By Sam Ferrigno for HooplaHa
All superpowers are hyperbole of human character traits. They’d have to be, since humans are the ones who gave them to heroes in the first place. For example, Iceman’s and Pyro’s personalities in X-Men: The Last Stand reflect their supernatural abilities; Iceman is, for lack of a better word, cool and collected, whereas Pyro is unruly and volatile. Comic Con fans will hate me for proposing this, but if we imagine X-Men without superpowers, those characters would likely lead us through an exciting plot as plain humans.
Without the flame throwing and mind reading, X-Men would slim down to just Men; it would be much closer to real life — give or take a few psychos destroying the world. Heroes would be defined by overcoming odds with remarkable character and internal growth. Our viewing experience of that film would show us, more simply, a reflection of ourselves and the tools we have at our disposal to overcome adversity. We, the real people, can be extraordinary despite our humanity.
Want proof? Find a list of super powers below, partnered with the traits they hyperbolize.
1. Materialization = Imagination: The ability to form ideas, images, external objects or concepts not present to the senses.
2. Healing Touch = Compassion: Sympathy and concern for the sufferings and misfortunes of others.
3. Cloning = Creativity: The use of imagination in original ideas.
4. Precognition/Predicting The Future = MemoryMemory is actually defined as “the power” to remember things, as if picturing things that happened in the past is itself a power. It sounds silly, but if you’ve ever lost your memory, or have watched someone else struggle with losing it, you know how invaluable it is as a tool to determine our future.
5. Super Strength = Endurance: The power of enduring a difficult or unpleasant process without giving way.
6. Telepathy = Intuition: The ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.
7. Invulnerability = Bravery: One’s ability to do something that is frightening.
8. Empathy = Empathy:This is interesting because empathy is both a character trait and a superpower: the [supernatural] ability to to fully interpret and replicate the emotions, moods, and temperaments of others. The definition of empathy as a character trait is not far off from that: The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.