In last week’s article we paid homage, in memory and tale, to the late great George A. Romero (February 4, 1940 – July 16, 2017), whose cult classic horror film Night of the Living Dead unleashed an undead horde upon an unsuspecting world. It seems fitting that the godfather of the modern zombie film would remain amongst the living long enough to see his creation rise to modern mainstream popularity and relish the walking dead worlds he spawned.
Alas nothing last forever…especially zombies. You see, one has to factor in the decomposition rate of the human body. When exposed to natural elements, a reanimated corpse would putrefy in fewer than seven days. This means an actual zombie apocalypse would only last a couple of months. Luckily, unlike corpses, the pop culture popularity of the zombie phenomenon has lasted much longer. But now it is slowly rotting away and taking a back seat to a completely different, more heroic type of genre.
The dawn of the superhero film has arrived and we are at high noon, (actually just a little past 1:25). Considering it reached its peak with the Deadpool and Wonder Woman films, it’s an all downhill afternoon affair from here. While it lasts, the mythical lore of costumes, capes and cowls is no longer limited to comic book connoisseurs. Discussions, once reserved to online super-hero chat forums, comic-con convention floors and comic shop’s back rooms, are now open to the general public.
Most of these conversations center on subjects like, Who’s your favorite, who would beat who in a fight (revealed in a limited edition, 4 part series, complete with 2 cliffhangers and an unsatisfying end), why are there so many Spider-men? Do Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark ever hang out in the same social circles? Of course there’s always the one inquiry, which surfaces time and time again, and it is an opening line for a potentially, endlessly debatable, fantasy based discussion: “If you could have one super power what would it be?”
Many people have an immediate answer to this comic book conundrum; usually given before really thinking through the potential dangers and ramifications of having a particular, singular superpower. That said, let’s take a quick look at some of the most desired superpowers and why you shouldn’t desire them.
The Power of Flight: Soaring effortlessly through the clouds without a care in the world, who doesn’t want to fly? Yes, you can fly but do you have the capacity to land? Keep in mind your body is still basic human. Fly too high or too fast and you’ll pass out and fall to your death. Not to mention dodging planes and birds…birds would hurt. They would hit you, knock you out and you’d fall to your death.
Super-Human Speed: So you want to move super-fast? Well not too fast because you won’t be able to breathe (once again remember-your body is still basic human). You go for a high speed run, miss a turn or trip and…well just imagine being in a high speed car accident…without the car.
Super-Human Strength: Yes you have big strong muscles; sadly you lack the super-human bone structure needed to support that car you just picked up full of hot chicks you’re trying to impress.
Invulnerability: This ability is the one the previous three need to work successfully. To be incapable of being physically wounded, injured, or harmed. No falling to your death, becoming road kill or getting squished and no bird could harm you. This seems great…until you need an injection to ward off a deadly virus.
Immortality: But who needs injectable meds when you have eternal life, the ability to live forever. But would you stop aging? Look at centurions and try to imagine how you’d look two or three hundred years from now.
X-Ray Vision: Oh what fun, you can see through people’s clothes…and their skin. How great would it not be to be able to see everyone’s insides? Well at least you could easily get a job as airport security.
Invisibility: Teehee, no one can see you and you’re naked. Of course you can’t see yourself either so your hand eye coordination would be useless and you’d lose your mind never being able to tell if you were blinking or not.
Telepathy: Speaking of losing your mind. The ability to see into and control the minds of others seems safe. Until you accidentally shut someone’s brain down because you didn’t like the way they think.
Precognition: Knowing what’s going to happen before it happens‑‑‑well no more surprises for you! You can even look ahead and see how and when you’re going to die. Then you’d take measures to prevent it and look forward to see how and when you’re going to die. Which is all pointless because eventually one way or another, you’re gonna die. It’s not like you’re immortal…you didn’t ask for that power.
Pyro-kinesis: Wow! You can make and control fire! However you are not heat-resistant, flame-retardant or fire proof.
Teleportation: Traveling from point A to point B at the speed of thought seems simple enough. Until you re-materialize into a bird’s flight pattern. Now there’s a bird inside you- told you they hurt!
Time Travel: Using this power for personal gain seems like the best bet. Travel forward see the winning lotto numbers, travel back and pick those numbers. Hop through time and witness all sorts of neat historical events. However, disrupting the space-time continuum could result in you not existing. Then you’d never get your power and never be able to travel back in time disrupting the space-time continuum. So you’d be caught in an endless loop of endlessly ending your existence.
So if the chance ever arises be careful what one super-power you choose. Because with great power comes great responsibility and a potentially shorter life expectancy. Even without any powers… always be wary of birds.
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Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya!