When you think of superheroes, the powers that come to mind are often of a physical nature. Heroes have super strength, they can fly, they can shoot power beams from some part of their body, etc. There are some heroes who's biggest strength is their mind. What if these heroes used their intelligence for other purposes?
I started thinking about this when reading James Robinson's Starman series. Ted Knight was a hero in the Golden Age. Once he retired and his son, Jack, became the defender of Opal City, Ted turned his attention back to his research. Jack had brought up the topic of the things he could have accomplished if he had focused on his research instead of dressing up in a brightly colored suit fighting crime. Would the world be better off if these geniuses shifted their goals to making mankind better?
== TEASER ==
Peter Parker was always a gifted lad. As a teenager, he managed to design and create his mechanical web shooters in addition to making his costume (with the one-way mirror eye slits). In the current Big Time story, Peter is finally in a scientific setting and has already created an amazing new high-tech costume (no pun intended). This was after about five minutes working there. If he had spent the last however many years researching and inventing instead of fighting costumed crazies, who knows what he could have accomplished by now.
Tony Stark designed a bit of technology that saved his life when a piece of shrapnel was making its way to his heart. He currently has plans on designing a sustainable energy source that would benefit mankind. It's too bad he's still spending half his time with the Avengers going on time traveling adventures or hunting down the Infinity Gems that were stolen.
Reed Richards is another example. As the leader of the Fantastic Four, he has invented several pieces of technology that he has shared, not only with his team but others as well. At one point he decided to try to solve everything but it would have cost him his family.
These smart heroes I mentioned and others aren't just sitting around being couch potatoes. They are doing some good. Every time they apprehend a costumed maniac, they are saving lives. The question is, should they expand their focus and try to save even more? Batman was always obsessed with ending crime in Gotham City. With his new Batman, Inc plans, it appears as if he's looking at the bigger picture and trying to put a stop to crime around the world rather than just his little backyard.
Stopping muggers and bank robbers is one thing but perhaps it's time the heroes used their intellect to solve even bigger problems.