Newly discovered superpowers

I am looking for examples of movies or TV shows where an ordinary character discovers they have new or latent superpowers. Examples off the top of my head would be Spiderman, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Heroes. Usually there is a sequence where they are trying out their new powers, astonished at what they can do, or some other character has to tell them their place in some mythology or the secrets of their origins.

Any other examples?

Don’t they pretty much *all *do that?

One of the more recent superhero shows, No Ordinary Family, does it. Smallville’s first season was pretty much that. I’m having a hard time thinking of any more superhero shows in recent years, though I’m sure there must have been several.

The only counterexamples I can think of are Batman or Iron Man, who went to painstaking trouble to develop/build their “powers”.

IIRC the Batman and Superman cartoons both just started with them as established heroes already knowing their powers.

Another example would be Unbreakable.

Note that the origin story for Buffy is in *Buffy the Vampire Slayer *the movie. She is fully powered in the first episode of the TV show.

I think that back in the day this was much less common. The first **Superman **and **Batman **stories started with no origin, didn’t they? The origins came later.

My as yet unsold pilot for “Sea Cucumber Man” does not cover his origin, which will be revealed over the course of the first season. He emerges on the scene with his unique, gut-wrenching ability to incapacitate his enemies fully developed, and his very fast regenerative powers hinted at…

I would imagine that The Greatest American Hero (TV show) has a scene like that. Disclaimer: I’ve never seen a show, only read about it.

Another one: The Mask starring Jim Carrey.

River Tam from Firefly/Serenity has super powers all along, she’s just too broken to know it and/or they’re triggered by external forces. She only taps them willingly towards the end of the movie, when she’s become so insane she sort of approaches sanity from the other side.

TV shows: The Flash

Pretty much all of them, unless you exclude origin stories.

I saw it, back in the day.

The premise of the show is that the guy gets given his superhero power-suit by aliens, but he loses the instruction manual almost immediately. So he has to fumble around trying to figure out how it works.

At first, he’s pretty crap with it (can’t fly without crashing into walls – stuff like that). But as the series progresses he starts to get better at controlling the suit, and he discovers more of it’s powers.

The title character of the excellent Canadian series Lost Girl knows about one power (she is very persuasive when she touches people) and a curse (having sex kills her partner, while healing her) at the outset, but the first episode is the story of her discovering where the abilities came from. She works out how to use her talents far more effectively as the series progresses.

No, the basics of Superman’s origin pretty much showed up on page one of ACTION COMICS #1: “As a distant planet was destroyed by old age, a scientist placed his infant son within a hastily devised space-ship, launching it toward Earth … a passing motorist, discovering the sleeping babe within … When maturity was reached, he discovered he could easily: leap 1/8th of a mile, hurdle a twenty-story building … raise tremendous weights … run faster than an express train … Clark decided he must turn his titanic strength into channels that would benefit mankind. And so was created SUPERMAN! … Kent had come from a planet whose inhabitants’ physical structure was millions of years advanced of our own.”

Another one I just thought of was Percy Jackson. After bad guys start coming after him, he finds out he is the son of Poseidon and has supernatural abilities that appear as he learns to harness them.

Star Wars (ep. IV).

The Matrix.

Didn’t Doctor Xavier near the brink with his superpowers as a young man before learning to harness them… that same control he was trying to pass on to Jean Gray in the movie before she annihlated him?