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Raw. Magnetism. (Or: Pretending You Have Super Powers)

Last week, I babbled on about wanting to see theme park rides give us the real Super Hero experience. Today I come to you saying that, actually, I have super powers.

Yup. I have super powers, and I have ever since I was a little kid.

I can move things with my mind. When I was 6, every time I walked close enough to the grocery store, with a flick of my hand, the sliding doors parted. They were no match for the psychic force I held.

I also have all the super hero gadgets you could imagine.

In kindergarten, whenever I put my backpack on, it was actually a jetpack. I was The Rocketeer, and could zoom around the playground at Mach 91. That’s not even a real measure of speed, that’s how fast I can go.

I’m also an ace pilot, or at least my dad taught me how. When we were driving home late at night on an open road in his Honda CRX, he’d let me push the button on the safety brake. It was actually a secret missile launcher. When he gave the order, he’d tap the brakes and I’d see in the rearview mirror the back of the car light up like we were taking evasive maneuvers. Those bogies never saw us coming.

I got to thinking about these special powers after coming out of X-Men: Days of Future Past. I find that a really successful comic book movie is the one that makes you look to pretend that you’re the one in the movie. I live in DC, so I took the Metro home from the theatre. I’d tucked my Metro card inside my sleeve, so that when I reached the turn-style, all I had to do was flick my wrist like Magneto and the machine gave way to my awesome, uncanny power (also my wallet, technically. Dang, fares are high…).

After Batman Begins, I found myself driving around late at night in the summer, pretending my black 1994 Volvo 850 was the tumbler. A little fast acceleration followed by shutting off all the headlights and slowing down so the “cops would lose me” on an empty stretch of I-81 outside of Syracuse, New York. (Kids, don’t actually do that. If someone was sharing the road with you, that’s really really dangerous).

Haven’t we all popped open a jar of pickles or Newman’s Own pasta sauce like we were Superman? Don’t tell me I was the only one chomping on a pretzel stick like a cigar with six dinner knives between my fingers at the college dining hall calling everyone “bub,” because that’d make you a liar. Did you know I can patch into Oracle at any given moment? She goes by Siri now…y’know, because the Court of Owls is monitoring this frequency…

I went bowling with a friend of mine the other weekend, and as I threw the ball down the alley I knew a strike was imminent. How could I not turn my back on it, reach my hands out to the heavens and make a little “kraKOOM” right out of Jack Kirby’s vocabulary?

I snack on little frosted donuts like I’m Galactus. I’m looking out the window at the stars like I can communicate across a sea of stars to the GL Corps–and don’t get me started if I’m wearing a ring. If I loosen my tie and take off my glasses, you can bet I’m pretending that I’m in a telephone booth.

Cape or no cape, we shape our secret powers around our every day lives. Like Longshot, I have a knack for timing bus transfers perfectly. When I’m pissed off, it’s a good thing I have the same training as Dr. Bruce Banner, or everyone would be in a lot of trouble right now.

What powers do you have locked away? Can you track the pizza guy with your keen hunting sense of smell? When that amp gives off insane feedback at the club, was that actually your Canary Cry?

Sound off.

Preferably with cool sounds like “fsheww,” “bwooooonh” or “pchrrrrraaaaawwww.”

Mike Balderrama

When Mike was on vacation with his family in the summer of 2002, he walked into a North Dakota comic book shop to avoid his parents and picked up Steampunk #12—what would be the final cliffhanger issue of Chris Bachalo and Joe Kelly’s failed series. Enamored with the artwork, the quirky story, and confusing-but-archetypal love-story-through-time concept, he visited all the comic book shops in Connecticut to collect the back issues. Thanks to the fledgling and shady comic-sellers online, he managed to get all 12 issues, the prologue comic and preview comic, as well as the two trades that collected all the issues. While Mike isn’t sure why he felt the need to tell you this, he does want you to know that he loves making comics, talking about comics, reading comics, and complaining about how he wishes he could write comics. He’s a Classicist and has a big thing for myth and storytelling, plus he does museum stuff. He once worked at RISD and got a contact high off of a lot of awesome creative people.

  • Steven Miller

    Another way to feel like a superhero: I was reading something a while back about research that suggests that if you stand like Wonder Woman for a few minutes a day, it makes you more powerful and confident in business and work matters. So basically I try and do that.