Superpowers of both heroes and villains are most often shown in the context of how useful they are for fighting. But none of those “KAPOW” action scenes have long-lasting results for the average citizen, only temporary safety from disaster. So in their off hours, why wouldn’t superheroes volunteer a bit of their time to help create energy security for more of the world? And vice versa – wouldn’t supervillains do their best to mess up the balance of nature? This list of superheroes and supervillains doesn’t include Captain Planet characters, but DC and Marvel characters who could repurpose their powers for a different effect.

Three Superheroes Who Would Do a Lot of Good For Renewable Energy:

1. Aquaman

Arthur Curry, also known as Aquaman, would be able to make himself pretty useful in the water-based energy department. While he doesn’t have water manipulation powers himself, he does have a magic trident that he can control water with. He can also use his telepathy to keep ocean creatures safe by warning them about the machines in the area. And being the King of Atlantis doesn’t hurt either, giving him connections to several people who can manipulate water.

Gathering all of these superpowered people in a coordinated effort would allow for greater production of hydropower, wave power, and tidal power. Hydropower comes from the effect of moving water, like rivers, being corralled through manmade contraptions, such as dams. Wave power takes advantage of the endless motion of waves on the surface, through many different methods. Tidal power is cultivated from the rise and fall of the sea by using technology such as barrages, tidal fences, and tidal turbines. Considering that one of the problems with ocean energy tech is that marine animals can get entangled in or otherwise affected by it, Arthur’s telepathy will really come in handy in communicating with creatures how to stay safe.

2. Lightning

Jennifer Pierce comes from a family of superheroes, with her father being the one and only Black Lightning. While they both can absorb energy from electricity-powered items, Jen’s powers go one step further than her dad’s. He’s a powerful battery, but she’s a generator. This makes her a unique source of renewable energy all her own.

Her limitations may vary between comics and the television show, but one thing never changes: she’s a formidable opponent. Taking that raw energy and putting it toward batteries or electrical grids could help a lot of people. Sure, she’s just one person, and she would need to take breaks. But she could be especially useful going to places in need that either don’t yet have generators or have temporarily lost them due to something like a natural disaster. These people would then have electricity to power the necessities while they work on their own generators, making their daily life a lot easier.

3. Storm

Ororo Munroe is considered a goddess before she is recruited by Professor X, which is no surprise to anyone who meets her and experiences her elemental powers. With the ability to control the weather – creating snowstorms, tornadoes, and torrential rain, among other things – she is in the perfect position to assist the efforts of solar installations, not to mention other types of renewable energy.

Being able to summon lightning, would, of course, be one of the most direct ways to give electricity to people, assuming they have the proper collection and storage technology. Ororo can also easily bring strong – but not too powerful – winds to power wind turbines. She might not be able to control the oceans like Aquaman, but she could still help out with the flow of rivers and fullness of dams through bringing rain to needed areas. A way she could benefit those with solar arrays is by keeping away the clouds so that people will have uninterrupted sunlight for their arrays. The usual air pollution effects of things like manufacturing and vehicles would be mitigated as she helped renewable energy become the main source of power for the world. The possibilities are endless, and new technologies could even be created to work better with her powers.


Three Supervillains Who Would Do a Lot of Harm To The Environment:

1. Thanos

Even if you’ve never read the comics or watched the movies, you’ve likely heard about Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet. With one snap, he killed off half of all life in the universe. In the movies, he supposedly wanted to decrease the problems that come with overpopulation. However, his logic was greatly flawed. Namely, he only seemed to get rid of half of all the sentient life in the universe. On planets where the population was more in tune and/or intertwined with nature, or even using an example from Earth where humans have domesticated many animals, this would mess up ecosystems left and right.

Again, just on Earth, getting rid of half of humanity with a snap of your fingers wouldn’t fix what they messed up. Endangered animals that are being kept in sanctuaries so that knowledgeable humans can protect them from poachers or help them increase their population again wouldn’t just be fine on their own if those humans disappeared and people with bad intentions still existed. Dogs with owners, fosters, and at shelters would still need their people to feed them and otherwise take care of them. Could they survive on their own? Maybe, but it would be even harder to help them plus all the other strays already out in the world. And it doesn’t matter if the creatures are predators or prey, if even one group of animals suddenly lost the humans that were trying to help them, it would affect all the plants and animals even remotely connected to them.

2. Livewire

Leslie Willis gained electric powers not unlike Lightning’s, and became the villain Livewire. As much good as someone like Lightning could do, Leslie could easily undo. She can turn into a bolt of energy, messing up any electrical technology she wants. Plus, she can absorb electricity too. Even renewable energy wouldn’t stand a chance against her, if she kept draining generators and batteries, never allowing the general population access.

Because she can travel through powerlines, Leslie is hard to catch, and can do a lot of damage until she’s captured. One of the few ways heroes have been able to stop her is by dousing her with water, which can mess up any technology that might be too close. Leslie’s potential for harm to the environment and destruction of technologies (renewable energy and otherwise) makes her a formidable threat.

3. Lex Luthor

Lex Luthor, Superman’s archnemesis, may not have superpowers, but he’s almost definitely the worst kind of billionaire CEO. His company, LexCorp, is sure to wreak havoc with environmental pollution for no other reason than Lex just doesn’t care about people.  Plus, considering his hatred for Superman, it would make sense for Lex to foil any renewable energy plans the world makes. This would allow him to prevent people from having access to affordable energy, as well as adding to the climate crisis.

Alternately, there are still billionaires who would work against him on the same level, like Bruce Wayne (Batman). While Superman fights Lex’s supervillain machinations, Bruce can fight money with money and invest in renewable energy and environmental protection. Defending the world from both angles would allow them to thwart Lex’s evil plots no matter which path he tries to take.

Whether they are Marvel superheroes and villains or DC superheroes and villains, these masked menaces and caped crusaders have a greater effect on the world than one might see in a comic book story. Superpowers, intellects, and wealth can be used for more than fighting each other, as we can see – and these are just a teeny tiny selection of all the superpeople who could affect the environment. Plus, the case of Lex Luthor and Bruce Wayne shows you don’t need powers at all… in fact, you don’t even need as much money as they have. Each one of us can help make our Earth a better place. So, what will you choose to do with your skills?


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