There's no denying it. Ask just about anyone what superpower they'd most like to have; not many will say something time-related. Few superheroes have powers that have to do with time, and those that do generally aren't very well-known. It's not hard to guess why. Time-related powers don't appear as exciting as things like flight, lightning, or telekinesis, nor are they as easily applied in a fight scene like super strength, invisibility, or the aforementioned powers. However, if given my pick of superpowers, I would definitely take something time-related over any of those things.
Why? Quite simply: no matter what variety, time-related superpowers are the best possible blend of coolness and practicality. A few examples:
- Time Travel. This is probably what most people think of when someone says "time-related powers". The awesomeness factor is pretty obvious: who wouldn't want to travel back and forth through time? It's not quite as practical as other powers, since trying to change things in the past is likely to cause paradoxes and trying to avert disasters you learn about by going to the future is likely to make those calamities occur (for the same reason that trying to avoid a prophesied death is likely to bring it about). However, being able to visit any period of history you want would definitely make up for any non-practicalities.
- Slowing down or speeding up time. These two aren't quite as exciting as time travel, but they're still cool and useful. Speeding up time for yourself (or slowing it down for others) gives you a little extra time to think in stressful situations, to give yourself a few extra minutes to get ready when you're running late, or, if you happen to be a legit crime-fighting superhero, to get out of your enemy's way or catch him off-guard. Slowing down time for yourself (speeding it up for others) is slightly less applicable, but it would be helpful in situations where you're waiting for something. For example, if you were anticipating a test, an audition, or anything else you were nervous about, slowing down time for yourself would actually make what you're anticipating get there faster. For a superhero application, need to detain the baddie until backup arrives? Slow down time for both yourself and him! (Also, giving credit where credit is due: I got several of my ideas for applying these powers from The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson. Like most of Sanderson's work, it's pretty awesome, and you should definitely read it.)
- Stopping time or stepping outside of time. This is actually the time-related ability I'd most like to have. Despite having quite a bit of free time, I never seem to get everything done that I want to do. By stopping time, or better yet, stepping out of it, I could get extra time on busy days for things like writing, reading, and possibly schoolwork. Obviously, the internet and similar things wouldn't work until I'd gone back to real time, but if I'm trying to get stuff done, that's probably for the best. And, of course, the applications for a superhero are endless: freezing time to escape if you're caught, stepping outside time to go over clues and strategies without the pressure of a ticking clock, pausing time to assess the situation if you're attacked, and more.
What about you? What superpower would you most like to have, and if you had it, how would you use it? Are there any superpowers (or special powers in general) that you think are underrated? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)