If you had a choice of super-powers, which one would you pick?
Personally I’d go for Dr Manhattan’s, off Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore’s Watchmen. OK, it makes him look like a radioactive Smurf. But that super-power also makes him indestructible, immortal, and gives him total control over determinist (space-time) and quantum worlds, which means he can do anything.
In both the graphic novel and the movie Dr Manhattan (real name Jon Osterman) saw quantum events, transmuted matter (including complex objects), teleported anything anywhere, telekenised complex objects, and knew his own future. He divided himself into multiple and independently functioning copies and altered his own physical size and appearance at will. He could generate an aura around others that protected them. He was shown walking through walls, on water, on the Sun – and at the end of the graphic novel talked about creating life. Nor could he be destroyed, even after being atomised.
What he could do with his super power was never defined – and it was clear in the graphic novel that Gibbons and Moore visualised his power as essentially godlike. The fact that this same super-power made him lose interest in human matters was a very cool twist – and realistic. Does absolute power corrupt absolutely? Not for Dr Manhattan. Earth simply ceased to interest him. Besides, who wants to be interested in this place when you look at the mess we’ve made of it.
Set that against the usual super-power – you know, ‘I can roll my tongue sideways’ or ‘my name’s Captain Statue, and I can stand very still’, and you see why Dr Manhattan’s is my pick.
Which super-power is your favourite?
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2017