“If you could have any super-power in the world, what would it be?” my son asked during dinner tonight. I’m unprepared for most questions that come my way; this is one of the few that I can answer without a second’s hesitation.
“Teleportation,” I said. “The ability to be wherever I want to be, whenever I want to be there.” I’ve spent years considering teleportation’s pros and cons. Not only would it be an effective power for super heroes and villains alike, it also could do wonders for everyday guys like me who just want to see Europe on the cheap.
He rolled his eyes and smirked (holy hell, he inherited my smirk). “You wanna know what I’d pick?” I was afraid to ask. Remembering back to when I was roughly his age (8), my default reply was always “X-Ray vision.” “What would it be?” I asked.
“The ability to drain the life force out of people,” he said.
What a morbid answer. I didn’t know what to say in return, so I coasted with a simple “Huh?”
“I’d gain everyone’s strength and knowledge. It would be the next best thing to being immortal.”
My gut reaction was to cut him off from all sci-fi, fantasy, and action stories–in movies, television, and print–until he turns 18. Then I gave his answer some more thought. “Awesome choice, dude,” I replied. It was definitely more creative and thoughtful than mine.
The usual suspects…flight, strength, speed, invisibility, pliability, element manipulation…those are all bush league in the eyes of my fledgling Kick-Ass. If he were to author his own origin story, Stan Lee-style, it would start with him getting bitten by a radioactive ladybug, and end with his newly-powered self going on a parasitic tear, draining the essence out of all passersby.
And if he ever turned on me, well, I could just blink myself over to Milan.
And you…? Which power would you like to have?