Tony has the powers of a Pumaman not a Puma Man.Basically the Alien Aztec Gods are actually called Pumamen and the powers the Puma Man has (teleportation, awkward flying and faking being dead) are the abilities any member of said alien race has. So the Puma Man being related at all to the big cat of the same name is the result of some severe miscommunication awhile back.
Vadinho is the real hero.No, this is not just stating the obvious. From the very beginning, Vadinho was planning on taking down the evil Kobras. However, he had to be cautious, being a lone agent against an entire organization of unknown numbers and strength. So to learn more about them, and allay suspicion away from him while he planned, he created some bogus story about a line of demigods called "Puma Men," who could stop them. It worked, and the Kobras got busy searching for this fabled "hero." Now all Vadinho needed to do was create this hero to make the lie "true," and give Dr. Kobras something to keep his attention on. He chose the random American schmuck, Tony, for this; he seemed as good a candidate as any. So, all of Tony's superpowers? All of them were Vadinho's doing, using ancient Aztec magic to make it seem like Tony could fly, use "puma claws," and all that other stuff. His technique was so effective that Tony came to believe himself that he had superpowers! With his Unwitting Pawn now in play, and Kobras hot on his trail, Vadinho was able to see just what they could do without putting himself in any danger. Though Tony was ineffective against them, it proved to Vadinho that the organization were really a bunch of pansies, even with the Mind Control mask in possession, and so he went to work kicking ass and taking names on them once he no longer needed Tony. So, in the end, Vadinho can be a bit manipulative, but there's no arguing with results; he took down Kobras, destroyed the mask, and saved the world. (Admittedly, he also got a few innocent Puma Man candidates killed along the way...)
- How long was Vadinho give Tony the power to "sense danger" or see in the dark, powers that be possessed way before they met each other?
- Tony's father, who really was a great and heroic Pumaman, saw early on that his son was a wuss. So, he conferred with Vadinho (who's much older than he looks) and got his help in setting up those powers early on. Then, he gave Vadinho permission to do the rest on the grounds of, "Sure, my kid is a loser, but at least he'll have the chance to do something semi-useful with his life, if only by proxy." So, the theory holds, except that Tony wasn't some random American schmuck; he was a specifically-chosen American schmuck.
- This theory does explain how Tony never noticed he had super strength until being told, despite having been in fights in-costume by that point.
The mask wasn't really made by the gods/aliens.It was made by a splinter group or other folks. This explains why they could make such a mask and believe every man is free. Or maybe that creed came about because of the mask.
- Perhaps the opening scene gives a clue. The weird Space Aztecs leave the mask at not-quite-Stonehenge, the booming alien guy voice goes "....with this mask, I'll always be with you....". The mask itself is a stand-in for the Great God Puma. In other words, the mask is the god by proxy so his guidance & powers can remain on Earth. The mind-control thing is really just misusing the god-powers of the mask rather than the sole chief function. Puma Man is the Protector of the Mask (Puma's stand-in on Earth). Kobras basically took control of the Puma god (in a way). This is one reason why the Gods couldn't just swoop down & do everything themselves, they were compromised & could only help from afar.
Vadinho is an Aztec but he does not practice the Aztec religion nor live in the Aztec homelandAn equivalent would be an Englishman who lives in Morocco and practices Tibetan Buddhism.......Of course a better explanation could be that the writer's noggins were filled with gelato.
The film's true legacyLet's see here. You've got this big dude with a lantern jaw, flowing hair, and an obsession with belts. A "superhero" with a hideous costume and all the personality of an unflavored crouton, and isn't even the star of his own story. The "hero's" "love interest" who thinks ludicrous high-heel boots and S&M gear are casual wear. Goofy, disconnected action scenes that go on far too long and then just stop. Powers, plot elements, and (at least in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version) characters who just appear when needed. A storyline around infiltrating the stronghold of a super villain bent on world domination because reasons. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Rob Liefeld's favorite childhood film!