100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (2024)

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Where would we be without super powers? The Avengers would have never formed, Bowser would go undefeated, and Heroes would have been a soap opera. Even though we normal folk will never have them, we can't help but wonder which would be the coolest to have…

That's the question that drove the creation of this list. Super powers are inherent to comic books, so a lot of our picks were culled from there, but there are also plenty to consider from video games, TV, and movies. So after some of the nerdiest meetings to ever take place, we settled on this list of the 100 coolest super powers.

We judged each power on the following criteria:

  • Gadgets and tech, like Batman's utility belt and Iron Man's armor, aren't special abilities, so Bruce and Tony will have to sit this one out.
  • Being really, really good at something, like Green Arrow at archery, isn't enough. It has to surpass normal human capabilities. It must be "super!"
  • It's the result, not the means, that define the power. So while magic is awesome, it's not a power by our guidelines. Magic lets you do cool things like conjure fire and fly, so Fire Manipulation and Flight are the powers, not magic itself. Sorry, Harry Potter!
  • The context of where a power is used matters. Superman on Krypton isn't super-powered, but on Earth he is because of the yellow sun.

With that out of the way, read on for the 100 coolest super powers of all time!

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Is shooting gold balls cool? That depends. It's certainly cooler than having no super powers at all, but there are certainly better powers to be had (99 of them, to be exact). Still, producing gold balls from your body can prove useful for a distraction and allow your teammates to gain the advantage in a battle. Plus, you'll always be invited to skee ball night!

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  • Power: The ability to shoot golden balls out of one's body.
  • Notable User: Goldballs

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Normally, spouting maggots from your body isn't the coolest. However, in Maggott's case, his super powered slugs are able to enhance his strength, stamina, and size by digesting objects in their path. Sure, it's really gross, but at least it's got its benefits.

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  • Power: Emit super slugs from one's body that in turn digest solid objects and transfer the energy to their host.
  • Notable User: Maggott

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Forget the obvious benefits to having this ability -- which would eliminate the need for dieting, so bring on the cookies. The real cool factor comes when you realize that there would be no situation that you couldn’t handle. Eat nuclear weapons, guns, knives, anything! Leave the technopath at home and just eat the bombs.

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  • Power: The ability to consume all matter in any form.
  • Notable User: Matter-Eater Lad

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Talk about impressing your friends. Imagine being able to absorb knowledge at super speed. You'd be the king/queen of bar trivia! More importantly, you'd be an enormous asset to your superhero team; think of it like learning a new program inside of the Matrix. Can't fly that helicopter? Just use your power to insta-read the manual and boom! You super-learned how to be a pilot.

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  • Power: The ability to absorb information at an advanced rate, or even instantly.
  • Notable Users: Taskmaster, Kat (Alphas), The Flash

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If you've got to choose between super maggots, gold balls, and explosive farts, it stands to reason that explosive farts is by far the coolest power. Not only is it probably endlessly amusing, eating a greasy meal before a big fight would actually be considered a boon rather that a detriment. Just nab some Taco Bell on your way to the crime-in-progress and you're ready to go.

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  • Power: The ability to turn one's flatulence into an explosive.
  • Notable Users: Abe (Oddworld), Wario, Fartman (Howard Stern)

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If you think subtlety is overrated and want enough artillery to take out a small army, unleash the pure devastation of the Colossus – Anthem’s hulking war machine.

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Call it a toxin, call it posion, or call it venom, any way you slice it, producing a deadly substance from your body is a sure fire way to make sure that nobody messes with you. Hopefully it's not emitted in some disgusting way (see Maggott), but having poisonous barbs shoot out of your finger tips or being able to project toxic bile would be pretty neat.

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  • Power: The ability to produce and emit poison from the body.
  • Notable Users: Singed the Mad Chemist (League of Legends), Poison Ivy

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Talk about sympathy for the devil. While channeling Satan probably isn't high on your checklist of things you look for in a mate, it can come in handy when you're fighting an enemy -- especially if you're using the devil's energies against evil. Channeling the devil leaves the bearer with increased strength, super speed, and -- usually -- horns.

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  • Power: The ability to conjure Satan and his skills.
  • Notable User: Dante (Devil May Cry)

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The bearer of the Darkness has at his or her disposal the legions of Darklings, which they can use to utterly destroy their enemies. While the Darkness also offers increased strength and speed, projecting the Darklings allows them to manipulate their surroundings and turn any situation to their advantage.

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  • Power: The ability to call upon the Darkness to take out your enemies.
  • Notable User: Jackie Estacado

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Whether it's the good ol' Jedi Mind Trick or just a skill to modify your Diplomacy in D&D, the power of persuasion is all-powerful. Too often superheroes resort to fisticuffs to solve problems, but having persuasion means that one could get the dirty work done with just their mind. It's not so much intelligence as much as it is charm.

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  • Power: The ability to convince others of anything.
  • Notable Users: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Kayla Silverfox

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Not only would this power (presumably) give you a natural understanding of complicated subway lines, but it also lets you draw increased strength and speed from the cityscape. It's even been known to act on your behalf to protect you and your allies. That's pretty cool... just don't move to the country. Ever.

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  • Power: The ability to draw power from a metropolitan landscape.
  • Notable User: Jack Hawksmoor

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The Storm channels the raw energy of the Anthem through its seals to dish out damage. From ice storms, to flame bursts, to its ultimate – the elemental storm, this tempestuous javelin that can challenge the skills of even a veteran lancer.

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One of the weirder super powers on the list but cool nonetheless, being able to remove your limbs at will gives you easy access to weapons: your own arms and legs! If you don't mind hopping on your right leg for a while, you can beat your opponent senseless with your left one.

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  • Power: The ability to remove your arms and legs at will.
  • Notable User: Arm-Fall-Off Boy

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Forget wasting away in foreign language class in high school, having this power would not only give you an extra study hall period but it'd make you a natural ambassador for new civilizations, be they on Earth or some distant planet. Plus you'd never have a problem ordering meals no matter where in the world you might find yourself.

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  • Power: The ability to comprehend any and all languages.
  • Notable Users: Cypher, Wonder Woman

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A subset of being able to manipulate ink, those with the ability to manipulate body art itself allows them to gain physical strength or even conjure the physical form of the tattoo. So, if you've got a tattoo of a hawk, you'd be able to either gain its ability to fly, or be able to make it appear and attack your opponents with its razor sharp talons.

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  • Power: The ability to manfiest powers from body art.
  • Notable Users: Ink, The Tattooed Man

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If you ask a group of people what they hate the most, a large percentage will probably respond "bugs." How cool would it be, then, to have utter control over insects and be able to use that against your enemies? You could send an army of ants to raid their stock of weapons, infest their hideout with termites, or just chase them away with a swam of terrifying wasps. The possibilties are endless.

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  • Power: Power to manipulate all manners of bugs.
  • Notable User: Ant-Man

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Typically we think of pheromones as a weapon that someone like Poison Ivy uses to seduce (and destroy) her enemies. That's one use, but pheromones can also put people to sleep, make them experience deep fear, or even wish for death. Generation of pheromones has a variety of applicable uses, and all of them are potentially useful in the vigilante game.

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  • Power: The ability to generate pheromones that affect the behavior of others.
  • Notable Users: Stacy X, Daken, Spider-Woman

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The Interceptor excels in getting close to deal damage to enemies, then dashing away before they can react. Unleashing lightning-fast maneuverability to pull off powerful offensive abilities, the Interceptor makes the impossible look easy.

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At first, this doesn't sound like a particularly thrilling super power. And it's not, really, but it is damn useful. Imagine getting impaled with the blade of an enemy, and being able to shift your internal parts around just right so that it's merely a flesh wound? Not a bad ability to have if you're going to be engaging in a lot of close quarters combat, particularly with sharp weapons involved.

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  • Power: Being capable of relocating the major organs within your body.
  • Notable Users: Shatterstar, Mystique

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Intuitively being able to invent complex creations opens up a world of possibilities for the user. If a particular machine, gadget, piece of technology, weapon, food item, or computer system doesn't exist, simply invent it! You'd be on the cutting edge at all times, and you'd push humanity to a new stage of evolution. Just be careful who you share your inventions with.

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  • Power: The ability to create advanced inventions with ease.
  • Notable Users: Forge, Sylar

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While being an empath is most certainly a tough life to lead, feeling everyone's emotional highs and lows, empaths also make for powerful allies. It's one of the coolest powers to have because empaths will always understand; nothing you say can be lost on them or taken for granted. They'll likely know your feelings better than you do.

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  • Power: The ability to fully comprehend the moods and emotions of others.
  • Notable Users: Swamp Thing, Lockheed, Lydia

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What came first? The self-confidence or the physical strength? If you've got the super power of self-confidence, it's a chicken and egg scenario. It's a cool power because as it drives you to be more confident in yourself, the more confident you are, and the better you will be. There's a life lesson in there somewhere.

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  • Power: The ability to draw power from one's own self-confidence.
  • Notable Users: Gladiator, Dante (Devil May Cry)

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The power to mimic other powers is quite freeing if you're worried about being locked into just one power. With mimicry, there's always a new option to try, though we imagine the fun is only equal to how easily one acquires these powers. For example, some do it through touch, which requires close contact, while others can simply observe and copy. We'd prefer the latter. It's less dangerous that way.

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  • Power: The ability to take on the attributes of someone else's power.
  • Notable Users: Mimic, Hope

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To be honest, most super villains use some sort of machine to threaten existence, right? Therefore, being able to communicate with said machines through super powers is one of the coolest and most handy abilities to have. From disarming super bombs to making sure a damaged plane lands safely, control over machines is definitely one of the best super powers in a world that increasingly relies on machines over man.

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  • Power: Manipulation of mechanical devices.
  • Notable Users: The Great Machine, Hijack, Madison Jeffries

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If Lex Luthor has taught us anything, it's that land is the one thing they're not making any more of. That's why being a sentient piece of land would be pretty useful. There's no way anyone could conquer you, since you'd be able to swallow them whole (or maybe just boot them into the ocean) anytime they tried. Talk about a private island!

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  • Power: A sentient piece of land.
  • Notable User: Krakoa

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Item duplication is particularly handy when it comes to weapons, as you could essentially make a high-paying career out of being an armorer. Simply make one really great battle-axe, for example, duplicate it dozens of times, and bam! You've got elite weapons for the entire army. Quite a useful power to have around.

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  • Power: The ability to create multiples of an object of one's choosing.
  • Notable User: Doop

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This one is pretty grim, but useful if you don't really care about scarring your enemies for life. Instead of beating bad guys into submission, you can toss them into the darkness dimension where they're faced with their own mortality and ultimate nothingness, only to bring them back emotionally and psychologically stunted. Not bad for a day's work.

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  • Power: The ability to access a dimension of nothingness.
  • Notable User: Cloak

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While we've typically only seen this power associated with the disco star Dazzler, the ability to transform sound into light is actually pretty helpful. In a battle scenario where there are explosions and such, converting that sound energy into flashbangs could give you one heck of a tactical advantage.

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  • Power: Transform sound frequencies into forms of light.
  • Notable User: Dazzler

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Who hasn't wished they could breathe underwater? Not only would you be immune to drowning, but you'd be able to explore the depths of the sea that have never been seen by mankind! Discover new civilizations! New species of sea creatures! Find the Loch Ness Monster! But make sure you learn how to swim first.

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  • Power: The ability to breathe underwater.
  • Notable Users: Aquaman, Namor

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Light manipulation doesn't sound all that impressive at first, but when you think about its implications, it's actually one of the coolest powers. Theoretically, one could create holographic images, turn invisible, and even move at light-speed simply by adjusting the properties of the light that surrounds them.

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  • Power: The ability to control visible light.
  • Notable User: Northstar

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One of the most dangerous abilities on the block, being able to control and target psychic energy as an explosive blast is a force to be reckoned with. If unchecked, one could wind up leveling Neo-Tokyo (thanks, Akira). But still, being able to harness the psychic energies around you -- that are emitted from every living being -- for a destructive purpose is unabashedly awesome.

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  • Power: The ability to concentrate psychic energy into an explosion.
  • Notable User: Psylocke

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Aside from the obvious bonus of being able to talk with your loved ones that have since passed on, speaking with the dead would also be majorly helpful in solving the unsolvable crimes. Can't figure out who killed the victim? Easy: Ask the victim, case closed. Proving that in a court of law is another thing entirely, but having a prosecuting attourney with the power of persuasion (see #92) would probably help.

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  • Power: Having an open line of communication with the deceased.
  • Notable Users: Jodie Holmes (Beyond: Two Souls), Brother Voodoo

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Being able to learn the secrets of the universe is one thing, but being able to retain and process that information is something else entirely. What good will the secrets of the cosmos do you if your brain melts on impact? Only super mentality can help you there. Before you go seeking the truth that's out there, be sure you're ready to know.

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  • Power: A superhuman capacity to retain information.
  • Notable Users: Brainiac, The Leader

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We've seen super hearing that ranges from just being able to hear at a larger distance than humans all the way up to hearing radio waves or explosions on other planets. Either way, having enhanced hearing is definitely one of the coolest super powers, even if it means you'd have to train yourself to block out the cacophany of living in a major city.

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  • Power: An ability to hear things outside of the normal human range.
  • Notable Users: Daredevil, Man-Bat, Superman

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Usually it's radiation that causes super powers, but sometimes it can be a power unto itself. Emitting radiation is a powerful weapon, giving the user the ability to melt through objects or even use themselves as a nuclear weapon; a ticking time bomb.

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  • Power: The ability to emit radiation from one's body.
  • Notable User: Radioactive Man

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Being in control of your density works both offensively and defensively. Someone trying to fight you? Lower your density so his fists pass right through you. Or if you're feeling particularly mean that day, up your density so high that your body is as hard as diamond, and then try not to laugh when he breaks his fingers against your face.

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  • Power: The ability to manipulate your personal density.
  • Notable Users: The Blob, Vision, Ultimate Kitty Pryde

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We all know earthquakes are caused by shifting tectonic plates, and we also know that earthquakes are more common in certain parts of the world than others. So how awesome would it be to surprise your enemies on the east coast with a sudden earthquake underneath their feet? Certainly a great lead-in for a surprise assault on their secret base.

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  • Power: The ability to cause earthquakes, regardless of location.
  • Notable Users: Rictor, Avalanche

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If you want to be a master of infiltration, possession is the best super power you could ask for. Learn enemy secrets, passwords, and plans just by inhabiting the body of your arch-nemesis. It's probably one of the most psychologically taxing powers, but to be fair, it's easily one of the coolest.

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  • Power: The ability to take control of someone else's body.
  • Notable Users: Deadman, Spectre, Karma

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Certainly not the most attractive super power, but being able to stretch your body into unnatural shapes is certainly cool. You can make yourself a parachute from your own back fat, you can use yourself as a rope to tie up bad guys, or you can simply reach that can of soda without getting off the couch.

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  • Power: The ability to stretch one's body like rubber.
  • Notable Users: Mr. Fantastic, Plastic Man, Mrs. Incredible

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If you're gonna go superheroing, luck is something you need on your side. The ability to increase your luck is a sweet power in and of itself, so surrounding yourself with someone that can do just that is recommended. Not only would your missions go much smoother, you'd probably always get the best seats in restaurants. A necessity after a hard day's work of putting away bad guys.

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  • Power: The ability to increase probability in your favor.
  • Notable Users: Domino, Longshot, Amos Fortune

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One of the most dangerous, and thus coolest, types of powers is the energy conversion. Imagine being able to harness, say, the physical energy of someone running on a treadmill and convert it into nuclear energy? That means you'd have access to some of the most powerful energy on the planet, and all you'd have to do is exercise.

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  • Power: The ability to absorb energy and convert it into a different kind of energy.
  • Notable User: Bishop

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Being able to ask animals to do your bidding has a lot of benefits: You could take a ride on a cheetah, you could have an army of sharks, or you could infest your enemy's lair with spiders. Basically, you'd always have some sort of animal army at your disposal. Who's going to mess with a guy that has a battalion of grizzlies?

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  • Power: The ability to speak with and take command of animalkind.
  • Notable Users: Aquaman, Bran Stark, Dracula

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Cyclops's signature move is a blast of red energy from his ruby quartz visor. What makes his eye-beam unique is that it produces concussive force, which knocks enemies back instead of, say, burning holes in them like Superman's heat vision would. He's pretty much punching bad guys with his eyes, which is all sorts of cool.

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  • Power: A powerful emmission of concussive force in the form of an energy blast.
  • Notable Users: Cyclops, Martian Manhunter

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The best way to shut down an opponent's power is to immobilize them completely, which is exactly where a paralysis ability could come in handy. Just as paralysis would limit your basic motor functions, so too would it impair your ability to use a natural power, so taking that away from an enemy would be critical to winning a battle.

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  • Power: The abilitiy to immobilize your opponent's motor functions temporarily.
  • Notable Users: Spider-Woman, Spider-Man (Miles Morales)

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This is one of the best powers because it would allow you to survive in pretty much any enviornment. You'll grow gills if you're stuck under water and you'll gain flame retardant skin if you're cast into a volcano. Whatever the situation, you'll evolve to survive it.

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  • Power: The ability to instantly adapt to any environment.
  • Notable User: Darwin

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Feeling the Earth move under your feet is an actual possibility for those with this super power, allowing the user to literally move mountains should they choose. Earth manipulation means moving rocks and dirt however you see fit, which would be incredibly handy for terraforming environmentally damaged locations.

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  • Power: The ability to control Earth elements like dirt and rocks.
  • Notable Users: Toph, Terra, Avalanche

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Some of us like to inflict pain without getting physical, so this power would be perfect for the passive-aggressive types. With a mere thought, you could inflict varying degrees of hurt on those who have wronged you (hopefully they are criminals), be it the physical, mental, or emotional variety.

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  • Power: The ability to instill pain on someone with mere thought.
  • Notable User: Jane Volturi

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We should note that there's a key difference between summoning the dead and resurrecting the dead: "summoning" merely reanimates corpses to a zombie-like state, effectively giving you an army of undead at your disposal. Still really awesome, but if you're looking to bring back loved ones from the dead, this probably isn't the way to do it (see also: dressing up like a bat and enacting vengeance).

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  • Power: The ability to reanimate the deceased.
  • Notable Users: Black Hand, Nekron

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There's a wide variety of locations tendrils could be emitted from your body -- it could be a tongue, a tail, or just pieces of symbiote goo -- but it basically equates to having an additional arm. This means you could hold a bad guy with your prehensile tendrils and pound him with your real arms. It comes in handy. Get it?

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  • Power: Tendrils emitted from one's body capable of gripping.
  • Notable Users: Sindel (Mortal Kombat), Venom, Medusa

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Turning your skin to steel is basically the equivalent of a turtle hiding inside its shell, except you can still move around and deliver awesome fastball specials. Making you impervious to fire, bullets, blades, and mostly anything else, having steel skin is definitely one of the greatest -- and shiniest! -- super powers one could be gifted with.

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  • Power: The ability to turn your skin into a protective layer of steel.
  • Notable Users: Colossus, Metal Mario

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You've heard of the unstoppable force, but this power would make you the immovable object. What would happen when the two things collide? Well, that's pretty much the basis for all superhero comics. Being immovable has its advantages, as literally nothing would be able to move you from wherever you chose to plant yourself. You'd be a necessity at the superhero union sit-in, for sure.

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  • Power: You are impossible to move.
  • Notable User: The Blob

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When it comes to controlling the natural elements of the world, having the ability to manipulate plant life is definitely one of the best examples. From turning a cityscape into an urban jungle to creating the perfect bouquet of flowers for your significant other, control of plants is defintely a super power to wish for. And if you're like Swamp Thing, you can even use it to travel in "the Green" from plant to plant all across the world! Not a bad deal.

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  • Power: The ability to manipulate plant life.
  • Notable Users: Swamp Thing, Poison Ivy, Plantman

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It pays to have good aim if you're going to be battling crime day in and day out, so having the power of marksmanship is extremely desirable. While heroes don't typically use guns, sharpshooting gives you the ability to hit your target with anything, not just bullets -- popcorn kernels, playing cards, fingernail clippings... whatever projectile you can come up with, really.

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  • Power: Expert marksmanship where you're always able to hit your target.
  • Notable Users: Cameron Hicks (Alphas), Bullseye

Chi

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Most of us wish we had better control of our inner mojo, but for people like Iron Fist, he doesn't have to wish. Control over your Chi means you've got the ability to physically manifest all of your inner strength and willpower. This means your outer strength can be just as powerful as your inner strength. Not only will you be awesome, but you'll be deep too.

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  • Power: The ability to control your metaphysical energies.
  • Notable Users: Iron Fist, Shang-Chi

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So you can turn into water, or any kind of liquid even! Why not use it to break into any room that isn't water-tight, fight without worrying about bullets and knives, and make any nearby drain an easy escape route? Plus, your hair will always be perfectly slicked back with just the right amount of moisture.

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  • Power: The ability to turn yourself into water.
  • Notable Users: Hydro Man, Wonder Twins, Mercury

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Having the ability to mimic substances -- be it metals, fabrics, or the landscape -- would essentially make you invisible. This means you'd be able to blend into any enviornment, chameleon style, and infiltrate anything from secret enemy facilities to birthday parties you weren't invited to. Though that's quite sad, when you think about it.

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  • Power: The ability to mimic anything you touch.
  • Notable User: Absorbing Man

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One thing's for sure, you'd be the most popular hero in your group of friends! As a superhero, there's nothing cooler than helping people, so what better power could there be than the ability to heal? Cuts, bruises, maybe even terminal illnessess, the ability to heal would be one of the greatest powers ever.

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  • Power: The ability to heal the wounds of those around you.
  • Notable Users: Katara, Linderman (Heroes), Triage

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Manipulating gravity means you could make things levitate, akin to Luke using the Force; you could get objects from across the room without getting up and freak out your friends. There's also the flip side, turning up the gravity so high that a foe can't even move. You can't defy someone with gravity powers.

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  • Power: The ability to manipulate the gravitational pull of the Earth.
  • Notable Users: Graviton, Kat (Gravity Rush), Star Boy

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Having a bank of pent up energy can be a powerful ally, as long as you're able to discharge it in a way that can take down your enemies. While there are some unfortunate cases -- like Cyclops's inability to contain his energy blasts without the help of special lenses -- in general we think is a good power to have. Chances are no one could out power you when it comes to fisticuffs, plus you'd put on a hell of a light show for the onlookers.

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  • Power: The power to emit powerful pillars of energy from one's body.
  • Notable Users: Goku, Bishop, Starfire

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We imagine it'd be incredibly freeing to know that you'd come back from the dead should something happen in the line of superhero duty. You'd lose the fear of taking big risks, and you could be as daring as you damn well please. The fear of death is what keeps most people from following their vigilante dreams, but this power would take that element out of the equation.

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  • Power: The ability to come back from the dead.
  • Notable Users: Mister Immortal, Tommy (Prey), John Coffey (Green Mile)

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The strength of a gorilla? The speed of a cheetah? The memory of an elephant? You got it! Animals have a wide range of abilities that humans simply can't replicate… unless, of course, you've got animal powers. As an added bonus, being able to draw on many animals at once means that your skillset would always be in flux, letting you try new things every day.

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  • Power: Draw on the various abilities of animalkind.
  • Notable Users: Animal Man, Vixen, Manimal

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Need to enter someone's bloodstream to fight off pathogens? That's easy with size-manipulation. Or maybe your town is constantly invaded by giant monsters? With the ability to also grow as tall as a skyscraper, those monsters will think twice before rampaging on your turf.

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  • Power: The ability to alter the size of your body.
  • Notable Users: Ant-Man, Giant Man, Atom

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Whether you need to stop someone from falling with a gentle whirlwind or blow your enemies away with a fierce tornado, controlling the air around you is pretty sweet. As Aang showed us in Avatar: The Last Airbender, it can also be used in creative ways such as wind-burst punches, gliding, and air-ball races.

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  • Power: Control over air in the Earth's atmosphere.
  • Notable Users: Aang, Storm

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100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (64)

Feeding on life energy is sort of like being a leech of one's life force. It's a little harsh, but we think it's super cool that this means you're virtually indestructible as long as there are other living things around you. Think about it: plants, animals, and other human beings are all acting as your own personal batteries!

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  • Power: Sustaining one's life force or powers by feeding on somebody else's.
  • Notable Users: Vulture, Lost Girl (TV), Darkstalkers (Lilith/Morrigan)

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100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (65)

Ever wanted to be in two (or six) places at once? Wish you could just do everything yourself? Then self-multiplication is the power to hope for when you get splashed with toxic chemicals! You'd never miss an appointment, and bad guys would be hard pressed to take you one-on-one in a fight. Mostly because they would literally be fighting a bunch of you.

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  • Power: The ability to create multiple versions of yourself at once.
  • Notable Users: Multiple Man, Triplicate Girl

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100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (66)

One of the best things about having this power, besides the ability to blast things to kingdom come with the sound of your voice, would be how hard it is for your opponents to defend against. How do you keep someone from talking, really? It will always blindside your enemy and it will always look super awesome when you scream your lungs out like a rock star of utter destruction.

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  • Power: Emitting a powerful sonic boom from the vocal chords.
  • Notable Users: Banshee, Black Canary, Angar the Screamer

100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (67)

Ever since we saw Zack Morris freeze time at Bayside High, it's been one of the most desirable powers. Whether you use it to draw funny faces on your worst enemy or strategize the winning moves in an intense battle, a good time freeze can buy you some much needed time whenever you need it most.

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  • Power: The ability to freeze time at any given moment.
  • Notable Users: Zack Morris, Suzie & Jon, Tempus

100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (68)

There are worse ways to kickstart your psychic thoughts than by eating food; how great would it be to have an excuse for pounding all those cookies and cakes you'd be scarfing anyway? But when using it in a crime-solving capacity like Tony Chu from Chew, it's not as yummy as it sounds. He once bit into a detached finger to get a vision of the murderer who cut it of. That's incredibly gross, but also incredibly helpful.

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  • Power: The ability to get psychic impressions from the food you eat.
  • Notable User: Tony Chu (Chew)

100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (69)

The ability to see things before they happen has its uses, and not just for trivial matters like winning lotto numbers and the outcome of sports games. Whether it's preventing future crime a la Minority Report or knowing whether or not your new relationship is doomed, precognitive abilities will always give you a leg-up on every situation. Whether that's good or bad is up to you.

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  • Power: The ability to see what's going to happen before it happens.
  • Notable Users: Dream Girl, Destiny, Johnny Smith (The Dead Zone)

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100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (70)

Phasing through walls, floors, closed doors, and gigantic cosmic bullets can come in handy in your life as a superhero. If you play your cards right, no one could ever land a punch on you and it'd be near impossible to keep you out of -- or in -- any sort of prison. It's even better if your phasing extends to the people you are phsyically touching! That's like a chain link fence of wall walkers.

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  • Power: The ability to walk through solid objects.
  • Notable Users: Kitty Pryde, Vision

100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (71)

More rugged than those blasted adamantium claws, Wolverine's bone claws are way cooler. They look like they hurt like heck when coming out, for one thing, but more to the point they simply look more ferocious. A dude with knives on his hands is intimidating, but a feral warrior with friggin' bone claws? Badass.

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  • Power: An extended piece of skeleton that emerges from the knuckles to act as claws.
  • Notable User: Wolverine

100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (72)

Considering that the Earth is predominately made of water, this is obviously one of the ideal super powers to have. Create tidal waves (or maybe just adequate surfing waves), whirlpools, and so much more. Plus, the human body is made mostly of water, so having control of water is kind of the same as having control of human beings. Awesome.

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  • Power: The ability to command water at your leisure.
  • Notable Users: Mera, Korra

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100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (73)

The ability to steal the powers of others is most definitely one of the most useful abilities you could have, because it means you've got the potential to have any super power you desire. That is if you can get close enough to the person whose powers you want, of course. Better yet, power stealing usually incapacitates the person you stole it from, so that's an added bonus.

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  • Power: The ability to absorb the powers or life energy of others.
  • Notable Users: Kirby, Rogue, Parasite

100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (74)

Remember the whole unstoppable force facing off against the immovable object thing? Yeah, that again. Well, this is the former. Imagine running, getting in the groove, and then being able to plow through anyone or anything that stands in your way? We imagine being a superhero means that there's lots of running involved, so being able to plow through your enemies while you're doing what you'd be doing anyway is super appealing.

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  • Power: You become impossible to stop once you're moving.
  • Notable User: Juggernaut

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100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (75)

Having a spider-sense would be a boon to everyday life, for sure -- no more stubbed toes or bruised elbows. But when it comes to your superheroing career, it means you'd always have a leg-up on your opponents. No more surprise attacks, no ambushes, you'd always know when the bad guy was coming for you. And as we've learned, knowing is half the battle.

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  • Power: A precognitive ability warning you of incoming danger.
  • Notable User: Spider-Man

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100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (76)

Having super intelligence means being able to perform amazing calculations, learn at a tremendous rate, and basically out-think everyone around you -- a thousand-fold. This power is different from super mentality, which is more about the state of one's super mind rather than its ability to perform in a super state. Of course, with either power you'd still need Instagram.

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  • Power: Intelligence beyond human capacity.
  • Notable Users: The Leader, Brainiac, M.O.D.O.K.

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100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (77)

If ice powers means you never have to endure a melted ice cream cone again, heat vision means your soup will never be cold! It has its superheroing uses too, of course: welding the steel of collapsing buildings, stopping bad guys in their tracks, and blasting apart asteroids before they collide with Earth, for starters.

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  • Power: Emitting scorching hot beams out of one's eyes.
  • Notable Users: Superman, Supergirl, Krypto

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100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (78)

Whether you can form them at will or they're permanently attached, having weapons for hands is undoubtedly cool. We'd be hard pressed to argue with anyone with a laser cannon on their arm, for example. If you can form a weapon at will, though, please try and be a bit more creative than Sandman's usual sand mallets. Spice it up, Marko!

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  • Power: The ability to form your hands into tools of destruction.
  • Notable Users: James Heller (Prototype 2), Carnage, Sandman

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100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (79)

Scarlet Witch once declared "No more mutants" and mutant-kind disappeared from the Earth. Now that's a super power. Being able to bend reality at your will is a pretty wide spectrum, and it stands to reason that most other powers on this list would be made possible because of it. You'd basically be Neo but outside of the Matrix. Yes, please.

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  • Power: Allows the bearer to change reality as they see fit.
  • Notable Users: Franklin Richards, Scarlet Witch

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100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (80)

Having invulnerability or super strength might not be necessary if you possess the power to create force fields, as long as you're quick-witted enough. The ability to conjure a protective bubble around anything -- inluding yourself and your loved ones -- is a surefire way to protect against any kind of attack, from the magical to the practical.

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  • Power: The ability to create a force field around anything, including yourself.
  • Notable User: Invisible Woman

100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (81)

Whether you're swinging through skyscrapers or hanging thugs from a streetlamp, having webs is definitely one of the more unique powers there is. Best of all, they come in (spider-)man-made and organic forms, so even if you're not bitten by a radioactive arachnid, you could (potentially) make them artificially!

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  • Power: Hyper-strong material used for web slingin' or wrapping up your opponent.
  • Notable Users: Spider-Man, Venom

100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (82)

Having control over snow and ice means you can go skiing literally whenever you feel like it, even in the middle of the hottest summer on record. You'd never want for another cold beverage, could instantly cool down boiling hot soup, and could impress your significant other with sweet ice sculptures. Stopping bad guys by freezing their feet in solid ice isn't bad either.

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  • Power: Control over ice and/or snow.
  • Notable Users: Sub-Zero (Mortal Kombat), Iceman, Elsa

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100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (83)

Nothing says "evil" like shooting bolts of lightning out of your finger tips, but there are more practical purposes too. For example, the power would never go out in your house! Plus, it stands to reason that you could ride the lightning you create from one place to another while listening to Metallica. But it's not just evil dudes and dudettes that have had electrical powers… even Superman was electric for a while!

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  • Power: Creating bolts of lightning or other forms of electrical discharge.
  • Notable Users: Electro, Emperor Palpatine, Blanka (Street Fighter)

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100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (84)

Who hasn't just once wished they could see behind closed doors? Whether it's to pull the plug on shady business deals or to satisfy teenage curiosity, being able to see through stuff is a pretty awesome super power. It's basically a free anatomy lesson with any single person that walks by, and you'd never have to sneakily unwrap and rewrap Christmas presents ever again.

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  • Power: The ability to see through anything (except lead for some folks).
  • Notable User: Superman

100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (85)

If you thought controlling ice or water was cool, what about controlling all of that stuff?! Make it snow if you need a snow day or make the sun come out if you want to rock those new board shorts. Less selfishly, you could also cure droughts, famine, and prevent most natural disasters. Not a bad deal.

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  • Power: Manipulation of the climate, causing wind, rain, hail, lightning, tornadoes, etc.
  • Notable Users: Storm, Weather Wizard, Rain (Mortal Kombat)

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Imagine, with the snap of your fingers, you could turn water into wine or lead into gold. Or, if you're truly sinister, you could change oxygen into poison and there goes the neighborhood. Having the ability to alter the atomic make-up of anything on the planet means that the world would literally be at your disposal. You could create -- or eliminate -- anything you wanted.

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  • Power: The ability to reconstruct atomic make-up.
  • Notable Users: Phoenix, Doctor Manhattan

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If you're into extreme sports, a healing factor might be something to consider. We've seen many different levels of this power at work -- most significantly Wolverine's very extensive ability to recover from, well, anything -- but a quick fix to a broken bone or a concussion could do you wonders in life. We don't all battle super villains, but having a healing factor would keep you off the disabled list permanently in any of your chosen activities. Or, you could just be a superhero.

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  • Power: Wounds will heal at an advanced rate, making you nearly unkillable.
  • Notable Users: Wolverine, Beast Boy, Deathstroke

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100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (88)

A very convenient ability to have if you're going up against the likes of Wolverine or RoboCop, the manipulation over metals and magnetic fields is quite a force to be reckoned with considering how the Earth works. It certainly makes one harder to jail when prison cells are typically made up of metal and concrete. It may not be the most flexible or dynamic power ever, but at least the good/bad guys will have a tough time keeping you contained.

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  • Power: Controlling magnetic fields and metals.
  • Notable Users: Magneto, Cosmic Boy, Polaris

100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (89)

The Storm, Anthem’s most electrifying javelin, has electrifying power, but minimal armor. To defend against enemy firepower, the Storm relies on its ability to teleport away from danger and dominate from afar.

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Perhaps more than any other super power, mind control is an ability that could be used for immense evil if in the hands of the wrong person. But on a day-to-day basis, how nice would it be to get out of parking tickets or haggle the price of a burrito down to a penny? Maybe not the noblest of pursuits, but a mighty fine ability to have nonetheless.

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  • Power: Being able to take charge of another person's thoughts.
  • Notable Users: Doctor Psycho, Mastermind, Raz (Psychonauts)

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100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (91)

Imagine going back in time to see your favorite band play in their heyday. Or seeing what your grandkids will look like in the future, even if you're only 30. Better yet, preventing your rival from being born, acquiring future technology (hover boards!), or getting winning lottery numbers... Time travel is one of the greatest fantasies of all, opening the entire span of world history as your playground.

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  • Power: The ability to travel backward or forward in the time-space continuum.
  • Notable Users: Hiro Nakamura (Heroes), The Prince (Prince of Persia)

100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (92)

Some might see eternal life as a curse, but being immortal could be a great gift to humanity. Given to the right person, immortality could be a boon for society with one person working tirelessly to improve mankind's well being. Or, you could use it to take over the world, knowing that nobody could ever kill you. Either/or.

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  • Power: The abilitiy to live forever.
  • Notable Users: Kain (Soul Reaver), Vandal Savage

100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (93)

While one can only possess certain "amounts" of the Power Cosmic, wielding god-level energy really results in having any selection of powers under your belt. Teleportation? Flight? Super strength? All of that mundane stuff is possible with the Power Cosmic, not to mention transmuting elements, hyperspace travel, and knowing all knowledge in the universe.

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  • Power: God-like cosmic energy.
  • Notable Users: Galactus, Phantom Stranger

100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (94)

Who wouldn't want to zap themselves between locations with a mere thought? Bouncing from place to place with ease would eliminate the need for air travel, long distance relationships, and even cars. Think of how much money you could save on Taco Bell runs alone.

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  • Power: Transporting oneself from one place to another.
  • Notable Users: Nightcrawler, Blink, Corvo Attano (Dishonored)

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In Anthem, Javelin exosuits have everything a skilled pilot needs to survive in the wilds and take down any opposition. Your hand-crafted suit will help you soar through the air, dodge incoming fire, and hover above your enemies.

100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (96)

Have you always wanted to spend a night walking around town as a famous celebrity? Or do you need to infiltrate a secret base? Then shapeshifting is for you. While looking like any person is beyond cool, being able to transform into an animal -- like an elephant to bulldoze some goons -- or an object -- like a house plant to spy on unsuspecting people -- makes this power endlessly useful.

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  • Power: Change yourself to look like any person or, in some cases, animal or object.
  • Notable Users: Wonder Twins, Shang Tsung (Mortal Kombat), Mystique

100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (97)

There's nothing quite as satisfying as catching an artillery shell midair and hurling it back at your enemy -- all with your mind! You can also use this power to catch a toad leaping at you, bend spoons, and snag the last Oreo before your roommate. While it does require a great deal of focus to use, it allows you to manipulate the environment around you in a variety of useful ways just by thinking about it.

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  • Power: Move objects and people with your mind.
  • Notable Users: Nick Scryer (Psi-Ops), Luke Skywalker, Carrie

100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (98)

With invulnerability, you are immune to all manner of harm from gunfire to energy blasts to needles at the doctor's office. Throwing yourself in front of allies and civilians is now a reflexive action because there's no worry about your own safety. Just put your fists on your hips and puff your chest out, because you know what? You can take it.

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  • Power: Sustain no harm.
  • Notable Users: Luke Cage, The Tick, Supergirl

100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (99)

Green Lantern's ring has long been touted as "the most powerful weapon in the universe," and with good reason. It's capable of producing hard light constructs in the shape of anything the wielder can think of. Whether you're using it to catch a falling civilian with a catcher's mitt or bombard your opponent with jet fighters, the only limit is your imagination. Plus, your creations will be all glowy and neat looking.

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  • Power: Create virtually any weapon, tool, or vehicle out of hard light.
  • Notable User: Green Lantern

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Having a private conversation with someone can be hard with other people nearby, so why not communicate with just your minds? The uses of telepathy can be far more intrusive than that, however. Read someone's surface thoughts without them knowing, put a thought into someone's head to make them behave differently, or force yourself into their mind to learn their darkest secrets. Just try not to be a perv about it, okay?

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  • Power: Use your mind to read thoughts and communicate with others.
  • Notable Users: Professor X, Martian Manhunter, Jean Grey

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Experience the rush of accelerating to speeds so fast that you are nothing but a blur. Run up walls, over water, or across the planet in an instant. Don’t forget a whole subset of other powers, like generating tornado-level winds from spinning your arms or vibrating your body so fast you can walk through walls. Best of all, never be late for work again!

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  • Power: Move at great speeds.
  • Notable Users: The Flash, Quicksilver, Sonic the Hedgehog

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100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (102)

As far as elemental powers go, fire reigns supreme. Fire is practical, sure, with the ability to melt through metal doors or heat your enemy’s weapon up so they throw it to the ground. But, really, fire just looks awesome. Infernos, explosions, flamethrowers -- you name it. Also, sometimes fire manipulators are also able to use their ability to fly. So two powers for the price of one!

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  • Power: Control over fire.
  • Notable Users: Fire Mario, Liu Kang, NBA Jam Characters

100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (103)

With super strength, you would always be the first person called when a jar needs opening. And when a giant robot needs bashing, a collapsing orphanage needs to be held up, or a crashed car needs a door ripped off. Gone are the days of being bullied in school or getting mugged by thugs, because anyone who tries is going to get a lamp post tied around them in the shape of a bow.

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  • Power: Produce immense strength with your muscles.
  • Notable Users: Hulk, Buffy, Kratos (God of War)

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100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (104)

Invisibility is a passive power that doesn’t let you do crazy stuff that a lot of other powers can, but that’s the beauty of it. Invisibility is subtlety. You will go unnoticed as you listen in on conversations, avoid someone who is after you, or walk into movie theaters without paying! The premier tool of espionage, invisibility allows you to be the ultimate spy. But also, free movies!

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  • Power: Remain unseen by the naked eye.
  • Notable Users: Invisible Woman, Violet, Prophet (Crysis)

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100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (105)

In Man of Steel, Superman could only smile as he first experienced the exhilaration of flight. When you don the Tanooki Suit as Mario, you know the level is about to be a breeze as you expertly cruise over enemies and obstacles. And how many times have you flown straight up in a video game just to see how far you could go? Flight taps into the fearless adventurer inside us, letting us take off and explore in any direction we choose. Just the feeling of defying gravity, the wind in your hair, the sky literally becoming the limit, is why flight is the coolest super power there is. And if you’re not convinced it’s the best, then we offer you this: With the power to fly, you will never have to wait in traffic again.

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  • Power: Rise up and move through the air.
  • Notable Users: Superman, Captain Marvel, Tanooki Suit Mario

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100 Best Superpowers - IGN.com (2024)
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