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Superuseless Superpowers February 19, 2009

Posted by yakshi in comics, comix, cyborgs.
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My friend forwarded me a link to a blog called Superuseless Superpowers <http://superuseless.blogspot.com/&gt;. By using comedy, the entries help to humanize the concept of superheroes. Whereas our culture idolizes superheroes and their superhuman abilities, this blog assigns unremarkable “superuseless superpowers” to regular people. For example, their superheroes can grow hair between their eyebrows extremely fast, or fly only while on a plane. Each entry is a different superpower, providing numerous, often disappointing, ideas for superheroes.

This blog raises the question of what qualities make a superhero so super and powerful. Is there a hierarchy amongst superheroes, even ones that have long been institutionalized in our pop culture? Superheroes surpass the notion of natural strength, therefore how can we compare the physical power of Iron Man’s impenetrable suit to the Hulk and his involuntary mutations? Either way, all superheroes have qualities that challenge social norms and natural human abilities. Is being superhuman ultimately better than being just human?

As we consider narratives behind superheroes, and how they involve the application of superpowers and qualities to regular people, we must address cyborgs. In what way are cyborgs, in some respects science’s attempt to improve the human body and mind, also better than humans? Could their physiological and psychological differences be considered superpowers, or rather superimprovements? How would cyborgs fit into the hierarchy of superheroes, if at all?

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