The Minutemen have taken Boston by storm. That, no one can deny. Local public opinion of them has soared over the last few weeks as the group has helped to capture criminals both mundane and “super.”
But their popularity has grown so quickly its almost suspicious. What other costumed vigilantes have experienced such a meteoric rise? Spider-Man is – to this day – often portrayed as a menace to society, and the Batman is widely distrusted even by other so-called “heroes.”
And really, in comparison to the deeds of even these two street-level protectors, the Minutemen’s pale. They fought Killer Frost and Cheetah, but both escaped. They captured the Atomic Skull, but only after he had murdered over a dozen people and burned half a city block.
Just this week, they were defeated by the vigilantes calling themselves the Elite. Worse, they were clearly betrayed by one of their own in the fighting, who has, by all accounts, been allowed to remain on the team. If they cannot even police their own ranks effectively, can we really trust them to protect Boston?
Their defense of the murderous tyrant Doctor Doom has been widely debated, but he was acting in a diplomatic capacity and the Minutemen would have been wrong to let him die or – worse – help kill him, like their member the Hunted did. But the fact remains that while representing the United States and the city of Boston, they failed to protect Doom and he was forced to defeat the assailants himself.
None of this is to say that we don’t owe the Minutemen a great deal. They have still saved dozens of lives by their actions. But to see the mayor bend over backwards to accommodate these C-tier vigilantes, to see them fawned over by the patrons of my favorite waffle joint, to see them making public appearances every few days, is just a bit much to swallow.
I posit a theory: the mayor wants a team of pet superheroes. Think about it. A well-regarded team of superheroes would do wonders for his approval ratings and his reelection chances. And while many things may be said of Mike Godfrey, that he doesn’t know how to publicize is not one of them.