Features
Natural born heroes


Date Posted: 25 April 2011

In this special tribute, we take a closer look at superheroes that are endowed with powers since their birth. The list will feature those that have special powers due to their extra–terrestrial origins, having altered DNAs, or even for being ones even unearthly such as deities as well as gods. Superheroes that are born with special gifts are not only more naturally powerful than the typical costumed crime fighting heroes, they are born to be heroes who are destined to live a life far from ordinary in order to save the world as well as mankind from impending danger and destruction.

Wolverine
William Stryker: "Your country needs you."
Logan: I'm Canadian.


Wolverine, who was born as James Howlett aka. Logan, was created by Marvel Comics as a mutant who possesses animal-keen senses, enhanced physical capabilities, retracting bone claws on each hand and a healing factor that allows him to recover from virtually any wound, disease or toxin at an accelerated rate. The healing factor also slows down his aging process, enabling him to live beyond a normal human lifespan. As if that wasn't cool enough, Wolverine is brought into a super soldier program called Weapon X that infuses the indestructible metal adamantium to his skeletal frame thus making him invincible. Wolverine becomes a master of virtually all forms of martial arts and is proficient with most weaponry, including firearms. He has demonstrated sufficient skills to defeat the likes of Shang-Chi and Captain America in singular combat. Wolverine is played by Australian actor Hugh Jackman in all of the "X-Men" trilogy and has also got its very own prequel that explains how Logan became Wolverine in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine".
Superman
[a cat burglar is climbing up the side of a building. He looks up and sees Superman standing there]
Superman: Hi there. Something wrong with the elevator?


DC Comics' pride, Superman was born as Kal-El on the planet Krypton, before being rocketed to Earth as an infant by his scientist father Jor-El moments before Krypton's destruction. Discovered and adopted by a Kansas farmer and his wife, Jonathan and Martha Kent, Kal-El is raised as Clark Kent imbued with a strong moral compass. Being the first meta-human in the Justice League, Superman posses superhuman strength, speed, stamina, invulnerability, intelligence, longevity, super breath, X-ray vision and flight. Superman saves the world from any deadly attacks with his powers. Clark Kent/Superman has appeared in many movies as well as television series played by different actors such as George Reeves, Christopher Reeve, Dean Cain, Tom Welling, Brandon Routh and finally Henry Cavill who's set to play the latest Superman in Zack Snyder's reboot of "The Man Of Steel" due 2012.
Thor
"Your ancestors called it magic [Thor skims through a book on Norse mythology] ...but you call it science. I come from a land where they are one and the same."


Thor is a god of thunder who's banished down to earth by his father who hopes that the reckless young god will learn humility. Thor helms the mystical hammer called Mjolnir and he is a very strong while cunning person at the same time. Capable of doing great things with the mighty hammer, Thor finds himself to be in possession of abilities like superhuman strength, speed and durability. Thor's greatest assets are his Belt Of Strength and Mjolnir; the first item doubles Thor's strength and endurance while his hammer is used to have control over weather manipulation in particular, to summon thunder. Thor's mystical hammer made an appearance in "Iron Man 2" and the upcoming movie "Thor" will see Australian actor Chris Hemsworth playing the titular role. Thor's character will also make an appearance in "The Avengers" as one of the members of the superhero league; "The Avengers", under the leadership of "Captain America" that is slated for theatrical release in May 2012.
Professor X
"Listen to me very carefully, my friend: Killing will not bring you peace."


Professor X, whose real name is Charles Francis Xavier, is the founder of the Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, which provides a safe haven for mutants and teaches them to master their abilities. He is also the leader of the "X-Men" (a team of highly trained mutants whose goal is to stop Magneto's aim for world domination and the extermination of humans). Professor X is a mutant who is born with vast telepathic powers that helps him manipulate the minds of others, warp perceptions to make himself invisible, project mental illusions, cause loss of particular memories and also to induce pain or temporary mental and physical paralysis in others. Sir Patrick Stewart starred as Professor X in the previous "X-Men" movie trilogy and now Scottish actor James McAvoy will play the younger Professor X in the upcoming prequel entitled "X-Men: First Class" that is due out in June 2011.
Cyclops
[To Wolverine] "It must burn you up that a boy like me saved your life, huh? Gotta be careful. I might not be there next time. Oh, and Logan - stay away from my girl."


Wolverine's bitter rival and sometimes ally; Cyclops aka Scott Summers, is also another mutant member of the X-Men that serves as the field leader under direct command of Professor X. Left an orphan when both his parents died in a plane crash, Cyclops ran away from his orphanage upon discovering his powers. Taken under the wing of Professor X, Cyclops learns he has the power to emanate beams of energy from his eyes that is called as "optic blast." The beams have the appearance of red lasers however; they do not give off heat and instead deliver concussive force obliterating everything in Cyclops' vision range. The beams are tremendously powerful and can be used to rupture steel plates and even pulverize rock. James Marsden ("Hop") plays Cyclops in the "X-Men" trilogy while Tim Pocock portrays a much younger version of Scott in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine".
Wonder Woman
"Of all people, you know who I am...who the world needs me to be. I'm Wonder Woman."


Wonder Woman is created by DC Comics and her body is a mystical creation made from the clays surrounding 'Themyscira' island. Through divine means, her soul was nurtured and retrieved from the 'Cavern of Souls'. Once the soul was placed into the body, it immediately came to life and was blessed with meta-human abilities by 6 Olympian deities namely Demeter, Aphrodite, Athena, Artemis, Hestia and Hermes. Wonder Woman is a masterful athlete, acrobat, fighter who's trained and experienced in many ancient and modern forms of combat. She also possesses a natural rapport with animals, which has in the past been presented as an actual ability to communicate with the animal kingdom. She uses her Lasso of Truth, which forces those bound by it to tell the truth, a pair of indestructible bracelets, a tiara, which serves as a projectile, and an invisible airplane. Wonder Woman, whose real name is Diana has been portrayed by veteran actress Linda Carter in the 70's and that a new series is reportedly in works as a remake of the older series with "Legion" actress Adrienne Palicki playing the most coveted iconic female character on earth. Until today, there is no live-action film adaptations of Wonder Woman as yet, unlike her DC male counterparts "Superman" and "Batman" who had gone through few reboots and remakes.
 
Gambit
"If I learnt anything about life, it's this: always play the hand you're dealt. My name is Gambit... and I play for keeps."


Kidnapped from the hospital where he was born and raised by a bunch of thieves, Gambit is said to be an estranged member of the X-Men. As a mutant, Gambit possesses the ability to manipulate kinetic energy as well as a hypnotic charm. He is also skilled in card-throwing, hand-to-hand combat and the use of a bo staff. Gambit's hypnotic charm allows him to exert a subtle influence over sentient beings, leading them to believe what he says and agree with his suggestions. Said to be a ladies man, Gambit has shown a more vulnerable side of himself over the years, especially when it comes to fellow X-Men member, Rogue. Gambit remains fiercely proud of his Louisiana heritage and speaks in a very thick Cajun accent. Gambit didn't make it to the previous X-Men movies but appeared in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" alongside Hugh Jackman, portrayed by Taylor Kitsch.
The Incredibles
Mr. Incredible: No matter how many times you save the world, it always manages to get back in jeopardy again. Sometimes I just want it to stay saved! You know, for a little bit? I feel like the maid; I just cleaned up this mess! Can we keep it clean for... for ten minutes!


Probably Disney & Pixar's very own "Fantastic Four", The Incredibles are a family of superheroes that were born with powers. Mr Incredible possesses tremendous strength, heightened resistance to harm and also enhanced senses. Elastigirl aka Helen, is Mr. Incredible's wife who can stretch any part of her body and reshape it in a variety of ways. In the movie, she becomes a parachute and a rubber boat. Their children Violet, Dash and Jack-Jack are also gifted with powers; Violet's ability allows her to turn instantly invisible and generate protective force fields, Dash is a speedster who is able to avoid high-speed collisions and crashes, and finally Jack-jack who started out in the movie as a cute toddler without any powers, appears to have shape shifting abilities by the end of the movie.
 
Storm
"I don't understand. Magneto's a fugitive. We have a mutant in the cabinet, a president who understands us. Why are we still hiding?"


Storm, born as Ororo Munroe is another X-Men member on the list who is born with special abilities. As a descendant of a long line of African witch-priestesses with white hair, blue eyes, and a natural gift for sorcery, her mutant power enables her to control the weather and cause catastrophic disasters. She can create lightning, avalanches, heat waves, rain and tornados at will. Storm is a powerful mutant, which makes her Professor X's prized student. Storm is the second in command alongside Cyclops and also a potential leader of the X-Men. Hollywood A-lister Halle Berry played Storm in all of the previous 3 "X-Men" Trilogy movies.
Hercules
"But, Father, I've defeated every single monster I've come up against. I-I'm... I'm the most famous person in all of Greece. I'm... I-I'm an action figure!"


Hercules is the demi-god son of Zeus, whose story is based on the Greek mythology. Initially born as a God, Hercules was brought down to earth when a potion given by his father's evil brother Hades made him mortal. As Hercules didn't finish the potion in its entirety, he managed to salvage some of his god-like strength, thus rightfully earning him the superhero status. Being the son of Zeus gives Hercules the advantage to overcome any obstacle and his pet horse Pegasus who was created by his father as a gift, helps Hercules as guidance to seek and destroy the king of the Underworld, Hades.
Writer: Roy Lim Jian-Min




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