Sunday, 13 January 2008
At Helena's insistence, we watched The Fantastic Four yesterday. The film describes how during a space mission that goes horribly wrong (well, it could happen to anyone), five people get large doses of cosmic rays which transform their DNA and give them super powers. The fifth is the evil "Doctor Doom", who was funding the mission, so went bankrupt when it failed, and is determined to wreak terrible revenge on our four superheros.
What superpower would you choose to have? The characters don't actually get a choice, and in fact the powers they get are physical extensions of their existing personalities - those cosmic rays are clever things. They can also be looked on as embodiments of the "elements".
Metal - Dr Doom becomes metallic. Just right for his hard, cold, personality. He can turn lights on and off, which would be a clever party trick, except that the light switch already does this. Light switches also have the advantage that they aren't evil geniuses hell-bent on causng mayhem. I don't think I'd choose metal as a super power - it would be a pain at airports and would probably make operating things like mobile phones difficult.
Rubber - Reed Richards is your flexible friend. He can transform his shape, and stretch himslef, squeeze through gaps under doors, and so on. All of which is useful if you want to win a yoga competition. It's not difficult to think up practical jokes, though everyone would suspect you. It would also appear to be great to be able to get things at the other end of the room (or in another room) without having to get up from your seat. But personally, I don't get enough exercise as it is.
Stone - Ben Grimm was already built like a brick shithouse. The brawns of the operation, exposure to the cosmic ray has enhanced this by turning him into a hulking mass of stone. No one will get in your way, or argue with you, but I'm already heavy enough, thanks. His hands are also very clusmy - no good for typing.
Air - Sue Storm can make herself invisible. This is clearly a mistake, since the last thing anyone wants is not to be able to see an attractive woman, although someone does comment "I wish my wife would disappear like that". Most of us have been in embarrassing situations where you think it would be great to fade away. But then, everyone really would notice you. The fact that you need to take all your clothes off is also a bit of a drawback. Especially in the winter.
I already possess this power. Or my car does. I distinctly remember buying a blue car. Not one made out of the same material as Wonder Woman's plane. I also bought a fairly basic model, and I'm certain that I'd have noticed if it came with a Klingon Cloaking Device. It doesn't even have a CD player. Nevertheless, I do appear to be invisible to some other drivers. Unfortunately I don't have Sue's force field capabilities, so I can't "blow" these other cars out of my way.
Fire - Johnny Storm was a outgoing show-off. Now he can get as hot as a supernova. The Human Zippo is a blast at bonfire parties. Unsuspecting smokers will regret asking him for a light, though. Sitting here on a wet, cold, day, I think his ability to warm things up would be the one power that I'd like to have. No more bills for heating or cooking. My carbon footprint would be reduced.
I know what you're thinking, though. I'm hot enough already. Which is just as well, seeing as I'm not planning to go on any disasterous space missions any time soon.