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Friday, January 4, 2013

For decades, comic books have provided us with superhero characters that possess the kind of powers we’d all love to have. But did the likes Stan Lee or Alan Moore ever consider that one day it might actually be possible to do exactly what those characters in the comic books could do, and that science and technology may one day be able to make the quantum leap from impossible to possible?
It’s fair to say there are some super powers we’ll never be able to have, such as walking through walls and the ability to teleport yourself from one side of the globe to the other. But if a character has manifested a super-power on the page, you can be sure there’s some crazy-haired, science boffin type who will try to replicate it in real life. Technology truly is catching up with the fantasy. 
But remember, with great power comes great responsibility. So grab your mask, slide on your cod piece, and let’s go....!

Bullet Proof 

Not one of the most imaginative of super powers admittedly, but if you’re going to be skulking dark alleys or intercepting many acts of nefarious wrong-doing, you’re going to need to be well protected. And modern criminals are very well equipped. So to ensure you’re not at the painful receiving end of a bullet or knife, you’ll probably want to invest in some bullet proof clothing to ensure your crime-fighting antics remain unimpeded by minor inconveniences such as stab wounds or point blank shots from a Magnum .45.


X Men had Blackbird, Batman had the Batwing, and Superman could actually fly, so it’s an essential component of being a superhero to a) be able to fly, or b) possess some kind of airborne vehicle that allows you to fly. OK, so we’ll only be able to experience the sense of freedom and exhilaration of flying by leaping from the top floor of a block of flats (and nobody’s recommending that), but he next best thing would probably be a jet pack, Rocketeer style.


Probably the superpower that tops everyone’s wish list, science and technology has come close(ish) to rendering us, as Patrick Moore might have it, invisible to the naked eye. There have been brief flirtations with invisibility and active camouflage using videos and projectors, but realistically there’s still a long way to go.

Leap Tall Buildings...

Well, not quite, and you won’t be able to catapault yourself miles in to the air like the Hulk, but there is such a thing as power stilts which, I’m sure you’ll agree, would give you a certain edge, agility and speed over potential evil-doers.

See in the dark

A lot of criminal activity takes place in the dead of night, so being able to spy on and weed out those midnight prowlers of the criminal underclass is essential. So while your mother’s good advice of eating all your carrots might have sharpened your retinas somewhat, in the meantime it’s probably better to invest in a pair of night vision goggles.

Super Strength

You might have to keep topping up on the protein shakes and religiously pumping iron at your local gym to build your biceps and enhance your strength for the time being, but an exo skeleton has been created that mimics human body movements but allows you to move objects many times your bodyweight with effortless ease. Surely an essential  piece of apparatus to hold up those getaway cars.

As you can see, the distinction between fantasy and reality isn’t blurred as it used to be, and I’m sure there are plenty of kids who still run around the house with a towel pinned to their shirt and leap over the 
bedroom furniture superhero-style.

I’m not suggesting we deal with the criminal flotsam and jetsam by becoming brooding, masked vigilantes, but you can see how easy – or at least, how easier –it would be for any of us to pursue a career in crimefighting.  

What super hero abilities would you like and how could you manifest them in the real world?

Author Bio:
Estelle Page is a thirty-something interior designer whose main goal in life is to make the world a prettier place and to metaphorically clean up the streets so any potential crimefighter won’t have to. In between indulging in her other passions for garden shows and antiques fairs she blogs regularly for Myakka. 

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