4 Superheroes who aren’t so ‘super’ after all

 Disclaimer: If you are one of those people who cannot imagine the world outside the limits of Newtonian mechanics, this article is most probably not for you. You must already be having serious doubts about reading it, and I assure you that if you continue to read it, it would do nothing but shock your sense of righteousness and make you angry about how people are actually wasting their time analyzing superheroes instead of helping CERN in building a larger particle accelerator.

Even among people who do read comic books (P.S. – Watching a movie about the character is NOT the same as reading the comic books), there is a general consensus about not questioning comic book logic in terms of the real world. So if you fall into that category, I would like you to know the following before your rage starts a nuclear holocaust: I do not plan to do any such thing. Comic book world simply cannot be explained in terms of the real world and I totally respect that.

On the other hand, comic book logic SHOULD make some sense in the comic book itself. Unfortunately, the authors have to keep making new stuff up as they go along, and in the process they come up with unbelievably epic logical fails. Fans being fans, often let them pass unnoticed, but if you are someone more serious than a garden variety fan, you must have picked up some of the following holes:

 #4 Cyclops 

Anyone who has ever given a damn about the X-men is, or was, severely impressed by the character of Cyclops. There is simply no denying it. Humans are just made that way. We love guys who can throw red laser-stuff out of their eyes, and while girls are always attracted by the hair-style and the ‘cute-loser-guy’ attitude, guys seem to be drawn to a superpower that, at least on the surface, is second in awesomeness only to claws coming out of your knuckles.

It is also obvious that the character of Cyclops receives an unfair advantage from Stan Lee, given that he scored Jean Grey and the more disturbing fact that HE LIVED!

Cyclops’s powers might seem to be really awesome, but the simple truth is that he has too many weaknesses, the first and the foremost being that he has absolutely NO CONTROL over his optic blast, unless he has a special ruby-quartz visor on. On top of that, the power really isn’t that effective, since for him to be of any use, Cyclops need to be staring right at the target he wants to hit. In the real world, it might not matter that much, but the X-men Universe is filled with mutants who are telekinetic, can teleport, can manipulate substances from a distance, or can throw things such as balls of fire.

So consider that you are Cyclops. All it takes is someone unscrewing the visor on your eyes. Now you are a raging maniac blasting everyone in your range without control, regardless of whether it’s a friend or a foe. Unless that is, you shut your eyes and sit like a wimp, powerless in the middle of a super-powered war. Or let’s say someone sneaks up behind you. Would it really make a cosmic difference if a bolt of electricity hits your ass first, instead of your crotch? You guessed it! No.

Also, a ruby-quartz visor which contains your power? So imagine how effective Cyclops is if every major super-villain starts wearing a ruby-quartz lined costume.

#3 Professor X

Moving on, we have another one of the X-men, Professor X, who has the powers of telepathy and a semi-pornographic name.

To be honest, telepathy is not that weak a superpower, especially when you are as gifted as X is, but again, the way that the authors have limited how X can use the powers is stupid in the least. As one of the most powerful telepaths alive, Professor X can read minds, manipulate and create mental perceptions and cause temporary pain or paralysis in a person. It is very unfortunate, therefore, that he hardly ever leaves his mansion, unless he’s surrounded by a bunch of other super powered warriors, and even when he does, he hardly uses his powers in battle, because of no obvious reason.

Oh, and there is also the issue, that he is permanently limited to a wheelchair. Couple that with the fact that X cannot work his mental magic on more than one person at a time, or when the person in question is not physically present and you don’t even need a mutant to kill him. A group of well trained military assassins will do. Indeed, it seems that on a number of occasions throughout the series, X survives only because super villains such as Sabertooth and Magneto respect or pity him too much.

And, wait. Magneto! Magneto uses a special helmet that protects him from Professor X’s probing. So why doesn’t everyone in the world just wear that helmet? It definitely makes a fashion statement. With the advantage that it renders all telepaths on Earth totally useless.

#2 Aquaman

 Enough with Marvel now. Let’s move on to the DC hero, Aquaman.

And how many of you consider Aquaman to be a valid superhero, anyway? He’s the worst thing that happened to the Justice League of America to date, and then some.

Let’s start with the basics. Apart from some retcon versions, Aquaman’s greatest power is his ability to communicate with all the sentient beings in the sea. That’s his power. As long as you are on land, in the sky, heck even in a ship, you are safe from Aquaman’s GREATEST power, unless you count a swarm of flying fish or an occasional octopus to be a serious threat.

Supposedly, another one of Aquaman’s powers is his ability to resist extreme amounts of pressure underwater, which translates into him resisting gunfire on land, but wait till you hear this: Aquaman needs to go back in contact with water every hour or so. Otherwise, he becomes virtually powerless or dead. This means that apart from a beach or a river bank, there is hardly any terrain on which Aquaman is suited to fight. So if a super-villain sets up shop in, say, the Sahara desert, the other members of the Justice League have to fly Aquaman over to the nearest oasis over and over again for his hourly dip.

In return, I guess Aquaman lets Bruce Wayne win all the fishing contests he takes part in.

#1 Green Lantern

 Green Lantern is probably the worst known execution of a super-power I have seen in my life. Mark my words, his superpowers are awesome, but the way he uses them is totally not.

The Power Ring of Green Lantern is the single-most powerful weapon in the universe. It has the ability to bring into reality, the imagination of the wearer. As soon as you hear this you would start thinking of green light-sabers and green explosives that can wipe out an army. Hell, Green Lantern can imagine a Kryptonite factory into place and render the invincible Superman useless.

But no! The most creative Green Lantern becomes with his ring, is by making green punches that he uses to hit one opponent at a time. In real world terms, that is roughly comparable to having a loaded assault rifle beside you but choosing to throw an apple at the enemy instead. By and large, therefore, it seems as if the entire Green Lantern Corps, which would otherwise be the MOST powerful army in the Universe, is just a bunch of fools whose wildest imagination is limited to a long distance punch on the face.

Oh, and we haven’t even started on the weaknesses yet. Green Lantern’s weakness, friends and neighbors, is the color yellow. Yep, you read that right, the color yellow. THE COLOR YELLOW! In effect this means that you can finally throw Sunflowers on someone and cause them harm. Being vulnerable to yellow, means that Green Lantern’s ‘might’, is completely ineffective against everyday things, like say, a DHL courier van, Ronald the clown from McDonalds or a little kid’s painting of the sun. If necessary, Homer Simpson, or maybe Spongebob Squarepants can whup Green Lantern’s ass and send him packing. Of course, they resolved the Yellow weakness in the Emerald Twilight series, but I have to ask! What were they thinking when they made this weakness? What?

***NOTE***
I wrote this article in 2012, because I wanted to project myself as a comic book nerd on an online magazine called Let The Good Times Roll. The life of such a person isn’t easy, in social media terms to say the least. I received more hate than love, mostly for making Green Lantern but I don’t regret it, because quite like Will MacAvoy from The Newsroom, I had decided to do the right thing. And just as Will is a republican, I am a DC man, through and through.
Marvel’s problems begin with the fact that it was acquired recently by Disney, and as if having the most glorified collection of princesses as the spearheads of a parent company wasn’t enough, they also went ahead and allowed something called Agents of Shield, which ranks between Rebecca Black and a post-2010 Cameron Diaz on the list of abominations.
Grant Morrison, Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore, FTW!

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