Super power drawbacks

Super powers are usually presented as all up-side. But there are always drawbacks to any ability, and this week I got to thinking about what powers would have their pluses outweighed by their minuses.


Here are my thoughts on them, I'm curious to hear how you parse out the choices.

  • Immortality: The drawback here is having to see all of your loved ones, all of your enemies, everything you ever knew or loved turn to dust in what will feel like the blink of an eye. That would suck. And you'd want some way to make sure that not only would you be immortal, but immortally young. Living forever as a shriveled, disease-ridden, pain-wracked husk is not exactly optimal.
  • Precognition (ability to see the future): If you know how everyone around you -- including you -- is going to die, wouldn't that ruin your day? And if you knew in advance what everyone was going to say or do, with no surprises ever, life it seems would hardly be worth living.
  • Super strength: I would be terrified of crushing my loved ones when I went in to hug them. Or of killing someone accidentally with an incautious swing of the arms. I'd feel like a bull in a china shop, constantly on edge.
  • Telepathy: I'm pretty sure we're all better off not knowing what we're all really thinking.
  • Time travel: The Butterfly Effect would be a huge pain in the butt here, as I'd come back to my regular timeline only to discover that something I did in the past accidentally killed off all of humanity. Oops. No thanks, I can do without that level of responsibility.

8 Responses to Super power drawbacks

  1. HeroComplex says:

    I picked Immortality.
    I would have picked Precognition, but mom always told to take what I’m given, and say ‘thank you’…

  2. Luke says:

    I picked Precognition for the similar reasons as stated in the post, but i dont agree with the Time Travel dilemma stated, as i believe that if you go back in the past, you have already gone into the past and so anything you do in the past you will already have done. In this way, you can only affect the far future by what you do when going into the near future.

  3. Kaiju says:

    Super Strength cuz
    Immortality: I will be the god of the new world, now wheres my Death Note?
    Precognition: I can see a crime before it happens and i can judge the perpatrator before he kills
    Telepathy:I can see whose really my ally and who wants to bring me down.
    Time TraveL: I love Prehistoric Park, so i will save the dinosaurs!

  4. DJ says:

    Immortality simply because I would go insane if I was immortal.

    I would love time travel simply because I could change things and I see it more as. Go back. Change something. New dimension spawns with what you changed effecting only that dimension.

  5. Xstacy says:

    I wouldn’t want telepathy. Who needs to hear all the songs stuck in other people’s heads?

  6. Bael says:

    I would hate to be a precog. If the future is fixed, then seeing every bad thing coming for your entire life and not be able to change it? That would really suck. On the other hand, if you could change it, your every stray thought would change what you see, rendering it incomprehensible and useless.

  7. haz says:

    I do so love giving my opinion. Assuming I wouldn’t be able to change anything about what I saw, I really wouldn’t want to have precognition. Aside from making life less interesting, when things go bad I’d have to watch it happen, completely helpless to do anything about it.

    Immortality: I’m wildly curious to see how the world unfolds.

    Super Strength: There are plenty of things we could break that we don’t (eggs, baby birds, spun glass). Super strength would act as regular strength in its everyday application.

    Time Travel: Only visit the future. Still pretty awesome. Also, what if time works a la Doctor Who? Then you’ve got less to worry about.

    Telepathy: Come on, ignoring people’s thoughts is just like ignoring people’s words. Something we’re all capable of.

  8. LightningLord says:

    @Kaiju: I think you mischange Immortality and Invulnerability. You DO can have a lethal wound (for instance), you just wouldn’t die from it. Ever thought of that?