People have been bitten by all sorts of crazy things over the years and gained super-powers as a result. Spider-Man, of course, is the classic example, but even Back In The Day you had The Whizzer getting bitten by a mongoose and for whatever reason gaining super-speed and a hat like a goose. Or eagle, chicken, whatever, when you’ve got mongoose blood coursing through your veins, the last thing you’re worried about is fashion coherence!
So the question is:
I’ve left exactly which powers you get up to you, because every animal has both savory and unsavory attributes. I mean, imagine if Peter Parker had gotten spinnerets in his, er, posterior, the way a real spider does, instead of in his wrists. Unpleasant.
- Cat: Although several cat-themed characters exist (Cat-Man, The Black Cat, Cat Woman, etc.), I don’t think any of them got their powers by being bitten. If you’re lucky, you get super reflexes, the ability to see in the dark, always landing on your feet, and incredibly agility. If you’re unlucky, you get super hairballs, the compulsion to obsessively lick yourself, and a super indifference to other living beings.
- Cow: You have to work at it to be bitten by a cow, I admit. But this is a radioactive cow, so maybe it was driven to irritability by the power of the atom, who knows. It’s hard to see much good coming out of this, although I suppose the prospect of being able to shoot super high-powered streams of milk from your nipples would be decent. I’d certainly be curious to see what kind of villains that would give rise to.
- Dragonfly: Flight and quickness are very appealing possibilities, but unfortunately I don’t see much beyond that. According to “The Dragonfly Website FAQ“, however, “large dragonflies will sometimes try to bite, but they fail to break the skin.” That doesn’t sound like much of a super-power. “With the might of a mutant dragonfly, his powerful jaws … FAIL to break the skin!”
- Dog: One assumes the frenzy of rabies doesn’t count as a super-power, so instead we’d hope for things like super-powerful olfactory senses, super-hearing, incredible endurance, super-strong jaws, and that sort of thing. To some degree this would depend on the dog breed, of course. A Doberman-powered radioactive bite would make for a Superman style power set, but I shudder to think what would result from a radioactive Mexican Hairless or Chihuahua. Super-shivering and hyper-nervousness FTW!
- Dung beetle: OK, I stole this idea from a “Dilbert” cartoon. You’d almost be forced into super-villainy, because let’s be honest, the power to consume waste and poop out something good is not exactly inspirational.
- Ferret: Ferrets are agile, lightning-fast, and wily, all great bases for a super-hero. Add in keen tracking ability and a Spider-Sense-like ability to avoid danger, and this one has real potential. Sadly, the prospects for an accompanying super-bad-smell are also high.
- Horse: Living with five horses, I can confirm that they do bite from time to time. The only super-power I’ve ever seen result was a super desire to run screaming from other horses, but none of the ones I saw were radioactive. So. Clearly, super speed and endurance and a heightened awareness of danger would be the upside. The downside would be a super-powerful urge to pee or poop on pretty much anything in sight. Not pretty.
- Mongoose: The evidence of “The Whizzer” aside, I wouldn’t think of super-speed as the likeliest outcome here. Toughness and quickness, yes. Plus a strong hatred of snakes. I think maybe the GI Joe corps should look into this ….
- Monkey: Super poo-flinging powers GO!!
- Scorpion: I think Spider-Man has a villain based on the scorpion, but his powers come from a suit. I am too lazy to look this up online — we’re talking several clicks here, people, I can’t be expected to shoulder that kind of load! — but still, the possibilities of built-in super-scorpion abilities are pretty appealing. Wicked bad poison, lightning quick-strike ability, the tough armored shell, multiple limbs. Plus, you could make your lair look like a giant shoe so you could curl up in it. What’s not to love!?
- Shark: Appealing, but you’re much likelier to survive the initial radioactive bite from one of the other members of the list.
- Snake: Like the shark, getting bitten by a radioactive version of an already deadly-poisonous creature carries significant risks. But the venomous snakes are the ones with the most appealing possible super-power set. Moving crazy like a sidewinder, or having the super venom spitting ability of a pit viper, or the hypnotizing power of the cobra, those would be cool. But what if you got bitten by a garter snake or garden snake? Not so impressive.
- Weasel: I just like to say “weasel”.
For me, I’d go with the ferret. I tend to play thief-like characters in most games, and it seems like you’d be ideally suited to spying and sneaking with super-ferret powers. The runner-up for me would probably then be weasel, because I’ve always been fascinated by the possibility of a career in law. Ha ha! Just kidding, all you lawyers out there, you know I love you.
Which animal would you choose to gain super-powers from if bitten?