Why Having Superpowers Would Actually Be Awful

Flying from place to place isn't just something controlled by wishes and magic. Superman's flight is powered by muscular strength, and Thor needs to swing his mighty hammer at crazy speeds to gather the momentum to launch himself. It's not a power that comes without great amounts of energy and effort. Might as well just buy a car. You'll get less bugs in your teeth, and you can listen to the stereo.

Having A Magic Hammer

Thor's basically a really tough dude without his magic hammer, Mjolnir. With the hammer, he can control the weather, fly, and shift between dimensions... but only those who are "worthy" may lift Mjolnir. What does "worthy" mean? No one really knows, except for Thor's dad, Odin. That means you can slip up and lose your superpowers and never really know why. Oversleep? Boom, lose your powers. Click on a pop-up ad? Snap, powers gone. Magic is a fickle mistress, and so is dad.

Heat Vision

Man of Steel's Superman could tear apart buildings and cauterize wounds with his laser eyes, but having a face full of fire seems like more trouble than it's worth. Unless you have heat-resistant eyelids, one ill-timed blink would be your last. And just how hot are those beams? Without intense focus, the residual heat would probably char the flesh right off of your rosy cheeks.


It sounds like it would be cool to live forever; procrastination loses all meaning, and your investments would mature before you could... but you'd also have to watch everyone you ever loved grow old and die around you. After all of your friends from one generation become tombstones, you'd have to relocate and change your name to avoid suspicion, or pretend to be your own identical cousin from Boise. And that's one weird family tree.


To the non-nerd, this means "the ability to move through solid matter." The Flash and The Vision can both walk through walls and phase through oncoming bullets, but what if you slip and phase yourself right through the ground? Without a viable way to pull yourself back up, you have a one-way ticket straight to hell. And don't sneeze while you're slipping through that locked door – you'll be chopped in half.

Superpowers may seem like a fantasy cure-all for all of life's ills, but all of the adamantium claws in the world can't help Wolverine mend a broken heart. Most superpowers come with a very significant, depressing downside, so before you go rolling around in toxic waste or inviting spider bites, here are a few reasons that having superpowers would really suck.

Reality Warping

The Avengers' Scarlet Witch is a mutant who has the power to change reality, which sounds like the answer to every problem ever, but mostly amounts to giving others bad luck. She once took away the powers of nearly every mutant on Earth, so the possibility of widespread, irreversible destruction is always looming. And when you can change reality, you face some pretty heavy questions about predestination. Did you just change the future... or did the future just change you?


Super-healing doesn't sound that fun, but it's probably the power that would give you the most inner peace. Imagine never having to worry about getting cancer or herpes. Sounds like a dream... unless you're Deadpool, whose healing powers operate at exactly the same speed as the tumors ravaging his body, keeping him alive, but very ugly and in pain.

Super Senses

Spider-Man's spider-sense tingles to warn him of impending danger. Ignore the fact that there's no such thing as a precognitive arachnid — it would take a huge amount of energy and focus to sort out the conversation in front of you from the dripping faucet down the street. And just try to take a nap with the pounding of your own mortal heart hammering in your ears. Ain't gonna happen. A lack of REM sleep can cause weight gain, diminished reflexes, and forgetfulness.

Super Intelligence

A little bit of brain goes a long way. If you can figure out how to hook up your Playstation, you're already ahead of 90% of the population... but when people figure out that you're smart, you'll be asked to fix every computer in the tri-state area, and statistically, you're less likely to pass on your genes, if you know what I mean. And forget it if you have a robot brain... the quest to find your non-existent inner humanity is the most depressing thing of all.

Super Strength

Much like being super smart, being super strong comes with a great sense of obligation. Forget about having friends, because now you're everyone's tow truck, moving guy, and general thing-pusher. That super strength better also come with super muscle control, or else you might just accidentally destroy everything you touch, living or otherwise. HULK SMASH!

Super Wealth

There are plenty of heroes who aren't super in nature, but use big bucks to help them fight crime, like Batman and Green Arrow. Unfortunately, this is a power as fickle as the economy. It's like being Green Lantern, but instead of your powers relying on a magic ring, they rely on soybean futures. That Batboat doesn't run on unicorn magic, after all.

X-Ray Vision

Superman has the ability to see through most matter, enabling him to see what you're hiding underneath that shirt, as well as see into any potential traps set for him... but it's not too sexy to see your girlfriend's goopy organs as they pulsate inside her ribcage. If you haven't lost your lunch yet, you may have just given her a serious dose of radiation. Those x-rays aren't just magic you know.

Super Speed

When you naturally move at speeds approaching light, everything else seems like it's going in slow motion. It takes an unusually huge amount of patience to wait on line, or for the next season of Game of Thrones to start. When the entire world is slower than you are, you're going to get bored really quickly. It might take half a second to make that run to McDonalds, but it's still going to take five minutes for them to get your McChicken right.