Cartman assumes the gritty crime-fighting alter ego of "The Coon" to bring vigilante justice to South Park. When a shadowy figure steals Cartman's thunder by donning the disguise of Mysterion, Cartman retaliates with desperate measures. He teams up with supervillains Professor Chaos and General Disarray.
Donning a disguise modeled after a raccoon, Cartman becomes a vigilante dubbed "The Coon", who attempts to wipe out crime in South Park. Though Cartman tries to raise awareness about The Coon through word of mouth, nobody pays much attention to the Coon's efforts. When he reports "crimes" (such as mistaking a man innocently trying to kiss his date for a rapist) to the police department, he is threatened with jail time and snubbed off. During class, Cartman tries to hype up an appearance from the Coon, saying he will be on roof of a Walgreens later that evening. Cartman (as the Coon) shows up to the spot to find another child superhero named "Mysterion", who is far more successful in garnering appreciation as a crime stopping icon from the police and South Park citizens who want to know just "Who is Mysterion?" Cartman is angered by his lack of popularity and the attention Mysterion is receiving.
Coon decides to rid the town of Mysterion, enlisting the help of Professor Chaos (Butters) and his sidekick General Disarray (Dougie). Unlike the Coon, Professor Chaos and General Disarray have become as familiar to the residents of South Park as Mysterion. Butters also wants to know the identity of Mysterion but can only narrow the list of suspects to the boys from Mr. Garrison's 4th grade class whose shapes do not differ greatly from that of others. In contrast, he has nearly pinned down Coon's identity to a few fat celebrities, and Cartman. In a scheme to uncover Mysterion's identity, the Coon convinces Professor Chaos to threaten the destruction of a hospital unless Mysterion reveals his identity. After the Coon plants the TNT and leaves to buy detonators, Mysterion unexpectedly arrives. He points out that this is not Professor Chaos' usual style, and fights Professor Chaos and General Disarray on top of the building. A crowd forms below and cheers on Mysterion as the police take no actions, believing that their bullets are no match for Professor Chaos' aluminum foil armor. Dramatically, the Coon appears to fight on the side of Mysterion, with the hopes that he too will be hailed as a hero. At that point, Professor Chaos and General Disarray run off in defeat. After their victory, the Coon convinces Mysterion to unmask himself by claiming such threats to public safety will continue until Mysterion's secret is revealed.
Despite the threat of imprisonment, Mysterion unmasks himself, showing the television viewers only the portion of his face that looks similar to almost all of Mr. Garrison's 4th grade class. The crowd, however, is shocked to learn Mysterion's identity and, much to the regret of all except Coon, who says that he knew who Mysterion was, even calling him out on it at one point (though this helps the audience little as Cartman claimed that practically everyone in his class was Mysterion at times), Mysterion is hauled to prison. With Professor Chaos, General Disarray and Mysterion defeated, Cartman now perceives that he is the superhero in South Park and that every town should have a Coon like him.
What I Learned Today
“Well, people are obviously so desperate to learn your identity that they’ll do anything. Won’t be long before the next villain comes along and threatens violence unless you take off your mask.”
Behind The Scenes
Pop Culture References
- "The Coon" is primarily a parody of dark-toned comic book movies. The Dark Knight (2008), The Spirit (2008) and Watchmen (2009) are the most commonly referred to films, but others such as Spider-Man 3 (2007) are also frequently referenced.
- Cartman and Mysterion both refer to themselves as "the symbol this town needs", a line from The Dark Knight, and Cartman encourages Butters to film a video threatening to blow up a hospital, the same as the Joker from a scene in that film. The opening shot of "The Coon" is also inspired by a sequence from Watchmen: both feature a close-up of a city sidewalk and zoom out to someone looking down from the top of a tall skyscraper. A poster of the Coon shown at Cartman's Coonicon 2009 is inspired by the front cover of The Dark Knight Returns, the Batman graphic novel by Frank Miller. Other common comic book film traits parodied in "The Coon" include costumes that do little to actually conceal secret identities, trophies adorning superhero secret lairs, and sudden disappearing exits and entrances.