Friday, April 16, 2010

Meteor Man

Meteor Man began as comedic Black Superhero staring in a film of the same name created by Robert Townsend. His powers came from a Meteor which hits him in his chest, crushes his spine but miraculously heals him. His powers included flight, super strength, x-ray vision, a healing factor, and the ability to absorb knowledge and skills from books just by touching them. His mother makes his costume and everyone in the neighborhood seems to know his identity. He doesn't wear a mask. One of the comedic bits is that even though he can fly, he only does so close to the ground as he is afraid of heights.The film boasted a smörgåsbord of popular African-American actors including Bill Cosby, James Earl Jones, and Marla Gibbs to name a few. His nemesis was the leader of a local gang and the whole movie seemed to be trying to be about neighborhoods taking care of themselves. It wasn't a great film. It was cheesy, not very funny, and had a very low budget feel to it but I did appreciate it, and support it.

The same year, Meteor Man debuted in his own Marvel mini-series comic book where he met Spider-Man and Night Thrasher. That suprised me. I thought that just maybe he would be incorporated into the Marvel Universe proper. That, of course, didn't happen. I don't think the character was ever taken seriously but in 1993, Meteor Man was probably the Black Superhero of the Year. I've included the trailer below and if you'd like to to see the first few minutes of the actual movie, it's on Youtube. You can check that out here.


heavyarmor said...

The comic book was so-so. The story structure was more akin to a typical Spiderman comic, the villain(s) were hackneyed (although I wish we could have gotten to know them a little better), and the final issue was a little too far out in left field for my taste.

Interestingly, Ivan Reitman would "borrow" this origin premise (meteor radiation endows Superman-like powers to those it touches) for Jenny Johnson/G-Girl in My Super Ex-Girlfriend.

Back to Meteor Man, while his comic book was not all that great, I admire what his efforts at trying to be an actual hero, and not just a "dark" vigilante with powers.

negobrown said...

hi, is great film, and more show... is cool.

BLESSD1 said...

I appreciated the movie for what it was. Robert Townsend commented at the time that there was no Black Superman on tv, and he wanted to give us our first. I did NOT know they made a comic of it though. I think I may just look it up on ebay or amazon.

J.R. LeMar said...

I don't care what anyone says, I've always LOVED this movie! Got it on tape, have watched it dozens of times. I knew there was a comic-book back then, but I didn't buy it. Now that this reminds me, I'm tempted to look it up. I'm sure I can find it really cheap online.

J.R. LeMar said...

I have to think this blog for re-activating my love of Meteor Man. After reading this post, I decided to order the DVD, even though I have it on tape. I got it and rewatched it yesterday. Haven't seen it in years, but it still holds up. Seriously, this is a fun little movie.

The mistake is trying to compare it to superhero movies like Spider-Man, Iron Man, The Dark Knight, etc. Obviously, it doesn't take itself THAT seriously, but it's entertaining, and Townsend is trying to show a positive message. When his character first becomes a superhero, he stop robberies and destroys a crackhouse, but he also cleans up a junkyard, and plants a garden in the hood. And, in the end, he inspires his neighbors to stop being afraid of the gangs, and to work together to protect their own community. Compare this to, let's say...HANCOCK, and tell me which superhero is a more positive Black role model?

Well, I've also ordered the comics now. It's hard to find, I've had to order from 2 different websites. Got the official movie adaptation comic plus #1, 3 &4 of the miniseries from one site, and then #2, 5 & 6 from another site.

I also found a Meteor Man action figure for $19 on Ebay. I'll put that on my desk next to my Barack Obama figure. ^_^