Captain Leslie Hero is a fictional character in the animated series Drawn Together. He is voiced by Jess Harnell.
In original artwork before the show's release, Captain Hero wore tights, and his suit was slightly darker in color and had a different symbol on it.
A chauvinistic and lecherous superhero with a frat-boy mentality, Captain Hero is a macho parody of comic book heroes like Superman (specifically, his design is a poke at Bruce Timm's animated version of Superman). His given name is Leslie, though he feels embarrassed when people call him that. He is the creator of the League of Heroes, Earth's premier superhero team and a parody of the Justice League of America. Originally from the planet Zebulon (which he later destroyed in a misguided attempt to prove himself), his parents had him aborted and sent the fetus hurtling towards the sun when they discovered that he would be the lamest superhero ever born; the pod carrying him went off course though, and he ended up surviving and being raised on Earth. In his other life, he fights crime and reports to a city commissioner; he has a cave, like Batman, as well as a "pillow-fort of isolation", a parody of Superman's Fortress of Solitude. Unlike many superheroes, Hero has spent most of his career without a sidekick because no one else will work with him. Hero even went so far as to make one up (the title "character" in "Captain Girl") out of jealousy, though in that same episode, Wooldoor Sockbat eventually becomes his first permanent sidekick. Despite Hero's reputation for being a terrible superhero, and despite the fact that many other superheroes clearly exist in the show's reality, the world still seems to rely on Hero a great deal. On several occasions, a news anchor has broken off in the midst of reporting on a crisis to exclaim in panic, "Captain Hero, where are you?"
Hero's age is given as 28 in the first season, but by the time of "Captain Hero's Marriage Pact", he is at least 30 years old, seemingly providing an exception to the rule that satirical cartoon characters never age. In "Xandir and Tim, Sitting in a Tree", he states (in the guise of his alter ego Tim Tommerson) that he has lived for "thirty-some odd years".
In the episode "Supper Nanny" Hero shows a misguided competitive personality against other "Super" things. He behaved childishly to force the other housemates to call Super Nanny so he can confront her and best her. His plans become side tracked by her strict no-nonsense punishment of the "Naughty Stool." Hero takes Xander's advice to "Behave himself," and while still acting childish he began to show what a good boy he was by eating his vegetables. When Captain Hero opens his mouth to show that his peas are gone, it is revealed he has a forked tongue. He also is shown to have a number of dental hygiene problems, and a severed human finger belonging to a woman with a diamond wedding ring attached to it. Earlier it is also revealed he use is feet as a monkey can to hold things and bring them to his mouth.
Though never stated explicitly, it is strongly implied that he and his parents are Jewish, as he calls his mother "Ima" (Hebrew for "mother", אמא. Also in plural: "Imahot") and has been seen to observe Sabbath rituals; this is part of a running gag of Jewish in-jokes throughout the series (creators Dave Jeser and Matt Silverstein are both Jewish). Since Captain Hero is a parody of Superman, these jokes may also be references to similar hints of Judaism in Superman's background; like Jeser and Silverstein, Superman creators Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel were both Jewish.
The episode "Unrestrainable Trainable" reveals that Captain Hero has an older sister, Captain She-Ro, who gave birth to his son, having gotten Hero's sperm from a sperm bank, not knowing that the donor was actually her brother; as a result of the inadvertent inbreeding, their child is a mentally retarded giant. That same episode also reveals that Hero attended college at Howard University, a historically black college in Washington, D.C. and that he and She-Ro physically consummated at the end of the show, showing the conception of a new inbred child inside of She-Ro's womb. At some point during the episode, it is hinted that Hero could possibly have more children when he says "I hope I don't end up as a single parent like each and every one of my ex-girlfriends after high school."
Hero is extremely dumb, and is often shown continually, almost deliberately, missing the point; for example, he thinks that an AIDS walk is a race and begins training for it in order to prove that he can excel in sports. He is also prone to making bad jokes (whereas he says the same of the Qur'an in "Dirty Pranking No. 2"). Hero also has poor decision-making skills, as he once tears out Xandir's intestines because he thinks Xandir is someone else(even though he's the one who told him to wear the disguise), and dresses up as a girl to go to a keg party, which results in Hero being gang raped. (This later makes headlines which announce "Best Kegger Ever".) He cries often (typically causing his mascara to run), and frequently dresses and acts like a teenage girl or a woman.
He also acts like a small child on occasion; in "Super Nanny", he is shown to wet the bed and still wear diapers, in addition to throwing a childlike temper tantrum. He likes to rub his own nipples when he is excited or aroused. He usually learns a moral at the conclusion of any story, although the moral he always learns is extremely minor in comparison to the one he should be learning. For example, in "Ghostesses in the Slot Machine", instead of realizing that he shouldn't endanger the world for the sake of personal gain, all he takes away from the experience is that Indians should not be allowed to have casinos. He is prone to screaming "NOOOOOOO!" very loudly and looking up toward the sky, a parody of the way comic book characters overdramatize sad situations on their part; this joke was used most prominently in "Terms of Endearment". Also he enjoys hunting male prostitutes with a crossbow.
Hero's catchphrase is "Save yourselves!", which he usually shouts while flying away from any situation that throws the housemates into mortal peril. He is also known to utter the line "Once again, Captain Hero has saved the day!" even when he clearly hasn't; furthermore, his antics are usually what caused the problem in the first place. Many of Captain Hero's lines resemble those used by Superman on the front of old comic covers that portray him as less than sympathetic; while some of these instances are misleadingly taken out of context, Hero's violent and anti-social behavior is consistent with his character.
Despite his role as protector of humanity, Hero displays extremely little reverence for human life; in fact, his many misdeeds throughout the series carry the stamp of a sociopath, though usually it appears that Hero just acts without thinking of the consequences. As stated above, in "Ghostesses in the Slot Machine", he puts the world at risk to make money on a crooked gambling scheme, and in another episode he annihilates his home-world of Zebulon (also mentioned above) solely to prove a point to his parents. In "The Lemon-AIDS Walk", while under the influence of steroids, he slaughters the rest of the Drawn Together household as well as a 12-year-old girl and a donkey, and later kills or maims all the participants of the AIDS Walk except Foxxy Love, believing it is a race. In "Wooldoor Sockbat's Giggle-Wiggle Funny Tickle Non-Traditional Progressive Multicultural Roundtable!", when the Terminator is gunning down patrons in the bar to get to Wooldoor Sockbat, Hero swoops in and announces that he is going to activate his "Hero Shield", then grabs an innocent woman and holds her in front of himself to take the bullets that Hero, having been mentioned in previous episodes as being impervious to bullets, should be able to deflect by himself (though in "Clum Babies", he dies instantly after Bob the Cucumber shoots him in the head). He later was seen covered in dirt, claiming that he had just been "deactivating the Hero Shield", implying he buried the body to hide his crime. He is also shown with lipstick on his mouth, a reference to his necrophilia (see below). In "Spelling Applebee's", when he discovers that Princess Clara is sexually aroused by car crashes, he causes numerous crashes in order to bring her to orgasm; he then temporarily stops the crashes, though he only does this to frustrate her rather than to save lives. Later, when he discovers Clara is using him, he arranges for her friends to be killed in another crash as an act of revenge, then states, "And remember, kids, never mess with the emotions of a dangerous lunatic."
Hero's sexual orientation is debatable. At the beginning of the series, Hero is clearly attracted to women, and is portrayed as a sleazy womanizer. As the series has progressed, however, a variety of possibilities have arisen as to his sexual orientation and romantic interests.
In a strictly sexual sense, Hero embodies pansexuality; he has been shown to be sexually aroused by such a wide variety of paraphilias that his sexuality cannot be classified by any narrow scope.
In the pilot episode, he is aroused upon seeing Princess Clara and Foxxy Love make out in the hot tub (as he sings the outro of "Black Chick's Tongue"), indicating either heterosexuality or bisexuality. In that same episode, under the impression that the house grants wishes (after he wishes for a "hot black chick," the African-American Foxxy Love coincidentally enters), Hero wishes for "a 12-year-old girl and a donkey," indications that Hero is both a pedophile and a zoophile. Later in that episode, he indicates that her being dead would not stop him from fondling a woman, suggesting he is open to necrophilia. In the first season episode "Gay Bash", it is revealed that he had a one-night stand with Bizarro Captain Hero, his evil twin from a parallel universe, whom he subsequently murders to keep the affair a secret. In "The Other Cousin", Captain Hero participates in an all-male game of spin the bottle (while telling the others not to be gay about it), then makes a bet that he can seduce Clara's mentally retarded (female) cousin Bleh which he does.
In "The One Wherein There Is a Big Twist, Part II", he proclaims of Strawberry Sweetcake (a guest character who looks like an eight-year-old), "Here's to the teeniest ass you can tap without setting off an AMBER Alert," After this statement is made and he sees no one laughing he then suddenly exclaims, "I'm not gay," as if to indicate his comment about Strawberry was more of an attempt to see hetreosexual than an actual statement of his feelings. In the same episode, he can be seen penetrating a giraffe during an orgy. In the episode "Lost in Parking Space, Part One", he also simulates sex with an imaginary Boy Scout, further indicating that he is a pedophile. In the Season Two episode "Captain Hero's Marriage Pact", he expresses glee over the prospect of marathon sex with Unusually Flexible Girl, a rare Season Two nod to Hero's heterosexual side.
Another second season episode, "Little Orphan Hero", gives great insight into Hero's wide range of paraphilias. Early in the episode, Hero builds a robot to use for sex, programs it to feel pain, then forces himself upon it. Later, he renders Xandir unconscious with a chloroform-soaked rag and rapes his unconscious body, which Hero believes erases people's memories (a parody of Superman's kiss erasing Lois Lane's memory in the film Superman II). Later in the same episode, Hero chloroforms his own parents and commits incest by raping their unconscious bodies. This episode also indicates that Hero indulges in transvestism, as he dresses in heavy makeup, a halter top, and cutoff skirt in order to attend a keg party (where he himself is gang-raped). In "Wooldoor Sockbat's Giggle-Wiggle Funny Tickle Non-Traditional Progressive Multicultural Roundtable!", he expresses the desire to rape the severed head of a pig (in an unrealistic amount of censored profanities). It is implied in the episode "Unrestrainable Trainable" that he commits incest with his sister, though all that is shown is the interior of her uterus. In the episode "N.R.A.y RAY", he states that he is dating Bambi's dead mother, further implying necrophilia and zoophilia.
In the episode "Super Nanny", the eponymous character notes the presence of wadded up tissues and a book of crime scene photos under Hero's bed another nod to necrophilia. In "The One Wherein There Is a Big Twist, Part II", he takes several pictures of Foxxy Love tied up and covered in honey and some tissues, calling them "evidence" and taking them to the Hero Cave. He is later shown to have a belt tied around his neck after coming back to the house from the Hero Cave, suggesting he partook in masturbation and erotic asphyxiation (tying in with BDSM and asphyxophilia) over the photos he took of Foxxy tied up and doused in honey.
In the episode "A Tale of Two Cows", Hero states that he has taken a shine to Wooldoor's friend Live Action Cow, stating that he has "always dreamed of meeting a woman with six penises", further suggesting that he is indeed a zoophile (and possibly a homosexual).
In addition to his paraphilias, Hero is also an aficionado of BDSM and derives great pleasure from being physically punished. Despite his personal aggressiveness, he sometimes tends to take the submissive role in sexual relationships. Captain Hero's rampant desire for sex also means he is not above lying to get it; in "Lost in Parking Space, Part One", he is depicted having sex with a woman after convincing her that the fin rot he caught from Aquaman had cleared up (when it hadn't). In the creator commentary for the episode "Super Nanny", Jess Harnell and the show's creators suggest that Hero simply seeks sexual gratification regardless of the means by which and with whom (or with what) he attains it. They also suggest that his preference is toward anything as long as it's helpless.
Orientation and romantic interests
As far as emotional relationships and actual romantic attachment go (as opposed to his encounters of a purely sexual nature), however, Hero's gender preferences are considerably more complicated. In the show's first season, a running gag involved dropping references to Hero possibly being a bisexual or closeted homosexual. When the show's creators began developing Captain Hero's character in Season Two, they used the history of gay references to form an actual character arc for Hero, wherein he is either a bisexual or a homosexual in severe denial. The main focus of Hero's closeted sexuality is fellow housemate Xandir, whom he both mocks and seems to be good friends with. He has been shown bathing with Xandir, and once even complimented Xandir on his penis. In the episode "Unrestrainable Trainable" he walks around the house wearing only his pajama shirt, while Xandir wears the pants. Later in the same episode, when Xandir becomes horrified after seeing Hero's vestigial T-Rex arms, Hero begins to fondle Xandir to calm him down.
Despite (or perhaps because of) his possible homosexuality, Hero is extremely homophobic, and desperate not to be thought of as gay himself. Hero suffers from a self-induced form of multiple personality disorder as a result of this inner conflict, creating separate personalities as an outlet for the parts of himself he does not want to acknowledge. The most notable instance of this, featured as the main plotline in "Xandir and Tim, Sitting in a Tree", is his alter ego Tim Tommerson, who expresses Hero's pent-up homosexual urges, particularly for Xandir. This "gay version" of Hero is hyper-feminine, speaking in a falsetto voice and assuming the bottom role in the relationship. After having sex with Xandir, Hero rebels against his own alternate personality, severing his own finger and beating himself, then finally ordering his Tim persona to leave. Tim convinces Xandir to shoot Captain Hero, claiming that to do so will metaphorically kill off his homophobic side and allow the real person, Tim, to take over. However, Tim ends up being the one who gets shot. Hero claims that Tim's death proves Hero isn't gay after all, indicating that Hero intends to remain in denial about his true sexuality; however, later episodes strongly suggest that Xandir and Hero still have semi-regular sex together.
In "Wooldoor Sockbat's Giggle-Wiggle Funny Tickle Non-Traditional Progressive Multicultural Roundtable!", Hero forms a friendship with the Terminator, though it becomes quickly apparent that something more is going on between them. Even as their relationship grows more and more to resemble a gay male romance, Hero states proudly several times that they are indeed heterosexual, and makes continual references how much he loves vaginas, serving as further evidence of his denial. At the end of the episode, they kiss.
Hero at times has shown both romantic and sexual affection for women. In "The Other Cousin", he develops real feelings for Clara's cousin Bleh, with whom he also has sex with, and in "Spelling Applebee's", he develops a crush on Princess Clara herself, while in "Captain Hero's Marriage Pact" he has sex with Unusually Flexible Girl. However, Hero continues to display a confused and conflicted sexual attitude; in the aforementioned "Spelling Applebee's", while he is on a date with Clara, Hero proceeds to make out with a male waiter, and is unable to understand why Clara is upset by this.
To further underscore either his homophobia or possible homosexuality (and emphasize his masculinity), the emblem on his chest looks like the male gender symbol; curiously enough, his sister's costume also has the same symbol, possibly because she has a more masculine appearance than the rest of the female cast.
Role on the show
Of all the housemates, Captain Hero is the one who has seen the most character development over the series. In the first season, Hero was a simple character with a fairly minor role on the show; he was introduced in the first episode as simply "another person in the house", and as Harnell puts it, his personality was that of an "overgrown frat guy" whose libido was his main source of humor. Over time, however, he has grown considerably more complex; consequently, his role has expanded exponentially to the point where now he is now the most frequently used character on the show. "The Other Cousin" was the first episode to focus on Hero, but it was the second season episode "Little Orphan Hero" that proved to be a major turning point for the character. In the episode, Hero, after suffering a nervous breakdown, meets his parents for the first time and sees many long-dormant emotional issues rise to the surface. Subsequent episodes would expand on these developments. By the time of "A Very Special Drawn Together Afterschool Special", it seems perfectly natural for Hero, as Xandir's mother, to be cast in the role of the sensitive and caring (if overly emotional) nurturer.