We’ve all been there: You arrive at the scene of an epic battle between a superhero and a supervillain to see sparks and bolts of electricity flying all about. You need to be careful that you don’t stand too close to a streetlight or lean against a metal fence while you watch, mesmerized by the struggle between good and evil.
To help you stay safe in the field, we’ve put together a list of some of the most shocking superpowers by actual powered people – terrestrial, alien, and interdimensional.
Everybody loves a good thunderstorm – until they’re struck by lightning. The Mutant Storm (Ororo Munroe) can control both, given her ability to manipulate the weather. And because she can also control energy at the molecular level, she can even generate lightning from her body or the immediately surrounding air.
Does Storm ever use her ability to generate lightning to kill her enemies? Uh, yeah. Wouldn’t you? So maybe be nice to her, okay?
Shock Rating: ⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️
Pikachu’s Static Buildup
Pikachu is so cute and cuddly, but be careful when trying to give one a hug – it’ll give you a shock as you say, “Awwwww.” Pikachu stores static electricity in its body, collected overnight for use in battle or when overly excited. (It can also communicate with other Pikachus, but that’s a pretty mundane use of a super-sweet shock ability.)
If you run across a Pikachu in the wild, it’s no shock that the best advice is to leave it alone.
Shock Rating: ⚡️⚡️⚡️
Gwen Raiden’s Electrokinesis
Nobody is quite sure how she’s able to do what she does, but Gwen Raiden’s innate ability to direct current through her body – and into others’ – is about as shocking as they come. It’s not only her looks that can stop hearts, and she’s even been known to restart them again with a little defibrillatory touch. While she can’t cause lightning herself, she sometimes attracts it, which probably isn’t too good for those standing nearby.
Ms. Raiden is unable to control her abilities to the same extent as some of the others in this list, given the somewhat frequent, inadvertent shocks she has given to those she cares about. However, newly developed spinal taps have allowed her to suppress her capabilities, making the tingles you feel when she touches you more than just pent up electricity.
Shock Rating: ⚡️⚡️
Senator Palpatine’s Force Lightning
Darth Sidious is truly insidious when he unleashes a shocking blast of magical blue lightning from his fingertips. Usually accompanied by a maniacal grin, some believe the Sith Lord’s electric boogaloo to be semi-orgasmic. Give that the capability is manifested only by powerful Dark Side wielders of the Force, however, research into the topic often devolves into scorched-earth attempts to control the galaxy.
To avoid the Emperor’s Force lightning, we recommend not living a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.
Shock Rating: ⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️
Not actual lightning, the real shock here is that the song from the musical Grease was able to reach number 47 on the Billboard charts. We assume some kind of superpowers must have been involved for that to happen, which is why it made the list.
Shock Rating: ?️
BONUS: Your Dad’s Static Shock
You’ve had it happen to you a million times: Your dad shuffles across the shag-carpet floor in his shocks (hopefully not only his socks) and then reaches out to touch you – zap! Electricity courses through your body, or at least that tiny patch of body immediately adjacent to where the static shock hit you.
Annoying but ultimately harmless, dads with hair also use their static shock powers to make balloons cling to walls.
Shock Rating: ⚡️