Friday Feature: The 10 Stupidest Superpowers In Film by @destroytheearth

***Warning: the below article is a semi-delirious rant from an incredibly anal geek and should not be taken in any way seriously - You have been warned***

If there is one genre that has defined 21st-century cinema, it is the superhero film. Like it or not, you can't deny it. However, Hollywood has fallen into the same trap that less-accomplished comic book writers have done for 50 years: using super powers as a deus ex machina-excuse for lazy plotting.

A powerful hero may be able to conjure any magic to win the day, but there must be rules to govern that magic, or the story descends into bad wish-fulfilment fanfic. Bad authors often half-realise this and create a near-omnipotent hero with one crucial weakness to add drama (eg - Kryptonite). Good authors, on the other hand, create finely-considered laws to rationalise fantastic story elements and build a mature, involving story around them.

I know many of you are going to say I am being churlish, but to you I advise that this is a local blog for local geeks and you are not welcome here... ahem.... So, to illustrate my point, I present for your consideration, the ten worst thought out super powers in film history:

1) Storm - X-Men
Storm has always bugged me. Magic is based on symbolism and a magical ability to control the symbolic totem of weather makes sense. However, having a genetic mutation that allows you to do so?!??! The weather is not a physical force like gravity, it is a near-infinite series of loosely connected forces that form the current meteorological situation. It is possible for you to have some roughly semi-plausible powers that allowed you to, for example, generate water vapour and static electricity, that could simulate the ability to control the weather; BUT, if you had all those different powers, then why would you limit yourself to creating weather?!?!?!

2) Sandman - Spider-man 3
The very idea of a super power to turn into sand is inherently bizarre; it sounds more like an ancient Greek curse. However, not only is Sandman able to maintain conciousness within separate, individual particles of sand, he is also able to cause them to move independently and form shapes. Like Storm, why, if he can telekinetically control objects, does he only ever use it to move around sand?

3) Amnesia kiss - Superman II
So, you've decided to pack it in as a super hero and settle down with your star-crossed love interest; but hang on, some nasty baddies have shown you the error of your ways and taught you that the world needs your super heroics. You've got your powers back, but that inconvenient new Mrs knows your identity now and will not be happy about the late night flights, the femme fatales and ironing your tights. What are you gonna do? Well, simply use your hitherto-unmentioned telepathic powers to wipe her memory with an amnesia kiss. Job done. *Facepalm*

4) Absorbing Man - Hulk
Without even mentioning the fact that a super-adrenaline formula can somehow grant someone the ability to mimic the molecular structure of objects; how does that work exactly? It's just as crazy as Sandman. I mean, if you change your body into plastic, how do you still move, or breathe, or think? Let alone turn into some sort of concious tidal wave and attack your long-lost son?

5) Regenerating in blood - Blade II
Okay, so Blade needs sustenance to support his healing powers; and his food is blood, fine. However, why do the various vampiric characters in the Blade films feel the need to soak themselves in a bath of blood? Does swimming in bolognese stop you being hungry?

6) Hearing women's thoughts - What Women Want
This is, of course, an inherently stupid, sexist film, so I'm not going to even worry about how being struck by lightening while wearing tights gives Mel Gibson the ability to hear the thoughts of only women; supporting the stereotypical view that women's brains are inherently different to men, and thus supporting the battle of the sexes. However, two things still genuinely concern me about this: 1) That anyone likes this film,  and: 2) That I have always wanted there to be a director's-cut ending where Helen Hunt realises, Fight Club-style,  that she actually is Mel Gibson, which is why he was able to empathise with women, and ends the film in an asylum.

7) Bleeders - Push
The super powered characters in Push are described as having psychic, mental abilities of the kind the Soviets are rumoured to have experimented with, remote viewing and such. However, of the 9 different power types in the film, Bleeders stick out. A psychic, mental power to scream really really loud kinda doesn't work...

8) Leech - X-Men: The Last Stand
The idea of a formula that cancels out the so-called "X-gene" that makes mutants mutants in X-Men is plausible, though the process would equate to long-term gene therapy and could well be fatal. The idea of a person radiating some kind of energy field that caused an instant, painless and reversible effect on the genes, less likely....

9) Invisible Woman - Fantastic Four
Any comic-book geek worth their salt knows that Sue Richards turns invisible by projecting mental force fields that bend light around the objects she chooses. This is the entire point of her powers and the reason they are even vaguely plausible, not to mention the explanation of why she gets two powers when the others only get one, they're the same power. Why then does Jessica Alba need to be naked, or wearing her special Fantastic Four uniform, to make her powers work in the film? Could it be just to get her naked? Disgraceful. What's that you ask? Did I only include this one as an excuse to show a video of Jessica Alba in her underwear? Why, how very dare you...

10) Rewinding the Earth - Superman
And so: to the ultimate of all-time stupid powers. The source of all this ranting. You know it well. As dramatic as it was, the very idea that flying really fast against the rotation of the Earth could somehow rewind time...! Even if that did work, what about the rest of the universe? I mean, surely this wouldn't affect anywhere other than Earth. As such, wouldn't someone notice that all the stars and the Sun were out of synch with the Earth? The logical leap just beggars belief.

You may have guessed, by the by, that I am not a Superman fan....

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