The downside of being a superhero

Having super powers is, undoubtedly, awesome. But there are drawbacks. Sometimes, in fact, a hero's powers are actually counter-productive, as Ron finds out...

Sinister Six

It must be awesome to walk around, knowing you’re better than everyone else. You’ve got super strength, super speed, invisibility, psychic powers, even near indestructibility in some cases. You must fear nothing (except possible exposure of your secret identity and rogue super villains).

Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. There are drawbacks to your powers, after all. Like Uncle Ben always said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Except we’re not going to be talking about great responsibility, we’re going to talk about the day-to-day problems your average meta human encounters in your favorite comic book universe when trying to deal with us normal folks.

Like, for instance, let’s take the Green Lantern. The power ring he yields is the most powerful force in the DC universe. But until recently, his green power ring was useless against yellow objects. So the unlimited power of the cosmic forces of Oan are useless against Post-It notes, mustard, and most cheese. Hal Jordan, crushed to death by a brick of cheddar.

Superman, the Man of Steel, nigh on indestructible, right? Except when he goes down the stairs and takes the Metropolis underground to his job at the Daily Planet. In the dark, Clark Kent really is a mild-mannered weakling, just begging to be mugged.

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Speaking of indestructible, Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton must be pretty awesome, right? Wrong. Try getting on an airplane or going to a concert when your bones set off security alerts. You can’t get good dental x-rays when your skull is coated in metal, either. That’s not even mentioning all the little kids sticking magnets to him.

What about the other X-Men? Do you think Cyclops can go to the optometrist without killing hundreds of people? In addition to her many other annoying problems, Rogue’s a permanent virgin (or some sort of Black Widow). Gambit is obviously a compulsive gambler, since he carries those cards around everywhere he goes. Dr. Henry “Beast” McCoy may be a learned man of science, but they don’t exactly make flea collars in XXXXXXLarge.

Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can. If he really did gain all the powers of a spider when he was bitten by that radioactive arachnid, then Christmastime must be hell on earth for Peter Parker. Spiders, for those that didn’t know, are repulsed by the smell of chestnuts. So those nuts you’ve got roasting on an open fire, or the chestnuts stuffing your Christmas goose? Pure hell. Parker’s inability to play a friendly game of conkers is only adding to his Yuletide misery.

Ring a doorbell. Get a call on your cell phone. Put up some wind chimes. Set your alarm to get up for work in the morning. These are all things that would torture Venom to no end (and you wonder why he’s always in such a bad mood. It’s not because he’s evil, it’s because he’s constantly in pain).

Horrible movie adaptations aside, the not-so Fantastic Four have their own problems. Surely, a man made of living rock like The Thing must be a frequent target for graffiti artists. Johnny Storm has a burning sensation when he pees, though that might be something else. Pity the lovely Invisible Woman, Sue Storm. Her drawback? She’s married to the biggest, most boring prick in the Marvel universe. Reed Richards? He is the biggest, most boring prick in the Marvel universe.

Speaking of absolutely useless prats, Hank Pym’s alter ego is not related to his ability to shrink and grow at will using the mighty Pym particles. Rather, Ant Man is a nickname given to him in high school due to the size of his not so mighty Pym genitals.

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And then there are the super heroes who face more common difficulties. Uatu the Watcher? Hopelessly addicted to “Big Brother.” Namor the Sub-Mariner always gets Aquaman’s mail. Flat Man lives in constant fear of origami fans, hungry dogs, paper shredders, and a stiff breeze.

Nick Fury has it bad. No matter whether we’re dealing with the traditional Agent of SHIELD or the Ultimate Nick Fury, he’s got issues. Normal Nick Fury not only has poor depth perception due to having that eye patch, he also has to endure hundreds upon hundreds of David Hasselhoff jokes. Ultimate Nick Fury is constantly troubled by the presence of snakes on his plane, no matter where he’s going.

Of all these characters who have it rough, nobody has it worse than the villainous Razor Fist. While having blades for hands might get you a gig carving meat in a butcher shop, it’s not very handy for things like going to the bathroom, opening doors, opening jars, playing sports, shaking hands, masturbating, or hanging out with Flat Man. Not that anyone would ever want to hang out with Flat Man.

Heroes face many of the same problems and concerns we face on a day to day basis, plus a bunch of problems that I’m sure none of us ever considered before (and some I’m sure I haven’t considered, either… namely Squirrel Girl’s rabies). Nice to know that even the spandex-wearing heroism set suffers the same irritating crap we all go through. Makes them a bit more relatable, doesn’t it?