Super-hero fantasy time again! Would you rather be Ultra Boy or Storm?

So I’m feeling much better now, strong enough to torture you hosers with the usual ridiculous hypothetical. People who don’t like these should, I dunno, start a thread about the NBA tournament or something.

Anywho … for reasons I don’t feel like making up, Pallas Athena has decided to send twelve Dopers to roam the planet righting wrongs & singing songs. Maybe that’ll mean fighting crime, or alleviating famines, or smashing ISIL, or rescuing puppies; that’s up to the recipient. Rhymer Enterprises has thus prepared 12 super-power potions. Half give the user the abilities of Ultra Boy of the Legion of Super-Heroes; the others, those of Storm of the X-Men.

Ultra Boy’s powers are basically Superman’s: preternatural strength, speed, durability, ultra-vision (meaning telescopic, microscopic, and see-through), and flight, laser vision, but only one at a time. If you need to know details: ultra-strength will let you heft a mass as great as the Empire State Building, and also render you immune to the wedge effect, so you can carry it around if you need to. Ultra-speed tops out at about Mach 10 in atmosphere with a commensurate increase in perception, cognition, and reflex speed. In use, each of these will protect you against acceleration and impact damage, though not as effectively as the durability, which will let you laugh off anything this side of a tactical nuke, and also protect you against chemical attack, asphyxiation, flame, and so forth, against which the speed & strength do diddly. Laser vision will let you melt an I-beam in ten seconds, though you’d better do that a distance.

Storm’s powers are just what her name implies. You can create, dispel, and otherwise control weather patterns–thunderstorms, whirlwinds, etc–at will, from systems tiny enough to give one person a shower or big enough to cover the island of Manhattan. (Bigger systems require more effort and time.) The big drawbacks here are that weather control requires you to keep tight control over your emotions, and you have to be physically present in the area you’re affecting. Thus you could alleviate the California drought, for instance, but you couldn’t actually end it, unless you were willing to stay in that area indefinitely.

Whose powers would you prefer? What will you do with 'em, and why should Athena give one of the dozen doses to you rather than, I dunno, Neil deGrasse Tyson?

Title edited at the request of Athena.

Do I get a choice in this? Superheroes these days seem to suffer horribly and then die, and then get brought back alive in crossover events. That really sounds like more grief than I wanna deal with.


Of course you get a choice. That’s the thread question.

And of course you have to persuade great Pallas that you should get the potion, of course.

Storm. Much more useful and effective abilities.

Do Ultra-Boy’s powers have any downside?

Ultra-Boy, I would think. By adroit switching from power to power, I can resolve most of the conflicts.

Should I wish to smash thru a planet or something, I build up enough momentum using my super-speed, then switch to invulnerability just before impact to avoid damage. Pick up the Empire State building, toss it in the desired direction, switch to flight and follow it to my destination, then land underneath and switch back to super-strength and catch it. For observation, I fly up to a thousand feet or so, turn off flight, have a look around with my telescopic vision, and switch back to flight before I get near the ground. Etc.

My first task would be to wipe out ISIS, of course. Then I wipe out the Mafia by using my super-hearing to to find out the leaders, then flying over and discredit them in the sight of their underlings by giving them the Super-Wedgie of Death.

Then yardwork - all the dog turds buried under the snow have surfaced and need to be cleaned up with my laser vision.

How does Athena decide who to empower? Do I need to put together a grant proposal?


I’d go with Ultra Boy. The super-speed alone would be worth it, the Flash makes excellent use of that power, and then add to it the fact that if I wanted to I could switch to super-strength or invulnerability or the like is just gravy.

Does being Ultra Boy include owning a Legion flight ring, or is this purely about having the character’s own powers?

Ultra boy (why didn’t you just say superman?).

You can only use one at a time. If you were, say, trying to rescue people from the inside of a burning skyscraper about collapse at any moment, the super-strength would not protect you against flame or asphyxiation, and you wouldn’t be able to locate victims with your x-ray vision without turning off the super-strength.

Because Supes doesn’t have the one-at-a-time limitation.

Depends. Are you smart enough to ask for one? :wink:

You need to persuade Her (or Her Lieutenant, rather) that the power is better off inyour hands than other Dopers, at the very least.

Definitely not Ultra Boy, since his fatal, Kryptonite-like weakness (at least back in the Silver Age) was the terribly vague “radiation.” Knowing Athena, she would probably take that literally, which would mean that I would be incapacitated by bright sunlight.

So Storm by default.

Storm. Because I live in California and so goodbye drought!

I left out the radiation weakness on purpose, on account of it being stupid and ill-defined and probably made up by Paul Levitz who was clearly from Cardiff. It’s not in the OP, so it’s not a weakness. (Likewise, silver age UB was a lot stronger and faster than the powers described in the OP.)

So that eliminates your objection. Unfortunately, you have eliminated yourself from contention by mocking great Pallas. /She would probably ignore it, but I won’t.


I was wondering if she gets to be so powerful as to affect large-scale, long-term climate. If so, hell yeah.

Even at a lower-scale, weaker class of power, her abilities are subtle. Just fixing local, short-term drought would be nifty. Diverting floodwaters, taming tornadoes, etc.

(Um…also…the sex change would be…entertaining. She’s knockout-level hot, and Ultra Boy is just kind of meh.)

Oh, does Storm come complete with anti-mutant prejudice? That might take some of the joy out of it.

You’re getting her powers (or his), not body.

As for anti-mutant prejudice: you’re not going to the Marvel Universe, either.

No problem. I’ve already allied myself with Storm. And she was always exclaiming “Goddess!” at every opportunity, so clearly I’ve got a goddess of my own on my side. :slight_smile:

That’s exactly what I was thinking myself, except alleviating a drought in a different region.

Storm for sure. Fix drought, yada yada, then smite the jerk in the next lane blasting the bad hip hop at top volume with a very selective bolt of lightning. Or make a very small, very localized black cloud follow Mike Pence around and rain on him wherever he goes.

You’d have to follow him all the time too, you know.

It wouldn’t take too long. After a few days I’d whip up a tornado and send him to Oz.