Sometimes, on dark days when life seems to be spinning out of my hands, I feel the lack of a really useful masked crusader. Someone like Superman makes for good entertainment, but would be of no use to me; in an ideal world, superheroes would have powers perfectly adapted to our specific needs. Here are some superpeople I’d like to have on my side.
WANDERWOMAN: Muscled beauty descended from a line of matriarchal recovery agents. Flies around throttling parking lot attendants until they give you five bucks change for your tenner, and say sorry for arguing about it. Superslogan: Talk to the hand.
SCOOPERMAN: Gloved garbage vigilante whose tiny planet was disastrously bumped off course by a coke can tossed out of the space shuttle. Turns chronic insomnia to productive use by cleaning houses by night. Can’t sleep during the day either, so spends it hunting down people who throw stuff out of moving cars and hanging them off buildings by their ankles. Superweapon: Hoover.
BAHTMAN: A caped, free-ranging globalist who makes world currencies available to Indian travellers in any quantity without the whole Thomas Cook, RBI cap hassle. Has worked to improve the informal tourism sector ever since he watched his parents get mugged and murdered by a would-be traveller low on Euros. Stands on street corners buying high, selling cheap. Superlogo: Imbalanced scale with smiley face.
SNIDERMAN: Detects increased levels of rage or humiliation in people who will only think up a good comeback the next day. Speeds to their side and delivers withering repartee on the spot. Supermotto: Take that.
LADIESMAN: Comes over with lots of booze, listens, commiserates, and encourages you to lie back and watch chick flick DVDs while he presses your feet and does the laundry. Superpower: He’s supersensitive. Sometimes works as a team with TOYBOY, though the latter is very busy.
SUPEREGO: Clones your body and takes on any duties your id doesn’t want you to, including social obligations. Attends weddings, family dinners and office meetings on your behalf and nobody is any the wiser, except that you seem engaged and charming instead of restless and bored. Superperk: Will also handle any apologies you owe but can’t bear to make.
HANDYMAN: Cannot ignore a distress call or postpone a response, because when his home planet was destroyed by seepage, his elders left him a note warning against the dangers of procrastination. Has the ability to be in several places at one time and can turn parts of his body into any kind of mechanical tool. Diagnoses problems accurately and produces replacement parts whether or not the markets are closed. Superjingle: …And it stays fixed!
METAMORPH: A nebulous creature who will fill out any form, and fast. A sort of supersecretary who travels from pillar to post faster than a speeding bullet. Processes all paperwork, stand tirelessly in queues, and scares the hell out of bureaucrats. Works without being seen or heard, and files the results neatly. Supertool: Rubber stamp that shows whatever it needs to.
CIRCUIT: A live wire of a fellow who swoops down from the sky in a flash to replace fused light bulbs or repair the northern grid. Suffered the childhood trauma of seeing his motherboard melt, and cannot stand electrical sloppiness. Loves to host power lunches for the other superfolk. Nevertheless has a secret dark side: wakes in a cold sweat from a recurring nightmare in which he’s suddenly forgotten which wire goes where. Supercostume: Rubber chappals.
THE INCREDIBLE BULK: The most popular superhero of all time—he does the exercise, you lose the weight. You eat, he gets fat. Supernews: You can supersize it.