People love superheroes, as evidenced by the continuous flow of new movies featuring comic book characters. We even have new kinds of superheroes in the form of vampires, witches and wizards. But, I think people are far too focused on superheroes with powers that let them beat up bad guys, which really restricts them to only a couple of career paths: law enforcement or national defense. What if a superhero wants to follow some other life path, as most people do? In reality, I would settle for far less impressive yet vastly more useful super powers.
Maybe someone would prefer to be a dentist or doctor, in which case they would have a huge edge with just a little x-ray vision or super-sonic hearing. This power would also be perfectly useful for a plumber who needs to find the source of a leak behind a wall or for an airport security guard, although I would consider that less than optimum use of a super power. Still, who is to say that someone blessed with super powers should have to resign himself to a career dealing with bad guys? Why should he have to live with a secret identity or give up the chance to have a family that would be in constant danger? Perhaps the best people in their fields today really do have modest super powers! X-Men who aren’t the best at blasting bad guys, but have some interesting advantage.
Maybe someone with super powers would not want to work at all. Isn’t that what most people want, except for the workaholics who can’t imagine not doing anything productive? How about a super power that does nothing more than increase one’s ability to relax and enjoy life? For instance, what if someone could regulate temperature, light, sound, smell, and touch to create the perfect environment no matter where he is? He could create the illusion for himself and his friends of being on a quiet beach on a warm summer day. Now THAT is what I call a super power! He could be called the Illusionist, but I’d prefer to call him Vacation Man.
Better yet, I would want a super power that works for just about any possible life path. For instance, how many people could fail to appreciate the ability to pause or rewind time for even as little as a few seconds to 30 minutes? If I had this super power, I would call myself TIVO Man and would be able to recall and revise all the stupid, inane things that have spilled out of my mouth over the years. I would never again be embarrassed by choking on my own spit, tripping over my own feet, or spilling something on the front of my pants.
TIVO Man would be able to respond intelligently with quick comebacks, quips or jokes without missing a beat. He would probably be the most charismatic and powerful superhero ever. He could woo women with his quick wit and impress the rich and powerful with his deep knowledge and insight into just about every subject.
If the TIVO company sued me for trademark infringement, I would have to go with something less memorable, like The Quickster, for being so quick witted. Netflix tried to use that name, but it didn’t work out so well for them, so it is probably still up for grabs. Speaking of super names, it might actually be difficult to choose a good one that Marvel or DC Comics hasn’t already trademarked. Wouldn’t it be a bummer if there was a real superman who couldn’t use the name without paying royalties just to use it?
TIVO Man, with the assistance of Wikipedia, Google or Apple’s Siri, would be able to call on the aggregated knowledge of billions of people and, within seconds, offer his advice or lead the dialogue in any conversation. In the event of an unfortunate slip-up, he would still be able to recall his words and replace them with something better, such as whatever the other person was about to say before they were even able to say it. It would be just like the movie Click or Groundhog Day, but without the need to wait 24 hours in between replays. Maybe I’d prefer the name Groundhog Man.
He could day trade to make money, taking advantage of steep price changes, even on a small scale, to continually grow his nest egg. He could proposition women and find out what works without putting his neck on the line. Oh, YEAH, it would be worthwhile just for that use alone! In bed, he could avoid any unfortunate mis-steps, such as calling out the wrong name, trying something she really doesn’t like, or premature endings. He would always be in the right place at the right time as he could back out of the wrong situations and start over.
TIVO Man would be unstoppable. With just an ounce of Kryptonite, even Superman wouldn’t stand a chance. Without it, a battle between them would always result in a standoff as TIVO Man could keep rewinding time until Superman got tired of trying to bash him.
I’m pretty sure that TIVO Man already exists, although with far more subtle capabilities that even he may not understand. One of his powers could come in the form of intuition, which may be a form of precognition or Extra Sensory Perception that results in an ability to read people well and avoid bad people or situations. Another power could simply be an amazing photographic memory for facts, ideas, and names, which may just be the result of a superior ability to tap the resources of the brain. He might not be able to rewind time, but might have a super intuitive, Jedi-like ability to know exactly what to say or do at the right time.
We would never know that he had such powers and would probably attribute them to high intelligence and extremely good luck. All we would know is that the person would appear to be extremely smart, quick witted, charismatic, and rich, but not necessarily good looking unless his powers managed to work while in the womb too. Know anyone like that? Don’t you just hate him or her! Now do you wonder why so many bad guys want to kill the superheroes?