Poll Position: Destruction!

Let's face it, the ability to save people is big for super-heroes, but at the end of the day we all like blowing crap up. Which brings us to this week's Poll Position question:


As always, I can't help my intensely practical side from coming up any time we talk about translating super-powers in to the real world. You might think practicality is silly when you're talking about shooting lasers out of your eyeballs, but psychological demons are not so easily expunged. So which of these purely destructive abilities might actually be useful as a way of getting along here in the modern world where things like paychecks and health insurance are concerns?

  • Superman's Heat vision: The first thing that pops into my head with this one is "welder". The risk is that as soon as the military realizes you can shoot laser beams out of your eyeballs, you're going to get drafted. Which wouldn't be so bad, except that in order to shoot down enemy missiles or planes or whatnot, you have to be within some theoretical area of effect of the other guy's weapon. Not fun. Although for that matter, I'm not sure welding is a non-stop party, either.
  • Wolverine's claws: Without a ton of strength, fighting prowess, and mutant healing factor to back it up, the claws aren't going to do you a lot of good in any sort of regular combat. Which is a drag. Plus getting through security at the airport would be murder. However, adamantium can cut through anything, so you'd think somewhere in the world you'd be able to make a good living as That Guy Who Can Cut Stuff. If all else fails, you could of course sell your services as a pitchman for some sort of late-night can opener device.
  • Black Canary's sonic scream: The encouraging thing about this choice is that the Black Canary herself is just a regular, highly-skilled martial artist, who uses the scream as backup, basically. So if you're wanting to be a super-hero type in reality, she's a pretty good model. I can't, however, think of any non-combat related activity this ability would be good for.
  • Human Torch's fireballs: Fireballs are good. I wonder if you could use their explosive power to suck all the oxygen out of an area, making you in effect the ultimate oil well blaze capper.
  • Lightning Lad's bolts: Spot-welding again, but at least with this power you could charge up your own batteries to power your big-screen TV. Or the local town.
  • Gambit's kinetic charges: Like the Black Canary, this would be a pretty reasonable real-world model for a super-hero. You've basically got a gun that never runs out of ammunition, and which fires explosive bullets. That'd be a real handy backup power to have if you were in law enforcement. It seems like you could set up a pretty nifty Vegas show, too, if you were so inclined. You might even get to meet Celine Dion!!

Since I'm not a super destructive guy in general, and since I do not believe I would enjoy the feeling of multiple bullets penetrating my soft, doughy flesh (as would undoubtedly happen if I tried to parlay my vast destructive powers to a life of crime, crime-fighting, or military service), I'd probably go with the Torch's fireballs. Even if the oil-well-snuffing thing didn't work out, it seems like you'd be valuable making breaks for wildfires and such. Sometimes you have to destroy the forest to save the forest.

What about you? Any obvious powers I missed, or takes I got wrong?

18 Responses to Poll Position: Destruction!

  1. Me, Myself & I says:

    My vote was for the electric bolts.

    With the ability to make seemingly endless amounts of electricity you could get set up on the power grid and start selling power to the electic companies. All profit as there is no intrinsic cost.

    The welding ability would just be a nice little bonus. Perhaps I’d start making metal sculptures and sell them as new age art or something.

  2. TopHat says:

    Black Bolts planet-destroying voice.

  3. Danny Beaty says:

    I would like:
    the strength of the Incredible Hulk
    the teleportational ability of Nightcrawler
    the deductive prowess of Batman
    the spider-sense of Spider-Man
    the agility of Daredevil
    the money and intellect of Tony Stark
    the golden lasso of Wonder Woman
    the invulnerability of Superman
    the combat skills of the Punisher
    the invisibility power of Sue Storm
    the telephoto, infra red, and thermagraphic vision of Deathlok the Demolisher
    I’m not asking for too much, am I ?

  4. Nick Hentschel says:

    Failing to notice that Jean Grey had been mentioned (sorry), I added telekinesis, because not only can it be used either way, for creation OR destruction, but frankly, I could simply use the “third hand” and long-distance grabbing ability on a regular basis, in real life.

  5. Jeff Hebert says:

    I’m deleting the Jean Grey and telekinesis powers because they’re not “destructive” in the sense I meant it. The whole point of the question is that the power should be purely destructive in its basic nature, making “it can be used either way, for creation OR destruction” the exact opposite of the point of the question. That’s exactly why I didn’t choose flexible powers like TK.

  6. Rozenstal says:

    Mjöllnir, only Mjöllnir.

  7. Wade says:

    Out of the “destructive” powers, I think Thor’s hammer would be the most fun. “Hmmm…I don’t think I want to go to school today…(waves hammer)…Snowstorm!

    But out of any power, I’d take Telekinesis. It’s potential is limitless.

  8. Oquies says:

    This poll doesn’t seem to be working people are adding non destructive powers. 😮

    The whole point of it is if you had a destructive power what would you want and how could you possibly use it with out being destructive. Like if you had a nuke. All it does is blow up and destroy but you have it any way now what do you do.

  9. Jeff Hebert says:

    I’ve deleted the user-submitted answers that miss the point completely — again — and disabled that feature. So the original set plus the Avalanche shockwave will remain the only options. Sorry it didn’t work out this time around to have folks put their own replies in.

  10. Gambit’s power. I’d be the baddest traffic cop in the world!

  11. gero says:

    I’d like to point out, since it’s winning right now, that Wolverine’s power does NOT include his healing factor. First off, ouch! Second, you’d have open wounds between your knuckles all the time, leading to infections and eventually gangrene. Think about it a bit, ppl…

  12. Matt Sheffield says:

    What about Black Bolts super voice I know Black Canary has the same power kinda and thats a big kinda but Black Canary can talk then scream but Black Bolt cant even talk or he’ll destroy Attilan

  13. The Imp says:

    I’d go with Gambit’s power set. Mainly because it’d just look so damn cool in use. 😀

  14. Legatus says:

    I’d say Heat Vision is the best.

  15. Brad says:

    I would pick Gambit, but I’m afraid I’d have a sneezing fit and accidentally kinetically charge my tissue. Yea, think about that for a minute. Better balance your consequences.

  16. gene says:

    I’d go with Lighting Lad’s bolts. There have been many a time on the bus/train I’ve wanted to tase someone. Or short out some jerk’s stereo, or their cel phone. YES, I CAN HEAR YOU AND I DON’T WANT TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!!!!

    Okay. All better now.

    Yeah, lightning bolts

  17. haz says:

    I shouldn’t have any of these. If I could set things on fire just by glaring at them, my immediate surroundings would have been vaporized long ago.

    Now, if the sonic scream could be used to cow classrooms full of freshmen, that might be worth something, but I’m not up on Black Canary, so I’m not sure. And I don’t think I’d get paid if I accidentally killed all my students.

  18. Owl_Poop says:

    Ubermenschen’s “Heat Vision” is more discreet and precise that the other powers.