Super Useless Superpowers Will Make You Laugh…and Wonder
Inevitably, sometime in your life (at least once) someone will ask, “If you could have one superpower, what would it be?” Common answers are x-ray vision, invisibility, and mind control (my fave). Adolfo Alcala, Patrick Conlon, Jason Nitti, and Neel Williams have compiled a book of Super Useless Superpowers, really powerful stuff like “telekinnearsis,” which is “the power to move Greg Kinnear with [one’s] mind.” Only one person has this power and “Unfortunately Kinnear is the only thing she can move. So, you know…bummer.”
Perhaps you are familiar with Super Useless Superpowers from its creators’ extremely popular blog, “Superuseless” (there you can learn about even more Super Useless Superpowers, some ripped from today’s headlines, like “The Sheening”). The superpowers are explained with faux ads and newspaper articles, illustrations (Art provided by Mark Todd mightily illustrates the awfulness of each superpower), and micro-stories (way shorter than “short stories”).
Super Useless Superpowers finds its humor in the absurd. The power of flight is diminished by the fact that it can only be used inside a plane; the ability to deflect bullets applies only to the thirteenth bullet that strikes the super-powered. Having super-human speed loses its luster when it only applies to running in place, and being “Powerpointer” with the ability to turn any situation into a graph won’t make you the life of the party, even if the party is 99% boring.
One superpower that is often wished for but actually useless (or counterproductive) is not included in Super Useless Superpowers, the ability to change the past. While it’s a noble desire to want to cause Hitler’s mother to be infertile, the result would probably be that the person who had the power to go back in the past and change things would actually eliminate the circumstances that led to his or her birth, thereby negating that person and the superpower (example: if I could go back in history and prevent World War II, I would never be born. In fact, I’d probably unboom the whole baby boom thing). Despite this one omission, Super Useless Superpowers is an extremely amusing, although somewhat useless, collection that will have readers analyzing other superpowers for flaws and inventing a few useless powers of their own.