There are many truly amazing items of technology - real technology - that exist now, today, that, with enough money and clout (and luck) you could actually get your hands on. No, we don't have flying cars yet - well not really - but many things relegated in the past only to science fiction are now becoming science fact. With the items I'm about to list, we could actually see a real super hero age where real-life versions of Batman could emerge. Why not? You know there are people rich and eccentric enough in the world who might want to attempt it. As you will see below, soon nothing can stop you but time, resources, and maybe sanity, from sewing up your own suit, creating your secret identity, and embarking on your own true-life comic book hero odyssey:
- Cellular Phones & Bluetooth Headsets: This is actually something almost anybody can get and many of us do have, like myself. Now you can have instant, hands-free, communications technology. And, with the continued development of the networks, it is ever increasing in reliability. Will Smith sports a Bluetooth ear piece at the end of Hancock, after all. There's not even a need for a Bat signal anymore. Of course you'd have to figure out a way to have a number that's super secret so your identity isn't exposed but I'm sure there's a way.
- Non-lethal Criminal-Stopping: Unless you want to be The Punisher, there are many methods of capturing or incapacitating criminal offenders that will not kill them that you will want to include in your crime-stopping arsenal:
- Rubber Bullets
- A "Mobility Denial System", or MDS, that's a super anti-traction gel where a liquid polymer emulsion combines with a polymeric powder (to form a slurry) and water to produce a gel that'll render anybody on their backs who try to walk through or over it.
- Debilitating Soundwaves
- Tazers, of course
- ...and more!
- Martial Arts Training: Of course this has been around for a very long time but I'll put it in this list in case you use this writeup as a checklist for when you decided to indeed become a super hero. This is the hardest part: you'll need years of training. HOWEVER... there are some amazing brain experiments going on and it may some day be possible to learn various fighting techniques instantly, Matrix-style. See this for more information.
- Gecko-inspired suit with setae: Setae are the millions of tiny elastic hairs on a gecko's feet that allow them to climb walls and stick to almost anything. Scientists at the Polytechnic University of Turin in Italy are working on a suit using carbon nanotubules similar to setae. Check it. Now you can be a wall-crawler like a certain amazing super hero we all know and love.
- Bullet-proof nano paper suits: You'll likely want a suit that is light weight but also gives you a certain level of invulnerability, as you'll probably be shot at often, and you just won't look as awesome with a big, bulky bulletproof vest on. Now with nanotechnology you can get a suit made of bullet-proof paper that's even stronger than Kevlar! Cellulose fibers in plant cell walls are very powerful strands of sugar molecules. Until now we never had a paper-making process that didn't destroy their inherent strength. Well, now we have one! Check it.
- Invisibility Cloak!: Want a suit that can make you virtually invulnerable and invisible? If the nano paper and this technology can be combined somehow, you can! But even if they can't, being invisible could sure help you avoid being shot or harmed. Not a lot of superheroes are invisible (comic book artists like actually drawing their heroes) but in real life this could be extremely useful for obvious reasons. Anyway, yes, Virginia, there are invisibility cloaks! And someday they'll be coming to a store near you. This tech began with cloaking materials, called metamaterials, which at first deflected microwaves around objects. Now this "negative refractive" effect can be done with the visible light spectrum. This is basically bending light around an object, kind of like how water flowing around a rock in a stream renders it invisible. There are also versions that will make you invisible to radar which would be obviously more useful for your Batmobile than your body. Check it.
- Super Strength Robotic Exosuits: Robotic Exosuits now exist that can increase your strength about twentyfold. These robotic suits work by sensing your every movement and amplifying it almost instantaneously. Now you, too, could lift cars off of people, toss criminal offenders around, and pull victims from debris of terrorist-destroyed buildings. Sure the current suit is not very elegant, more utilitarian than anything, but just use the invisibility cloak with it and it won't matter. Check it.
- Super Vehicles: Combining the invisibility and invulnerability technologies already mentioned and you could build yourself quite a cool supercar! If money and resources aren't a problem for you than, as far as adding weapons and gadgets, you're only limited by your imagination as to what else you could do with it.
- Flying Suits: Now if only you could fly your set of super powers would be complete! Weeelllll... unfortunately you can't technically fly yet, at least not in terms of how Superman does it. The so-called "Flying Squirrel" suits that now exist still require that you be dropped from a plane. They're super-gliding suits, essentially. As of writing this, the technology of the suit still isn't good enough where it's completely safe to drop without any kind of parachute. It does significantly reduce your descent and also propels you forward, hence the quasi-flight you could achieve. Someday the suit and a plane will be all you'll need, and then maybe a day beyond that if they can perfect the jet pack we've all been waiting for, you won't need the plane, either. But sadly those days are not quite here yet. But still, imagine combining this with the invisibility and invulnerability items on our list. I wouldn't recommend combining it with the robotic super strength suit, though. Imagine how much more ridiculous that skydiving scene at the end of Point Break could have been with these babies! Check it.
- Super Speed?: There's nothing really that technically make you super fast yet. However, people with some types of artificial limbs running track events can actually run faster than people with the real thing. It has something to do with the spring action some of them have. But, the point is, any type of cybernetic or bionic additions to your legs could increase your running speed significantly. Of course this wouldn't be popular unless you could use the technology without cutting your real legs off.
Now, Which Superheroes Can We Be Like?
- Spider-man: With the Gecko suit you could certainly be a wall-crawler. And I do believe it is possible to make web-shooters. But to get the super strength you'd have to don that robot suit which would make for quite an ugly, beastly version of the web-slinger. And I don't know how you're going to give yourself the "Spidey-sense." You could probably combine the Gecko suit with the cellulose suit to at least make you a virtually invulnerable and wall-crawling spider hero. But unfortunately you'd be no Peter Parker.
- Batman: With the cellulose suit, martial arts, and the non-lethal criminal stopping gadgets, as well as a super car - and make your suit black - you could most certainly be the Dark Knight. Become filthy rich and find a Batcave and you're there.
- Superman: We've demonstrated that you could have super strength, a certain level of invulnerability, flying (sort of), and maybe super speed. Again the robot suit would make you an unsightly Superman, unless maybe you could make the robot suit invisible. Ehhh, it's almost doable. Just please don't wear those tights.
- Hancock: Add a bottle or two of your favorite malt liquor to the Superman list and you're there. Well, the Hancock from the first half of the movie!
- The Punisher: The instant martial arts could come in handy here. But other than that all you need to get are: weapons, a complete disregard for The Law, a little crazy, and of course the suit. Frank Castle wasn't indestructible, but I would recommend the cellulose suit anyway.
- The Human Torch: If you could make your flight suit from the super cellulose fibers and make it so it wouldn't hurt you if you set it aflame, then you could sort of become the Human Torch from the Fantastic Four. Sort of.
- The Invisible Woman: Obviously, with the invisibility cloak (or suit), you could be just like Susan Storm, also from the fantastical foursome. You still cannot make a forcefield, though. And guys, you'll also need a sex change operation. Those have been available for years. But to become Jessica Alba, you need to also get super hot and develop mediocre acting talents.
- The Thing: You can become this member of the Fantastic Four as well using the super paper to make a nifty paper mache suit that looks orange and blocky. Just cover your super strength robotic suit with it and you're indestructible (almost) and super strong. Add some bad attitude and you're there.
- Mr. Fantastic? Sorry, can't complete the foursome yet because becoming this hero would be quite a stretch. Probably not ever. Perhaps you and two friends could be the Trippy Trio? The Thifty Threesome? The... oh, never mind.
- Iron Man: When the news broke of the robotic suit this was the super hero most people thought of, partially because the movie was being released at the time. The suit needs more - a lot more - in terms of weapons and jet flight. But it's almost plausible now.
- Wonder Woman: Well you can have the invisible plane now but you'll have to look sexy in that red, white and blue revealing suit. And again, guys, you need the sex change, sorry.
- Aquaman: Get a cool-looking wet suit, a rebreather, and learn how to swim, and you could become a realistic version of this hero. Make the wet suit out of the super cellulose and you might survive getting torpedoed.
And with that one, I'll stop. It's becoming obvious that the list could go on and on. There are a lot of heroes that you could sort of become. Just use your imagination, many different combinations of those powers that you could now obtain, and pick up sewing skills for some of those suits.
I will NOT encourage this by making a Super Villains list. Please use these powers for good, and not for evil.