There’s something particularly enjoyable about the awkward superhero equivalents of our favorite, otherwise unheroic TV characters. These alter egos’ bizarre get-ups and peculiar antics are often so far removed from their shows’ realities that we can’t help but chuckle. But, then again — why wouldn’t Conan O’Brien’s tall, beefy superhero cartoon use an oven mitt and a jai alai glove to save a school bus? And of course Jack Donaghy’s animated superhero self would use his powers to taunt a nine-year-old Brian Williams. Regardless of the strange “gifts” these TV characters might instill in their fictional superhuman equivalents, we’d still feel safe with Super Ray or the occasional Quailman patrolling our neighborhood. Check out some makeshift masks, capes, kitchenware, and tighty-whiteys after the jump.
The Flaming C, Conan
What do you get when you throw some fishnets, loafers, old-man socks, and a belt with a BlackBerry pocket on a redhead with super powers? That’s right, a Conan O’Brien superhero. Otherwise known as “The Flaming C,” this alter ego has appeared in a series of awesome cartoon shorts on Conan’s show and has even teased us with false promises of a feature film. Alas, that will never happen, but seriously — how enticing is that trailer?
In an animated sequence from Community, Dean Pelton is hit by a truck full of toxic waste only to emerge as Mega-Dean, ultimate spewer of hot lava and shooter of lethal rainbows. After killing every member of the study group with his newly acquired powers, we learn a secret from the Dean’s cartoon heaven — that Jeff Winger probably has a crush on Pelton and his wonderful outfits. Who knew? Honorable (but slightly unsuitable) mention: Abed as The Cape.
Who comes from the Thicket of Solitude, answers to the Quail Call, and strives to keep crime (or mostly just Roger Klotz) off the streets of Bluffington? Quailman, of course, Doug Funnie’s superhero alter ego. The Patti Mayonnaises of the world can rest soundly knowing that Quailman and his trusty Quaildog are always there to help.
Super Ray, Bored to Death
Ray Hueston has quite the alter ego with quite the story of how he came to be. The infamous Bored to Death superhero, Super Ray, found his powers after becoming ill with food poisoning, falling through a subway grate, and hitting his, er — Ray Jr. on the third rail. Naturally, Super Ray has super breath, super strength, and the ability to fight with — yup, his enlarged penis.
Bartman, The Simpsons
Unlike the rest of these superheros, Bartman has a rap song and a dance all to himself. Remember when Julian Casablancas sang about it in a Lonely Island song? He’s sort of a big deal. Anyway, according to Bartman legend, the superhero came to be after Bart’s parents were murdered by a guy with a snake tattoo. Armed with the overwhelming need to take revenge on his parents’ killer, Bart became Bartman, impaled his target, and lived happily ever after with his “zillions of dollars” and no parents to tell him what to do.
Jack Donaghy, Executive Superhero, 30 Rock
In several online animated shorts, we’re privy to the superhuman antics of Jack Donaghy, Executive Superhero. Rather than using his super powers in the business world, Jack prefers to save them for the little things, like stealing soft-serve ice cream from Brian Williams.
Princess Valhalla Hawkwind, United States of Tara
In United States of Tara, Kate borrows a hilarious alter ego from her friend’s comic book, Princess Valhalla Hawkwind, which can actually be downloaded at the superheroine’s very own website. Princess Valhalla enjoys kicking ass, revenge, hawk powers, and stuffed ponies — it’s all highlighted in her high-budget music video.
The Coon, South Park
Next time you think there might be a raccoon lurking in your yard, have no fear — it’s probably just the Coon coming to save you from Mysterion or Justin Bieber. Despite his endless efforts as both a superhero and villain, the Coon never truly garners the respect he desires. Poor Cartman.
After receiving super powers from a “computer bug,” 16-year-old Dexter Douglas could transform into Freakazoid, a strong, moral, easily distracted superhero. This flaky, ’90s do-gooder was created by Steven Spielberg and Bruce Timm, the animator who helped Conan with the Flaming C.
Green Man, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
For our last TV superhero, we’re going to go with Green Man from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. He might be more of a cultural icon than a real superhero, but his dance moves are pretty powerful, if you ask us.