Superheroes have been around for generations, but with the meteoric rise of big-budget movies, they’re more popular than ever before. Folks see ads for their films every time they turn on the television and for many it is a reminder of childhoods spent wishing they were them.
We idolize the good guys when they’re off saving the world, thinking our own lives are mundane and disappointing by comparison. But that’s just not true at all – even in “adulting”, we’re living the dream. We’ve got superpowers up our sleeve everyday.
Here are 16 superheroes that you’ve become without even realizing it:
1. Bestowing powers upon others: Galactus
Not all superheroes are best known for their own strength or speed. Some, like Galactus, have the rare ability to impart their own strange abilities upon their chosen disciples. Teachers do this everyday when they show their classes the ways of the world. Parents do it, too!
2. Illusionary self-duplication: Dr. Manhattan
In The Watchmen, Dr. Manhattan can duplicate himself to be more productive on all his (countless!) tasks. When the going gets tough and jobs are super-demanding, people tap into hidden energy reserves to multitask like crazy. Dr. Manhattan would be proud!
3. Sonar skill to determine location: Daredevil
With the advent of widespread GPS, people are more capable than ever to know exactly where they are, no matter where they are. But folks who grow up in a certain area or spend lots of time somewhere else develop a sort of sixth sense for this stuff. Good work!
“With great power comes great responsibility.” – Spiderman
4. Super-rapid health regeneration: Wolverine
Thanks to all those zany experiments, The X-Men’s leading man can recover quickly and step back into the fight. Sometimes, life hands out lemons like they’re going out of style. Surrender seems inevitable, but people develop such inspiring resilience. We’ve got this!
5. Selective invisibility: The Invisible Woman
Sometimes corporate parties aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Sometimes it’s all peeps can do to slink into the shadows and wait for things to get better. It’s no shame at all to disappear for a bit when someone needs time to themselves. Just ask The Invisible Woman!
6. Reactive adaptation abilities: Doomsday
Anyone who’s ever been down in the rut because a professor was unclear on an assignment or a boss demanded too much in a given workday, will know what it’s like to adapt quickly to unforeseen circumstances. That’s a superpower. That’s ingenuity. That’s Doomsday!
7. Superhuman endurance level: Luke Cage
Parents will immediately identify with New York City’s strongest defender, as will athletes and actors and even writers and doctors. So many professions require so much endurance. It’s no wonder millions love Luke Cake – he works passionately for days without sleep!
8. Empathy for the environment: Storm
Some superheroes are at their strongest when they’re attuned to nature. Take Storm, for example. Her ability to sense the well-being of those around her make her an invaluable member of the team. Everyday people can sense it, too. We learn to be there for one another!
9. Cross-dimensional awareness: Deadpool
Maybe this one sounds unlikely, but bear with it for a moment. Fast-talking Deadpool can detect what’s going on sometimes even when he isn’t there. All around the world, people with close ties to one-another report the ability to sense distress. Maybe we’re all Deadpool!
10. Electricity manipulation: The Flash
With the ever-increasing pressures young adults face to get ahead in life, a superhero with a knack for speed is an easy metaphor to make. But The Flash can also redirect electric currents to better suit his needs. Anyone who’s ever made a bad situation good again can relate!
11. Masterful teleportation: Nightcrawler
The ability to bounce from one topic to the next throughout the workday is something Kurt Wagner can relate with. Whereas this shadowy subject redirects himself to appear wherever he wills, folks with multiple jobs teleport their attention from one field to the next!
12. Technological wizardry: Batman
Arguments have been made for nearly a hundred years as to whether the ever-famous Caped Crusader is truly a “superhero.” He fights evil-doers with devices of his own creation, after all. But then, isn’t that what this article is about? There’s a little Bruce Wayne in us all!
“It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me” – Batman
13. Moral conviction: Captain America
Sure, Steve Rogers has more going on than his core beliefs, but Marvel’s highly successful Captain America films have thrilled audiences for the courage and conviction he embodies. Whenever people face ethical dilemmas, they are Cap. Stand strong for what you believe in!
14. Immortality with exception: Superman
Still the world’s most well-known superhero, Clark Kent has too many powers to list. But he’s got an infamous weakness: kryptonite. Nevertheless, he fights to overcome it. So many adults power through so much despite that one nagging weak point. Keep at it, Clark!
15. Well-channeled anxiety: Incredible Hulk
Needless to say, Hulk’s better regarded for the fact that he can turn into a big green fighting machine. But in truth, Stan Lee wrote him to reflect the everyman’s struggles with anxiety. At first, the poor guy can’t control his power. Learn to channel that aggression productively!
16. Magic made manifest: Doctor Strange
Benedict Cumberbatch knocked it out of the park in his portrayal of a very strange doctor, indeed. Strange can tap into supernatural arts in ways that boggle the mind. Sometimes in life people get sudden inexplicable bursts of energy to take on hard tasks with aplomb!
These sixteen examples are just the tip of the superheroic iceberg. As fantastic a genre as it is, the superhero craze owes its roots to real-life authors who sought to illustrate how amazing human beings can be whenever we put their minds to something.
The spectacle of seeing Iron Man duke it out with Captain America is something fans will never forget, but deep down, both Tony and Steve are men who fight for their beliefs. The best superheroes are the sorts we can truly identify with.
They make us crack a smile when we’re having a bad day and remind us that we have it in ourselves to succeed. Whether you’re a smart aleck Spider-Man or a quieter Bruce Wayne, you have greatness in you, so go be the hero you were born to be.