In this age of economic downturn and global strife, when all that seemed powerful in the past has balked in the face of challenge, what we really need are heroes possessing powers so FATHOMABLE, so...
In this age of economic downturn and global strife, when all that seemed powerful in the past has balked in the face of challenge, what we really need are heroes possessing powers so FATHOMABLE, so UNEXCEPTIONAL, so MERELY ADEQUATE, that they could only be deemed “SUPERUSELESS.”
Behold! The world’s WORST and MOST POINTLESS superpowers have come:
IN-FLIGHT FLIGHT: The ability to fly, but only while inside an airplane that’s already flying.
13TH BULLET BULLETPROOF: The ability to deflect the 13th bullet that hits you.
THE POWERPOINTER: The ability to turn any situation into a graph.
FLAWGIC: The ability to have flawless logic when arguing with your girlfriend.
About the AuthorAdolfo Alcala, Patrick Conlon, Jason Nitti, and Neel Williams became friends while working at the same Madison Avenue advertising agency. Their blog superuseless.blogspot.com has been featured in Buzzfeed, Gizmodo, Reddit, Metafilter, Neatorama, and Gawker i09.
Greetings good reader! Or as they say in Europe, “hi.” This book chronicles many people, but it really begins with one man. Charles Darwin. Unless you live under a rock or in certain parts of...
Greetings good reader! Or as they say in Europe, “hi.” This book chronicles many people, but it really begins with one man. Charles Darwin. Unless you live under a rock or in certain parts of the Florida panhandle, you know that Charles Darwin came up with a newfangled theory called natural selection, aka, survival of the fittest.
But what if Darwin was wrong.
(Pause for dramatic gasp and outcries of “Oh no you di’int!”)
What if evolution could take a giant side step? Well, actually a step that’s sideways and a little backwards. The kind of step you’d take if you were in a long line and the person in front of you farted, so you step back and are all like, “Oh jeez that's disgusting,” but you don’t want to step so far away that you lose your place in line. So yeah—a step like that.
Anyway, we started noticing something strange about two years ago. People with oddly evolved abilities. Abilities that were so mundane, so uninspiring, so ironic…that they could only be described as Superuseless.
And so our mission began. Armed with only our bad instincts and a thirst for the truth, we traveled the world to uncover these quasi-superheroes. The following pages contain nearly everything we collected along our way, including a lot of made-up stuff.
So, friends…suspend your disbelief…and dive headfirst into the extremely shallow waters that are…SUPERUSELESS SUPERPOWERS.
Nothing says “I have nothing to say” like the popular medium known as PowerPoint. And this superuseless ability lets you blow hot air in style. The Powerpointer is able to take any situation, from a trip to the bathroom to getting a cavity filled, and immediately turn it into a slideshow-friendly presentation. Too bad he works at a coffee shop, ’cause he could climb the corporate ladder stupid fast.
Sue Miller may look like your average lonely woman who wears heart-shaped pendants and writes in a diary. But she also has the world’s only known case of Telekinnearsis—the power to move actor Greg Kinnear with her mind! Unfortunately, Kinnear is the only thing she can move. So, you know…bummer.
Imagine being able to construct a logical argument so tight, it’d make Aristotle wet his toga. Now imagine the only time you can do this is when talking to an angry girlfriend. (Cue sad trombone.) Now you know the plight of the Flawgic power. As we all know, logic has no measurable effect on significant others. Especially when talk turns to feelings. Which it always does. Dammit.
As I read through the book, it occurred to me that I actually do have a superuseless superpower: I can get along with anyone on the phone, but I really don’t like talking on the phone. My best friend has a nearly useless one: He can find his friends at the mall.
What about you? Do you have a superuseless superpower?
The Superuseless Superpowers blog documents heroic powers that are so underwhelming, so uninspiring, so undesirable, that they can only be described as “superuseless.”
There’s the amazing abilities exhibited by 1987 Man, who with just a touch, turns any pair of jeans to acid wash. And the power of TeleKinnearsis, which allows a hero to move actor Greg Kinnear using only their mind. Or in-flight flight, which grants its bearer the ability to fly like a bird, but only within the confines of an airplane.
The blog, written by Patrick Conlon, Jason Nitti, Neel Williams and Adolfo Alcala, has now been released as a book, with illustrations by Mark Todd. It’s clever and funny and at just $12.99 is well worth your cash.
I know about this book because to advertise its release, the publishers sent out one of the greatest press kits I’ve ever seen. It included a copy of the book, of course, but also a few superuseless promotional items, including a black highlighter pen, and this version of the Superuseless Superpowers e-book.
I have no idea if it actually works, because I can’t find a computer with an operational 5 1/4 inch floppy drive. But still –best e-book ever.
About the Book
Superman. Spiderman. Captain America. These are our childhood heroes. But in this hour of economic downturn and global strife, what we really need are heroes possessing powers so fathomable, so unexceptional, so merely adequate, that they could only be deemed “Completely Useless.”
Thankfully, Superuseless Superpowers provides just such a collection:
* In-flight Flight: The ability to fly, but only while inside an airplane that’s already flying.
* 13th Bullet Bulletproof: The ability to deflect the 13th bullet that hits you.
* The Powerpointer: The ability to turn any situation into a graph.
* Flawgic: The ability to have flawless logic when arguing with your girlfriend.
Presented in varied hilarious styles, from comic strips to newspaper clippings and ads, Superuseless Superpowers is the ultimate collection of useless superheroes and their powers, based on the popular blog and meme (a #1 trending topic on Twitter).
Adolfo Alcala, Patrick Conlon, Jason Nitti, and Neel Williams became friends while working at the same Madison Avenue advertising agency. Talk about underachievement. They have created national and global ad work for clients like Bacardi, MTV, and Xerox. And despite having to create the occasional ad that says, “Congratulations Joe Smith on being named Minnesota Natural Gas Exploration Team Leader of the Year,” all four consider themselves “communication artists.” The quartet was impregnated with the Superuseless concept while on a lunch break one day. Nine months and several dozen inebriated conversations later, Superuseless came screaming into the world via the blog superuseless.blogspot.com. Jason and Adolfo handle the illustrations while Patrick and Neel provide the snarky commentary. The blog has been featured in Buzzfeed, Gizmodo, Reddit, Metafilter, Neatorama, and Gawker i09.
My Take on the Book
This book is a great compilation of truly superuseless superpowers. As a person who loves comics and as I grew up thought how cool it would be to have superpowers, I found this book to be a humorous look at some of the powers that I would never want to have. Some of the powers were definitely funny, while others were ones that left you saying, really? Saying this though I was happy to have found this, and I did find it to be a fun book that I have already shared with other superhero fans! So if you are a fan of comics and superheroes, then this book is a great one to read!
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.
Superheroes are invading many different areas of popular culture these days. This summer, Thor, Green Lantern, Captain America and the X-Men will appear in feature films and Wonder Woman is expected to be back on television, in a weekly series, this fall. While Thor has the power of a God and Green Lantern possesses a power ring that can do amazing things, not everyone with a superpower is so fortunate, and those abilities are the subject of a new book, "Superuseless Superpowers," by Adolfo Alcala, Patrick Conlon, Jason Nitti and Neel Williams, with illustrations by Mark Todd.
For instance, Pantsformer, who has the power to turn into any pair of pants in an instant, is a good example of someone who possesses a superuseless superpower. While Pantsformer may have a fashion advantage and could possibly disguise himself to escape a bad situation, what happens when someone accidentally throws him into the dryer? A more practical superpower, for those in the corporate world, may be PowerPointer, a person who can translate any information immediately into a PowerPoint presentation. Yes, many of us hate sitting through these typically useless presentations, but it might be interesting to see how this power works, at least until the novelty wears off. Think of how much easier it could be to decide on what to order for lunch, with an instantaneous PowerPoint presentation.
Of course, it could be worse. Take Treadmillion Dollar Man, who has the power of superhuman speed, but only while he is running in place. Poor guy. I can only see this superpower being beneficial if you would need to start a quick fire, or, perhaps, as a weight loss technique. Speaking of fire, be glad you are not Flamerang, who can shoot balls of fire from his hands, but they keep coming back to him! In other words, he has the potential to be a hot mess. Finally, there is the gifted Sue, an otherwise average woman, who has the power of Telekinnearsis, which enables her to move actor Greg Kinnear with her mind! While this may be uncomfortable for the popular actor, perhaps Sue can become his agent and increase his chances at appearing in more quality films.
There are many more examples of "Superuseless Superpowers" featured in the book, which is a clever, fun and quick read. Comic book and superhero fans will likely appreciate the hapless "heroes" featured here, who will likely remind them of some of their more fortunate counterparts. In addition, fans of offbeat humor will likely appreciate the effort put forth here. One of the fascinating theories presented in the book attempts to correlate the emergence of these "Superuseless Superpowers" with the rising popularity of reality television. Enough said.
Length: 5.25 in
Width: 8 in
Weight: 10.00 oz
Page Count: 192 pages