Six Superheroes Who Could Have Made Better Use of Their Time
Personally, we have nothing against using your God-given abilities to beat up freaks in costumes or possible mental patients in the dregs of urban squalor. Far be it from us to suggest how better to spend your time. However, if you were one of the following, can we possibly suggest a different career path without you doing the reciprocal favor of beating the living stuffing out of us?
The Multiple Man
Imagine if there was a guy like Jamie Madrox who could instantly duplicate himself in emergency situations. Now, we have all had instances where an evil force is attempting to suck our city into one of the dimensions of Hell. We understand that Cleveland has road signs up just in case of this particular emergency. Therefore, it would seem imperative for the greater good that Madrox not only be a national secret but also has a function in society beyond anything to do with sending the mutant equivalent of disposable razors (with no special super powers other than replication) to be killed by more powerful class mutants who could manipulate said mutant to evil purposes. But how to use the secret of the Madri?
Unfortunately, you have to get into a little bit of thought that a good old-fashioned government conspiracy might be a good thing. You go with FEMA. Think about the first responder capabilities of Madrox. A hundred Madri could sandbag a river in a night. A similar number could go through an entire building of rubble in days. With a local populace decimated, a Madrox could easily be sent in and could multiply to as many Madri as needed to do an emergency job that is time sensitive without having to mobilize all of the Madri at once. You could drop one Madrox into a forest and have fifty combing it for a missing child in minutes. Jamie Madrox would be an easily deployable solution that could save lives from all sorts of natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes or flooding. And transport is always just a helicopter away.
Doug Ramsey (Cypher)
The question is not what Doug Ramsey (aka a universal translator of anything alien, human, or computer) could be doing better than fighting crime on a super powered level. The question is what was he EVER doing in the New Mutants in the first place? Oh yeah, he was getting KILLED. He could translate ANYTHING naturally as if it was his first language. All they had to do was bring it to him or let him listen to it. This is the greatest code breaker, translator, diplomatic attaché and state department wonk ever, and he is a FIELD GUY? That is not only wasteful, it is wrong. Maybe he liked adventures, but his talents were needed elsewhere.
Ray Palmer (The Atom)
This is an Ivy league physicist who can shrink himself down to a sub atomic particle level and correctly study what was down there. And what does he do with this ability? He figures he has done all of the science that he needs to do and decides to kick a little ass with the Justice League of America? Uhh, no. A high quality electron microscope can cost between $25,000 and $100,000 dollars. And what does it do? It takes a picture of nearly atomic particles.
A man who knows what he is doing and can help unlock the secrets of a sub atomic universe and he is getting a sword and fighting for yellow people who are less than an inch high? He went there because his wife cheated on him. The moral equivalent of the waste of Ray Palmer in this situation would be putting Albert Einstein on the front lines in France as infantry. Imagine what advances in physics, medicine and nanotechnology could be achieved by a man small enough to build or paint on the head of a pin? This is the most dynamic work being done in science today and he is out waving a sword for the yellow grasshopper people. I think an important part of this is that you have to see the waste going on.
David Linus Lieberman (Microchip)
Lieberman was an early day hacker who was forced into retirement by criminal influences. After the death of a nephew, David ‘Microchip’ Lieberman sought to get vengeance by aiding Frank ‘The Punisher’ Castle’s lengthy suicide mission to kill hoods in the five Burroughs of New York City. He also developed weapons for the Punisher as well as being a longtime confidant and enabler. So basically you have an old school hacker aiding in petty vengeance and murder in the streets of New York City.
Cyberterrorism is the largest active threat to our national security today and Microchip is out there helping Frankie boy put a bigger cap in Wilson Fisk’s fat ass. If he just devoted himself to stopping criminal behavior by the same way he caused it, Lieberman would be an invaluable resource to legitimate law enforcement on a national and possibly international level. You want Fisk as a side job? Work with the FBI to hack his files. And by the way, you could also help those helpless against cyber terrorists as well as develop software for the rest of us so that an innocent porn site doesn’t turn into Dennis Nedry wanting to laugh and say “Ah ah ah” when we try to access files. Microchip is harmful as Castle’s partner and downright wasteful.
Mandrake the Magician
Mandrake’s power is that he can create instantaneous and powerfully believable hypnotic illusions. He is literally walking virtual reality. How does he use this ability? He uses it to catch criminals and stop crime syndicates in a generalized police area. It is noble that he fakes out criminals in order to punch them as well as get away from their bullets. The deal is that there are a lot of brave men and women who do basically the same thing.
Mandrake’s villains are usually hoods or the occasional crime master like the Cobra (COBRA ALALALALALALA, sorry, had to be done). Is this the best use of his talents? No. Not even in the days he was written. Mandrake missed his calling. Mandrake the magician would be bar none the best interrogator of hostile enemies known to man. He can be your boss asking for information,put you back in your home and tell you he is your rescuer. If need be, Mandrake could waterboard you and you would never get wet.
He also has instantaneous hypnosis and can pull a repressed memory out of a newly caught criminal or terrorist. The CSI applications of Mandrake are also amazing. Imagine a full recreation of the scene like you watch on CSI in ghost form occurring in front of everyone at the scene. Mandrake could fast forward and rewind with a lasting mental image. This guy is a walking holodeck to anyone near him and his great imagination of powers is to search for treasure and fight local criminals. Every caught terrorist and every hard crime scene should have Mandrake there. He would still be stopping crime but in a much more efficient manner and no actual mind control. No drugs. No side effects or bodily harm.
Abraham ‘Abe’ Sapien
Abe Sapien as seen in the Hellboy movies and comics is a hyper-intelligent apparently fully evolved amphibian man who appears to be ageless, has high resiliency, and survives underwater. He is also a hyper-intelligent scientist. How does he spend his time? Tracking down other equally special creatures and fighting the bad ones. How could his time be spent better? Did anyone see that cruise ship turn over in Italy? Anyone remember the Exxon Valdez, the Titanic or the BP oil spill? What about the drowning victims of Hurricane Katrina? Sapien, unlike Madrox mentioned earlier, can take the pressures of deep-sea expeditions that mortal men cannot. Just drop him in and he can pull out bodies, or study the source of an ecological disaster. Instead, the government has this guy on the walkie telling the big red thing how to kill bigger redder endangered species.