One of my all-time favorite superhero movies is the cult-classic/box-office bust, Mystery Men, starring Ben Stiller, William H. Macy, Janeane Garofalo, and the guy who will forever be Pee-wee Herman (at least to me) as a team of wannabe lionhearts whose claims to superpowers are teased as dubious at best; the misapprehensions of social outcasts. To me, Mystery Men, which premiered in 1999, couldn’t have been made in any other decade; everything from the script’s social commentary to the cinematography (the dark eyes and gothic visuals give credence to the rumor that Tim Burton ghost-directed the film) bears a Gen-X stamp, which is only part of the reason I love it.
Today, between the proliferation of CGI, the inflated cross-fit devotees filling out the Spandex, and the studios’ predilection for disaster-porn, Hollywood’s big-budget superheroes seem unrelatable. And therein lies the other reason the Mystery Men were so appealing. As silly and ridiculous as the characters were, they are relatively authentic. Everyday Joes and Jills, romantic and delusional enough to believe in their own divine calling.
Which brings us to the Folio 5. Perhaps you’ve seen our cover stars around town in the last few weeks. We illuminated the bat signal and the areas finest cosplayers responded, creating their own superhero collective, if you will, who, according to the Folio 5 has come together under the auspices of communication, education, conservation, creativity, and harmony to help us become the Bold New City we’ve always dreamed we could be. But as super as the 5 may appear, to think they can accomplish this task alone would be, well, delusional.
The Folio 5 has enlisted the help of the winners of our 2015 Best of Jax readers’ poll. These winners, as selected by you, represent the real, actual boots on the ground in the battle to find Northeast Florida’s true secret identity. Many of the winners have been at it for years, while some have joined the fight just recently.
While we’re at it, it’s worth mentioning that Folio Weekly has been doing its part for longer than anyone else. This is our 25th Best of Jax readers’ poll.
So, without further ado, we present the real heroes of Northeast Florida …