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Old August 27 2008, 02:58 AM   #1
CaptainCanada
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Ridiculously powerful superpowers

In superhero fiction, you often see characters with powers that are applied only in select ways which logically should make the character virtually invincible if followed to their logical extreme.

For example, Zatanna, the character who inspired this post; she (and most magicians in a superhero context) have huge, in some ways limitless power; her magic can basically do whatever the plot requires (one poster once described her power as "goofy omnipotence").

My personal favourite, though, it The Rumor from Umbrella Academy, whose superpower is the ability to lie and have it come true (ie, "I heard a rumour that the Musee D'Orsay is giving away many of its finest paintings" or "I heard a rumour that you've wanted to kiss me since you were eight years old"). Her lies literally warp reality (such as producing a duplicate version of her studying at the library when she was lying about sneaking out to see her boyfriend). Even the author seemed to realize the implications of this at the end of the miniseries, where her vocal cords were blown out.
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Old August 27 2008, 03:49 AM   #2
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Re: Ridiculously powerful superpowers

Superman's combined powers
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Old August 27 2008, 03:54 AM   #3
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Re: Ridiculously powerful superpowers

Doctor Manhattan is pretty powerful.
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Old August 27 2008, 04:03 AM   #4
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Re: Ridiculously powerful superpowers

(points to Dragonball Z)
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Old August 27 2008, 04:05 AM   #5
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Re: Ridiculously powerful superpowers

^ Yeah, but that was the entire point of Dr. Manhattan.

This issue is one reason why I don't care for the current trend of team ups. That and they just make the fictional universe too chock full of superpowered beings while the stories still act like the geopolitical structure of our world would essentially be unaffected by everybody and their mother having powers.
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Old August 27 2008, 04:28 AM   #6
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Re: Ridiculously powerful superpowers

"Current trend"? There have been team-ups since the industry started.
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Old August 27 2008, 04:35 AM   #7
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Re: Ridiculously powerful superpowers

True, but the super-powerful heroes like Superman, Martian Manhunter, etc. must eventually have some weakness or vulnerability, like fire for J'onn J'onzz, or Kryptonite and magic for Kal-El. It's not true for all other heroes, but vulnerability somehow gives them a sense of humanity. Otherwise, they're virtually omnipotent.
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Old August 27 2008, 04:50 AM   #8
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Re: Ridiculously powerful superpowers

Q's powers and (essentially) the powers of the Phoenix in X-Men.
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Old August 27 2008, 06:56 AM   #9
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Re: Ridiculously powerful superpowers

Storm's control of the weather should make her the most powerful of all the X-Men. She could defeat all her enemies from afar.

Peter and Matt on Heroes.
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Old August 27 2008, 07:19 AM   #10
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Re: Ridiculously powerful superpowers

Magneto. look at the "Fatal Attractions" story from the 1990s, he basically caused a planet-wide EMP...
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Old August 27 2008, 07:20 AM   #11
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Re: Ridiculously powerful superpowers

I didn't read too many Supreme comics back in the 90s but I remember one where he was in space and was in such a hurry to get around the sun that he just flew straight through it instead.
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Old August 27 2008, 07:20 AM   #12
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Re: Ridiculously powerful superpowers

THE Zantanna comment reminded me of the debut of her father, Zatara, from Action Comics number 1. He also has magic that does whatever is required of him.

In the issue his nemesis is the Tigress. At one point she gets the jump on him, they fight phyisically on the top of a moving train "and with a powerful lunge" she shoves him off the train. He uses his magic to "float" and land safely.

Yeah right. I can't imagine that people in the 30's would buy that.

What I find interesting is that even though the Tigress is a criminal mastermind wtih a nasty personality, she has no powers, and is an average woman of stunning beauty. In the story, though, she always gets the upper hand on on the hero, and each time is able to beat him up physically, and she would have killed him more than once if his magic hadn't saved him
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Old August 27 2008, 07:20 AM   #13
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Re: Ridiculously powerful superpowers

Molecule Man.
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Old August 27 2008, 07:22 AM   #14
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Re: Ridiculously powerful superpowers

Hyperion from Squadron Supreme (the new one, that JMS writes)
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Old August 27 2008, 07:22 AM   #15
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Re: Ridiculously powerful superpowers

The Sandman. He has power over all ideas.
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