Mental Floss

7 Comic Book Superpowers the World Can Do Without

Mark Juddery
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From "rainbow breath" to incredible weight gain via donuts, here are 7 superhero powers the world doesn't need.

1. The Power to Eat Things

If you're desperate for heroes with mediocre superpowers, look no further than the Legion of Super-Heroes, the 30th-century superhero squad that started out in 1958. Packed with uninspiring members, the legion featured the likes of Bouncing Boy (who could bounce around like a ball), Chlorophyll Kid (who could make plants grow faster) and Dream Girl (who could tell the future through dreams). But the strangest of all was Matter-Eater Lad, who just ate things. Matter-Eater Lad's finest moment was stopping an indestructible machine from destroying the universe"¦ by eating it. The storylines were that good. In 1993, DC Comics decided that the character was too silly for the newer, grittier style of comics, and he was rewritten as the Legion's personal chef, who didn't really get involved in the combat.

2. Fighting Nazis by turning them into Doves

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3. The Power to Talk Loudly

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4. Detachable Body Parts

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5. Rainbow Breath

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6. Donut Power

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7. Super-Whatever: Superman's Stupid Powers

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Superman's most ridiculous power, however, emerged in the 1970s, when a monstrous villain demanded to fight him, just as Clark Kent was meant to be reading the news on live television. What did he do? He grabbed one of his colleagues and used "super-hypnotism" to make the guy think that he was Clark Kent. The hapless guy then put on his glasses and read the news, while Superman went out and battled the monster. Presumably, all the TV viewers were fooled as well. Comic-book readers, however, must surely have known that they were witnessing one of the biggest rip-offs in comic-book history.

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