With last weekend’s premiere of Iron Man 3, we’ve officially entered into Summer Superhero Blockbuster season, and I couldn’t be happier. I love superhero movies. They’re the perfect blend of aspirational fluff, sincere justice and massive explosions. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know any superheroes. I do, however, know some other heroes. They’re friendly. They’re outrageous. They encourage me to eat a complete breakfast. They’re the mascots for breakfast cereal and as Defenders of the Most Important Meal of the Day, I think they’re all superheroes. Let’s meet The Milky Marauders.
Name: Tony the Tiger
Cereal: Frosted Flakes
Armed with super-sharp teeth and a whip-like tail, Tony the Tiger is one fearsome dude. He uses his brute tiger force and verbal encouragement (“You’re grrrrrrreat!”) to subdue bad guys while his ability to walk on two legs affords him the opportunity to blend in to human situations without being outed as a tiger. His weakness is bandanas – any and all bandanas. When Tony sees one, he just has to try it on. His nemesis is Michael Pollan.
Name: Snap, Crackle, and Pop
Cereal: Rice Krispies
This group of elves combine to form a Captain Planet-esque trio who uses elven magic to beat down evil. They’ve developed a secret language through exclusive rice technology and their small stature allows them to climb into tiny spaces that other superheroes can’t enter. Sadly, they have virtually no arm strength whatsoever, and they get very soggy in milk. One time, Crackle tried to go out on his own, but he fell into a pretty bad drug habit and had to be rescued by Snap, Pop and Dr. Drew.
Note: Did you know that Danny Cooksey of Diff’rent Strokes and Salute Your Shorts (Budnick) fame is the voice of one of the Rice Krispies elves? I didn’t!
Name: Buzz Bee
Cereal: Honey Nut Cheerios
Buzz Bee is known worldwide for his flying skills and razor-sharp stinger. He’s eternally cheerful and loves to take down criminals with a quick sting. One of his most famous exploits involved shutting down a German sex slave ring by drowning the crooks in honey. His biggest weakness is his inability to sneak up on anyone. That infernal buzzing is just part of who he is. Fun fact: “Bumblebee Man” on The Simpsons is based on Buzz. Ironically, Buzz is allergic to all tree nuts.
Name: Count Chocula
Cereal: Count Chocula
Like Blade, Count Chocula is both a vampire and a crimestopper. It’s a difficult line to navigate because as much as the Count wants to save the world, he also wants to drink a ton of chocolatey blood. Gross, Count. He’s equipped with all of the standard vampire tools: flight, superhuman strength, invisibility in photos, and the ability to understand the basic rules of international handball. Chocula’s weaknesses are pretty standard, but make it very difficult to be effective in the field. He can’t save anyone during the day, he can’t save anyone who has recently eaten garlic and he can’t spend much time around lumber yards. All in all, not such a great superhero.
Name: Toucan Sam
Cereal: Froot Loops
Toucan Sam is a hero to the people of South America. He flies around with his Beak of Steel® and flaps his way in and out of danger with a panache known only to lovers of super-powered toucans. Does he have some problems with remaining unseen by his foes? Yes, he’s a colorful toucan. Dude can’t help that. What he lacks in camouflage, though, he makes up for with Power Squawking. You remember those trapped Chilean miners? Sam’s the one who rescued them. Word on the street is that he’s also a member of the CIA.
Name: Capt. Crunch
Cereal: Cap’n Crunch
Once a proud circumnavigator of the globe, Crunch gave it all up when he ate a radioactive batch of crunchberries and became the do-gooder we know him as today. His powers are directly tied to the berries, similar to Spiderman’s radioactive foray into web-slinging, and can shoot crunchberries at will from his comically oversized hat. As one of the very few superheroes to ply his trade exclusively on the ocean (along with Aquaman and Namor the Sub-Mariner), Crunch is particularly adept at solving maritime crime and currently has an ongoing feud with East African pirates.
Name: The Trix Rabbit
The Trix Rabbit began his career as a villain. He would cook up all kinds of schemes to steal Trix from children, but after he realized that he can’t even fool kids – seriously, he could never figure out to pull off a heist – he turned his life around and became a superhero. That may be too generous a term. He’s not a superhero so much as a reformed villain trying to figure out how to be good. He picks up sippy cups when kids drop them, helps old ladies bring in their garbage cans and donates to NPR. It’s the best he can do. After all, he’s a silly rabbit.
Cereal: Cocoa Puffs
This dude is crazy. He’s perhaps the last surviving cuckoo bird in the world and his methods are entirely unconventional. Sonny doesn’t live by any rules or code of ethics. All he knows is that crime has got to go. In fact, Sonny can just show up at the scene of a crime and the evil-doers run away because they know shit’s going to get real. He’s not only cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs – he’s also cuckoo for the law.
Name: L.C. Leprechaun
Cereal: Lucky Charms
L.C. started his career as a well-respected Irish cop in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. After breaking up a robbery gone bad, he was hospitalized for a full year with an almost zero chance of survival. Through all the morphine dreams of a magical land filled with hearts, stars, moons, clovers, and rainbows, this tough guy awoke with no memory of his past. Instead, he fashioned himself into a luck-powered superhero and strives to fight evil with the help of the magical powers he somehow absorbed from his fever dreams. Each charm represents a different power and criminals better watch out because this lucky leprechaun can control time, teleport, become invisible, make things float, and (most creepy) bring things back to life. He’s the ultimate Cereal Superhero.
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