It’s a slow day at the office, you’ve finished all your work, and your lunch break doesn’t come in for another hour and a half. To stave off the ever-encroaching threat of boredom, you look outside your office window and image yourself soaring through the air like Storm! What you probably don’t imagine, however, is your epidermis mutating to handle the rigors of high-speed travel.
Most mutant powers sound great on paper, but would at least require a secondary mutation to work effectively. If we analyzed even the most basic abilities, we’d discover a host of drawbacks that’d diminish their potency. Heh, we’re saying “if” like that’s not what we’re about to do with the 10 following abilities.
Claiming that Superstrength is one of the weaker mutant powers in existence might sound paradoxical, but hear us out. Without a doubt, being able to turn someone into a fine red mist with one punch would be awesome (and gruesome!) But if you think that you’d be able to pluck buildings out of their foundations and use them as impromptu baseball bats, think again.
You see, there are these annoying little things called Laws of Physics and Gravity that severely nerf Superstrength. If a super-strong human tried to lift a plane or a mountain, it’d crumble to pieces right in their hands! Magneto can only perform such feats by encasing objects with electromagnetic energy. Even a heavy hitter like Colossus can’t resist the laws of nature. Plenty of other mutant powers will be hindered by real-world science, but Superstrength is likely one of the most popular.
Invisibility is what you get once you get your Sneaking skill up to level 100. A mutant with this power would be undetectable to the naked eye – able to sneak past unsuspecting guards without breaking a sweat! Some of you are probably even wondering how Invisibility could be one of the weaker powers – it turns you into one of the Mauraders from Harry Potter!
However, our rationale’s simple; Invisible mutants are undetectable to the naked eye, but they’d still have heat signatures. Invisible mutants would also still have scents, allowing mutant trackers like Wolverine and Sabretooth to hunt them down with ease. And even if you can become completely imperceptible, cold-blooded, and odorless, your clothes can’t.
Who doesn’t love Speedsters? Distinguish Competition Comics (best known as DC Comics by most) can’t stop making up new Speedsters to add into the fold. Pietro Maximoff, aka Quicksilver, is the most famous high-speed mutant in the Marvel Universe. He makes running at the speed of sound look so effortless and enticing!
But Quicksilver also needs thousands of more calories to survive than the average human – a luxury that a Speedster living in poverty wouldn’t have. Pietro also needs mutated physiology to resist the g-forces and whiplash that come with running extremely fast. If a mutant just had Superspeed, without any secondary mutations to compensate, they could potentially atomize themselves simply from running too fast! Those who possess Superspeed also get cursed with sped-up perceptions, making everyone else around them move at a snail’s pace.
7 Intuitive Genius
“Intuitive Genius” is one of those mutant powers that sounds much cooler than it is. In layman’s terms, this ability gives mutants keen insights on various tools and inventions. Without ever needing to pick up a manual, a mutant with this gift will instantly know how to operate sophisticated technology. Forge is the most famous mutant that possesses this power.
But think about this – most of the extremely powerful and dangerous pieces of technology in the Marvel Universe are explicitly off-limits. In theory, Forge might be able to intuitively operate an Iron Man suit. However, Tony undoubtedly has countermeasures that restrict access to his tech. Same goes for organizations like SHIELD and AIM. Intuitive Genius is still one of the more overall useful abilities on this list, but it’s not as OP as some might think.
Shout out to Jamie Madrox, the Multiple Man, for inspiring this entry. Duplication is one of those mutant powers that almost encourages its users to be naughty! Who needs to go to school or work when you can have your clones stand-in for you? And if you commit any crimes, you can just have one of your clones serve your sentence while you’re sipping martinis in the Bahamas!
But Jamie’s also illustrated the cons of Duplication over the years – ranging from your clones becoming sentient to developing split personalities! Duplication is also one of those mutant powers that become riskier depending on how multi-faceted it is; if you control your cones via a hive-mind, what’s to stop a powerful telepath from turning you into a puppet by proxy? And Heaven forbid if you and your clones can also feel one another’s pain!
We’re sorry to rain on this parade, but Pyrokinesis would be much more trouble than its worth. Sure, you can control flames with your mind and might even be able to generate them on your own. However, most Pyrokinetic mutants aren’t any more resistance to high temperatures and humidity as the average person. And Pyrokinesis doesn’t necessarily come with fireproof skin either – making this fiery ability one of the rare mutant powers that are potentially more threatening to their users!
Possessing Pyrokinesis also doesn’t guarantee any sort of influence over gases – suggesting that mutants with his ability could blow themselves sky high the next time they walk by a herd of cows! One would need tons of restraint and fire retardant to make the most of this power.
Continuing on our quest discredit Captain Planet and the Planeteers as much as possible, let’s dig into Geokineis- the ability to control Earth! Depending on the strength and experience of the mutant, one can move mountains and rearrange continents with a thought. Sounds overpowered right? Well, that’s because Geokinesis is – to a fault (*puts on sunglasses.*)
A Geokinetic mutant can shift tectonic plates and terraform the Earth, but they might end up doing more harm than good. One slip up and a powerful Geokinetic can sink an entire coastal shore – taking themselves out in the process! Geokinesis is also rendered moot in environments with little to no sediments to manipulate. A mutant that can control the Earth isn’t so scary in the vacuum of space or even in a kiddie pool made entirely of plastic.
Despite however exotic it may sound, the term Metamorph is geek-speak for Shapeshifting. Much like Invisibility and Duplication, possing the ability to perfectly mimic other creatures almost encourages one to be their worst selves. Raven Darkholme, aka Mystique, is possibly the most famous Metamorph in comic book history! And we’ve seen the damage that girl’s done in the comics, movies, and TV shows.
However, most Metamorphs can only take on the physical characteristics of a target – not their powers. If a Metamorph tries to impersonate someone with distinct abilities (like a Canadian with metal knives in his hands,) they’ll become exponentially easier to detect. You’d also have to learn the speech patterns, personalities, and idiosyncrasies of anyone or anything that you wish to impersonate – a process that’s much easier said than done.
In a perfect world, teleportation would likely be the ultimate form of travel; in the blink of an eye, a teleporter could cross countries over even continents! Should you find yourself in the thick of a battle, teleportation would allow you to evade attacks and reposition yourself on the fly.
But picture this terrifying scenario; you overshoot your calculations and teleport yourself inside of a wall or out into deep space! A teleporter would also retain whatever speed and inertia they had before making a jump; if you’re falling through the air, hurtling towards Earth at hundreds of feet per second, teleporting to another location won’t stop gravity from coming down on you hard. Nightcrawler definitely makes teleporting look easier than it theoretically would be.
The gift of flight is probably the one mutant power that everyone’s fantasized about at one point or another (including our theoretical office worker from the intro!) Even if you can’t fly faster than a speedster can run or a teleporter can port, you’d be able to soar through the clouds like an eagle!
But unless your flight powers come with a pair of super lungs, you won’t be able to rise up too high into the atmosphere. You’ll again need enhanced physiology to withstand the rigors of flight, as well as a means of navigation that doesn’t rely on wifi signals. And landing without superhuman durability is one of the fastest ways to bury yourself six feet under! That’s why mutants like Angel and Banshee typically stay low to the ground and fly carefully.
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