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Series / Bibleman

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Bibleman, as he's known to his friends, is a live-action show originally starring Willie Aames of Charles in Charge and Dungeons & Dragons (1983) as a superhero who teaches our kids about the Good Book without sacrificing the excitement of pulse-pounding lightsabre battles. In its original incarnation, the series lasted from 1996 to 2004.

Aames played Miles Peterson, "who had everything: money, power, fame, until he lost it!" Throwing himself to the ground during a thunderstorm, he found a Holy Bible lying in the mud and was inspired to become Bibleman, an approachable superhero garbed in a suit of armor based on the one from the book of Ephesians (though the look of the suit seems to have been more inspired by Batman Forever). Over several years he pitted his faith against costumed losers who had nothing better to do than pick on middle school kids... uh... we mean the legions of Hell, and surrounded himself with a group of sidekicks.

In 2004 Willie left the show to spend more time with his family (though there are a few who think someone higher on the food chain decided he had too much control over the show) and was replaced by Robert Schlipp playing Josh Carpenter, a Younger and Hipper Bibleman for a new generation in the reinvented Power Source series. While less unabashedly silly than Willie's time on the show, its attempts to make Bibleman appear "cool" to the kids at home have become more transparent, like the episodes where he learns to drive a race car or fly a jet.

Tropes in the original and Power Source series:

  • Affably Evil: Rapscallion P. Sinister from the Fight for Faith live show. The "P" stands for polite.
  • All There in the Manual: That all of Bibleman's enemies were one guy named Luxor Spawndroth was only revealed on the show's website, seemingly for fans of lore who wanted an explanation. In the show it's only really addressed as one of the many fourth wall jokes, where they're making fun of how their budget's so low they can only afford one guy to play the villains.
  • Armor Is Useless:
    • Despite his armor being based on principles for Christian life (particularly Ephesians 6:13-17), when his enemies actually hit Bibleman with their attacks or sin-inducing weaponry it's about as protective as wet tissue paper.
    • When Josh takes race car training he's wearing his Bibleman suit but with an actual crash helmet instead of that... thing he usually has on.
    • In the powersource series however the shield of faith actually works.
  • Artistic License Religion: In the episode A Fight for Faith, the vile Wacky Protestor comes up with a plan to convert kids to Atheism. Which according to him is "The belief that there is no God, no hope, and no future." It skids a lot closer into nihilism, but they're probably playing it up for drama/entertainment's sake.
  • As the Good Book Says...: Bibleman's real power is to call up any line from the Bible from memory at will, as well as the chapter and verse reference where it can be found. This goes hand-in-hand with the show's push to get the kids at home to memorize the Good Book to get through life.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: The Wacky Protestor from "A Fight For Faith" is a goofy-looking Large Ham with an extremely nasally-sounding voice who gets a duet with one of the Bible Team during a battle. His plan is also to lure a bunch of children (and the Bible Team) into an alternate dimension where they're distracted by the amazing wonders on display for long enough that they don't notice that he's trapped them forever.
  • Black Dude Dies First: It doesn't happen because this is a kids show, but in the "Shadow of Doubt" episode Bibleman and his current sidekick sound like they're making a reference at one point to how Bibleman will survive whatever happens because the show's about him, but the black sidekick might get whacked by the bad guys.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Doing this was pretty much the show's only joke when Willie was around.
  • Broken Aesop: Miles Peterson, the first Bibleman, lost everything before he took on the role, rebuilding his life and finding new purpose. The lesson, that faith can carry you through difficult times, is lost when Willie Aimes leaves and Miles is replaced by Josh Carpenter, a Christian from childhood.
  • Clueless Aesop:
    • Episodes as "Shattering the Prince of Pride" and "Jesus Our Savior" have Bibleman saying something along the lines of people shouldn't pay attention to him, they should pay attention to God, since Bibleman's just a person like anyone else. That's all well and good, but as the point of the show is to make scripture lessons more palatable to kids by having them come from a cool hero with a lightsaber, it's kind of self-defeating. If the Word itself matters more than who delivers it, why ensure it comes from someone meant to be so marketable?
    • In "Crushing the Conspiracy of the Cheater" Biblegirl gets a message that Bibleman needs to meet with her right away. She takes the quickest route out of the building and falls into the villain's trap, because taking that shortcut counted as cheating. Yeah you shouldn't cheat, but getting there as fast as possible when someone needs your help counts somehow? Really?
    • In the episode where Biblegirl's added to the cast, when the idea of adding a new member's mentioned Bibleman says that God will let them know who the right person is if He decides they need a bigger team. It's kind of hard to reconcile this with the And Knowing Is Half the Battle segments at the end of every single movie, that say anyone who accepts Jesus as their savior becomes a Bibleman or Biblegirl.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Luxor was always completely destroyed at the end of an episode (until it came time to replace the actor), but back again embodying a new sin in the next one.
    • The villain after that was no different. In fact unlike Luxor, he only has only two identities, the second undergoing a Diminishing Villain Threat.
  • Diminishing Villain Threat: After a two-part episode with a villain who came dangerously close to actually beating Bibleman, our heroes spent the next three episodes (and two live shows) having to contend with the Wacky Protestor, a blue-skinned uber dork fond of Jerry Lewis impersonations and who's more a threat to himself with that lightsaber than any costumed do-gooder he might meet. To underline this, the Protestor IS the same villain, Primordious Drool, who came so close to defeating the heroes (says Biblegirl in the Wacky Protestor's first appearance: "But I thought we got rid of him when he was Primordious!") Satan apparently downgraded him to a lesser form after his defeat in the two-parter.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Unintentional. The villains usually sneak around getting kids to mildly misbehave or putting them in temporarily foul moods. For these terrible offenses against society, Bibleman obliterates said villains with his high-tech weaponry. Of course it's not as disproportionate as said villains are demons and it's been mentioned several times that they can cause wider-spread damage if not foiled.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Let's just say Willie could be a little too fond of slipping sly references to his acting career into scripts.
    El Furioso: (to his bungling sidekick) I'm about two seconds away from replacing you with Scott Baio!
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The earliest videos (under the Bibleman Show moniker) featured a format closer to Barney & Friends, complete with varied songs by a group of kids. Lampshaded later by Dr. Fear: "Oh brother, I'd rather watch Barney!"
  • Evil Counterpart: LUCI is one to UNICE.
  • Evil Is Petty: The villains have no higher purpose than picking on middle schoolers and are proud of it.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Bibleman and his sidekicks wield variants of lightsabers while his enemies generally have ray guns. Probably for the "ray guns don't really exist" reason.
  • Final Battle: Every episode ends with a duel between Bibleman and a villain of the week, but on several occasions they seem to cut to a last lightsaber fight for no reason other than because it's a dramatic way to cap off the episode. "Shattering the Prince of Pride" is a particularly bad example where they plan to set a trap for the villain, then seem to realize there wasn't enough time left in the show to do that and just had Bibleman stomp into the villain's hideout and have a sword fight. Without, of course, removing the footage of Bibleman talking about setting a trap for the villain.
  • Friend to All Children: Something the show was no doubt going for, with how the innocent victims Bibleman saves from sinful villains and teaches lessons from the bible are almost invariably kids or tweens.
  • The Gods Must Be Lazy: The villains in this show are apparently demons or at least backed directly by the Devil himself, explaining how they can repeatedly come back from being blown the hell to smithereens and call Satan on their cell phones. On the other hand there's like two times in all the years they've been doing this that Bibleman and his buddies have gotten direct aid from their divine patron (specifically, in "Conquering the Wrath of Rage" God provides Bibleman a shield against Luxor's swing, and in a later episode God cleared out a bunch of mines).
  • Gratuitous Laboratory Flasks: Both the heroes' and villains' bases feature flasks and beakers of brightly-colored liquids which they rarely, if ever, use.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Satan of course. The closest we hear from him is in a phone call with one of the villains (and we don't hear what he himself sounds like).
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Bibleman's ability to recite scripture often seems like a wimpy power, but in many episodes, it is explicitly shown to be the source of his strength. In Tuning Out The Unholy Hero, reciting bible verses acts like a punch to the jaw to the Villain of the Week.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In Willie's era the show went to pains to show how it was the villain's own fault he was being blown to smithereens, usually in the form of Bibleman merely using his lightsaber to bounce back the villain's own shot or some such. The new series has actually shown Bibleman going on the offensive and taking them out with a thrust from the Sword of the Spirit a couple times.
    • At the end of Tuning Out The Unholy Hero, 2Kul4Skul in a fit of desperation tries to rally the kids to his side again. It doesn't work, as not only do the children throw his merch back at him, one of the kids flat out zaps him with his own remote, which does... something to incapacitate him
  • Hollywood Atheist: Averted far more often than you'd think. Denying God's existence almost never comes up. Rather, villains like Shadow of Doubt just convince people to doubt His omnipotence or compassion.
    • Even more averted since the villains are all demons or robots, they don't really portray atheists as evil. (The closest thing is the Wacky Protestor in Fight For The Faith, and even then he is a demon who is just using it for his own plan in that episode.)
  • Honesty Aesop: The episode "The Six Lies of the Fibbler" is about the Fibbler influencing a girl named Ashley to lie to get out of trouble for being late for her musical practice.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: Played with in "Conquering the Wrath of Rage" where the current incarnation of Luxor Spawndroth seems to be trying to maneuver Bibleman into striking him down in hatred. Lucky for him that's the one episode mentioned above where God decides to send Bibleman some direct help.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Most villains, but the Wacky Protestor in particular.
  • Invincible Hero: Averted when Willie was still in charge of everything. The show went out of its way to make sure Bibleman suffered from the problem as the current kid in trouble to illustrate his humanity. Nowadays if any of the heroes catch the villain's bad ju-ju it's usually the sidekicks, and even then it's gotten pretty rare.
  • It's All About Me: The Prince of Pride's shtick is to making others think only about themselves instead of God. He himself is also extremely egotistical.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Primordious Drool (In contrast to his Wacky Protestor appearance), takes the stakes to darker levels. Despite some comical moments, he puts even Luxor to shame with a plan that almost succeeded and the most challenging threat the Bible Team has faced.
    • None of which is to say Drool wasn't a very intentionally comical villain; we're still talking about Bibleman here. The show stopped in its tracks to have him sing a song like it did with its other villains, and the Jerry Lewis impressions might've been stronger as Wacky Protestor, but they were still there as Drool.
  • Large Ham: All the villains, but Luxor Spawndroth in particular. Being evil looks so much fun when he's onscreen.
  • Laserblade: Cuz it's kewl.
  • Musical Episode: The early Bibleman Show episodes. See also Early-Installment Weirdness.
  • Nebulous Evil Organization: In the new series the villains from different episodes communicate with each other sometimes. "In the Presence of Enemies" has them form a full-blown Legion of Doom.
  • No Name Given: Until partway into the new series, Biblegirl and Cypher were referred to by their superhero names even if they weren't in costume. Strangely the Affirmative Action Girl meant to stand in for Biblegirl for a few episodes, Melody, doesn't get a superhero name at all. Even though they kept her on after Biblegirl returned.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain:
    • Ludicrous is the bumbling sideckick throughout Luxor's run, but he is still just as effective using the evil weapon of the day on Bibleman when Luxor himself couldn't.
    • The Wacky Protestor, with his less awesome or threatening quit compared to Luxor and Primordius (the latter being his prevous identity), it's easy to forget that his inventions worked just as well, whether it's the child(ren) of the day or even Biblegirl, and his plans are treated serious enough for the Bible Adventure Team to stop him.
  • Once an Episode: The Powersource series begins most of its episodes taking down a villain unrelated to the topic of the episode. Also doubles as a Call-Forward, as many of the villains in these intros get their own episodes later on.
  • One-Word Title
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: It's shown in various episodes that the Bibleteam's weapons can only be used by faithful Christians. Thus it's confusing that when they made a two-part episode the cliffhanger was set up around their headquarters going into permanent lockdown to make sure its secrets didn't fall into the villain's hands. When the same villain was shown repeatedly being infuriated by the mere mention of Christian names and terminology and would never go near their arsenal. Additionally, many of the enemies have similar weapons which appear to be just as effective as Bibleman's arsenal.
  • Opening Narration: Used this to explain the setup before the theme song.
  • Paper Tiger: The Bully in "Blasting The Big Gamemaster Bully" gives up and leaves the second the children who have been harassed by them group together and put their foot down. This is despite the Bully also having friends right behind them.
  • Power Levels: They don't go into detail because Bibleman and his friends get their powers from their faithfulness to the almighty, but when they ran into an enemy more powerful than they were used to they would often spit out some technobabble about how high his energy levels were.
  • Purple Is Powerful: The color scheme of the Bible Team's outfits is purple and yellow. For a while Bibleman wore a silver suit instead for some reason but they eventually got rid of it.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Played with in Jesus Or Savior Part 1
LUCI: Are you going to create a Bibleman lookalike to rampage on the city and blame the real Bibleman for it?
Primordious Drool: No. That's been done to death.
  • Put on a Bus: Coats, who "left on a top secret mission" for whoever it is they work for and hasn't been heard from since. They actually made it seem like he'd come back at one point only for it to turn about to be a decoy, letting Bibleman kick himself for not realizing the real Coats has one green eye and one blue eye "as an unfortunate side effect of his ancestral lineage".
  • Race Lift: Biblegirl started out being portrayed by a Latina actress, but was replaced by a Causasian a couple episodes later while still being the same character. Her name was even changed from Lia Martinez to just Lia Martin.
  • Real Men Love Jesus: Comes with the territory, really. You might even say Bibleman kicks arse for the Lord.
  • Re-Release Soundtrack: "The Six Lies of the Fibbler", "Silencing the Gossip Queen", "Defeating the Shadow of Doubt", "Conquering the Wrath of Rage", and "Shattering the Prince of Pride" all got new soundtracks, which were used for the TBN airings and on newer DVD releases.
  • Robo Cam: The Bibleteam wear masks that sometimes have this. 'Cuz it's kewl.
  • Science Is Bad:
    • Surprisingly averted. Both good and evil rely on super-scientific gadgets and self-aware computers.
    • Initially played straight. The first episode is explicitly anti-science. However, it's no longer available, so they may have disowned it.
    • Check the DVD-R Hell episode review from Brad Jones. One kid is singing about science like it's a disease that, when exposed to it, needs to be quickly disinfected with some Bible reading.
  • Something Person: Bibleman.
  • Standardized Leader: The main reason Willie's time on the show is generally considered more entertaining. Josh Carpenter was a much more generic "hero" character who had none of the penchant for jokes or self-deprecation, and almost no time was spent developing him as a character. Partly since he was introduced when it stopped showing Bibleman also being tempted by the sin of the episode, denying the character that window to show his human side. His introductory episode doesn't even show him meeting with the rest of the team; it just shows them coming back to their hideout, all exhausted from their first training session that we didn't see either. That's not even in the deleted scenes, indicating the filmmakers didn't even bother.
  • Strawman Political: Several of the villains, such as Wacky Protestor, who apparently thinks the best way to make people atheists is to go around burning their Bibles.
  • Swiss-Cheese Security: Bibleman's supposed to have way better technology than the villains, as a lot of the early episodes rely on them hijacking his system to enable their current evil plan. Those scripts usually required Bibleman's security to be easily bypassed by those same silly villains, though.
  • Take Over the World: As Master of Misery, Luxor has stated this to be his ultimate goal. Other villains have also stated aloud that they want everyone to be at their mercy.
  • Take That!: In one episode, Dr. Fear sees Bibleman helping others and remarks, "I'd rather watch Barney!"
  • Third Act Stupidity: In the two-part episode "Jesus Our Savior" the villain easily defeats Bibleman using a lightning bolt attack. In the final fight of the episode the villain instead opts to use his weaker, easily deflected energy ball attack.
  • Totally Radical: Tries to be cool for the kids with lightsabers and slang, but just comes off as campy.
  • Two Decades Behind: During the original series the show had two types of jokes: Breaking the Fourth Wall and that being the whole joke, and jokes about TV shows that the target audience would be way too young to know anything about. Like Willie's own acting history from the 70s and 80s, or things like Cagney & Lacey or Donnie and Marie.
  • Uncle Tom Foolery: When he was around, Coats' (the original minority sidekick) main jobs seemed to be a) providing moral support for the white guy, and b) giving the white guy and the sentient computer someone to make fun of. After he left he was replaced by Cypher, whose job was to be a goofy, cocky supporter to our hero who handled his Magical Computer. This lessened over time, but still when someone on the Bibleteam needs to be the butt of a joke, odds are it'll be Cypher.
  • Villain of the Week: In both The Bibleman Show and Powersource, there is a different villain that Bibleman has to face and each was played by a different actor, rather than reusing an actor for more than one villain like in the middle season.
  • Villain Song: There was one an episode in the pre-Power Source days. Many of them had two entirely different versions, because of the redone soundtracks.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Luxor Spawndroth literally had a pet mouse (or rat) in "Breaking the Bonds of Disobedience" that never showed up the next time he appeared. The Wacky Protestor had a caged-up gorilla and some other pets in his first two videos. The Fight for the Faith however, omits them entirely.
    • There are also cases of an appearance of a higher up to the villains that only appears in one video and then disappears in the next without mention like D.I.R.T from The Fiendish Works of Dr Fear and Johnny Caponi from A Light In The Darkness.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Bibleman's power is that he can instantly remember any line from scripture... and that's it. The fact that he seems to have this same ability even when out of costume implies that it isn't even a power: he just memorized the Bible.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: One of the new series villains was named 2 Kul 4 Skul.


Video Example(s):


Captain Bible

Captain Bible from "This Christian Batman Knockoff is Worse than You Think" is an obvious spoof of Bibleman.

How well does it match the trope?

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