Today I was asked an interesting question. “If you could be any superhero, who would you be?”
I found this question interesting because in essence it asked, “Who would you be?” At first the obvious generic answers flashed through my mind: Wonderwoman, Catwoman, Mystique, Storm, Black Widow; the heroes that everyone has come to know through the media. But as I thought about it, I began to realize that even if I had their superpowers, would I really want to be them? Would I want their personality instead of my own? Would I want their past, their memories? The more I pondered the question, the more apparent my answer became. If I could be any superhero, I would be myself. I don’t want someone else’s reasons for fighting evil. I wouldn’t want some else’s origins, or memories. Just like Batman’s identity stemmed from an event in his childhood, I would want my super identity to come from something within me; something in my personality unique only to me, and no one else.
My answer raised a few eyebrows. Everyone else who was involved in the conversation had given answers such as Wolverine, Flash, Hawkeye, Captain America, Spiderman, and Quicksilver; obvious answers that told me that they hadn’t truly understood the question. I was asked why I had chosen that answer. Why, if I could have any superpower, would I choose to be regular old me? But then I stated that the question had not been “If you could have any superpower, what would it be?” but “If you could be any superhero, who would you be?” The question implied that I had to choose the identity of another individual, which after some thought, was something I did not want to do. I did not however say that if I could have any superpower, I didn’t want one.
If I could be a superhero, I would be myself- only super of course. I wouldn't want all the powers of many of the famous heroes such as super strength, super speed, and laser vision. I wouldn't need them. If I could have any superpower, I would choose the power to control the five elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit. Super speed would be useless if I had the power to control Earth; in order to be super fast, you need something to run on. If you were to start to run, and I opened a chasm beneath you, no matter how fast you are, it would only be a matter of time before gravity took over, and you would be no more. I would not need telekinetic powers if I controlled Air. I could use air pressure and wind to lift and move things at my will, and as for reading minds, I have no desire to know what’s going on in other people’s brains. Fire, despite its destructive qualities can be a very useful tool when it comes to building and creating things. In the event of a military attack, there would be no need for countless people to die in defense. My ability to control Fire would not only eliminate the need for weapons and bombs, but paired with Earth would also be able to effectively eliminate entire troops of the enemy. Battleships would never make it near shore with my control of Water, if I so chose, I could sink them, or I could simply use water current to reroute them until they ran out of supplies and were forced to return to their own countries. Attacks from the air would also be as easy to prevent. There would never be a shortage of fresh produce, the ability to persuade Earth to grow orchards in seconds would make certain of that. With the power to control wind, I would make sure there is plenty of wind for turbines to harvest energy, and in the case of a power shortage, a quick burst of lightning would instantly repower the city. And as for the Spirit element, I have no idea what it could be used for, but I am sure it would be both beautiful and deadly.
I would be a superhero without equal, but I wouldn’t abuse my powers. I have no interest in ruling over people, or being in command. I don’t want people to do my bidding, and the pressure of making decisions for the wellbeing of a nation would be far too stressful. I wouldn't want to be too well known, I wouldn't want people to worship the ground I walk on- or fly over, and heaven forbid I became anyone’s role model. I would just do what I know is required of every super hero: aid in the prevention of crime, and national security. I suppose like every other super hero, there would be a nemesis. A villain who never ceases to return no matter how many times I defeat them, someone who constantly creates havoc just to spite me. We would fight. They would be spectacular battles raging from one end of the city to the other, from dusk ‘til dawn, until my enemy was defeated for the time being.
I would have a costume of course; a black leather suit with my symbol emblazoned across the chest, a black cape, and boots. My name would be simply Element. The name the source of my identity and my power. And though I would be super, I would be me.
C'est La Vie.
Viva La Vida.
And Fuck the System.
Viva La Vida.
And Fuck the System.