Best Vintage Local Superhero (2010)

Captain Super

Admittedly, he won't go down in meta-history as the most super of superheroes. But in the minds of native Phoenicians such as ourselves — whose embryonic years included a daily dose of The Wallace & Ladmo Show — Captain Super was one of the more memorable übermenschen of our collective pre-pubescence. Clad in red, white, and blue regalia, "Supe" (as he was dubbed) stood out from the cadre of kooky characters making up the cast of the legendary local kids' show, which aired weekday mornings on KPHO from 1954 to 1989. It certainly wasn't because of his "powers" (which were non-existent) or any actions that were even remotely heroic. Instead, his buffoonish breakfast-time antics always brought smiles to our faces. Portrayed by renowned radio newsman Pat McMahon (who also starred as Gerald, Aunt Maud, and a half-dozen other Wallace & Ladmo sidekicks), this milquetoast Man of Steel was utterly ineffectual and incompetent, yet eternally arrogant and ignorant of his deficiencies. Self-described as "Arizona's official hero," Captain Super would burst onto the set, spewing chauvinistic and self-deluded soliloquies to the show's hosts. An avowed enemy of communism, he'd stop at nothing to fight the "red menace," even if it meant grappling with grade-schoolers in the audience whom he felt were relatives of Joseph Stalin. And if anyone dared to jeer him, why, they just didn't understand. "The day will come when future generations will look back and realize that Captain Super was the great moral leader of this century," he stated during one visit. Though that's unlikely to happen, Supe, you'll always have a spot in our hearts.


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