There’s a long history of the US and US politicians getting involved in politics in Northern Ireland especially during the Troubles on the road to peace and the Good Friday Agreement.
Did you know, however, that American superheroes Captain Planet and the Planeteers also chanced their arm at solving the conflict and bringing peace to Northern Ireland?
No? Maybe because it could be best forgotten.
Captain Planet and the Planeteers was an American animated series that ran from 1990 to 1996 aimed at educating children mainly on environmental issues although they branched out to other political and international issues, too.
They did just that in series three, episode twelve: “If It's Doomsday This Must Be Belfast” …
Painting a simplistic, black and white picture of the complex, multi-layered political situation in Northern Ireland in the early 90s as a conflict between Catholics and Protestants, as the title suggests, the world has reached Doomsday and the threat of destruction is all centered around the Northern Ireland unrest and violence.
Captain Planet villain Verminous Skumm makes a bet that the human race will destroy themselves through its own ignorance, hatred, and prejudice and places three nuclear weapons in 1990s areas of conflict: Belfast, South Africa, and the West Bank.
The plan is to tell one side of each conflict about the bomb and hope that they will detonate it causing the world’s complete destruction through their prejudice and hatred of their enemies.
Traveling to the “hot spot” Belfast, Planeteer Wheeler attempts to show residents, Catholics and Protestants alike, the error of their ways and promote co-operation.
First aired in November 1992, it is reported that the episode was banned in Northern Ireland although it could bring a laugh or two now are its pure ridiculousness. Overly simplistic, inaccurate, politically incorrect, a Hollywood-like emphasis on America saving the day that some people would scorn, and some of the worst attempts at Irish accents we’ve ever heard, the episode had its heart in the right place but in hindsight is just laughable.
The parts of the episode dealing with the North can be seen here and the full episode is available below.
Captain Planet and the Planeteers aren’t the only superheros who have at one time or another tried (and failed) to address the Troubles. Spiderman once visited Belfast in 1987 to bring down the IRA, and Marvel produced a Northern Irish super-powered mutant named Liam Connaughton whose superpower was the bizarre and incredibly politically incorrect choice of “blowing things up”.
The Orange Order also attempted to create their own superhero “Diamond Dan” when trying to rebrand the 12th of July as “Orange Fest.”
H/T: The Rubberbandits