normalman is a limited series of American comic books created by Jim Valentino. It began in November, 1983 as a four page story in issues #56 and #57 of Cerebus the Aardvark before being launched as a full color 12 issue series (January, 1984- December, 1985) which was published by Aardvark-Vanaheim before moving to Denis Loubet's Renegade Press. The story of normalman would conclude in normalman 3D Annual #1.
Fearing the Planet Arnold would explode, normalman's father sends his infant son on a rocketship to escape the planet's destruction . . . which NEVER comes to pass. Twenty years later and fully grown, normalman crash-lands on the planet Levram, where everybody has super powers ... except for normalman himself. Being the only person on the whole planet with no powers makes him a celebrity. Hilarity Ensues.
The series spoofed many comic book companies per issue, including DC, Marvel, EC and Harvey, as well as doing parodies of The Spirit, Elfquest, Astérix, Star Wars and The Wizard of Oz. The series was first collected in trade paperback by Slave Labor Graphics. Recently, a new trade paperback which included several followups was published by Image Comics. Both trades are in black and white.
Tropes associated with this work:
- Actually a Doombot: Sgt. Fluffy - the first time, anyway.
- The Adjectival Superhero
- Alternate Universe: normalman ends up jumping through a few, including the comic book Journey and a mishmash of Disney/Warner Bros. and Harvey Comics.
- Back from the Dead: Sgt. Fluffy, after he actually dies.
- Captain Ersatz: A distinct majority of the characters. Captain Everything, for instance, combines elements of Superman and Captain Marvel.
- Crossover: with Cerebus the Aardvark, Journey by William Messner-Loebs, Tales of the Beanworld, and Megaton Man (the latter also featuring appearances by everyone from Madman to Bone to Groo the Wanderer to Flaming Carrot)
- The Ditz: Captain Everything
- Does Not Like Shoes: Man-Man note , the rastafarian with Ganja breath.
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Dark Fluffy does this to Levram.
- Everyone Is a Super: Levram
- Eyepatch of Power: Sgt. Fluffy. (It even changes its position on his face.)
- Fun with Acronyms: S.C.H.M.U.C.K.- which stands for "Nothing-In-Particular", according to the footnotes.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Captain Everything can actually give the Crimson Chin a run for his money!
- Funetik Aksent: Dr. Deranged and Mr. Nose-Et-All.
- Meanwhile, in the Future...: Mainly done with the Legion of Superfluous Heroes.
- Naked People Are Funny: The Flesh (No, not that one!)
- Names To Not Trust: if someone named "Rotten Kid" tells you they can help you, maybe it wouldn't be wise to trust them.
- No Fourth Wall: Pretty much everyone seems aware they're in a comic book.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Captain Everything states that he has this ability in the very first sentence he speaks.
- Only Sane Man: normalman of course.
- Overly Long Gag: Every time S.C.H.M.U.C.K comes up, the editors feel it necessary to mention that it doesn't stand for anything in particular.
- Would the Legion of Superfluous Heroes' Roll Call count as well?
- Real Men Wear Pink: Sgt. Fluffy is a fur-faced, heart-poundin', front-facin', meat-and-potatoes patriot who wears The Wizard of Oz style red sequined pumps.
- Ridiculously Average Guy: normalman, so average his name doesn't get to be capitalized. Until the series' end, where we learn that his real name is Norm-L.
- Rouge Angles of Satin: Unfortunately, there's a whole heaping bunch of obvious spelling and grammatical errors.
- Sdrawkcab Name: Levram.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: With regards to the Legion of Superfluous Heroes, at least - "Yelling Girl" causes Lightweight Lad to lose his place shortly before reaching the Z's, and his starting over from the beginning pisses off everyone else so much that the combined energy they shoot at him destroys the clubhouse and possibly causes a time loop.
- Sinister Minister: The Pope of Pain.
- Something Person
- Stable Time Loop: normalman leaving a vial of Gaulish potion around during the Asterix parody leads to the development of superpowers in Levram's populace. Also, the destruction of the Legion of Superfluous Heroes clubhouse may have led to the existence of the huge crater they decided to build the clubhouse in to begin with.
- Strawman Political: The Ultra-Conservative, played for laughs. After getting injected with a super-serum, he alternates between his original persona and "The Liberalator", much to his annoyance.
- Stripperiffic: The Countess of Monte Crisco.
- Don't forget Nasty Girl.
- There Was a Door: Not many of the inhabitants of Levram use doors. Especially not Captain Everything.
- Un-Sorcerer: Well, duh.
- World of Badass: The planet Levram, where everyone has super powers.