***I realize that I shouldn’t have to state this, but just in case: PLEASE, don’t try any of this at home. Or at all. This article is full of TERRIBLE IDEAS. Always be safe and sensible when attempting ridiculous scientific experiments!***
You’ve always wanted a Superbeing of your very own. You’ve dreamed of having someone who always has your back, flying in just as you’re about to be set upon by the town bullies, striking a magnificent pose behind you and sending them scrambling for the nearest cover. You’ve dreamed of turning the basement into a secret laboratory where you and your super BFF can create whatever your little hearts and minds can imagine.
There’s one issue, though. Superbeings are in short supply, and though they’re usually created in a giant fireball of expensive corporate research and development buildings, you just don’t have the kind of funds to replicate those variables.
Instead of throwing in the towel and chalking it up as a lost cause, you’ve doubled down. You’ve done your research. You’ve seen the films, you’ve read the comics, and now you’re ready to tackle the task of building your own Superbeing on a budget. And we’re here to help, with a simple, step-by-step guide to making that dream a reality.
Step 1: Location, location, location
You’re going to need somewhere to ‘set up shop’, as it were. In the absence of a private or government-funded laboratory, a basement, attic, garage, or garden shed will work just fine. Abandoned buildings are also a good bet if you are located in a highly urbanized area. Wherever you choose, just be sure it has inadequate ventilation, a sporadic electrical connection (or one that can be pilfered via an old, wildly unsafe extension cord), and is somehow inaccessible from any direction other than the main door, which has far more locks on it than could be necessary.
Step 2: Setup
This can be a fun treasure hunt. You’ll need to source all the sciencey-looking paraphernalia you can get your hands on. Try raiding your batty grandmother’s kitchen cabinets, second-hand shops, the back of the garage where your dad stores all the projects he’s ‘absolutely going to pick up again someday, Abigail, if you’d just stop nagging’, or the dumpster behind the big government lab that you’re not going to get to use for your project. Another good source is the dumpster behind the local pet store—the one with the giant fish section—or the hydroponics shop out by the freeway. You’re likely to find used plastic tubing there, and possibly a few other interesting items.
Once you have your supplies, go ahead and put them together in the most awkward and convoluted configuration possible. Go wild with this. The more it looks like barely controlled chaos, the better. If you can, try to source a few Bunsen burners—just go ahead and throw those under whatever looks least likely to shatter when exposed to high heat. If you can’t find used Bunsen burners from the middle school science department and your dad isn’t keen on letting you borrow the propane tank from the gas grill, no worries. You’ll want to borrow the camp stove from the stack of camping gear your family hasn’t used since 19-diggty-doo, and maybe swipe a few space heaters from the main house. Alternately, you should be able to get old hotplates or flat griddles at garage sales, and if your space has a radiator, that’ll work, too!
Step 3: The formula for your Superbeing
As if the first two steps weren’t fun enough, this part is even more fun! It’s time to collect the pieces of your formula for your own, personalized Superbeing. You’re going to need a whole bunch of chemicals to run through that delightful maze of a plastic-tube-connected, glass-and-metal vessels, heated with random elements and random temperatures, and powered by a sparking electrical source chemistry set of doom. A good place to start looking for your chemical components is underneath the kitchen sink, or wherever cleaning supplies are stored in your house. If you live in an apartment building and can access the janitor’s closet (by whatever means available, just please don’t tell us,) you should be able to get your hands on some industrial-strength stuff, usually in quantity. Another good source is the garage or shed. Weed killers, insecticides, a little gas from the lawn mower…it’s all good.
You’ll want to start thinking about just what sort of Superbeing you’re trying to concoct at this point so that you can tailor your formula. If you want your Superbeing to have some sort of aquatic properties, you might want to revisit the dumpster behind the pet store. If you want it to have electrical powers, chuck some light bulbs in there. Want them to be invulnerable? In goes the first aid kit from the trunk of the car. Get creative. This is your Superbeing, after all.
Step 4: A body
While it goes against our policy to tell you exactly how to obtain an appropriate physical vessel to pump your Superbeing concoction through, we can give you some hints. Take a walk in the woods with a friend. Follow a hearse. Dumpster. Behind. The pet store.
Step 5: Animation
If you’re feeling particularly Dr. Frankenstein-ish, set up an umbrella with the fabric removed on the roof of your lair and wait for the next electrical storm. Otherwise, you can pump your formula for the perfect Superbeing through your…erm…body-obtained-by-means-unknown in its liquid form, or create a scenario whereby it gets dropped into a vat where the formula is sitting at a rolling boil, or you can even incinerate the whole lab! The choice is all yours.
Congratulations! You’ve created your very own Superbeing—at a fraction of the cost!