I currently drafting for a graphic novel and along with it, its world powers, though Im having a issues with this ability.

It's loosely based off Kirby but can be seen in a way as air-bending (In later stages). The characters base ability is to inhale the air around him (through openings in his fingers and toes) and exhale them at more lethal speeds.

Through this he can shoot air projectiles. Through modification, the gloves and boots the character wears allows him to stick to walls like suction cups using his ability.The trade off is that he's literally using his body to breath, spamming the ability will deplete the oxygen in his system. Though like athletes he can continue to train how long he can stay in an anaerobic state.

I'm just curious as to how plausible this is and maybe, how much could I develop from this?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ unless you are going with handwavium organs, is there a biological organ that is doing the expansion/shrinking for the movement of the air? If not, it can be separated from his ability to breath and will be more like weight lifting for that muscle than trying to maintain an anaerobic state. $\endgroup$
    – IT Alex
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 12:03
  • $\begingroup$ Interestingly, swimming or being submerged in water could be lethal to such a person $\endgroup$
    – Dragongeek
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 14:25
  • $\begingroup$ Not clear why this would deplete his oxygen - if anything, breathing more will give an abundant supply of oxygen, so long as the hero continues to breathe with his lungs. The bigger danger would be a depletion of CO2, which can result in lightheadedness and severe muscle cramps. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 15:12

1 Answer 1


I'm just curious as to how plausible this is

If you mean scientifically plausible, the answer is "not really." Unless the character's fingers, toes, and limbs are unnaturally thick, there is nowhere for the passages needed to take the air away from the finger- and toe-tips. There's then the question of how the air is moved, where it goes, and so on.

It's generally the case when you start thinking in terms of comic book style super-powers that you've abandoned any chance of scientific plausibility. Which is fine for story-telling purposes; it's just rather depressing how many people think that such super-powers are plausible.

Your character will need fairly sizeable boots and gloves to stick to walls if you want to be plausible about that. The maximum force you can get from "suction cups" is the air pressure acting on them, which is 14.7lb/square inch at sea level, and goes down with altitude. Vacuum does not "suck", it is merely the absence of air pressure.

Your "air projectiles" will be rather short-ranged and dissipate rapidly in air. You would do better to use air pressure to propel darts of some kind, like a blowgun. If you can manage really high pressures, you might get airgun power, but that involves pressures and temperatures well beyond what human tissue can stand without bursting and/or cooking.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .