When it comes to fictional superheroes, most characters have superpowers we'd all love to try on for size. Flying, teleportation, and super-strength establish popular heroes as enviable beings we'd love to emulate. But for every comic book titan with conventional powers, there's a lesser-known hero with abilities that are just plain weird. Comics have been around for decades, giving writers plenty of time to brainstorm obscure powers - and equally strange characters to possess them.
These weird superpowers, however, aren't necessarily useless. While the characters may be limited as crime-fighters, failing to reach the lofty status of Superman and other A-listers, their powers may serve a different purpose. Will they take down the villain plotting to end the world? Probably not. But can their powers make their everyday lives a whole lot easier? Absolutely. Check out this collection of obscure superpowers and decide for yourself if they would be genuinely handy in your everyday life.
Who He Is: Cypher, also known as Doug Ramsey, is a mutant who befriends Kitty Pryde when she moves to New York. Doug is especially skilled with computers, though he's considered to be one of the weakest members of the New Mutants.
His Power: Cypher has the ability to translate any language. Whether spoken, written, verbal, nonverbal, human, alien, computer, or anything else, Cypher can understand them all. Unlike a linguistic genius, Cypher's mutant talent works on a subconscious level, allowing him to understand various languages without rational thought. In addition, Cypher reads body cues, intonation, and inflection as language, allowing him to reveal what an individual actually means, even if it doesn't match up with what they're saying.
How Would It Be Handy? While obtaining Cypher's abilities would most obviously allow you to travel to any country without anxiety, there's a more day-to-day advantage to this strange superpower. By reading the nonverbal cues humans present, you can eliminate any misunderstandings between yourself and those around you. Instead of guessing what people mean, your ability to interpret all their cues at once will give you valuable insight into everyone else's inner monologue. Struggling to understand your spouse's tone of voice or your grumpy teenager's eye roll is over. With this power, you're basically a mind reader who can accurately pick up on exactly what someone's saying, no matter how confusing their cues may be.
Who He Is: Dr. Hormone is an American chemist who unlocks the powers behind human hormones. He is 75 years old, but using genetic manipulation, he appears to be only 25. He's lured out of hiding by the evil dictator Rassinoff and uses his powers to fight against evil with clear political undertones.
His Power: Dr. Hormone can manipulate peoples' genetic makeup to add or subtract certain features. He can affect age, race, weight, height, as well as do even more extreme mutations, such as giving people animal attributes.
How Would It Be Handy? With Dr. Hormone's power, you can wave goodbye to all those beauty treatments. Now, you simply have to manipulate your hormones and you can look exactly how you want. Shave a few years off your age or even add a couple if you're an under-21-er looking to take advantage of a few extra years. No more wasting time and money on expensive products or hours at the gym. With this power, you can drink from the fountain of youth and look like the best version of yourself, all without even trying.
Who He Is: Wundarr is mistakenly sent to Earth when his scientist father believes their home planet of Dakkam is going to be wiped out. The planet survives, however, meaning baby Wundarr was sent away for no reason. He eventually finds his way to Earth, where he plays a part in Project Pegasus and earns the title of the only person to be bitten by a Marvel-Zombie and live.
His Power: Wundarr has many common powers, including superhuman strength and energy fields. However, he also has the ability to communicate with and control animals. He considers himself a pacifist, so he refuses to force an animal to do anything, but he has the ability to understand their language and respond to them in return.
How Would It Be Handy? Who wouldn't like to chat with their family pet? With Wundarr's ability to talk to animals, you could understand exactly what your furry friend is thinking, every second of the day. Plus, training would be a lot easier. Instead of yelling at your animal to stop begging and looking at their sad puppy dog eyes, you can tell them in their own language to cut it out. By communicating with your pet, you have a built-in friend you can actually talk to, instead of one that lingers around your house in silence.
Who She Is: Also known as Drura Sehpt, Infectious Lass is from Somahtur. On her home planet, the inhabitants' bodies house microorganisms that can infect other people without affecting the host. Drura eventually travels outside her home, where she tries out for the Legion of Super-Heroes. The Legion rejects her because she can’t demonstrate proper control of her abilities. Once she gets a better grasp on them, she joins the Legion of Substitute Heroes.
Her Power: Due to the conditions on her planet of origin, Infectious Lass is immune to all known diseases. She can, however, spread disease to those around her while remaining uninfected herself.
How Would It Be Handy? While spreading disease isn't that useful in everyday life, immunity to all possible diseases obviously is. No more sick days, frustrating colds, bouts of the flu, or emergency hospital visits. With this superpower, you never have to be sick again.