Superman is faster than a speeding bullet. Wonder Woman has the blood of the gods and training of the Amazons. The Flash can best the top speed of animals and machines alike. Batman is rich. It’s safe to say that the members of the Justice League can do incredible things. Fans are familiar with their main skills, but over the years, some of the powers the Justice League (and affiliated heroes) possess have changed or fallen out of circulation. Here are the top Justice League superpowers fans forget.
10 Superman (Super-hearing)
When Superman levels a building with laser vision or power lifts a train, it’s easy to forget that some of his powers are much more subtle. Among these is the Man of Steel’s flawless super-hearing. Argument in the next apartment over? He can hear that. Mumbled comment on the street? He can hear that. For all the surveillance Batman keeps, Superman has a simpler method to find out what’s being said behind closed doors.
9 Aquaman (Speaking ‘Fish Language’)
The Aquaman we know and love communicates with sea creatures telepathically. In his Golden and Silver Age stories, however, Arthur Curry talked to fish in a significantly more ridiculous way- he learned their language. The Golden Age Aquaman was the son of a brilliant scientist whose underwater lab served as a base of exploration. While living in the lab, Arthur’s father taught him several newly developed techniques, including how to breathe underwater and speak to fish in their native tongue. Luckily, this explanation of his powers was quickly phased out. Something about a superhero “blub”-ing messages to fish just didn't work.
8 Green Arrow (Swordsmanship)
We rarely see Green Arrow out and about with a sword, but apart from his bow, it is one of his most formidable weapons. Oliver Queen excels at swordsmanship, a detail which is mentioned in comics but rarely utilized.
It would certainly be a strange weapon to see a modern superhero carry. A clunky band of metal attached at his hip would most likely slow Green Arrow down. In any case, should the need for a sword fight ever arise, Green Arrow could be the Justice League’s champion easily.
7 Wonder Woman (Flight)
Wonder Woman’s ability to fly isn’t necessarily forgotten, but it does come and go. In some appearances, Wonder Woman is simply able to leap impossible distances and climb faster than an ordinary person. Other versions of Wonder Woman have shown her as fully capable of flight in the way Superman is. We also can’t forget her invisible plane. When Wonder Woman was created, her plane was the Amazon’s main means of transportation. Though the Golden Age plane was one of Diana’s coolest gadgets, it has not made many modern appearances. So, can Wonder Woman fly? Sometimes.
6 Zatanna (Weather Manipulation)
In all fairness, Zatanna is a magician. As long as she can say it backward, there are not many limits on what her powers can do. Even so, it’s easy to forget some of the more practical uses for her abilities. Among these is weather manipulation. Zatanna can summon rain, hail, snow, and wind at will- a power the League should call on in tough situations. Weather powers may not sound as epic as strength or speed, but the X-Men's Storm can attest to just how formidable a little change in the weather can be.
5 The Question (Shamanism)
The Question appears on Justice League Unlimited as a smart, albeit somewhat creepy, conspiracy theorist. He is able to help the Justice League with missions by providing them with difficult to find, and often confusing, information. What the show does not include is his connection to mystical shamanism.
Fans who haven’t had the chance to get to know The Question may not think of his as a mystic thinker. He’s certainly analytical in his investigations, but the underlying themes of philosophy and mysticism add a lot to the texture of The Question’s stories. More than drive and obsession, The Question’s philosophical roots help him to connect the dots in unexpected ways.
4 Supergirl (Sonic Scream)
When we think of a blonde heroine with a sonic scream, most DC fans think of Black Canary. We forget that Supergirl possesses a sonic scream of her own.
It may not be as exciting as some of her more visual skills, but Supergirl can debilitate enemies with the power of her voice, should she ever have to. Luckily, Kara is rarely left to fend for herself with only the power of a scream. Not that it has ever slowed Black Canary down.
3 Hawkgirl (Reincarnation)
There are a few different backstories for Hawkgirl. In her earliest appearance, she is the reincarnation of a long dead Egyptian figure. She and her true love (Hawkman) are reincarnated centuries after their tragic love ended. Luckily, reconnecting is not very hard.
Early stories show that a chance encounter on the street is all it takes to bring back the past. Hawkgirl does not seem to remember her past life without prompting. Sadly, this means that Hawkman has to remind her of the truth in each lifetime they bump into each other in. This form of reincarnation may not be fun or particularly useful, but it’s an ace up her sleeve if she’s ever critically wounded.
2 Martian Manhunter (Photographic Memory)
A photographic memory has unlimited applications for superheroes. Having the ability to recall small details from any given moment is essentially having the power to make a photocopy of a scene. Martian Manhunter is equipped with dozens of fascinating abilities. As a hero from another planet, his senses and normal bodily functions vary greatly from a typical earthling. It makes sense that his memory would rarely be at the forefront of what he can do. Even so, keeping this skill in the JLA’s arsenal is important. We can only hope that he’s able to block out details about the tragic parts of his past.
1 Red Tornado (Advanced Computer Operation)
To be fair, most fans are familiar with the sight of Red Tornado in front of the Watchtower computers. As an android, he knows their inner workings more intimately than most. Despite this technological connection, Red Tornado is most often remembered for the power that gave him his namesake- wind manipulation. His ability to transform nearly half of his body into a swirling vortex is intimidating but not representative of everything Red Tornado has to offer. In fact, Tornado’s strength, speed, and fortified body make him an extremely valuable asset to the Justice League.