The New Flesh Rising
Faster than light, able to fly, practically invulnerable, Superman is the forefather of a long series of characters distinguished not only by a more or less garish costume and a secret identity, but also – and above all – by a large series of powers of all kinds. Apart from some outsiders, like Batman and Iron Man, the bulk of superheroes differs from us common mortals for intrinsic capacities caused by exceptional events that enable them to perform actions that a human being, however gifted, would never be able to do. And so, Hulk has literally monstrous strength, and he can jump over the atmosphere and hold his breath underwater for hours; Spider-Man naturally adheres to vertical walls and has a “spider sense” that warns him of danger, while the Human Torch can ignite and reach the temperature of a nova; and these are just some of the many superheroes who have been haunting comics, movies, video games and TV series for decades. In short, we are now accustomed to hearing about superpowers, and there is no reason to be surprised if many expect that, thanks to the science of the near future, these capacities are destined to become real. To the point that there are those who, obviously lacking patience, have decided to get to work on obtaining these powers. This is how the concept – very Transhumanist, but now rapidly spreading outside of this context – of human enhancement was born, a fairly neutral term that hides the “human, too human” ambition to become post-human.