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Odes

Ode to Varied Superpowers

Varied super powers open the imagination. These come in a variety of forms from X-men to Pokemon to Avatar, the Last Airbender to Mortal Combat to even the Twilight series and the Calamity series. The common thread is that there are a number of special beings with superpowers, but each of those powers differs by individual both reflecting and reinforcing their personality. Common tropes in these powers are the ability to control fire and ice or other elements, telekinesis, telepathy, control over some element of the earth, the ability to fly or teleport, time travel, etc. Of these, my favorites are probably the control of storms, particularly lightning (such as Storm, lightning-benders, and dragons), and Phoenix/Jean Grey from X-men; though, as a child ice (such as Articuno and Sub-Zero), Spider Man, Gambit, and Wolverine reigned supreme. The ways these powers are put to use are varied and interplay with the plots of the stories to highlight each member of the superpower team. They come up against the bad guys that want to use those powers to control or dominate the world as they fight for peace and freedom. The reason these tend to be so alluring to me are the combination of individuality, fighting for a just cause, and variation in powers. Each individual is their own being, and no two powers are exactly alike. There is a wide variety of strength and utility in the powers awarded, but each person has a chance to let their unique aspects shine at some point. The characters battle with being ostracized, discrimination, yet they find a group with whom they fit in. They learn to channel and focus their powers, improving them while learning about the responsibility that comes with those powers and how to restrain them. The characters are faced with a world of gradients, and the protagonists have to face not only using their powers responsibly and for good, but they invariably encounter those who have strayed from the path. They must face others and themselves and decide to act for the good of the world. Their struggles make the world a much more interesting place and open the imagination to think about what would happen if they did not follow their morals. You are rewarded when they come through and even more so when they prevail upon the antagonists to work for good, such as in the conclusion of Heroes. The variation of powers gives you a glimpse into the world and its possibilities. You can see creative ideas and powers that you may never have thought of and rejoice when a power you envisioned appears. You are then free to explore all the powers that you can think of and fantasize about which power would be yours. You can think about how you would use it and help your favorite characters, and whatever you come up with would likely be a possibility in that world. You can insert yourself into that world and play the superhero in your own mind.