If comic book superheroes are precious to you, then you might want to skip the unapologetically super-satire series, SuperMansion. However, if you have a sense of humor and don’t take caped crusaders and mustache-twirling villains too seriously, then this uproariously funny send-up of some of the most iconic comic book characters ever is exactly the sort of balm you need in this “Why So Serious?” superhero-obsessed world. Luckily for you, Season 2 is available to stream on Crackle right now!
But for those of you who haven’t experienced the first season of the stop-motion animated SuperMansion, let me lay it out for you: Bryan Cranston voices Titanium Rex, the aged leader of the League of Freedom, an organization of crime-fighting superheroes who square off against the villainous members of the Injustice Club. Rex has been at this job a long time (since the 1930s), but he’s struggling to stay relevant in the modern era. Add to that the fact that Congress has slashed the League’s budget, the public has turned on them following the mass escape of supervillains, and the superheroes are left reeling after discovering a traitor in their midst, and the challenges really start to pile up.
That’s where SuperMansion Season 2 picks up. While attempting to apprehend Dr. Devizo (Chris Pine) and his various villains, Rex and his team must also cut back on their spending and improve the public relations standing. This would be a little easier if his allies weren’t so frustratingly incompetent: There’s Jewbot (co-creator Zeb Wells), a $3 billion military bot who’s labeled “defective” due to his heightened empathy and intelligence (though his zingy one-liners are amazing when they come out of left field); American Ranger (Keegan-Michael Key), a thawed-out patriot still stuck in a 1940s mindset (which isn’t so different from some conservative-leaning modern folks); Cooch (Heidi Gardner), the Southern-fried spoof of the cat-lady hero Tigra; and easily the most frustrating of all, Black Saturn (Tucker Gilmore), an over-the-top take on Batman, whose aggressively sexual relationship with Groaner (Wells), this show’s version of the Joker, is a satisfying side-story in and of itself. Perhaps a new recruit, voiced by Yvette Nicole Brown to hilarious effect, will help smooth things over? You’ll have to tune in to find out!
SuperMansion excels at superhero send-ups, but it also delivers a compelling storyline in each episode. Some are more comic book-y than others, like when Rex has to delve into virtual reality to battle a hacker group calling itself the Third Eye, while others are hilariously inspired by the corporate world, like rebranding the League’s image through a chain of family-friendly pizza restaurants. Regardless of the plot, the action in each episode is surprisingly on-point and amazing to watch, especially in stop-motion animation. I don’t think I’ve seen a stop-motion animated action sequence with a fraction as much kinetic energy or visceral impacts as the ones in SuperMansion. These moments provide a necessary release to dramatic tension and break up the otherwise nearly non-stop comedy. Not all the jokes land, however, but the titanium-fisted punches sure do.
Part South Park, part Robot Chicken, and 100% a labor of love for all things comic books and superheroes, SuperMansion is a must-watch for folks who aren’t afraid of politically incorrect humor or seeing their favorite heroes and villains taken down a peg. It might just be your new favorite superhero series.
Rating: ★★★★ Very good
Head on over to Crackle to check out SuperMansion now, and be sure to revisit Christina Radish‘s interview with Cranston and the show’s creators!