What’s that you say? Who the hell is Bananaman? Good question. In the UK, he’s something of a British institution in the world of kid’s comics. Outside of the UK? Well, I’m not so sure. So let’s start with a bit of background information.
But no, wait, before we do that, check out the announcement page for the movie. Done that? Good.
He started life back in 1980, as a major character in Nutty comic, and was created by Dave Donaldson and Steve Bright, and drawn most notably by John Geering. When Nutty comic collapsed, it was merged with The Dandy, and Bananaman found a new home. However, as recently as December 2012, The Dandy then ceased to be. Luckily, Bananaman lives on in the pages of one of The Dandy’s biggest rivals back in the day, The Beano.
Bananaman was always designed as kind of a spoof of superheroes, a mix of Superman and Batman, among others. His alter-ego is actually a little kid called Eric Wimp (in an animated cartoon series, this was changed to Eric Twinge), who upon eating a banana, transforms into Bananaman.
His powers have varied over the years. Above all, he has has super strength. His other abilities are, with some of them being tongue in cheek: flight, invulnerability, breathing in space, Helium-boosted heat finger, and intense stupidity. Yes, that last one really is one of his powers! He also has some Batman style gadgets: thermal banana, banana laser gun, and electronic thermal underwear (I presume to keep his banana warm).
As you can see, bananas are kind of a theme.
I loved Bananaman as a kid. Typically British, the stories were irreverent, and goofy. Perhaps, without realising, they were also a pretty good advert for healthy eating. The more bananas he ate, the more powerful he became. However, mouldy bananas were like kryptonite to him. I used to copy out whole comic strips of Bananaman, and make up my own daft stories with him in them. He was a pretty big part of my childhood.
So, as you can imagine, my jaw pretty much hit the floor when I found out they’re making a goddamn Bananaman movie! Did you check out the link in the second paragraph? If not, here it is again. It comes with the hashtag of #peelthepower, and a theme that probably gave me more goosebumps than most well-known blockbusters. Amusingly, I’ve also read that in the comics they’ve started using the tag line, “Man of Peel”.
Of course, there’s every chance that the movie will never live up to expectations. Details are scarce at the minute. Is it live action, or animated? My guess would be the latter, and it will have to go some way to topping anything that Pixar can churn out (well, okay, maybe not Cars). But who knows? I’d like to be proved wrong.