The Most Minimum Superpowers YOU'D NEED to be a Real-World Superhero?

You need to be the type of superhero who can intercede and stop crimes in progress - not just play detective after the fact. No precognitive stuff either. You need to have some kind of physicality to pull off the derring-do yourself; you can’t just document a crime and call the police. And you have to be able to successfully do this year after year, so consider wear and tear. Your enemies will not be super but real world murders, rapists, arsonists, thieves, terrorists, etc.

So a cosmic being charges you with protecting a major metropolitan area, opens his grab bag of powers, but warns you to not get greedy. Take what you need to pull off the above. Nothing more.

I’ll take your basic FISS pack, with a side of energy projection. Or maybe a side of Gambit.

If I have to cover an entire city, I need a means of fast travel. It seems my options are (in order from basic to complex):

Super leaps
Spider-Man style parkour
Super speed
Flight
Teleportation

I think I have to have flight, but because it’s kind of top tier, I could be capped at say 200mph for highly maneuverable flight. Maybe faster for wide open skies.

For strength, I think I would have to be able to lift an SUV overhead.

This already sounds too powerful. But I still need a mental power to home in on people in distress. Just flying patrol wouldn’t work in reality. I could be foiled by any crime indoors. In lieu of invinciblity, I could take super durability and a healing factor. Hand gun rounds and fires annoy, high powered rifles hurt badly, and big stuff like explosives could terribly wound or kill me.

I need some kind of agility package to safely operate. And an energy projectile would be great for distance. How about a hadouken that can knock people out? If this was all too much, I could trade in flight for a acrobatic Spider-Man type deal coupled with gliding. Really street-level powers cover 90% of real world stuff, but I wouldn’t want to tone it down too much in light of much rarer natural disasters and terrorist acts.

For streetcrime the minimum might be enhanced sensory abilities that can detect by smell/hearing/vision if a person is intent on violence or robbery. The same senses could detect if someone is filled with fear or feels endangered. Once the potential perps or victims have been spotted, then a gun, good line of approach and some handcuffs could handle the actual arrest. A stun gun and pepper spray might prove handy.

I’d have some trouble with the real crime: fraud and the influential passing laws that favor themselves. And in a state that doesn’t allow concealed carry, I’d need to be bulletproof and very, very fast.

The enhanced sensibilities wouldn’t be enough to stop all crime in a big city, but that’s a big order for any superhero without godlike powers.

I think that I would want my invulnerability to come in the form of a personal force shield that extends to the clothes I am wearing. I will simply not be in the mood to fight any crime if my pants have been machine-gunned off.

There’s some precedent for nude super-heroes… But, yeah, an invulnerable costume would be good too…

I think mere invulnerability would do it. You’d be great as a fire-fighter. Walk right into the burning buildings, maybe manage to bring trapped survivors out. You’d be good at search-and-rescue in hostile environments. Find lost skiers in blizzards, etc.

(I’d be reluctant to go into deep coal mines to rescue trapped workers: if there was a cave-in, and it didn’t kill me…ugh, what a nasty fate: waiting for thousands of years for erosion to free me…)

Full-regenerative healing. Not super-fast like Wolverine but all your injuries would heal as good as new without scar tissue. Otherwise you’d take damage like a football player and be a wreck after five years.

The ability to quickly learn any skill or specialty to the top 1% of practitioners. To have the combined skill set of an Olympic gymnist, SEAL team commando, forensic pathologist, escape artist, fencing champion, master of disguise, martial arts master, safe cracker, computer hacker, free climber, etc., etc.

Not exactly a superpower, but access to Wayne Enterprises level resources.

Whatever superpower makes it possible to a vigilante without having the government make capturing you priority #1. :smiley:

I’d need to be able to resist military attempts to capture me. So pretty phenomenal powers. I’d have to be both indestructible and able to bust out of any confinement. Otherwise I’d be dead or locked in an underground bunker for the rest of my life. So, yeah, Superman level powers.

Invulnerability alone lets me be captured. I don’t fancy spending 50 years clawing my way out of a bunker with my fingernails.

Candyman74: why would you be locked up? Do you plan on using your powers in ways that would outrage the law? Or are you suggesting that a real superhero would be sent to a lab for dissection, rather than put to work by society to fight crime (or simply to help out in times of natural disaster?)

I know people who do hold that view. It was explored, rather well, by Frank Chadwick in the comic book “Concrete.” In that story, a compromise was reached. The hero is free to act as he wishes, but is monitored.

If you figured to go out and kill your Senator and Congressman, well, yeah, that’s different.

I need some form of fast travel and combat abilities. Enhanced toughness, stamina and regeneration is a must too. Resistant to mind control may be stretching the minimal criteria.

I would also add access to an AI which compiles necessary information from Internet and tapped communication sources. It’s hard to fight crime in the digital age without access to google.

That’s easy, mass/density manipulation like the Vision.

I agree with Candyman. I can pretty much guarantee that if you had some sort of superpower and were caught you’d spend the rest of your life strapped to a table in a lab somewhere being studied.

Wolverine with a side of spiderman for enhanced strength and fast travel should do it nicely.

How do you compare powers? Which powers are “less”?

I thought that the young female super power Arika in “Fine Structure” was the perfect mixture of power and vulnerability. http://qntm.org/freak
Full story. read the other link first though, as the story doesnt concern her for a long time. http://qntm.org/structure

I’d require either invulnerability on the level of 1938 Superman or a Wolverine~style healing factor in its less ridiculous versions. I’d want boosted reflexes and strength. No need to get superhuman, I just want to be stronger, faster, and with quicker reactions than a normal human athlete. Being able to see in darkness where other people need artificial light or night vision gear should pretty well round out the list. I do not plan on abstaining from the use of guns and such, so I don’t need a vast array of powers.

What is FISS?

To answer the question, I think Spider-Man’s power set is the bare minimum, and even he would have difficulty finding crimes for which his abilities were suited.

A Punisher-type, who mostly sought out organized crime types, might be workable.

But to seek out randomly occurring crimes and “realistically” dealing with them, you’d have to be a Kryptonian, I think, or perhaps a Green Lantern. You’d need both the speed and the long-range senses to be effective.

How do you plan on finding these criminals, though?

Monitoring scanners, talking with people in the high crime neighborhoods, reading newspaper police blotters…you know, basic investigation. If I can work in a few paid informants and an embittered cop or two still on the force, even better. See, I don’t have any qualms about killing habitual criminals, known mobsters, etc. I don’t need to prove anything in a court of law. I serve justice, not the law.

If you get Netflix, there is a Japanese animated series “Darker than Black” available streamed. It is about people called “contractors” who have various and sundry super powers. Each contractor basically has one power, some better than others and none of them being invulnerable or so powerful as to not have to worry about regular humans with guns. In this hypothetical, you’d most likely need to operate as they did: part of a team and working for a larger organization.

You want me to fight only criminals? I guess I’ll go along with it… for now.

I think the most fun way to do it would not involve invulnerability, but superhuman reaction speed and agility. The ability to literally dodge bullets is what I’m talking about. Add some enhanced (but not superhuman) strength and something like this and we’re ready to kill some scumbags. I’d need to find the crime some how, though. Psychic abilities? No, that wouldn’t fit with a bayonet-pistol guy. I guess I would have to hang out in high crime areas, looking for trouble and finding informants to tell me where the bad guys spend their free time.

I’d need a costume too. No capes and nothing with tights. A black, flat topped bowler, a red and black tie, a black button-down shirt with red buttons, and black pants with a red belt, and shiny black boots with red laces. And black and red dye for my beard. I’d call myself The Eviscerator and leave my mark by tearing out the intestines of bad guys.