True Love Wins Over Homophobia in ‘Fusion Man’

The Incredible Adventures of Fusion Man

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s ‘Fusion Man‘!

‘The Incredible Adventures of Fusion Man’ is a 2009 campy comedy inspired by superhero films and is directed by Xavier Gens and Marius Vale. It stars Raphael Personnaz as the legendary Fusion Man and Patrick Ligardes as the superhero’s archnemesis Waco. 

Curious to know more about this French short film? Read on. Fair warning though, spoilers are aplenty!

TRIGGER WARNING: This movie deals a little bit with the topic of suicide.

The Incredible Adventures of Fusion Man

‘The Incredible Adventures of Fusion Man’ starts with Marc (played by Frederic Chau) who is busy preparing for what seems like a romantic dinner for someone special. He has prepared candles and is busy scattering rose petals all over the place as he hums a tune under his breath. Suddenly, a strong gust of wind blasts through the room, blowing some of the candles off. 

Marc calls the intruder Daniel Jean-Val, and chides him for not coming through the door instead like everyone else. It is revealed that Daniel is actually the masked hero, Fusion Man. Fusion Man complains that it would take six floors on the elevator and when one can fly, that just seems redundant. Fusion Man notices the scowl on Marc’s face and immediately asks him what the problem seems to be. Marc opens up and tells him that it has been so long since they last spent an evening together and then the hero just flew in and ruined everything he prepared for. Fusion Man tries to pacify his angry lover and says that the law is entirely in his hands, wink wink. They lean in for a kiss, but before their lips can touch, the television switches on and alerts them of a crisis, complete with an F on a spotlight on the clouds a la Batman. 

Fusion Man apologizes to Marc and quickly prepares to leave. Marc says that he understands, but he has to tell him something. It can’t go on like this, he tells him. Fusion Man regretfully tells him that it can wait for later because “with great power comes great responsibility.” And just like that, he is off flying from Marc’s place and dashing across the city to the supposed crisis. 

The scene of the emergency shows a swarm of people and the press as they stand below a man who is on the verge of jumping from the ledge of a building. Back in the apartment, Marc watches the news as Anne Darren (played by Melanie Bernier), a journalist, reports on the young man who is attempting to commit suicide. 

The Incredible Adventures of Fusion Man

Up on the rooftop, the young man, Raphael (played by Felix Moati) is revealed to be under the control of the evil villain Waco. Waco has the powers of psychological persuasion and is manipulating Raphael to jump off the building, calling him names like “dirty little fag and little queer.” 

Anne reports everything to the people including Fusion Man’s charismatic arrival to the scene. Fusion Man announces that he has arrived and people should not fear, which Marc calls out as “showing off” back in the apartment.

Meanwhile, Waco is convincing Raphael to jump because the world does not need him and he can hear how Raphael is hated for being queer. “There is nothing left for you here,” Waco says.

Fusion Man arrives and asks Waco if he truly believes that. Waco gleefully welcomes him in order to settle their score but Fusion Man brushes him off and tells him he has already lost. Waco isn’t hurting anyone anymore. Waco counters that it’s because Fusion Man wants them all for himself, adding that he’s looking for his own Robin a la Batman. Waco warns Fusion Man that Raphael is too “ripe for his liking” though, which, yikes. 

Waco sends a blast of energy wave toward both Raphael and Fusion Man, which means the hero can’t reach out to save Raphael from possibly tumbling over the railing where he’s currently stuck in. Waco threatens to “expose” Fusion Man for what he truly is, his secrets, his own “Kryptonite” as he laughs maniacally. Is everybody getting all these superhero references?

Fusion Man answers back and tells Waco that he is a scum who knows no love. Love, Waco counters is Fusion Man’s weakness. Waco reveals that he knows about Fusion Man’s “little girlfriend” a visit. And Waco hopes that Fusion Man taught Marc how to fly, threatening Marc’s life. Fusion Man counters he doesn’t need to because Marc is a flight attendant. Cackling!

Waco asks “And so?” and Fusion Man takes this chance to retaliate on his momentary confusion. Fusion Man releases his own energy wave towards Waco and blasts him flying off the rooftop. Marc rejoices from his place. But alas, Raphael seems to have completely fallen victim to Waco’s powers and jumps from the ledge. Fusion Man flies and catches Raphael, much to the relief of the onlookers, including Anne. 

Up on the rooftop, Fusion Man talks to Raphael. Raphael seems in shock upon learning the hero’s secret albeit still in a somber mood. Fusion Man comforts him and tells him that even Robin, who everybody knows as Batman’s buddy is actually his boyfriend– or everybody’s boyfriend for that matter. Hilarious!

Fusion Man jokes that he can give him Robin’s number and they laugh. The hero tells him that it’s not always so bad, being queer. Raphael tells Fusion Man that his boyfriend is lucky to have him, which Fusion Man agrees with, but counters that he’s lucky to have him as well.

Fusion Man flies Raphael down to the onlookers and to his loved ones, leaving Anne even more smitten. Anne asks Fusion Man for a message for his female admirers and Fusion Man is quick to add “and for his male admirers too.” Anne presses Fusion Man to relay his message solely to his female fans which includes her. Anne then asks Fusion Man if he’s still single to which Fusion Man replies, “I’m sharing my life with a wonderful man and I’m actually gonna have to leave you because he’s waiting for me at home with dinner.” Marc, who’s currently watching the news is visibly enamored. Fusion Man flies away leaving a heartbroken and teary-eyed Anne to end the report on the crisis.

 

Writer’s thoughts:

Campy and comical as it may seem at first glance, it is definitely not lost on the viewers of ‘The Incredible Adventures of Fusion Man’ that Waco is definitely a metaphor for homophobia, internalized or not. How many times have queer people heard those taunting remarks to kill themselves because a queer like them has nothing left waiting for them in the world? 

But what’s truly nice and heartwarming is that Raphael sees that a popular person, a hero at that, can be queer and still be well-loved by the world. And Fusion Man makes sure that that is not lost on the queer teenager. 

If you know someone who’s struggling, help is available and you may visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention to find help in your country. 

 

Watch ‘The Incredible Adventures of Fusion Man’ on GagaOOLala.

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