Per Michael Barnett’s entertaining documentary, “Superheroes,” a handful of people exist who believe that local police either aren’t doing their job, too corrupt to do their job or can’t do their job to the fullest needs of the neighborhood. These costumed citizens are profiled.
Among them are …
• Mr. Xtreme, a chubby, slovenly guy who conducts his “research” by watching episodes of “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” and reading comic books;
• T.S.A.F. (that stands for The Silenced and Forgotten, but neither rolls off the tongue), a female fighter;
• Master Legend, who preaches the word of the Lord when not fighting crime;
• The Conundrum, who sadly just looks like a full-body purple condom. With built-in goggles.
Some are even part of Justice League-esque groups. One such team is the New York Initiative, whose members unfortunately look absolutely frightening, like a slighty toned-down GWAR.
The police don’t like the idea of these would-be superheroes (“Good things rarely happen”). Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee doesn’t like the idea, either. And the wife of one Zetaman doesn’t like it at all … so she joined him on his nocturnal missions, under the guise of Apocalypse Meow.
I’m reminded of the beret-wearing Curtis Silva and his Guardian Angels, who were media darlings of the 1980s for combating violence amid New York City subways and streets. These guys have the same desire to rid their respective ’hoods of filth, only it’s hard for them to be taken seriously — both in real life and by viewers — because they look like Comic-Con attendees (and are mistaken as such in one scene).
Just when you think the film is going to paint them as losers, Barnett shows them committing an act truly noble: feeding the homeless. Finally, these “Superheroes” are shown doing goodwill … while looking like goofballs. —Rod Lott