In comedy, there is an unwritten rule that allows anything to be subject to parody. Superheroes, whether in film, TV or comicbooks, are no exception to the titan-like strength of critique, particularly since the formulas that make up the mythos are so easily exploitable. This can lead to a wide range of comedic landings, such as intelligently dissecting or intentionally overt.
Examples in the realm of comicbooks include Not Brand Echh and mascot Forbush Man, who will be experiencing a revival in the Marvel Legacy initiative in the coming months. One also cannot forget DC’s own anti-hero biker behemoth, Lobo. Initially created as an interstellar villain in the 80s, his character fell out of favor with readers until his true resurgence in the 90s where hardened grit was the leading trend. Even the most recent incarnation of the alien biker in 2013’s Justice League Vol.2 tackles the more serious, over-polished nature of the newer guard.
On television, The Simpsons creator Matt Groening was unafraid to challenge the archetypal superhero affair with Radioactive Man and his sidekick Fallout Boy. And one of the most well-known critiques of spandex-bedecked, overly righteous supers was The Tick, which is currently enjoying a live-action revival on Amazon. One could go on and on about the comedic potential to capitalize on a franchise’s lack of self-awareness.
Funny or Die has taken a more wholesome approach in combining the serious storyline of the upcoming Black Panther film with a young Eddie Murphy from Coming to America in the leading role instead of Chadwick Boseman.