Since comics have been around, we've seen thousands of super-powered beings utilize their powers to either fight crime or create it. From Superman to Thor to Captain Marvel ( Marvel AND DC's versions), there's two things a lot of iconic characters have in their super-power arsenal: flight and strength. Sure, you can say that originally Superman could only jump far distances or Thor technically doesn't fly. He just throws Mjolnir, but for all intensive purposes, they can both fly.
As I approached my pre-teen years, in the early 90s, I fell in love with characters who had really cool offensive powers: Gambit, Wolverine, Nightcrawler (his power wasn't that offensive, but still cool). I always shunned away characters whose power wasn't flat-out awesome or didn't kick people's butts right away. Sadly, I made fun of Cypher... a lot. As I've gotten older, I've realized that some of the characters I've made fun of, as a child, are not only really cool, but their powers are super-useful. Sure, they may not be insanely flashy or extremely handy on the battlefield, but you couldn't get too much done without these characters. These guys may not have your run-of-the-mill super-powers, but isn't it refreshing to get some heroes out of the ordinary?== TEASER ==
I mentioned Cypher earlier, a character I relentlessly ripped into. The New Mutant had no place in my "book of favorites" as a adolescent, let alone as a teen. I would constantly pick on the character for being essentially worthless in my eyes. "I'm Cypher. I can understand languages. Whoopty Do." I would say in a mocking tone. Little did I know that since Cypher is a fictional character, he never heard that.
As an adult, I've come to understand that Cypher's power of being able to subconsciously translate and understand any language, whether it be human, alien, or computer, is probably my number one favorite ability of any X-related character. He may not have a offensive ability that can destroy anything around him; however, his ability comes so much more in handy than an optic blast from Cyclops' eyes. The ability to decipher and understand language, strategically, makes him a HUGE asset to any super-team. Luckily, after the events of Necrosha, Cypher was raised from the dead, and he rejoined the New Mutants. We all get another chance to give Cypher another chance. He's not the only hero with weird powers I pooped on (not literally) as a kid. In fact, I may have hated more characters than I liked at the time. I've come around though, and one of these characters has become one of my favorites recently.
Forge is another character whose power isn't right in your face, much like Cypher, but that doesn't mean his powers aren't really cool. For those who are not aware of this X-character, Forge's ability is to understand and build any technology he can conceive. Essentially, he has the ability to build anything he can think of. Much like Cypher, this power isn't something controllable. It's just something that's there, much like Cypher's abilities. Forge also has some pretty cool mystic abilities due to his Native-American blood, but I'd like to focus more on the ability to create.
On the battlefield, Forge is only as good as his inventions. As a kid, you want someone who has the meta-ability to punish their enemies, and Forge can really only do that if he creates something to do so. As you may have guessed, I hated Forge as a child. As an adult, his mutant ability is very appealing because the only boundary is his imagination. I know that sounds really cheesy, like something a high school guidance counselor would say to you, but it's true.
There are just two examples of characters I've under-estimated over the years. Characters who I'm growing to love based on how cool their under-rated powers actually are. Yes, they're both mutants from the Marvel universe, but for me, when I think characters with unusual super-powers that are pretty darn cool, these characters come to mind.
There's probably a few of you wondering, "what about X-Statix or non-mutant characters?" Well, for one, Forge and Cypher are the first characters that come to mind with unusual, but cool, powers, and as for X-Statix, that's a whole other article all together. What are your favorite characters with out of the ordinary powers? What do you like about them?
~Mat "Inferiorego" Elfring is a comedian, teacher, writer, comic store employee, and a member of Force Works.
Follow his complaining on twitter @ inferiorego