Since the 1930s, the stories of superheroes have evolved into an entire genre of fiction, dominating the American comic book, and crossing over into other media, such as television and film.
We’ve all heard of Spiderman, Batman and Wonder Woman, but what of those lesser-known superheroes, the ones that don’t get all the media attention and public accolades?
Here is a preview of Max Funt’s A Field Guide to the Lesser-Known Superheroes, due for release in early 2007.
Captain Lint looks and behaves like an ordinary human being, but has the uncanny ability of attracting lint. With a simple wave of his arm he can summon lint from a coat pocket half-a-mile away. Unfortunately, there is little call for such powers, and Captain Lint finds himself limited to cleaning jobs and carnival appearances. He is also rendered powerless by a proximity to melons.
Is it a large and clumsy bird? Is it a small and clumsy plane? No, it’s Pelicanman! Faster than a speeding cockroach. Able to leap small puddles in a single bound. Apart from his ability to fly, Pelicanman can carry large quantities of fish in his enormous mouth. Unfortunately, this makes him less than popular at superhero parties and other social gatherings. (See also Codman, Eelboy and Slugwoman.)
The Pointer is fearless. He will point at anything – shark, bear, tiger, moose. Once, on assignment in the wilds of Siberia, this brave superhero pointed at several thousand trees, sixty-five rabbits, fifteen peasants and a badger. The Pointer is renown for his commitment to duty, in fact, it is said that he even points in his spare time.
When Trudy Ball was a baby she swallowed an experimental radio transmitter. Miraculously, she escaped serious harm, but discovered that her voice had acquired superhuman qualities. She can talk non-stop for several months at a time, speak backwards in over a dozen languages, and project her voice across continents and oceans. While her super-hero duties have reduced of late, Blabbergirl has acquired a steady job on breakfast radio.
The Invisible Chair
In the blink of an eye, this chair can make itself invisible. A frustrating addition to any game of musical chairs and a comical party piece, although its status as a super-hero has been debated.
A childhood accident left Stan Ovary with a bizarre and unique gift – the ability to fold napkins at the speed of light. His powers are highly sought by caterers and wedding planners. Unfortunately, this is the only activity with which he has even a semblance of coordination, as even a simple walk confounds poor Stan. (See also Poodleman, Tulipboy and Bubblegirl.)
The Woman with Three Eyebrows
Strange, but true. This woman has two eyes, but three eyebrows, the third hidden on the back of her head, disguised by surrounding hair. The Woman with Three Eyebrows is a skilled vegetable peeler, adept at sharpening pencils and can nearly count to twelve.
At an early age, Garth Diddle learned he had the ability to create puddles by simply dribbling water out of his mouth. He then learned to make puddles by pouring liquid directly onto the ground. While the use for such a talent in fighting crime is debatable, Puddleboy has developed quite a following among taxidermists and stamp collectors.
The result of a bizarre accident in a nuclear power station, the Atomic Artichoke was granted strange and unique powers. Unlike an ordinary artichoke, this vegetable can sing, play the ukelele and talk to cows. Unfortunately, it was not given the power of sight, and can only move around with the aid of a seeing-eye dog.
By day, he is known as Mighty Man, a being with superhuman powers of strength and speed. But at night, Mighty Man transforms into the extraordinarily ordinary Craig. He can walk almost 5 kilometres in one night, lift heavy bags, and draw circles and squares quite quickly. The only things that can stop Craig are a locked door, a length of rope or a pointed stick.
Howard the Nose
While working in a uranium mine, Howard Bent accidentally inserted a piece of radioactive material into his left nostril. Howard was left with a mild stutter and unable to father children, but has the ability to produce large quantities of radioactive mucus. (See also Gelignite Judy, The Leg and The Human Dumpling.)
The Bionic Sausage
After an incident involving a jet liner and packet of chewing gum, this sausage was considered all but lost. However, a team of surgeons and scientists were able to recover some of its remains, and created bionic replacements for the missing pieces. The result is the most powerful sausage in the history of the planet, able to withstand the hottest barbecue plate and the spiciest Tabasco sauce.
This superhero’s career was cut short when, having transformed into an oatmeal cookie, Biscuitman was eaten by a goat. (See also Broccoligirl, Mr Sandwich and Captain Cheddar.)