The 5 Worst Superpower Combos - 8/19/09
When I was little, I always wished I could jump extremely high, over buildings and such as part of some superpower acquired from a chemical spill or a calf-muscle transplant gone wrong. Unrelatedly, I also wished I was made of rubber, to deflect bullets and the punches of bullies who would no doubt try to attack me since I was different and clearly superior to them. But I didn't want to have these two powers at the same time: if you're made of rubber, and you jump super high in the air, how are you going to stop from bouncing across the entire world, like the bad dream of a Gummy Bear? These are the thoughts you have when you're too young to get beer and are forced to content yourself sniffing the fruit-smelling markers your grandma gave you for Easter.

This all got me thinking, super powers are great, but certain combinations of them just wouldn't work. And yes, disclaimer, of course if you can just turn these powers on an off at will it wouldn't be so bad, but we're assuming here that you can't. What, you want not just one super power, but two... and you also want complete control over them? Jeez, just be content with what you have, you selfish bastard.

Anyway, the Five Worst Superpower Combos:

1) Healing Hands + Freeze Hands

You're a crime-fighting super hero, and you finally have your haggard nemesis within reach of your flash-icing hands... and oops! Your enemy has all his power restored. Or you're healing a coughing infant someone has just rescued from a burning building... whoops! Baby-sicle. You can see where this is going... any combination of good touch/bad touch (and I'm not talking about why you're not allowed to see your uncle anymore) would be most inconvenient.


2) Being Made of Stone + Flight

If your "flight" superpower is one of those gravity-defying, doesn't-make-sense-according-to-physics flying methods like Superman has, then you might be OK. But if you have wings or jet-propulsion like most superheros, then being made of heavy, attack-resilient stone is not really going to be plus for your hang-time. And also, even if you give up on being an exhausted, low-hovering rock and just stick to the ground, your boon of granite-like toughness is undermined by the new fact that bad guys can now simply rip your wings off.

Flight works well for waifish, sexy insect heroines, but it won't work very well for you, you tubby rock bastard.


3) Super Sensitive Hearing + Super Loud Voice

Along the lines of turning people to stone by looking at them but having a lair made of mirrors, this ironic combination would basically render you a mute, at least until you accidentally explode your own eardrums after shouting displeasure from stubbing your toe on your bed-frame. Come to think about it, having a super loud voice has got to be a pretty terrible super power even by itself... When can you use this? After you've carefully inserted earplugs? Or maybe all heroes with this power are already deaf members of the Handicapped Justice League.


4) Power Absorbtion + Power Negation

Being able to take someone else's super power only to negate it would be such a cocktease, like dating a string of hot girls who are fascinated by your superhero physique until you burn each of them to death with your laser vision. I guess in a way this combination of powers isn't so much bad as it is neutral - you aren't really harmed, you just never have any powers. Sort of like you are now, in real life, I suppose. Sad.

The only potential use for this would be if you are being attacked by a superhero, in which case you could just take their powers away and save yourself. Except the superhero would probably then punch you in the face for taking their powers. Unless that superhero was Spiderman, because Spiderman's a little bitch.


5) Telepathy + Communication With Animals

Being able to communicate with animals could be useful, right? But what about being forced to communicate with all of them, all the time, without them even squealing anything? The ability to constantly hear what every animal around you is thinking has got to be about the most annoying combination of super powers possible.

"Please, sir, may I have a piece of popcorn?" says the squirrel in your yard.
"Excuse me, I'm going to fly into your eye now," announces the gnat buzzing around your head.
"We're too stupid to understand why natural selection has allowed us to remain in existence," screams every pigeon, ever, all at once.

There are a lot of animals to read the minds of, so many you probably wouldn't even be able to hear yourself think. Which is a good thing, because your own mind would be busy repeating "Kill me now."

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