Kirk Alyn as Superman

The Dopest Superpowers for Living in the Real World (And the Ones That Suck Eggs)

Alright, so in light of this bummer Ted talk about how some of the most wished-for superpowers in the world would actually suck, I’m coming up with a list of superpowers that would have dope real-world applications. Just please promise not to pull a Chronicle and act like a fool with your powers. I’m also including some “good in theory” powers that actually suck eggs. That way, if you get captured by the military and experimented on so you can become the next super soldier, you could ask nicely for some powers instead of others.

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Teleportation (dope)

(image credit: Marvel comics)

I was in the car with my friend the other day, and I told him that if I had to pick a superpower, it would be this one. In agreement, he said, “Oh my God if I could teleport it would be so easy to commute to and from work,” and I almost slapped him upside the head. “YOU FOOL,” I screeched “YOU’D NEVER HAVE TO WORK AGAIN.” His eyes widened with understanding. I’ll explain.

Okay, so this is assuming you can teleport anywhere and don’t have to worry about teleporting into things like walls or… people. That’s horrible and would suck eggs. Imagine. All you gotta do is take a little tour of Fort Knox or something, teleport inside the vault, take out one teensy bar of gold, and bam. Money. Or better yet, maybe you wouldn’t even need money. Wanna live in a nice apartment? Teleport into some rich guy’s penthouse and teleport away when you hear his key in the door. Eat his food. Watch his T.V. Then fuck on off and see the sights in the Chinese countryside. Teleport to the top of a mountain. Can’t get into Germany’s most exclusive nightclub Berghain? Skip the line and teleport inside. Did someone see you? Did you freak them out? Who cares? Teleport away. Maybe the police get wise. Maybe the government gets wise. Maybe the military wants to study you. Fuck you, teleport. You’re unstoppable. Hungry? Teleport home and get some of mom’s home-cooked food. Sleepy? Sleep on a hammock on a deserted island. Bored? Teleport into ANY movie. ANY concert. ANY amusement park. Teleport 10,000 feet in the air and go skydiving. The possibilities are endless. Who needs flying when you can fall with style?

Persuasion (sucks eggs)

(Image credit: Marvel Television)

This power is cool in theory, but is actually the stuff of nightmares. You can make anyone do anything you want them to. Hey, Jeff Bezos, give me a billion dollars. Boom, done. Hey Marvel, cast me as your new superhero. Done. Hey you, gimme your sandwich, I’m hungry. Sandwich acquired. This power makes everything a possibility, but eliminates that which gives life meaning: struggle. Rich people are famously miserable because when you don’t have real-world problems, your problems become weird, abstract, and existential. If life is too easy, it’s a slog. Sure, you could just take the easy route here and there, but the temptation to take the easy route all the time would be astronomical. You are nearly guaranteed to turn supervillain if this power goes unchecked. And I haven’t even scratched the surface of the havoc this power would wreak upon your relationships. To use it for good, you could hardly ever use it at all. You would have to police your speech all the time. You could never, ever use even simple commands like, “come here for a second,” or “pass me the salt,” because your powers take a person’s right to make their own decisions out of the equation. And I know you’re all thinking it so we’re gonna talk about it even though it’s gonna get dark: it would make your sex life a nightmare. You could in theory sleep with anyone in the world, and assuming that your power makes people actually want to do what you ask them to then they would be happy to oblige you. But is that really consent? I don’t think so. But no matter how morally upright you are, how scrupulous, how decent, and how kind, the temptation to have anyone and anything you could ever want would be inescapable. You would be locked in battle with your own fucked-up internal desires for the rest of your life. It would be so easy to take whatever you want with absolutely zero consequences. If Uncle Sam tries to give you this power through top secret military experimentation, please for the love of God, say no.

Healing Factor (dope)

(image credit: Marvel Entertainment Group)

You know this power would be sick. Getting hurt sucks and it makes us afraid to do things. But if you didn’t have to worry about permanent injuries or diseases, you could have a hell of a lot of fun. Ski down a black diamond slope, skydive without a parachute, slice an avocado without fear. You’ll be fine. Sure, your injuries will hurt, but your entire relationship to pain will change. For a fragile human being, pain is an indicator of potentially permanent or fatal damage to the body. Pain hurts, but the psychological ramifications of pain are far greater. “Will this pain ever go away?” “Will I survive this injury?” “Will I ever live a normal life again?” The answer to all of those questions will be a resounding “yes” (well, except for the last one, cause you’d have superpowers so your life wouldn’t be normal). Pain will only become a state of temporary discomfort. I’d say this superpower would be better than being impervious to pain, because that would kind of suck. For one, you probably won’t be able to feel pleasurable sensations like wind on your skin or rain in your hair because your body would be numb to it. And two, pain is a pleasurable sensation (all you kinky bitches know what I’m talking about). Sometimes, pain is nice. It reminds us that we experienced something. That we went through something. That we’re stronger than we think. A healing factor would only make this all the more true. It would not be a pain-free life, but a life free of the complications of pain. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal.

Pyrokinesis (sucks eggs)

Johnny Storm in Marvel Comics.
(image credit: Marvel comics)

The power would blow. Yes, you can control fire with your mind and body. But that’s it. Without any supervillains to battle, you have two choices: you can either find a job as a human cigarette lighter, or you can be a military superweapon. Fuck. That. Like Aangs first firebending teacher, Jong Jong, says in Avatar: The Last Airbender, fire can only consume and destroy. Okay cool, you can light a candle when it’s sexy time without having to worry about finding a lighter. Yeah great, you can light a campfire in the woods without rubbing two sticks together. If you were living on a desert island, it would be a dope superpower to have. But odds are you’re not living on a desert island. You’re living in society, and how often do you need to burn things to ashes in society? You could get a job welding shit with your hands maybe. Or blacksmithing? But odds are the government would scoop you up to study you to try and learn how you can help the war effort. And sure, maybe you turn to a life of combat. Maybe you’ll be a soldier of fortune who takes despotic regimes and brutal warlords. But you wouldn’t last long, friend. Why? For one, you’re not fucking bulletproof. One good sniper or a goddam missile strike would leave you deader than dirt. And if you do find yourself in combat, all you can do is burn people alive. It’s the most unimaginably painful death there is. Have you ever smelled hair burning? It’s gross. Have you smelled skin burning? I haven’t but something tells me it’s absolutely vile. Fuck that. I’d get a job at the smoke shop lighting bongs.

Telekinesis (dope)

(image credit: 21 Laps Entertainment)

Another sick power. It would make life easy in the best way. Remote too far away for you to change the channel. Telekinesis. The trash is gross and you don’t wanna touch it when you take it out? Telekinesis. Car stuck in the mud? Telekinesis. Sitting on the couch and you want food to come to you? Teleki-fucking-nesis. The possibilities are endless. Also, it would make sex wiiiiiiiild. Imagine some light choking and hair pulling with telekinesis. Telekineses bondage. You could spank all the kinky bitches of the world (with your mind). And the best part, it’s an easy power to hide from the government. The spoon-benders of the world have been working tirelessly, for decades, to make the very ideas of telekinesis subject to ridicule. No one would ever believe you. Unless, of course, you brush one of their bangs out of their face with your sexy telekinesis before you kiss them. Then they would believe you. And as long as you’re not trying to bang somebody who works for the CIA, I think your powers will remain your dirty, filthy, amazing little secret.

Flight (sucks eggs)

Christopher Reeve as Superman in Superman IV
(Image credit: DC comics)

Breaks my heart to say this, but flying would totally suck eggs. Why?

It’d be cold as shit.

Seriously. You wanna go high as a plane and faster than a speeding bullet? You’d freeze to death. The wind would whip all the heat off you faster than you can say, “up, up and away,” and you’d barely be able to breathe because the air is so thin. And what happens if you get tired? What happens if you get hungry? You can’t exactly stop for a lunch break when you’re flying over the middle of the Atlantic-Fucking-Ocean. And don’t even get me started about pesky old Uncle Sam. They’d send jets after you. Cruise missiles. Air traffic controllers and military bases would be pinging you non-stop. And they’d catch you when you land. You can’t fly forever. You can’t teleport away. You’d tucker yourself out and then they’d capture you for study, and you can’t fly your way out of a concrete cell, can you? Your best option to stay free would be to fly around remote places like the Gobi Desert (boo hiss) and all you’d have to look at is boring sand. And let’s say best case scenario you can hover too. Well, then I guess you could just float around your house? You could sleep floating, but maybe you’d fall if you fell asleep since you need to concentrate to fly? I guess you could dress yourself up in a sheet and have fun haunting your roommates like a classic spooky ghost, but something tells me that would get pretty old quick. I think if I had the choice I’d have some wild 10,000 feet in the air sex and then plummet back to Earth and let the government do what it wants with me. Worth it.

Any powers not on this list that you’d like to have?

Featured Image credit: Columbia Pictures

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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.