Clockwise from top: Strong Man, Diaper Man, Tornado Man, Cuckoo Man, and Rope Man. The Mighty Heroes
was a lighthearted Super Hero Parody
cartoon that originally aired on CBS
in 1966, reportedly created on-the-spot by animator Ralph Bakshi
. The show featured a team of five misfit heroes — Strong Man, Cuckoo Man, Diaper Man, Rope Man and Tornado Man — protectors of the city of Good Haven. The show featured a fair amount of skewering of superhero tropes, and is seen by some as a precursor to Bakshi's work on Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures
Dell Comics published a comic about the characters in 1967; decades later, one-shots with the characters were printed by Marvel Comics
and Spotlight Comics.
Tropes for this work include:
- Badass Normal: The Junker. He has no special powers other than his mechanical ingenuity, yet he briefly won a scuffle against Diaper Man, and is one of the few villains to achieve any sort of success against the heroes in the second half of the episode.
- Blow You Away: Tornado Man, who can turn his body into a vortex to grab and throw villains.
- Brainy Baby: Diaper Man, the leader of the team.
- Butt Monkey: Each of the Heroes suffered from the ineptitude of each of their teammates at least once, but Cuckoo Man and Diaper Man in particular seemed to get the worst of it.
- Catch Phrase: During the opening AND ending of each episode, and sometimes during the episodes themselves.
- Diaper Man: "Up, and AWAY!"
- Strong Man: "Yeah HOOOOO!"
- Cuckoo Man: "Cuckoo, eh, cuckoo!"
- Tornado Man: "Wheeeeee!"
- Rope Man: "Gung HO!"
- Chained to a Railway: The Shrinker laid the tied up heroes on the rails in "The Dusters"
- Cloudcuckoolander: Cuckoo Man, appropriately enough.
- Crouching Morons, Hidden Badasses: Given how ineffective the heroes are in the first half of each episode, you'd be forgiven for forgetting that they always save the day in the end.
- Death Trap: The midway point of each episode, and right before the heroes began their comeback.
- Five-Man Band
- Felony Misdemeanor: The Time Keeper for using Cuckoo Man in his giant clock, and The Shocker for trying to take Diaper Man's bottle.
- Flying Brick: Strong Man, the Superman Expy.
- Fully Absorbed Finale: One episode of Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures (produced by Bakshi Animation) had a cameo which revealed that the Heroes had retired from super-heroics and started the chartered accounting firm of Man, Man, Man, Man and Man. It was "Heroes and Zeroes".
- Hurricane of Puns: The heroes AND the villains spouted multiple puns throughout several episodes. Rather fitting, given the show was a parody.
- Let's Get Dangerous: Any supervillain better pray his Death Trap works, because when the team breaks free and regroups in the episode's second half, nothing can stop them!
- Monster Clown/Villainous Harlequin: The Toy Man
- No Ontological Inertia: Destroying a villain's device would usually undo its effects.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Diaper Man. He's a literal baby, yet he demonstrates physical strength not far from Strong Man's.
- Power-Up Food: Both Diaper Man and Strong Man can drink from Diaper Man's milk bottle when extra strength is needed.
- Rubber Man: Rope Man, whose body is an unending length of rope.
- Even More so, the villain known as "The Stretcher"
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Rope Man.
- Shock and Awe: The Shocker, unsurprisingly.
- Something Person: All of the heroes, naturally.
- Stock Superhero Day Jobs: Averted, as the heroes' civilian jobs tend to be unglamorous positions pertaining to their powers.
- Strong Man is a mechanic.
- Rope Man is a sailor.
- Cuckoo Man runs a pet shop.
- Tornado Man is a weatherman.
- Diaper Man is a baby (natch).
- Superhero Speciation
- Superheroes Wear Capes
- Super Zeroes
- The Mighty Heroes Can Breath In Space
- Team Spirit: Pretty much the only way the heroes achieve success.
- Top-Heavy Guy: Strong Man.
- Tornado Move: Tornado Man could turn himself into a tornado. He would suck villains into his vortex and shoot them into the nearest wall.
- Up, Up and Away!: Averted with Cuckoo Man, who — despite dressing up as a bird — needs to repeatedly flap his arms to fly. Played straight with the rest of the team.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Strong Man could fly and was super strong; Diaper Man could fly and was pretty strong himself, and had a nigh-magical milk bottle; Tornado Man could fly and create whirlwinds; Rope Man could fly and use his body as a rope of arbitrary length; Cuckoo Man could fly ... and do nothing else.