Updated: Sep 29, 2020
Welcome back, Neverites (is that a thing, yet? I'm trying to make it a thing). It's time for part two, of my four part series on potential powers in The Nevers!
If you missed part one, on Physical Enhancements, you can find it here!
This week, we'll be getting cerebral! While every show needs a fighter, someone to hold the line, and smite their foes... you can't have a group without a brain. What would the Scoobies have been, without Giles? Where would the Avengers be, without the technological prowess of Tony Stark, or Bruce Banner? How could the Justice League operate without Martian Manhunter, keeping them connected?
So, in this article, we'll examine the possible routes that Joss could take, when it comes to the subtle, but powerful world, of Mental Enhancements! The first power, is so simple, many would argue it's not ACTUALLY a power. I mean, if it is, we have super heroes walking amongst us as we speak! I'm talking, of course, of Genius Level Intellect.
I'm a particular fan of this power, simply because there are SO many amazing ways to implement it.
Do they go for a Kaylee Frye style Genius Engineer? A soot-smudged gearhead, who maybe doesn't join the team on the front lines, but supports them from back at base via amazing gadgets and awesome weaponry?
Personally, I think if they assemble the Nevers and DON'T add an engineer who constructs giant, awesome, steampunk monstrosities, they'll have missed a HUGE opportunity. But that's just me...
Or maybe they'll go for a Master Chemist. Tucked away in her lab, adding a bit of this, a dash of that, and coming up with all kinds of bizarre potions and concoctions, to aid the Nevers in their missons! Bonus points if she is also a roid-raging monster, that doubles up as a backup Combat Expert. Then, of course... There's always The Polymath! Kind of like the mental equivalent of last week's Photographic Reflexes. A Polymath is a person who doesn't have a single field of study, but instead learns everything they can lay their hands on, no matter what the subject. This is always a fun way to play things, because it allows you to go above and beyond what even the "Super Genius" is usually capable of. Need her to know about mechanics? Leave her in a room with some pipes and a wrench, in 30 minutes she'll be a master. Need her to know astronomy? Camp out overnight, by the morning, she'll tell you everything there is to know about the stars. A tough power to get right, but if you NAIL it, you've got literally infinite ways to utilise it.
A word of warning, though. Much like we discussed last week, RE: Martial arts masters... PLEASE, for the love of science, can we NOT get another super genius, somewhere on the spectrum, that understands everything in this universe except how to talk to other people. It's played out, it's boring, and frankly... it's starting to get a little insulting. Be a bit more creative. PLEASE. Now. Close your eyes. Think hard. Try to hear my voice, inside your head... Yes. You're right. We'll be discussing Telepathy next! Aaah Telepathy. The subtle art of REALLY invading someone's personal space.
Kinda hard to have an article on powers of the mind, and not mention THE mental power. Telepathy, the ability to extract... or implant, thoughts into a targets mind.
This is another power that has a multitude of uses. We've seen the standard "read minds, get info" stuff a million times before. How about trying something a little different, like a successful cat burgler, who uses her powers of telepathy to convince guards they can't see her?
Or maybe, to make up for the fact that they don't have any kind of walkie-talkies, or mobile phones, they could have a high level telepath working out of their base, as a kind of "Hive Mind" keeping everyone connected.
The options are there, if you choose to use them!
Of course... Where you have Telepathy, you also, more often than not, get Telekinesis, Telepathy's more violent, harder to spell sibling. While Telepathy is a surgeon delicately changing things under the surface, Telekinesis is a circus knife throwing, chucking things about and trying to only hurt the people it intended to injure. I'm just going to come right out and say it. Not a fan. Yeah, the thing about Telekinesis, is that there are very few interesting, or original ways to use it. As far as powers go, it's pretty played out. However, I'm just that awesome, that I do have SOME ideas, of interesting things they could do... They could tap into the Light Side of this particular ability. Using more of a Psionic angle, they COULD have a Telekinetic Never who uses her powers to augment and improve the natural healing of her team mates. Not to the level that she was able to reverse death, or anything that severe, but binding wounds and increasing natural regeneration will still be a VERY useful ability to have on the team. Plus, ya know... Sometimes kind people snap. Just saying.
Or of course, you could always do something REALLY out of the box. Maybe have a high level Telekinetic, who for whatever reason can't join them out in the field. Instead she then opts to control a suit of armour, or some other kind of mannequin, and uses that to assist in missions, because she can't do it in person. I would 100% support a member of the Nevers being a remotely controlled Golem. ESPECIALLY if it was a super awesome steampunk robot, built by the Nevers' resident tech-expert!
I mean, come on... You KNOW that would be awesome. Next up, another power that sort of isn't a power, right up until it is...
Other than just being a REALLY fun word to say (seriously, try it out) it's also a power that is CRIMINALLY under-utilised. Thankfully, in recent years this is starting to turn around, so fingers crossed Joss can take that ball and RUN with! The basic idea behind Omnilingualism, is the ability to rapidly learn and comprehend any language. This would be particularly helpful in a world like the Nevers, being set during the height of the British Empire. At the time, there were new people, from new countries coming over all the time. And bringing with them, new and interesting languages! I could see a Diplomat type character, the "Face" of the group, that allowed them to deal with this sudden influx of new people, by rapidly learning to communicate, and making sure that they don't get into TOO much trouble. But, of course, that's just the most basic application of this power. There are other, somewhat more... interesting applications that I would love to see. For instance... This is the ability to learn all languages. That's not limited to Humans. I'd LOVE to see a crazy cat lady, or maybe a Snow White type, walking through the park, with birds flyng down, to sit on her outstretched arms, she whistles to them, they whistle back. It's cute. Then some nefarious ne'er-do-well, emboldened by her seeming innocence, tries to rob her. She whistles again. This time, it's short, and harsh. The birds, previously resting, singing happily all turn to look at the robber.
Then, as one, they strike.
Just IMAGINE the cool stuff they could do, with an angry Doctor Dolittle on their side? Commanding the birds, bees, feral street cats, maybe even plague infested rats? A living army of beasts, reporting only to her. Not only would it look cool as hell, but they could also be used to scout before missions, or track people that the Nevers needed to find. I don't know about you, but I think that could be SUPER awesome. So there we have it, folks. A run down of a few of the Mental Enhancements I'd love to see in The Nevers! What do you think? Did I miss your favourite potential power? Sound off in the comments below, with the Mental Enhancements YOU'D like to see! And I'll see you next week, when we get all MAGICAL up in here!