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Less than Hero
The New Justice Team
Episode 58
Production Code 4ACV04
Air date March 2, 2003
Directed By Susie Dietter
Written By Ron Weiner
Opening subtitle Soon to be a major religion
Opening cartoon The Dover Boys, by Warner Brothers, 1942.
Preceded by Love and Rocket
Followed by A Taste of Freedom
"How did we manage to survive? What gave us those strange powers?"
Leela
"Maybe we're all wearing magic rings, but they're invisible rings so we don't even realize it. Also you can't feel the rings."
Fry

PlotEdit

Professor Farnsworth orders a supercollider from πKEA; and after assembling it, Fry and Leela are left with sore muscles. Dr. Zoidberg prescribes them a "miracle cream". While returning the broken supercollider to the store, Fry and Leela are mugged. They discover they are immune to laser fire and physical attacks, a side effect of the "miracle cream"; they also gain the abilities of super strength and super speed. They form a team of superheroes, The New Justice Team taking the names Captain Yesterday, Clobberella, and Bender joining them as Super King.

Leela makes a visit to CitiHall, and procures a special one-day surface pass for her mutant parents, Morris and Munda. Shortly after, the mayor summons the New Justice Team to deal with a criminal threat. The Museum of Natural History is going to be robbed of the Quantum Gemerald at 9 a.m. by a criminal mastermind called The Zookeeper, who uses trained animals to aid him in his crimes.

Leela, planning her day, schedules her parents' surface visit for 10 a.m. at the same museum. Her plans are ruined when the Zookeeper is an hour late for the theft. The New Justice Team foils the robbery, but the Zookeeper escapes. Leela's parents, convinced that Leela didn't show up because she's ashamed of them slink back to the sewers, just a moment before Leela rushes out onto the street.

Leela makes a trip to her parents' home where she reveals her superhero identity. Leela swears them to secrecy for their own protection, but Morris tells his friends, and the word spreads. Shortly after, Planet Express crew receives a call from the Zookeeper, who has kidnapped Leela's parents. He is willing to ransom them for The Quantum Gemerald, which he demands they steal for him.

The New Justice Team resolves to steal the gem. Unfortunately, they have run out of miracle cream, and are forced to commit the robbery without super powers. Fortunately, the museum guards still think The Team have superpowers, and the Gemerald is retrieved successfully. The Quantum Gemerald is given to the Zookeeper, who releases Leela's parents and escapes. Bender and a morally confused Fry set off to commit a few more crimes while they still have their superhero costumes, and life returns to normal.

Alienese Edit

  • The Alienese warning on the miracle cream tube reads, "Keep out of reach of children under the age of five hundred. For best results, sacrifice a small mammal xanroc, then apply evenly to interior of eyeball. Would you like to sell Dr. Flimflam products? Contact a representative at a covered wagon near you."

Ongoing ThemesEdit

Injury, DismembermentEdit

  • A robotic delivery cabinet goes to pieces as it leaves Planet Express.
  • A super-explosion blasts Farnsworth through one wall and against the next.
  • Fry and Leela are attacked and beaten by a mugger, but due to the miracle cream, unharmed. Together, they beat up their mugger.
  • Fry uses the transit system to hurl a "bad guy" into the police station.
  • Leela retrieves a cat from a tree and gives it to a monster, who eats it.
  • Bender kicks Tinny Tim's crutch, causing Tim to fall to the ground.
  • People, robots, and animals are mauled, eaten, crushed, and snipped during the Zookeeper's attack on the museum.
  • A Justice Team fan hits Fry in the face with a wooden board.

DoppelgängersEdit

Bender serves as a table saw and an adjustable wrench.

ArtifactsEdit

The quantum gemerald appears for the first time in this episode. It reappears in The Mutants Are Revolting.

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