When Randy Milholland started the whole “costumed hero” shtick with Mike in his cynical slice-of-life webcomic Something Positive, I was expecting the worse. When you consider that Mike is one of Milholland’s favorite chewtoys (and likely still is), having him dress up in a brightly-coloured costume and run around Boston trying to do “good deeds” seemed destined to blow up in his face. But then Milholland took a fascinating turn with the “costumed hero” route; rather than have Mike turn into some wannabe Batman fighting crime, he had Mike going around and try to help people; in essence, Mike was dressing up in costume to be a good Samaritan.
Oddly enough, this does make some twisted amount of sense. Given the general distrust people have for one another, having a complete stranger (and one with a beak that would give Severus Snape a run for his money) offer to help would inevitably be seen the wrong way. Add in the fact Mike is not exactly the nicest of people (and has a sad tendency to self-destruct from time to time), and you had a recipe for trouble, no matter what Mike’s motives. But by putting on the costume, Mike’s “mindset” is shifted away from his usual sardonic tendencies; he wears a mask to mask the fact he’s a dick and is honest about the fact he’s not the nicest of people outside the costume.
Things can (and likely will) still go wrong with all this, though I must admit I’m amused by the fact some uppity politician is going to try and “get even” with Mike over his own mess caused when the politician tried to take advantage of Mike’s (or Pythagorean, rather) growing popularity. It would be absolutely hilarious if in trying to get back at Mike, the politician ended up facing down Mike on the political arena. It would be even more humorous if Mike were elected in that ass’s place, elevated because he’s been working hard to help other people (the very thing politicians are supposed to do). Over the years we’ve seen a number of characters in S*P “grow up;” it is about time for Mike to do the same.