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Top Five Silliest Additional Powers for Heroes!

Top Five Month continues (check here to see an archive of all the top five lists featured so far) with a look at the top five oddest new powers for superheroes from the past fifteen years!

Enjoy!

5. Steel’s teleportation abilities

Part of the appeal of Steel was that he was just a normal guy, so it was odd when, circa 1994, he began showing signs of being a metahuman. Luckily, Christopher Priest wrote this out during his Steel run.

Iron Man also, I believe, gained this power at one point – I guess it is something to do with armor?

5. “The Other” Spider-Man

I really don’t get why it seemed like a good idea for Spider-Man to gain the power to have spikes shoot out from his arms and being able to communicate with spiders.

That was odd.

I am pleased that it is gone now.

3. Rogue’s Sunfire powers

I agree with Marvel that Rogue needed a new permanent power (like she had when she had Ms. Marvel’s strength and flight all the time).

However, Sunfire’s powers?

That was an odd fit (and it did not help that it took place in her own title and was then just incorporated without notice into the main X-Men title).

I am pleased that it is gone now, but I would like to see Rogue get a new permanent power – it’s not like she ever really had much history withOUT the Ms. Marvel powers – she gained them in her very first appearance!!

2. Guy Gardner: Warrior

Guy Gardner as a shape-shifting alien was always an odd idea. Although the comic had lots of cool stories by Beau Smith!

1. Either of Donna Troy’s revamps

I don’t think there is ever going to be anything odder than seeing Donna Troy as a Darkstar or as the new Harbinger.

We get it – you don’t know what to do with her, but come on, these solutions are not good ones!

Well, that’s the list!

Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

51 Comments

emma frost’s diamond power is another example of this

Communicating with spiders wasn’t in The Other, it was in Spider-Man: Disassembled. It’s easy to get the two confused. There was certainly no reason for that, and I don’t think it was ever used. The spikes, on the other hand (which are from The Other), become relevant in Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man where they’re shown as a defense against magic. It’s part of the whole big Spidey-meets-Spider-god long-term arc which was swept away in BND.

Granted, Guy’s Vuldarian morphing powers were a bit on the…odd side, but he DID get to run around shirtless for quite some time, which is a plus.

So you’re right, Mory!

So wait, the spikes were the only addition in The Other?

Granted, Guy’s Vuldarian morphing powers were a bit on the…odd side, but he DID get to run around shirtless for quite some time, which is a plus.

Hehe, that’s true.

emma frost’s diamond power is another example of this

Yeah, there are quite a few other secondary mutations out there, like Emma’s diamond power (or Angel’s healing blood). But I don’t think any of them are quite as silly as these five!

As I recall, The Other added the spikes, gave him night vision, and boosted his Spider-Sense.

Hey now, let’s go back a few decades. How about Superman’s periodic use of “super-ventriloquism?”
Now there’s a goofy power if there ever was one. Come to think of it, maybe there’s some old Imaginary Story where Superman retires from crimefighting, to become the World’s Greatest Ventriloquist. Or not.

If we’re going back to the Silver Age, then lest we forget Black Canary’s not often seen but used once or twice power of COMMUNICATING WITH BIRDS. Yeah, go look it up. They would carry her in a big group if she fell off of high places.

Yeah, I think Silver Age wacky powers could be its own list! :)

Andrew Collins

July 13, 2008 at 10:16 am

The old Silver Age Martian Manhunter stories seemed to give him a new power every story, which you had never seen before (or since, in most cases.) My favorite was the random ability to see around corners without moving. It was called his “angular vision” or something like that…

That Black Canary power could go on a list of “weirdest abandoned ways for super-heroes to get around town.” Number one would have to be from the early days of Ant-Man, when he would shoot himself out of a cannon across town and command a lot of ants to form a pile for him to land on. That was sooooo weird.

Polaris losing magnetism and developing super-strength was kind of random.

Punisher angel powers anyone?

Power Girl’s telekinetic powers were pretty stupid.

Another weird one was Gambit’s “fart cloud of death” thing he used after becoming Apocalypse’s horseman. Thankfully, Mike Carey took care of that one right quick, lol.

What about Death-Gambit’s fart powers?

also when Gambit became blind and started using tarot cards

Impulse’s “scouts” have to be pretty high up on the list. Not to mention the short story where Jade exhibited plant powers.

Man. I didn’t know any of the powers in these comments.

(And I didn’t NEED to either. Thanks a lot, guys.)

“That Black Canary power could go on a list of “weirdest abandoned ways for super-heroes to get around town.” Number one would have to be from the early days of Ant-Man, when he would shoot himself out of a cannon across town and command a lot of ants to form a pile for him to land on. That was sooooo weird.”

I loved it, though. It was in my Yellowjacket/Wasp pitch.

Wasn’t Polaris’s power change related to the shadow king or malice, somehow? I seem to remember she was some sort of conduit for one or the other. But, it’s been a long time since I’ve read any of those issues…

Nick Lockhead

July 13, 2008 at 3:17 pm

Shooting out of a cannon???? Seriously?? I didn’t know Ant-Man was a Samurai Pizza Cat reject!!

The Mad Monkey

July 13, 2008 at 5:27 pm

Nick Lockhead…
You have seriously just made my day!!!
roflmao

Actually, Jade having plant powers isn’t so weird, if you remember that her mother was the original Thorn (who did have some plant-related abilities.) If she couldn’t have her father’s magic, then this made a logical replacement.

Oddest new powers ever: Electric Superman’s! (Though, those were INTENTIONALLY weird, so they may not count.)

I don’t know if the powers in #1 or 2 are the silly pats; I think the story ideas are what’s weird.
I think Angel’s healing power was pretty ridiculous, mostly because it led to him bleeding on people whenever they got injured. Not only did it take away the threat of death from his teammates, it was just bizarre logic.

I vaguely remember Steel’s teleporting powers, but never stuck around long enough to learn that was what had been happening. I just remember him having random bits where his armor just disappeared.

Angel’s healing blood didn’t take away the threat of death from his teammates, it only took away the threat of death from his teammates who shared the same blood type as him, which could have actually been a good story point if handled smartly: imagine Warren leaving the X-Men and forming a new version of the Defenders, but stocked only with heroes who shared his bloodtype and he could therefore be guaranteed of saving. He’d do a blood test on any potential members, and anyone who didn’t match up would be sent packing. Since 99.44% of comic characters have never had their blood type revealed, it wouldn’t even give the diehard nitpickers anything to complain about getting “wrong.” And from a real-world standpoint, it would allow the writer to throw together whatever crazyass team he wanted, without needing to have any other explanation for why they were brought together.

“Yeah, my team is Angel, Angarr the Screamer, the Living Lightning, Stingray, and Maggott. Why? Eff you, that’s why.”

And I’d say Guy Gardner’s shape-changing powers don’t belong on a list of the Five Silliest Powers, but instead on a list of the Five Cleverest Ways of Falling in Line With a Sudden Editorial Mandate…

ahh what about the Matian Manhunters one off ability to give the person the appearance of their hearts desire..that was kinda random

I wonder if GM gave Emma those powers initially as he wanted to use Colossus in ‘New X-men’ but couldn’t…I don’t mind that he gave her that power, however.

Brian, how’d you like Donna Troy’s Troia powers? I know lots of people didn’t like that particular costume, but was wondering if u liked the powers she ended up getting as well. Personally, I actually didn’t mind either, the costume or the new powers.

I’d love for Rogue to get a better set of powers too, and wouldn’t be too upset if she got her Ms. Marvel powers back.

ahh what about the Matian Manhunters one off ability to give the person the appearance of their hearts desire..that was kinda random

That doesn’t really seem like an additional power, just a creative use of his existing ones. He used his telepathy to discover a person’s heart’s desire, then he uses his shapeshifting to change into that desire.

And as for as Superman goes, I have super-ventriloquism beat: anyone remember that power he had, I think it may have been called super-disguise or super-contortion, where he used his fantastic control of his facial muscles to rearrange his facial features into any face he wanted. Click here for an example of Superman making himself “look like a Jap.” (scroll down to the section called “Super Muscles.”

“I wonder if GM gave Emma those powers initially as he wanted to use Colossus in ‘New X-men’ but couldn’t…I don’t mind that he gave her that power, however.”

I think its been said that that is exactly why he did it.

If Superman could do that, why is his primary disguise a pair of glasses?

If Superman could do that, why is his primary disguise a pair of glasses?

Exactly. Which is why i think it deserves a place on this list: it’s so silly that it actually undermines the premise of the character’s secret identity!

There have been a couple that have always stuck out like sore thumbs for me. Silver age sub-mariner comes to mind where he is able to inflate himself like a blowfish. He must have terrible stretch marks from that!!!

Then there was Bishop in X-Treme X-Men who all of a sudden developed the power to be able to tell where he was. Yes, that random. They X-Men got teleported somewhere. They all said, “Where are we?” And Bishop says ,” I have the ability to figure out where I am. It is one of my powers.” Gotta love the whole secondary mutation phase of the X-Men.

“I wonder if GM gave Emma those powers initially as he wanted to use Colossus in ‘New X-men’ but couldn’t…

you are correct sir

(Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed, I love you!)

Well, Clark’s glasses were actually part of yet another silly extra superpower that Superman discovered the had in the ’70s:

His glasses, made from pieces of his baby rocket, constantly emitted a low-level hypnosis that made people just see him as a (kind of pathetic) normal guy rather than as, well, Superman in glasses.

During Avengers: Disassembled Paul Jenkins made Peter a giant spider, killed the spider and Peter was reborn wit h exactly the same abilities Marvel gave him a year and a half later in The Other. They just never used the changes done by Jenkins between the two stories. So yeah, The Other was pointless.

I love Emma’s diamond mutation. Of course, it surely makes a difference that my first major exposure to her was in the pages of Morrison’s New X-Men. (I’d read the Phoenix saga in trade, and she’s in that, of course, but she feels like a different character.)

Some new powers are just plain silly, while others would’ve worked had they been introduced early enough in a character’s history. Being able to talk to birds (for example) would be a very handy power, and would justify the odd code name in Black Canary’s case … although getting them to help her fly is a little iffy. Still, I suppose if I could talk to birds, I’d ask them to fly me around once in a while. (At least, I’d ask Gandalf’s giant eagle friends.)

Talking about Ms. Frost and Canary brings a flip-side list to mind, Brian: Top Five Coolest Secondary Mutations/Powers. I’d put Emma on that list, and Canary too — her scream didn’t come along till, what? The ’70s? (Late ’60s?) She’d been around for 20 years by then. But it works. (Of course, now they get away with the separation by saying they’re two different characters, mom and daughter, but pre-Crisis, she was supposed to be the same B.C.)

What other character had a cool additional power grafted/bestowed upon them? Hmm. I liked Aquaman’s hook/harpoon hand, but I”m not sure if that counts.

I’m pretty sure invisible Girl/Woman’s force field’s came later, right? In order to beef up Sue’s powers. (I’m not enough of an FF guy to know for sure.) And I also don’t think Poison Ivy had the ability to control plant life in her original appearances, but again, I don’t know for sure.

actually the Manhunters wish power was a one time deal..it actually was a whole seperate power..Its how they stopped despero in the Bwa ha ha league

“The Other” also gave Pete enhanced stickiness abilities – or, if not, showed him using existing abilities in ways he never had before. I seem to recall him getting a littel girl out of danger by simply putting her on his back, which she stuck to (like he can stick to walls, etc.)

Y’know, I mostly liked The Other.

Although now that I know about Super-Sticky, I might have to revise my opinion.

It really depends on what blood type he has. If Warren were type O, then he could give blood to anyone. If he were Type A, then he could donate to anyone with A or AB. The same is true for type B. No matter his blood type, he can always donate to someone with type AB. Rh factor can also be an issue, but since the vast majority are Rh positive, it probably wouldn’t come up that often.

He isn’t type O, as he wasn’t able to give blood to save Skin…

Where was it that Steel got teleportaion powers? I’ve never heard of that.

In his own title, Tommy, circa Zero Hour.

No, Doron has hit on the silliest. Avenging-angel Punisher with access to the “armories of heaven” was just ridiculous in the extreme.

I liked the Other a lot, and while I think the spikes were unnecessarily aggressive, I liked the improved senses and the communication with spiders JMS developed during his run.

And remember: Brand New Day didn’t erase the changes made during the JMS run. It’s just that no one remembers the changes. The quasi-magical origin still stands.

On Rogue: More people in the world know the character as a scared teenage girl with only one power than as Super Southern Belle. Movies trump comics when it comes to business.

“And remember: Brand New Day didn’t erase the changes made during the JMS run. It’s just that no one remembers the changes. The quasi-magical origin still stands.”

A small part of me cried when I read that.

Yeah, they threw the baby out with the bathwater, but the tub’s still full. Also, I love the bathwater.

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