From underwater aeroplanes to jelly that generate electricity, here’s a practical shopping list of products you could buy right now to enhance your superhero skills. You’d probably need a few million bucks and a Jay Leno sized garage, but nothing should stand in your way of your mission to serve and protect Planet Earth, right?
1. Glow in the Dark Food
Credit: Sam Howzit
When you’re busy fighting evil, you never know where your next meal’s coming from, and popping in to Chicken Cottage in your mask and cape can attract unwanted attention. Avoid the queues and take a bio-luminescent packed lunch: you’ll be able to find it in the darkest of alleyways.
Companies have started to create foods that contain artificial proteins that glow. The proteins are cloned from different species of sea life, such as jellyfish, so they illuminate naturally without an energy source. Even better, bio-luminescent sandwiches will make your mouth glow brighter than a bat signal. As an alternative, find a way of feeding your enemy some of this and you’ll be able to track the sucker down in any dark alley way.
Useful for: Superheroes on the go, who aren’t allergic to seafood.
Badass rank: 8/10 – a glowing tongue is a pretty good way to confuse the enemy.
How useful in a life or death situation?: Not much. Although it depends how hungry you are.
2. An Underwater Aeroplane
This surely has to be Sir Richard Branson’s coolest toy so far. The Necker Nymph carries three people and is designed to move like a plane underwater. It glides across the surface, diving gracefully to a depth of 130 feet and giving passengers a full panoramic view.
The Necker Nymph is available for hire, but you’ll have to have sew some deep pockets in your costume if you want to take it for a spin: it costs a cool $25,000 a week. You guys can all chip in if you want, I’ll stick with the Fiat Punto and a snorkel.
Useful for: If you’re not blessed with the skills of Aquaman, you’re gonna need one.
Badass rank: 5/10 – Looks incredible, but just think – which C list celebrity would you have to share it with?
How useful in a life or death situation?: With no current guns or defences attached, maybe not that useful yet.
3. Jelly Tech
If you like your technology with whipped cream on top, look no further than the jelly battery. Researchers have found a way to create safe liquid electrolyte batteries by making them from a rubber polymer. They’re flexible, light and cheap – the ideal power source for all your superhero gadgets.
Jelly batteries can be created in a variety of shapes and could finally provide superheroes with all the futuristic tech from the comic books – wrist communicator phones, jet packs and electric vehicles that travel at a reasonable speed.
Useful for: The energy-efficient superhero.
Badass rank: 1/10 – Jelly’s not really that badass, but we’re talking practical implications here.
How useful in a life or death situation?: It could mean your iPhone battery lasts longer than a day, and that’s useful for a superhero on the go.
4. An Uncrashable Car
Credit: Le Buzz Auto
Self-driving cars have been around for a while now, but they’re not entirely foolproof. Google’s self-driving car was reportedly being driven by a human when it caused a mini pile-up, but the fact remains that the car didn’t speak up, set off some cool flashing warning lights or sprout legs and hop to one side.
OK, we might be asking a bit much, but the fact is that self-driving cars are still potentially unsafe. Meet the EN-V: although it looks like a souped-up mobility scooter, it has a lot of potential. It can communicate with its fellow vehicles and hook up to your wireless network to ensure it doesn’t crash. Best of all, it can drive itself – a superhero dream come true. 40mph may not be fast enough to outrun Flash, though.
Useful for: Economical transport between missions.
Badass rank: 3/10 – amazing technology, but does anyone remember the Sinclair C5?
How useful in a life or death situation?: You’d save valuable time finding a parking spot.
5. The Most Powerful Laser on Earth*
(*that you can buy)
How about a laser 8,000 times brighter than the sun? We’re not walking our fellow league members through a PowerPoint presentation, gang. We’re fighting crime, and the fight against crime calls for serious lasers. The aptly named S3 Krypton is so powerful it can be seen 23 miles beyond Earth’s atmosphere – ideal for summoning interstellar backup in the heat of the moment – and would instantly blind an enemy pilot or deactivate a satellite.
This laser could actually be used to communicate with someone on the International Space Station, and it could be yours for £185. The advertisement below reassuringly refers to the presence of an instruction booklet. That’s OK then.
Useful for: Setting fire to asteroids, or something.
Badass rank: 10/10 – It’s not that useful, but it makes Dr Who’s Sonic Screwdriver look like a laser pointer.
How useful in a life or death situation?: It’s the most powerful hand-held laser on Earth. What’s not to love?
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This post has been longingly crafted by Hayley, a freelance writer working on behalf of vouchercloud.com.