Kal-El of Krypton has been at the center of a LOT of stories since 1938, and has had a variety of powers in that time.  His original suite of strength/muscle related abilities has given way to super-breath, heat-vision, X-ray vision, super-ventriloquism, and even the much-maligned S-shield polyethylene wrap (good for temporarily trapping villains AND keeping leftovers oven-fresh!)  Of course, even at his most ridiculous, Superman still pales in comparison to the myriad of abilities attributed to fellow Justice Leaguer Martian Manhunter, who gets intangibility, shape-shifting, telepathy and half a dozen more powers IN ADDITION to the generic power-template that Supes has, all attributed to his origins on the red planet.  (Indeed, given J’onn’s abilities, it’s a very good thing that he’s usually depicted as the only survivor of the Martian plagues, as even one villainous Martian could herald the end of humanity.)  There is also an entire planet of people who can split themselves in thirds (Cargg), a planet of guys whose bodies are giant telekinetic heads (Judans), and of course, planet Bismoll, where the poisonous flora gave the entire population the ability to eat and digest that which would normally be inedible.

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) was rocketed from a dead planet, but Superman got here first, because we had to fly economy, asking: What’s the most ridiculous ability/super-power attributed to “alien origins?”

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. July 3, 2013 at 11:28 am — Reply

    I can’t top Matter Eater Lad. Sorry.

  2. SmarkingOut Adam
    July 3, 2013 at 11:49 am — Reply

    I can’t decide between laser eye beams and frost breath.

  3. July 3, 2013 at 12:19 pm — Reply

    Flight without wings when it doesn’t have anything to do with manipulating gravity or magnetic forces or other energies. I could buy old Superman’s ability of being able to leap so far that it seemed like flying, but being able to hover around just seems a bit much. Even laser eyes and frost breath seem a little more plausible than that to me.

  4. Gary
    July 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm — Reply

    Being able to mate with a human.

    • Gary
      July 3, 2013 at 12:53 pm — Reply

      Well, okay, it’s not attributed to their being an alien, but rather in spite of them being an alien.

  5. July 4, 2013 at 1:33 am — Reply

    SUPERMAN #125, when he gained the ability to shoot ten mini-Supermen out of his fingers http://www.toymania.com/sites/default/files/8_1.jpg

  6. Rob
    July 4, 2013 at 11:24 am — Reply

    Cold powers generaly, where does all the heat go?

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