Flaming Carrot is a Superhero created by Bob Burden. The character first appeared in Visions #1 (1979), the yearly Atlanta Fantasy Fair publication. He made regular appearances there to 1987. Burden self-published the one-shot Flaming Carrot Comics #1 (1981). But the real launch of the character took place when Dave Sim of Aardvark Vanaheim decided to hire Burden, launching Flaming Carrot Comics as a regular series. The series changed publishers a couple of times, running for a total of 31 issues (May, 1984-October, 1994).
During its run, the Carrot also appeared in anthology titles, mini-series and a couple of crossovers, notably with Cerebus the Aardvark and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Since Burden owns the character, any publisher doing business with the creator has access to him. Since 1994, reprints, mini-series, and crossovers have kept appearing. The Carrot's superhero group, the Mystery Men, have at times appeared without their most famous member, and even had a film based on them.
The Flaming Carrot has an origin similar to that of Don Quixote. Alonso Quijano constantly read Chivalric Romances; the habit drove him insane, giving him the delusion of being a vagrant knight. The Carrot, real name unknown, read 5,000 comics in a single sitting; the experience caused him brain damage and turned him into a superhero, just like the protagonists of those comics. He went to acquire a costume, gadgets, and a distinctive mask. Which depicts a giant carrot, extending from above his head to below his crotch. It's perpetually on fire. He never seems to take it off.
The Carrot patrols Palookaville, a decaying section of Iron City. The City itself is described as a midwestern steel town that has seen better days. He works alongside Police Inspector Keene and the Mystery Men, other bizarre vigilantes. His speech patterns, a tendency to drop pronouns and articles when excited and often "going into long, rambling, stream-of-consciousness rants" tends to confound his opponents.
Contains examples of:
- Abnormal Ammo: Flaming Carrot's baloney gun.
- Ascended Fanboy: Went insane and decided to become a superhero after reading too many comics in one sitting.
- Becoming the Mask: Flaming Carrot has never been seen without his mask.
- Cloudcuckoolander: The title character himself.
- Crazy-Prepared / Goggles Do Nothing:
- Flaming Carrot wears flippers in case he has to swim.
- Subverted, as one of The Flaming Carrot's greatest powers is his Zen Stupidity.
- With Cerebus the Aardvark post-Cerebus Syndrome. Yeah...
- And with Reid Fleming, World's Toughest Milkman, a fellow indy/underground comic... hero.
- On occasion, there have also been crossovers with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
- Flaming Carrot also appeared in the normalman/Megaton Man special, as well as War Of The Independents.
- Dada Comics
- Darker and Edgier: Subverted.
- Dirty Commies: Some of his enemies.
- Fauxreigner: The pygmy tribe. They're actually white kids who have become disenfranchised with their own culture.
- "Flowers for Algernon" Syndrome: In the very first issue, Dr. Heller reveals that he has attempted to make Flaming Carrot smarter in the past, and actually succeeded every time - but every single time, Carrot sank into a deep depression that could only be cured by Dr. Heller's treatment being undone.
- In a Single Bound: Nuclear Powered Pogo Stick.
- Kavorka Man: The ladies love him.
- No Fourth Wall
- The Ditz: Even his official introduction describes him as "quintessentially retarded".
- Super Hero: A low rent one.
- Super Hero Origin: His lack of one has been noted. There have been some hints that he's actually Jim Morrison, but they're not very serious. Incidentally, that's probably the strongest argument in its favor. In at least one issue his origin is given as having been a normal person who read 5,000 comic books at a sitting, on a bet, and went insane.
- Useless Accessory: He wears flippers all the time. Why? In case he needs to swim of course.
- Verbal Tic: "Ut!"
- Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: Sometimes Flaming Carrot does. Sometimes he doesn't. Consistency isn't high on the lovable madman's list.
- You Cloned Hitler!: Occurs in 'They Cloned Hitler's Feet!'