24 February 2016

The Classic Super Power Debate: Super Strength or the Ability to Fly

Clearly, Superman ranks near the top of the Super Hero echelon as he possesses both.  But what if you had to choose?  One of the more fascinating aspects of any comic book universe is the exploration of the various superpowers one might possess.  Typically, they can range from anything helpful like super speed to the remarkably less than helpful like whatever Jubilee did in the 90’s X-men cartoon that I grew up on.


Yet, time and time again it often comes down to a debate about whether you would want to possess the ability to fly or superhuman strength.  If you were to ask me, I’d say one is for fighting and the other is for fun as if spoken by the Drill Instructor from Full Metal Jacket speaking of a Marine’s rifle and his reproductive organ.  But I’m going to take you down this journey and let you decided yourself.

Flying is for Fun

Now, don’t get me wrong the ability to fly is indeed a super power and personally, it might actually be the one I would pick.  I figure you can’t be a superhero 24/7 so I’d rather have the one that had more possibilities once I’m off the clock.  The ability to fly has endless possibilities that solve many of life’s problems.  Traffic? No problem, I’ll just fly.  Want to impress a girl on a date?  No problem I’ll just take her on a flight with me, although since I don’t have super strength the heftier women will be out of luck.


But when it comes to fighting crime, aliens, or evil deities, I’m not so sure flying packs enough punch to get it done.  This even presupposes you have the ability to fly really fast, but if you don’t have an ability to heal or superhuman shielding then you are just as vulnerable to anti-aircraft weaponry as a plane. Plus, if you hit a bird at 100 mph, you are toast.  The ability to fly absent any other power just doesn’t cut it for me if fighting is my goal.  Flying is for fun and I’m sticking to it.

Strength is for Fighting

So I guess if I have resolved myself to tackling evil in the world, I’d rather be grounded but have super human strength.  Being able to duke it out with Superman would gain me some serious street cred even if I couldn’t catch him to do so.  In addition, I have always fancied the idea of picking a fight with a much larger man only to have him punch me and break his hand like in Superman 2.


Strength not only grants you the ability to fight crime, but it gives you protection from the dangers we face every day.  Please try and rob or carjack, oh please I wish a mother would. But back to the point at hand.  If you have superhuman strength, then you can fight with all the greats.  Take Captain America for example.  Technically, he might not even have a superpower as he is just human nature pushed to its absolute boundaries, but the dude basically just fights old school and happens to hold a cool shield.

So honestly, I don’t know if I could pick one.  Flying is by far more fun in my book, but when I join the rest of the Avengers and they are dishing orders what are they going to tell me?  Cap tells Hawkeye to shoot arrows, Hulk to smash, and then he looks at me says you just fly around and stuff. Strength is for fighting.  I know many of you from you deep comic book knowledge are about to point out all the contrary examples and I say go for it.  This is Hash it Out, not think about it quietly to yourself.  What say you world, flight or fight, you can only pick one.



Jeff Edwards