Literature / Super Folks
is a 1977 book by Robert Mayer, parodying the Super Hero
genre in general with a middle-aged, retired superhero. The plot follows David Brinkley
, once a superhero eerily similar to Superman
, who lost his powers and settled down to be cynical, jaded and world-weary
. A resurgence in crime causes him to come out of retirement and try being a superhero once more.
Lots of gratuitous cameos ensue.
This book provides examples of:
- Ambiguous Gender: Subverted with Peter Pan, who is almost always referred to as a male, until the ending, when Brinkley considers whether or not he may be a girl. The issue is never really addressed, and written off as wishful thinking.
- Brother-Sister Incest: Between Captain and Mary Mantra, resulting in the birth of Demoniac.
- The Cameo: This book's got everyone, from Kojak to Peter Pan to Elmer Fudd. But the ultimate example of a character who appears, onscreen, and has no place in the story except for shits and giggles, is Holden Caulfield. The book is even quoted when describing him!
- Captain Ersatz: All over the place.
- The hero himself = Superman.
- Captain Mantra = Captain Marvel
- Mary Mantra = Mary Marvel
- Elastic Man = Plastic Man
- Demoniac = Black Adam/Captain Marvel, Jr.
- Pxyzsyzygy = Mr. Mxyzptlk
- Also, numerous characters who are mentioned but don't appear resemble classic Superman villains, if only in name. These include Logar, the mad scientist (Lex Luthor), Oreo (Bizarro) and numerous others.
- Everybody's Dead, Dave: The book starts off listing superheroes and how they died. Superman? Kryptonite meteor landed on Metropolis. Batman and Robin? Batmobile crashed into a bus. The Lone Ranger? Shot in the back after Tanto joined the "Red Power movement". The Marvel family? Struck by lightning. Only Wonder Woman's still alive, and no one really likes her anymore. Even Snoopy: shot down by the Red Baron and missing in action over France.
- Extended by the fact that the hero's name is David, so the line could actually have been said to him.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: In a World... where Batman, Peter Pan and Porky Pig can coexist, there can be only one explanation...
- Going Commando: The Lois Lane expy does it; giving those on the ground quite a show when her skirt turns into an Improvised Parachute.
- Hotter and Sexier: The book deals greatly with David Brinkley's sexual experiences and how his powers contributed to them. While the source material has gotten increasingly Hotter and Sexier over the years, never have they gone this in-depth...
- Improvised Parachute/Parachute Petticoat: The skirt of a female character acts as one when she is thrown off a skyscraper.
- Jaded Washout: David Brinkley, who was practically Superman before settling down.
- Power Perversion Potential: Whenever David uses his "Gamma-eye vision" for the "wrong purpose", he is punished immediately by tripping or bumping into something. His high school yearbook picture was labelled clumsiest boy in class.
- Really Gets Around: David's boyhood crush turns into a superhero prostitute. More than Anything That Moves, she seems to opt for Anything That Shoots Lazer Beams Out Of Its Eyes.
- Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Snoopy
- Sleeps with Everyone but You: David's boyhood crush and former next-door neighbor turns out to have become a superhero groupie, sleeping with every known superhero, including Superman, Batman and Robin (at the same time!), and is implied to have particularly enjoyed her time with Wonder Woman. David alone has never slept with her, and feels left out.
- You Know the One: To avoid saying the hero's codename.