By Cory Doctorow at 7:57 am Mon, Jan 11, 2010
(via Why That's Delightful)
WB, hows the tan…
my favorite useless super power…hrmm…colossal hair growth? Prime number guy? Heisenberg Boy (has the ability to observe every situation but cannot influence any of them).
Kitty Shapres, the kitten morpher, tho the power of cute may actually come in handy sometime. The Amazing Cartilage? Captain Tree? Hrmm. Reversal X, can change the poles on a magnet. And of course, Mister Bomb, who can create a fusion explosion at will, unfortunately right next to himself.
That healing punch would be a hit at revival meetings.
My first gut instinct was to say “Come on Boing Boing, this is old”, but then I remembered how awesome the site was and I hadn’t been to it in a while so I got excited to catch up on what I’ve missed since I last went to the site. Then I was even more disappointed to find that the site hasn’t been updated a single time since the last time I went there, which was several months ago.
Healing punch seems incredibly useful, just not in fist fights. Unless the idea is you only heal damage from the punch itself, in which case it’s still a neat party trick.
My all-time favorite will always be Phil Foglio’s Gazebo Boy:
It’s just a single panel from an entire page mocking superheroes and their powers, but the link features a second panel from that page: “Captain Greedle and Boo-Gaa”, and while they don’t mention any powers, they still seem pretty worthless.
Useless superpowers aren’t always as useless as they at first appear, as anyone who’s read Mur Lafferty’s novel Playing For Keeps can tell you.
Or listened to it! Playing for Keeps was really excellent. As was the whole Heaven series.
“Healing Punch” reminds me of Woundhealer in Saberhagen’s Swords series.
“It’s pronounced Mi-NEWT Man! Do I look like I’m in the revolutionary war? Am I wearing a tri-corn hat? I turn small!”
Always a tough call. For example Captain 2×4’s plank-based powers are obviously versatile and deadly in a fight but what about the power to turn into a Scotch Terrier? There was an Interpol agent with that power in “Flaming Carrot” comics who turned out to have vital contributions to make: an ace on stake-outs and following people; an excellent second-story man as you could throw him through windows; and, of course, cuteness is always a might power.
Today’s Basic Instructions comic is right on topic!
I loved Temps< \i> (and its sequel Eurotemps< \i>) but my useless superpower seems to be the uncanny ability to diminish sales; neither this series nor its sister series were continued after the initial couple of volumes.
I’m a big fan of The Superest. It’s a list of heroes/villains where each one’s power can defeat the previous one.
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