Last week, I saw a write-up for Quest to Be the Best, Volume 1 of the graphic novel series Quincredible by Rodney Barnes. Quinton West only weighs 100 lbs so after he gets caught in a meteor shower it takes a bit to realize that his super power is invulnerability. After all, what 100 lb guy goes out of his way to be beaten?
This got me thinking about superheroes and their powers. What super powers would be almost useless or really hard to figure out for . . .
. . . a desert dweller? How would she learn that she can breathe underwater? Under what situation would this benefit her?
. . . a lumberjack? How would he learn that by smelling a piece of wood, he knows what tree species of tree it came from and where it lives? How would this be useful?
. . . someone who lives in the Arctic? How would she learn she can absorb high amounts of energy without damage?
. . . a butcher? He can hear the thoughts of animals but only prey animals?
I don’t think any of these work but I want them to be so absurd that they are funny. I’m not sure how many people remember the cartoon The Tick. The Tick is an enormous, muscled, not particularly bright Super Hero. At one point he ends up teaching Superhero Classes and his students have a bizarre array of nigh on useless abilities. There’s Sarcastro who is sarcastic and dresses like Castro and Baby-Boomerangutang who wears an orang utan suit and throws baby dolls like boomerangs.
None of the ideas that I’ve brainstormed here are nearly that good. But what if I took one of these as the beginning and just kept nudging here and there to make it more warped and funny?
I’d like to think I could make something as awesome as The Tick but it sure wouldn’t be easy. Even the regular characters are awesome. El Cid is a villain with the head of a sunflower who rules over the plant kingdom. And one of The Tick’s fellow superheroes is Urchin who wears a prickly costume and lives in the sewers.
I’m not sure why, but a tag line for a character just popped into my head. Now who on earth would go around saying that?