The Incredible Jones
I’m sure someone else has keyed in on this before, but after watching the latest episode (12) of Heroman I realized that the super hero he and Joey most resemble is The Incredible Hulk.
It dawned on me when I saw the preview for next week’s episode. Now that Hughes and his NSA (Screw this “NIA” nonsense.) buddies know who’s “behind” Heroman, they take it to him and force Joey to go on the run. While Spiderman and other super heroes have fallen on the “wrong” side of the law at times due to their vigilante-like acts of justice, Hulk is the sole “major” hero who literally has the Army after him. Spiderman might piss off a few jealous cops or city officials, but no one else say they’re wanted by the motherfucking Armed Forces. Well, maybe Wolverine, but his backstory is so convoluted that he doesn’t count. Fuck you, Logan.
The idea that Heroman and Joey are fugitives hiding in the shadows while doing their best to do some good in the world plays up to the Hulk mythos. Captain American is a symbol of the United States. Spiderman is something of a folk hero who can stand in public and be cheered for his efforts. The X-Men pretty much operate in secret and aren’t household names that you see in television. The Hulk is the only one who operates in full view of the world yet still finds himself branded as a villain by the powers that be. Joey and Heroman are heading in that same direction. Fueled by paranoia (And possibly other, as of yet unseen, forces who see Heroman as a threat), Heroman is made a wanted man.
The way things are going in the series, Joey and company will never get to be “heroes” in the sense that they receive any sort of accolades for their actions. They singlehandedly stopped an alien invasion and have been aiding the rebuilding of Central City, but all they’re getting in return is distrust and the ire of a petty little villain with bat-hair.
The series hasn’t touched on it much, but Heroman has a darker side to him. We saw him go berserker during the battle with the Skrugg leader. He let go of his self-control and allowed hatred and vengeance control his actions. That’s exactly what Hulk often does in the midst of a battle. Part of the reason why he’s wanted by the military is due to his volatile nature. There’s a semblance of control to his actions, but for the most part he’s seen as an uncontrollable animal. We haven’t seen Heroman reach that point, but he clearly has the potential to “Hulk Out” under the right circumstances.
At the same time Heroman and Hulk have an “alter ego” that acts as their conscience. Especially in more recent Hulk stories, they play up the idea that Hulk and Banner are two sides of the same coin. Id and Ego and all that psychological shit. They know the other “side” exists and each side has means of manipulating and controlling the other. There’s a mental symbiotic relationship between the two that makes Hulk and Banner “complete” in a sense. I’ve talked about that symbiotic relationship between Heroman and Joey before, and their relationship plays up the similarities between the two pairs even more. Joey is Heroman’s conscience while Heroman is Joey’s means to enact his deep-rooted desires. They need each other because they complete one another. Neither pair is a set of two individuals, they’re one complete “being” with their multiple facades out in the open for all to see.
Joey and Heroman are only a sad piano tune away from getting their own cheesy 70’s TV drama.