Time for me to confess, I love the X-Men movies. OK so they’re no brain drain – you and your fellow film-goers are hardly going to be deconstructing the plot over a double-shot latte in your favourite cafe the next day. They do, however, leave you with one lingering thought, and you don’t need the mind-reading powers of Professor Charles Xavier to guess what that might be…
Now it’s time for you to confess. Come on, you’ve seen at least one of the X-Men movies. Maybe all of them? And you came away from the cinema saying “Oh that was OK for an action blockbuster” but what you were actually thinking was “hmmm… if I was a mutant, what special powers would I want?”
Don’t worry, this thought process is normal. We all played with superhero action figures when we were kids, and wished for a flowing cape, mysterious mask and 360 degree flexibility in our limbs. So what if you were secretly into Wonderwoman? Or Robin. The point is we’ve all thought “what if?” at least once in our lives.
As a kid, I really identified with super heroes. Not so much with their super powers. Having jumped off the shed roof once and come to face to face with my own mortality, I was quite aware that it was all pure fantasy. But I did have a strong sense that like them I was, well, different in some way. Not special. Not super. Just different. The great burden of the super hero is just that – his/her isolation through being different. Whether its Superman alone in his fortress of ice, or Mystique in her bright blue shell, most super heroes would swap all their powers for normality in a heartbeat.
Which brings us back to original question. Assuming you could live a normal life, which would be your mutant power of choice and why?
As a teleporter you could travel anywhere in the world in an instant, which certainly has its advantages if your lazy – just think, you could make it all the way down to the chemist in an instant! A shapeshifter could impersonate anyone at will – a great party trick to impress your mates over few beers! Telepathic powers would also be useful for reading people’s minds and influencing them, a great way to convince drivers to let you merge on a busy road.
I’m sure there’s a higher calling for one with such powers, the key would be to use your powers for good, rather than evil.
Remember though, be careful what you wish for.