercer (without the people eating), because their kind of shape-shifting allows for almost anything, including crime-fighting as well as hilarity.  



Good ol' Morph. Keeps 'em laughing or just plain confused.



Infinite possibilities...



Just how was he a "Prototype" anyhow? Because the finished project would have to be just short of god-like to improve on this kind of prototype.


While super-intellect might be nice, I'd rather not be insanely smart, because it doesn't always work out well. As Ernest Hemmingway said, "Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know." And he ended up committing suicide with a shotgun...

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#34 Posted by TheShame (516 posts) - - Show Bio
@TheCheeseStabber:  Yeah, could be like that movie scanners!
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#35 Posted by otakucomics (6 posts) - - Show Bio

In no particular order, Time Manipulation, Telepahy and Super-Intellect are the best ones to have on their own and likely the only ones that would work on their own. The others, if you think about it, wouldn't work on their own. Flight, for example, without some sort of invulnerability and/or super breathing would mean you couldn't really survive at high altitudes. Speed would have similar issues. There's a reason strength is usually coupled with some level of invulnerability too. You could be super strong, but lift a car over your head and you're likely to shatter your elbows, shoulders, etc.

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#36 Posted by EscoBlades (77 posts) - - Show Bio

Super Strength probably just tops Super speed for me.

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#37 Posted by yeopop (791 posts) - - Show Bio

Telekinesis. You don't have to stand up in the middle of the game to get a cannabeer.
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#38 Posted by DarcStorm (254 posts) - - Show Bio

Lightning control...'cause I've done my research years ago. I know what all it can do.

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#39 Posted by Outside_85 (23518 posts) - - Show Bio

An I-Win button.

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#40 Posted by GothamRed (2618 posts) - - Show Bio

Light manipulation or  Aerokinesis, with both of which I feel that you could simulate most of the powers listed above, with the exception of intelligence and time travel with aero, but also cause i think they'd be the most fun.

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#41 Posted by buzz86us (25 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd go with the ability to open portals in time and space, that way I can go to alternate universes, different places, and time travel.

This ability would be the best because you can see where you are going and you never know which alternate universe has the best technology and genetic engineering (for more powers). This is better than teleportation because there is no way you could wind up teleporting into solid matter.

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#42 Posted by tensor (8696 posts) - - Show Bio

best power to have is money yeah tony an bruce u feel me on that but on a real note i will go with super speed or durability

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#43 Posted by DiegoArvet (1 posts) - - Show Bio

I would like the power of Space-time! Thta wopuld be the awesome power ever, Cuz you would be so damn powerfull and cool, Imagine go to the pasrt and see the history! would be awesome!


So yhea I go for the power of Space-Time.

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#44 Posted by dewboy01 (2362 posts) - - Show Bio

Reality Manipulation (Imagination).
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#45 Posted by SteveRodgers (770 posts) - - Show Bio

elasticity probably the best

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#46 Posted by pacewun (21 posts) - - Show Bio

I would have to say Energy manipulation like Ms. Marvel or better yet Vulcan.  The abilities that can be learned with that super power are awesome.

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#47 Posted by howlett76 (60 posts) - - Show Bio

if i had what the hulk has  without the insanity personality problems   in a passable for human body i'd be happy

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#48 Posted by dondasch (932 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm torn between super intellect, as previously mentioned, or, and bear with me, there was a Marvel character who had the ability to have all communication transmitted to him, so that he could use it for his own purposes.  Yes, it sounds weird, but it was around the same time period as when Sabretooth was taken in by the X Men.  Think it was prior to Age of Apocalypse.

Failing that, yeah, super intellect

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#49 Posted by DarthStorm (162 posts) - - Show Bio

Superspeed. That way won't get shot at by fighter jet when flying around.

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#50 Posted by entropy_aegis (20992 posts) - - Show Bio



Green Lantern



I would love to have their powers.Cyborg Superman and Darkseid has neat powers as well but they're too EPIC for us mortals.