EW’s in a super state of mind this week, thanks mostly to our big Ant-Man cover story. Which, naturally, led us to ponder an age-old question that’s been debated endlessly in geeky circles for decades: If you could be any superhero, who would you choose?
Kyle Anderson, senior writer: Let’s get one thing out of the way first: Based on my near-constant fist-shaking at kids while they are on my proverbial lawn, I’m basically already Turner D. Century. But if I had my druthers, I would absolutely choose Nightcrawler. Sure, I’d look like a demon and suddenly have an inconsistent German accent, but it would be well worth the physical deformation if it meant I could more easily sidestep airports and teleport myself out of awkward conversations with people I don’t know at friends’ birthday parties. But what am I saying? I’m a born villain, so it’s Apocalypse or GTFO.
Jeff Labrecque, senior writer: Batman is my first choice, but “scoop of chocolate, scoop of vanilla, don’t waste my time.” And no one wants to read about my second choice: Lynda Carter’s Wonder-Woman Wardrobe Consultant. So I’ll go with The Flash. When you’re an athletic kid, running speed is such a defining attribute. (I bet most of you can still name the fastest kid in your fourth-grade class.) So the notion of being speed-of-light fast like Barry Allen was almost as alluring as Superman’s power of flight—and in some ways more so, because speed was somehow more tangible. And when you realize that superhuman speed opens the possibility of time travel, it’s an irresistible temptation to put those powers to good use and go back in time to 1975… and the California set of Wonder Woman.
Esther Zuckerman, staff writer: Buffy. (Buffy counts right?) Look: Being a Slayer often sucks, especially if you’re trying to be a high school/college student/normal person at the same time. Still, being able to kill vampires while challenging gender stereotypes and doling out perfect bon mots? That’s the dream.
Aeriel Brown, senior associate photo editor: The Notorious RBG. At this point, she’s kind of a superhero, right?
Kat Ward, assistant editor: Black Canary—and not Arrow‘s very human, martial-arts-master version (badass as she is), but the comic book’s ear-shattering, ultrasonic-screaming Canary. A superpowered voicebox would make it so much easier to ask people to move all the way into the subway car or talk with friends at obnoxiously loud bars.
Andrea Towers, EW Community associate editor: The problem with this question is who WOULDN’T I want to be? I want to fly into the stars and punch dinosaurs like Captain Marvel. I want to wield kick-ass batons like Mockingbird (Bobbi Morse). And let’s face it – who doesn’t want to fly through the air like Iron Man? But when push comes to shove, there’s only one option: Black Widow. She may have no real superpowers to speak of, but she does have the ability to kill people with her thighs, vault onto high-flying alien vehicles, and outsmart a trickster god. And she looks damn good while saving the world.
Jason Clark, senior reporter: I would want to be Wonder Woman, just to know what it feels like to be a smokin’ hot badass in thigh-high red boots.
Kurt Christenson, photo editor: The question I’ve been waiting my whole life for! I’d say Spider-Man—but despite the cool costume, he has the worst luck. So instead, I’ll pick The Flash. Super speed is the greatest superpower ever. Imagine being so fast you can run through walls by moving between their molecules, altering molecular vibrations to change frequencies and visit other dimensions and timelines, doing everything in a blink of an eye—while everyone around you stands still. No more public transportation! I’d get to eat whatever I want in whatever quantities I want (I’d run it off later), and I’d get a sweet, frictionless costume that pops out of my ring, the coolest sidekick in comic history, the baddest Rogues Gallery of colorful crooks, and my own museum. (Sorry, CW fans—spoilers!)
Ben Boskovich, assistant social media editor: Quailman is not only a superhero I admire, but also one I respect. Assisting the “helpless and stupefied” in a nonviolent manner isn’t an easy task, yet Quailman does it well. Patience, intelligence, speed, and the “Quail-Eye” are not only the attributes of a great superhero, but things we all should strive for in our own lives.
Jonathon Dornbush, intern: Iceman, because of how chill he is. Yeah, his powers are awesome—but really I just to justify terrible ice puns without having to do an Arnold Schwarzenegger accent.
Elena Santos, photo editor: Wolverine! I’d like to have his healing powers. Only I’d like for it to work emotionally so you could, for example, instantly get over brutal breakups.
Samantha Highfill, correspondent: Dominic Toretto, of Fast and Furious fame. And before you say he’s not a superhero, let me remind you that he can fly.
Miles Raymer, EW.com music editor: Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen. While I would definitely enjoy having his seemingly limitless, effectively godlike ability to manipulate matter and energy, I’m more intrigued by the oneness with the universe that came with it. He’s got a superhuman ability to be fully absorbed in the unpredictable beauty of quantum phenomena and the grandeur of the movements of the galaxies that’s equal to his world-bending powers. Also, he doesn’t have to wear pants to work—or anywhere else, really.
Tim Stack, senior writer: Storm from X-Men. She gets to wear a cape and throw shade on people. Like, literal shade, via clouds.
Hillary Busis, staff editor: I’m sure that if I ever took a deep dive into comic lore, I’d be able to find a superheroine with whom I could identify—but as a relative layperson, I’ve got to say it seems that the mainstream lady-super options are kind of thin. (That goes both literally and figuratively.) So instead, I’m going to pick someone further afield: Hermione Granger, an exceedingly clever witch whose sharp mind is equaled only by her tremendous work ethic. And sure, she may not know martial arts, and she may not wear tights—but when necessary, she sure can throw a punch.
Joshua Rivera, EW.com writer: I thought about this for a long time, trying to come up with some off-the-wall superhero with a crazy-rad, convoluted power set (like, I don’t know, Fantomex). But that would’ve been dishonest, because my whole life there’s only been one answer: Spider-Man. He’s my favorite superhero, and the one with simply the coolest power set—that crazy mix of strength, speed, agility, wall-crawling, and an early-warning Spider-Sense. I always loved the way the character moved, with a manic, barely controlled acrobatic bluster, lanky yet strong, fearless but still vulnerable. What’s more, his costume (the best superhero costume ever made) was one that left him totally anonymous, covering him from head-to-toe. As a brown kid in love with comics full of white heroes, that helped—I could pretend that Spidey looked like me. Then Miles Morales happened, and I didn’t have to pretend anymore.
Carolyn Todd, intern: I would be Catwoman. I rock the all-black look on the reg already, and I think Batman and I would have great chemistry. But most of all… cats. Having all the kitties ever love me is kind of a dream of mine. And solving one of life’s greatest mysteries—what the eff is going on inside their weird, whiskered little heads—would be pretty cool. For example, I could ask my cats what is so amazing about stuffing their fat furry bodies into a teeny tiny box, or why they insist on drinking water from everywhere but their bowl.
Ashley Fetters, EW.com news editor: Iron Man. Minimally tragic backstory; owns a ton of cool stuff.
Christian Holub, intern: The best kind of superheroes are wizard superheroes, and DC has them in spades. Dr. Fate is by far the coolest of DC’s magician vigilantes; in fact, I would go so far as to declare him the coolest-looking superhero of all. Instead of a standard cape, he has a sorcerer’s cloak, and his mask is an imperial golden helmet that links the wearer to the powers of an ancient Egyptian spirit called Nabu. Often appearing in a blazing golden ankh of energy, Fate could not be more visually striking. It makes DC’s under-use of him all the more puzzling. Although the helmet of Fate pops up now and again (it was a fixture of the short-lived Young Justice and even appeared in the Constantine pilot), it has lacked a consistent host since the original Kent Nelson character of the 1940’s. I would gladly accept the mantle.
Jef Castro, photo editor: Marvel’s Longshot is my choice. Simple power, but has interesting possibilities: He essentially can affect probability and is psychic. It gets more complicated than that, but “good luck” as a super power could be very handy in so many situations (not just saving lives).
Madison Vain, producer: Alex Mack. She may not be a superhero to most, but I’ve always wanted to transform into that weird Capri Sun-metal-ish liquid. Plus, her devotion to snapback hats is unparalleled.
Neil Janowitz, assistant managing editor: If we’re talking purely in terms of powers we’d want, Jean Grey‘s a no brainer. In my estimation, her telekinetic abilities, if pushed to their limits, more or less grant her the most worthwhile powers possessed by any other hero. Super strength? She can move heavy shit with her mind. Flight? She can move herself with her mind. Blinding speed? I’m going to argue that with enough focus, she can move herself extremely quickly with her mind. Invulnerability? She can stop any projectiles headed her way. Only types of things she can’t do are, like, make giant green hammers or ride a surfboard through the cosmos. She’ll get by.
That said, she’s been possessed by an evil spirit and died a few times, so if we’re talking about a hero whose life we’d want, Johnny Storm seems to have a cush gig. He’s a playboy who can fly and control fire, and you know the Fantastic Four aren’t bothering to give him any meaningful team responsibilities beyond just showing up to fight the baddies.