Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The charming webseries Jacketman offers a break from superhero angst

Screenshot: YouTube
Screenshot: YouTube

This summer’s superhero movies have mostly consisted of superheroes fighting each other, superheroes fighting each other, and supervillains being assholes. And with lighter superhero shows like The Flash and Supergirl on summer hiatus, there’s a distinct lack of optimistic live action superhero material on the market at the moment. Enter The Adventures Of Jacketman, an endearing webseries about a bumbling, would-be hero who is desperate to help people, even if he’s not officially licensed to do so.

The series is directed by Ned Baker and written by Dan Carlyon, who also stars as the titular hero. Jacketman’s abilities come from his magic jacket, which can store and create a seemingly endless supply of objects (think Mary Poppins’ bag meets Green Lantern’s ring). Carlyon invented the Jacketman character when he was a kid; the series opens with home-movie footage of the character’s “origin story.”

The Chicago-set series has a goofy, almost tongue-in-cheek vibe. But at its core is an earnest love of all things superhero. When Jacketman teams up with a sheltered civilian named Colleen (Abby Pajakowski) who doesn’t “follow superheroes,” he has to explain the realities of their world: Magic and superheroes are real, but Superman is “just inspiring.”

In other words, in the world of Jacketman, comic books and real-life superheroes exist alongside one another. But while superpowered people are commonplace (and available for signings), the bureaucracy of Crimefighting Guilds, Savior Leagues, and government sponsorships keeps amateurs from rising to their ranks. That means Jacketman has to find a loophole if he hopes to take down an evil fairy queen and save a kidnapped doctor. All of that plus a touch of twentysomething identity crisis unfolds across The Adventures Of Jacketman’s six-episode first season.

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