Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sell me a superhero!

John K had a post all about superheroes on his blog and that got me thinking about them. There was a time when superheroes were all just cheesy adventure. Then they went 'dark'. I guess The Dark Knight Returns changed everything. From then on, heroes were brooding, miserable beings who dealt with real life problems. Newer heroes were born who took this further and many amounted to some bitter guy with a gun.

So heroes changed from what kids aspired to be - something totally extraordinary - to what they thought they were - miserable alienated outcasts. Because teenagers are an awkward bunch. They think they're miserable and bitter but, truth is, they haven't earned it. They're not old enough to have anything to be miserable about. But, man, when it comes to selling comics to suckers, these sad sacks will lap it up.

On a side note, I think the 'dark' thing helped reassure the adult comic buyers that they were more serious and not in fact the embarrassment they once were. As someone who is into cartoons, I have no right to judge. And yet, I do.

So I thought - if I was to make a superhero to sell to this demographic, who would it be? Not a superhero I thought was cool, but one that was marketable to the Lavinge-buying public and their dodgy fathers.

And so Miserable Androgynous Little Shit Man was born!

Here's the story -

Mild-mannered millionaire scientist, Randall Randallson, was busy looking through a microscope, as scientists are known to do.

Unknown to Randall, someone had infiltrated his lab. A miserable androgynous little shit! Yes, some moany teenager who thought his life sucked, spent all morning doing his make-up and making sure his clothes matched all his friends' 100% and yet considered himself totally unique and didn't want to be judged by his appearance had wandered into the lab. But this wasn't just any miserable androgynous little shit.

No, this was a radioactive miserable androgynous little shit.

Randall was too engrossed in his work to notice. That is, until he was bitten! The little shit had bitten Randall's arm! Suddenly Randall began to change. He spent several hours dying and doing his hair. He spent just a few more minutes doing his eye-liner. He found out what all his friends were listening to and made sure he had the exact same music on his super-pink iPod. He grew big muscles and a chin (because that's super). He became uncomfortably bisexual. And then... the whining began.

And so was born Miserable Androgynous Little Shit Man! Once an ordinary scientist, Randall Randallson was now gifted with the powers of a miserable androgynous little shit.

Oh and he got a sidekick - Emo-Teddy (look, he's all broken, just like the poor teenagers, how totally original and cool - nobody understands him). He's probably got a gun too.

If you're wondering why he's not wearing pants, well, superheroes wear their undies on the outside and what more efficient way to do that could there be than simply not putting on pants? Also, it means there's a space for branding. If anyone wants to advertise on MALS Man's legs, he has no problem whoring himself out.

So there's my superhero. What do you think? Have I got a market? I think kids could totally relate to him.

If you had to sell a superhero, who would he (or she) be? Do me a superhero!


Toole said...

When they put these plausible tragedies behind the heroes, then the hero stuff, like batmans suit and grappling hook, seems totally incongruous. I got out of prison and it's like a real action movie, my city is in peril from plausible mafia stuff. It's time to don a bat suit and use unwieldy weapons and not kill anyone.

Adam H said...

And once MALS Man is a huge hit, you can make "cute-but-dark" plushy Emo-Teddys to sell at places like hot topic for the dumpy emo girls to buy.

Mr. Trombley said...

Dear Sir,

"Millionaire Scientist"! What wacky thing will you think of next?

Now we all know that a superhero is made by their villains (which is why a Hulk movie will never work). So why make you a superhero, when I can think of people who can fight Miserable Androgynous Little Shit Man (or MALSM)?

Some ideas:

The Randallsons - They want Dr. Randallson('s money) back. If MALSM gets hurt in the process, fine. MALSM angsts that his family hate him.

Nyarlathotep - A humanoid avatar of Lovecraft's horrors (opposite of MALSM by being genuinely unique but full of nihilistic thrill)

Kirby - anarchist savior of Pop Star, Dreamland, etc. (opposite of MALSM by being cute, heroic, and happy)

Hitachiyama Taniemon - The Sumo Saint, because Japan is hep.

Emo Teddy - Born to fail when MALSM needs him most.

Psycho Killer - Qu'est-que c'est? An unapologetic murderer. (good examples: Rev. Harry Powell, Anton Chigurh, The Terminator)

Rasputin - An alcoholic, promiscuous, religious, evil magician. Pretty obvious really.

Andre The Giant - rules France with his posse. Posse includes: neighbor Samuel Beckett (Mr. Rousimmoff's real neighbor), a pimp named Prudent (who in real life stabbed Beckett, who dropped the charges after an apology), and the elderly Buster Keaton.

Young Adolf Hitler: Because Hitler is THE generic bad guy. He has the x over him in this picture. http://bp1.blogger.com/_7G79O88YcN0/R5a1WkjvEaI/AAAAAAAAAb4/T4k1xS3Xefc/s1600-h/Hitler_with_other_German_soldiers.jpg

Bitter Animator said...

Nice collection of villains there! I especially like the idea of him fighting Young Hitler (how come there hasn't been a Young Hitler show?).