So who ARE these guys?

A year or two ago I bought a box of tissues solely because it had superheroes on the box. At the time I didn’t need them, I just liked that it had superheroes so I bought it. Hopefully revealing that weakness won’t lead to manufacturers of products like corkscrews and ladles adding heroes in the hopes of getting my sales. But anyway, I mostly forgot about them until this holiday season when I got something of a cold. Now needing the tissues and keeping the box by my side for several days I got to thinking about them once more, and now I must bring that thinking to the Internet.

Superheroes from tissue box

Superheroes from tissue box

Superheroes from tissue box

Superheroes from tissue box

There they are. They are out on patrol perhaps, notice a big monster and proceed to stop its rampage. That’s superheroes for you. I’ve no doubt that these guys are inspired by the Invincibles. They’re definitely a family.

First thought, I would say they are Environmentally friendly heroes. The green costumes. The slimy monster who eats trees and windmills (!!). The fact the tissue paper they sell was made of recycled materials. It all adds up. Perhaps they’re not like the Planeteers who only fight enviro-crime, but they certainly lean that way.

Individually:

  • The little girl can fly and create some manner of, what appears to soap, which she throws at the monster. Perhaps she can create other things to throw and was just choosing something appropriate to the situation? The fact she keeps the pollution monster as a pet shows that she’s an idealist. Even that evil beast, she feels, could be redeemed with a little love.
  • The boy, probably a young teenager has elastic powers. The way he raises an eyebrow before grappling the creature’s leg tells me that he is something of a jokester. But he is no loner. You can tell he likes being part of this family. Probably because they are superheroes and that’s awesome.
  • Mom can fly and shoot some sort of energy from her hands. Either it’s a cleansing beam in accordance with the posited environmental theme, and this is why the pollution monsters shrinks, or it is just a straight-up shrink beam. Either way, that’s our finishing move for this skirmish.
  • Now, the father is interesting. I have no doubt that his frame holds superhuman strength and probably nigh invulnerability. But what impresses me most is that he stays out of the fight. A coward? No, I suspect he knows that punching that thing’s face off is just going to make a mess and his family is more than capable without him. These guys have clearly done this before.

So that’s them. We don’t know their names or anything else about them. I have to wonder, though, did the person hired by No Name brand to create these heroes and decorate a box of tissues with them put more thought into them than went into the story. Is this a case of fictional characters who have been thought out more than their medium gives them a chance to show? Could their creator have given them names and origins or were they but a moment’s work and then forgotten. Were they a labor of love or a mercenary way to spend a day drawing?
Either way, this post is a monument to these forgotten heroes. We salute you! You’re still better than Aquaman.

I AM PROBABLY THE FIRST PERSON TO TALK ABOUT THESE GUYS ON THE INTERNET. I WIN.

My cold is totally better now.

  1. I like how you assume they’re a family.

    I also like how the third depiction of the “father” is just a copy of the first panel. Like, the guy who drew it didn’t quite have enough work to fit on the tissue box. Or completely forgot about him for the fight.

    Either way, true cartooning = copy+pasting.

  2. Are you insulting Adventure Dennis right there? Cause if you are, well I’m just going to cry.

    But I stand by the idea that they are a family. The idea that a group of similar-looking Aryan superheroes of the appropriate ages to be the stereotypical family but aren’t actually related will have just happened to have assembled as a uniformly dressed unit of environmentally conscious vigilantes is just too preposterous for me to even entertain. Unless they were manufactured by political and corporate interests to approximate a family, but then I would expect them to be fighting the people who don’t want the pollution instead of saving the world.

  3. No, I wasn’t even thinking of Adventure Dennis when I said that! That is, like, the copy+paste mecca!

    Along with the above depiction, I was referring to Stephan Pastis copy+pasting in Pearls Before Swine, a fact that he brings up a number of times in his new book (which I should also finish, now that I think about it). You’re in good company, my friend.

  4. Adventure Dennis should be on a Kleenex box battling a demonic cloud of snot. And bats.

  5. Adventure Dennis is available for any and all appearances on commercial merchandise in which he gets to kill things.

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