The Weird Superhero Cartoon (Starring Venezuela's President)
We're not sure what it says about our current reality that everyone is way into the concept of the multiverse now, from movies (Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, The Flash) to TV shows (Rick & Morty, Loki, The Flash again) to South American political propaganda. Yep, if you somehow missed it, the Venezuelan government has just jumped into the bandwagon by releasing a series of animated shorts set in an alternate timeline where contested president Nicolas Maduro has firm pecs. He can also fly and punch planes into pieces with his mere hands, but we can only verify that the "firm pecs" thing doesn't apply to our present reality.
Despite looking like it was animated by a teenager in a Che Guevara t-shirt circa 2003, Super Bigote ("Super Mustache") actually debuted on Venezuela's state-sponsored TV station in December 2021. The name is a reference to a 2019 press conference in which Maduro responded to accusations that he'd single-handedly toppled Ecuador's government by sarcastically (we think?) claiming his mustache has magic government-toppling powers. He then showed an image of Superman with a mustache on his phone ... which, disappointingly, doesn't look one bit like Hugo Chavez' beloved "Vergatario" penisphones.
That single image appears to be the entire basis for the Super Bigote show. The first episode starts in an unspecified location, "somewhere on planet Earth" -- it's impossible to tell where this is taking place.
Inside that big white house, a villain vaguely reminiscent of Donald Trump (mostly due to his improbable hairdo) yells at his lackeys for failing to destroy Super Bigote with their evil plans. The lackeys, by the way, happen to look like half-chicken versions of two prominent Venezuelan opposition leaders. Now, if this show was aired anywhere else, this would be nothing but a hacky joke. Yet, since it's aired by the official state network, it may also be taken as a threat to punish dissidents by genetically splicing them with farm animals.
The baddies decide to launch an "electromagnetic drone" to cause a massive blackout in the country, just to make Super Bigote look bad. This is not a terribly effective plan since Super Bigote simply flies up there and smashes the imperialist drone with his literal "iron hand" (which is based on another one of Maduro's favorite phrases) as everyone in Venezuela who isn't half-chicken cheers him.
The silliest part here is that this plot is based on Maduro's actual explanation for the blackouts that have plagued Venezuela in recent years: it is the official position of the government that these are caused not by their own ineptitude but by "electromagnetic attacks" right out of The Matrix. The second episode of Super Bigote blames another blackout on a sci-fi drilling machine running amok under Venezuela, which also sounds like something Maduro might say with a straight face during one of his speeches.
Super Bigote is clearly meant to be propaganda, but it also works remarkably well as a state-approved satire of Maduro's own bonkers ideas. Anyway, can't wait until Disney buys Venezuela and Super Bigote joins the MCU!
Follow Maxwell Yezpitelok's heroic effort to read and comment on every '90s Superman comic at Superman86to99.tumblr.com.
Top image: Venezolana de Television