Hollywood number crunchers, mainstream comic geeks, and men-in-tights fetishists are proving that (while superheros do indeed die) the death of the superhero genre is more than a ways off. Meanwhile, web series creators are proving the genre is ripe for satire.
For those who enjoy Return to Supermans and Italian Spiderman at least as much The Dark Knight or the latest Spiderman sequel, the British comedy duo of Matlock and Badshelter have another fantastic comic book spoof for you. From a secret flat in South London come The Very Real Adventures of Batman and Robin.
What Will Carlough and Erik Sofge did to normalize vampires in Blood Brothers, Jamie Lennox and Louis Waymouth do to turn the caped crusader and his boy wonder into everyday Joes in The Very Real Adventures. They also throw in a hint of SNL’s Ambiguously Gay Duo amidst live-action sequences and minimal, but effective, computer animation. But where Ambiguously Gay was subliminal homoeroticism, this is (very) restrained heroism with passing homoerotic moments of a decidedly domestic spin.
The Very Real in these Adventures covers being out of shape, having a hard time parallel parking the Batmobile while drunk, and tazing all those that annoy. Of course, the ultimate and underlying theme of the series is imperfection, or just plain old human foibles. Batman and Robin bicker and occasionally have spats, they argue over which movie to rent, and even kill a suicide jumper who attempts to take advantage of a generous monetary donation. Such is life in the real world.
The duo’s pad isn’t Wayne Manor, but it’s far from shabby, and Batman and Robin appear to have plenty of time and financial stability to act like adolescents. They linger in cafes, shoot snooker, and high-five their supporters.
Lennox, along with producer/director and bit part-player Justin Gayner, has the biggest hand in the production, as he plays Robin, co-directs, edits and writes. Waymouth’s Batman gracefully embodies a whole range of British comedy actors without being too reminiscent of one in particular, channeling mischievous, nebbish and beaten vibes with equal conviction.
The pair developed a fondness for Batman through reruns of the Adam West TV series and, to their own iteration, bring all the British dry wit and funny expressions we’ve come to expect of comedy from across the Pond.
This Batman and Robin are so anti-heroic they almost become heroes, and there are good laughs to be had as we watch them make the transition. Check it out on MySpace.