Welcome back to the only show featuring men in hosiery that you can watch with the whole family, Who Wants to Be a Superhero! I must thank my X-Mods colleague Speedbump for having my back last week, as I got into a bit of a situation involving floodgates and a kelp monster. Nonetheless, I am back and completely prepared for the task at hand—it’s time to be ignored by people reading Big Brother!
Six Flags over YOUR DOOM
It’s 6:04 in the morning. No one should be up at this time of day, and if they are, they are almost certainly up to no good. Indeed, we see some grainy security camera footage of a black, robed figure skulking about an amusement park . . . and I don’t think he’s there for our amusement! Shortly, the superheroes are awoken by sirens, flashing red lights, and your typical “ALERT” trappings. That’s right, the nefarious villain, Dr. Dark, whom none of us have heard of before, is on the loose, and the superheroes must investigate!
As they approach the amusement park, Mr. Mitzvah starts turning green around the gills at the very sight of the rollercoasters. You know, I don’t blame him. I was on one that, upon going upside down, slammed me back into the metal seat and turned my spine into a 90° angle (hence, my short stint as Protractor Man). Another time, at the Denver Six Flags, I went on the then-new “Superman” rollercoaster, but the safety harness was made for a person with about three times my girth. Had it not been for my “super” white-knuckle grip, I think I would have flown out of the ride altogether, faster than a speeding bullet, and probably landed somewhere near Aspen.
When they arrive, they are greeted via monitor by Stan Lee, but the connection is quickly highjacked by Dr. Dark (I hope, for their sake, that Dr. Dark’s neighbors don’t have wireless internet), and the heroes are face-to-face with their nemesis. Sort of.
Dr. Dark cackles, calling them “super-zeroes.” OOH, BURN. He reveals that he is inside the park, locked inside the back of a moving truck—an interesting approach. To face him, the heroes must divide into teams of two. One will ride the rollercoaster of doom, but while riding, they must keep their eyes open for four colored tiles. There are poles throughout the park, which correspond to the colors of the tiles, and the second hero must run, find these poles, and take a number from them. Finally, both must go to the truck and open one of the four combination locks. When all four teams complete these steps, they will, assumedly, meet Dr. Dark face-to-face.
So . . . why would you let him out, anyway? He’s soundly locked in a truck, off the street, not giving heroin to preschoolers. . . . You could just drive away with him and the Legion of Doom would be none the wiser. From this current M.O., however, I doubt they would miss Dr. Dark, anyway, and I bet no one talks to him at the evil villain Christmas parties over at the Kingpin’s place.
Anyway, it’s all very complicated, and I can only imagine that when Dr. Dark last broke out of prison, a Survivor cast was in on the job. Oh, and the heroes must be careful within their teams, because if they don’t perform well, they’ll look more like a sidekick.
The teams divide as such:
Hyper-Strike and Mr. Mitzvah: Mr. Mitzvah says he’s the fastest runner around—possibly the fastest on the planet. Hey, I think Magneto did eventually do in Quicksilver, so this could very well be true. Hyper-Strike also likes rollercoasters, so this should work well.
Hygena and Ms. Limelight: Hygena will be riding the rollercoaster, but Limelight is actually so afraid of the rollercoaster that she successfully freaks out Hygena about it, too.
Defuser and Whip-Snap: Whip-Snap is also afraid of the rollercoaster, so she agrees to run. Defuser used to like rollercoasters, but since he’s now such a jolly old man, he fears he’s going to be sick.
Parthenon and Basura: Team counter-culture, I guess. They’re going to play nice and take turns.
I repeat myself when under stress I repeat myself when under stress I repeat myself when under stress I repeat myself when under stress I repeat
It seems as though Hyper-Strike and Mr. Mitzvah are going to start out well, but . . . oy! Mr. Mitzvah quickly injures his leg! He says he’ll help Hyper-Strike out, but quickly amends, “With my eyes! My eyes!” So, he won’t be riding the rollercoaster. I fear this absence of chutzpah will not help his case come elimination-time. Nevertheless, they soon get all four colors and set off to find the poles.
Basura and Parthenon are also off to a good start, with Basura noticing several tiles and Parthenon shimmying off to collect in his shiny, golden tights. However, she trades off with Parthenon after a few passes, which doesn’t seem like a huge deal to me, but apparently it wasted time. Maybe with the lame speech about limb safety that the teenager with the “on” lever gives you after you get strapped in? I don’t know. They collect all of their numbers and set off, but are beset by a wild pack of tourists! Not wanting to be rude, they agree to take a couple pictures and hurry off to the truck.
Tragedy also befalls Whip-Snap when she is ambushed by a bout of asthma after running. Luckily, she always carries her super-inhaler, and I have to say that it’s nice to see someone on TV using an inhaler correctly, if just for once. Shortly thereafter, she screams encouragement to Defuser as frighteningly as possible.
Ms. Limelight and Hygena, in the meantime, are not doing so well. Limelight gets hopelessly lost while searching for the poles, annoying everyone greatly. Ultimately, Limelight agrees to ride the rollercoaster when Hygena’s motion sickness starts acting up. I’m pretty close to actually commending her for it, but she starts tittering, “I can’t react, I can’t react, I can’t react,” as the carts begin to take off. She just weirds me out, frankly, and I think I’m going to start calling her “Ms. Lime.”
Anyway, after all these misadventures, the heroes all arrive at the truck, regardless of whether they have all their numbers or not (cough-cough-Hygena and Lime-cough). Luckily, they have Parthenon, who puts his edumactaional background to good use and deduces that all the locks will be some combination of these same four numbers.
The locks are cracked, the chains are cast aside in a manner that would make Evangelicals swoon, and the heroes are faced with . . . another monitor! Oh, that dastardly, devious, Dr. Dark. He’s always three steps ahead of you. However, the heroes’ horror only grows when they learn that Dr. Dark knows the location of their headquarters!
The Merchant of Venice by Stan Lee
Returning to their base, the heroes find a note nailed to the door. It is not ninety-nine theses against the Catholic Church, but, rather, a memo “From the Desk of Dr. Dark,” which hints that one of them might make a better henchman than a superhero. Oh no! Could there be a mole!?
Terrible pests, moles—if they’re not digging up your gardens, they’re leaking classified information to the Reds. The heroes agree that, since someone might not be here for the right reasons, the best course of action would be to sit down and share “why we’re here.” They go around the room, sharing their ideas and learning just a little more about themselves and others. Just before I raised my remote control to check if I had accidentally switched to the Hallmark Channel, all eyes turn on Mr. Mitzvah, the proclaimed loner. He says that he stands for learning from the past, because perhaps, then, we can find a better future. Mystical, Israeli-tinged pipe music plays in the background, but Defuser is not convinced. After Mitzvah leaves the room, Defuser says that Mitzvah’s “silence speaks volumes.” Maybe, but doesn’t “Oy!” speak even more?
Stan zaps back onto the monitor, instructing the heroes to fill out mission reports and send them to him via their new super-mission-report-computer-consoles. Ms. Lime giggles that she’s very honest, and her honesty has lost her a lot of friends. Like, she has no friends because of it! Tee hee! Whether she’s channeling the restless spirit of Mindset or this is just an eerie similarity, well . . . it’s like a bizarre looking-glass reflection of the fall of Mindset last week.
Meanwhile, Defuser is still convinced that something’s not so kosher (give me a break, it had to appear eventually) about Mr. Mitzvah. Yes, Defuser believes him to be “mysterious, deceptive, and vague.” Whoa! This is awesome! We just have to hit upon the “rich” and “big nose” and I think we’ll have checked off all the stereotypes we need to hit upon. Defuser gathers everyone together to decide the fate of the treacherous Rosenberg, er, Mr. Mitzvah.
Parthenon, however, is not getting caught up in all this übermensch hysteria. On top of his belief in the golden pantaloons, he also believes in the golden rule and disapproves of talking behind Mr. Mitzvah’s back. Mr. Mitzvah returns, he is greeted by a proper grilling from nearly everyone, and Hyper-Strike shakes his head, feeling really bad for his comrade in the hot seat.
Gefilte Fish, with a Hint of Lime
Shortly thereafter, the heroes receive the summary of their mission reports:
- Everyone felt they could have personally done better
- Two felt let down by their partners
- Whip-Snap and Mr. Mitzvah are believed to be better sidekicks than heroes
- Parthenon, Hyper-Strike, Mr. Mitzvah, and Basura are all accused of being the mole
Well, look on the bright side! If you’re accused of being the mole, you’re probably pretty awesome.
At the rooftop elimination, Stan reiterates the values of honesty, integrity, and courage that he’s looking for and delivers the shocking news regarding the mole. The mole is . . . NO ONE! That’s right, Mr. Cohn, there is no mole. It was all the work of Dr. Dark, planting the dark seeds of dark deception and causing dissent within the ranks. Everyone has a good chuckle about it, but who knows if the scars will ever heal.
- Defuser – You took charge, once again. Shame it was taking charge in the persecution of der Jude!
- Hygena – You saw through the lies of Dr. Dark and pointed out that he was the only enemy the heroes had for sure.
- Basura – You did a “competent” job on the mission, but stopped to take pictures with the fans and stopped riding the rollercoaster to rest. A true superhero would never go into a mission seeking glory when there’s danger at hand.
- Parthenon – You also stopped for the pictures, but you were a decent person in defending Mr. Mitzvah.
- Ms. Lime – You got lost in Six Flags, and there wasn’t even a huge crowd and that horrible, “second coming of the corn-dog” smell to disorient you!
- Mr. Mitzvah – You aren’t facing up to your fears. You covered your eyes in the bee tank last week and refused to ride the rollercoaster this week.
- Hyper-Strike – You didn’t put a gun up to Mr. Mitzvah’s head and force him to ride the rollercoaster. Ergo, you’re not . . . stepping up and being a leader?
- Whip-Snap – You also didn’t face your fear on the rollercoaster, and you were singled out as “sidekick” material.
Not too surprisingly, Mr. Mitzvah, Basura, and Ms. Lime are brought forth on the red boxes of high anxiety. As their defenses, Basura says she wants to continue being a role model, Mr. Mitzvah points out that he hobbled on to the finish line with his pulled hamstring, and Lime babbles about being open to suggestions and all that tripe. Eh, I guess one does have to commend her for riding the rollercoaster, all verbal wankery aside.
“There’s a lot to find fault with tonight,” frowns Stan Lee. But, the person going home is . . . Mr. Mitzvah. Oy, I’m all verklempt! But, that’s not all. Just as the heroes are getting off the boxes, Stan tells them to get back up. The evening isn’t over yet! Because Hyper-Strike’s apparent passiveness cost Mr. Mitzvah his cape, he is also called up to join Basura and Ms. Lime on the red boxes. Whoa, snap!
There will be a second hero leaving tonight, and it is . . . Ms. Limelight! Stan says that this is the hardest decision he’s had to make, as Lime has blossomed, but cracked under pressure too many times.
Well, goodness—this was an eventful evening, and I’m not sure how much more tension and adversity they could have thrown at the heroes in one night. Oh, wait . . . they return to their rooms to find the place trashed and their secret identities stolen. Right. Is this the work of Dr. Dark? Bee Sting? Or some other no-goodnik? (Best Boy or Key Grip, maybe?) And what has become of Stan Lee’s first pencil!? I guess we’ll have no choice but to tune in next week!