The revelation that mild-mannered Mayor Bloomberg, the Bruce Wayne of Gotham City, keeps a Batphone in his kitchen was a clear Batsignal that we’ve been overrun by superheroes. Wonder Twins Barbara Walters and Rosie O’Donnell stopped squabbling long enough to join forces against Donald Trump, who, with his Magneto-like ability to attract reporters, poked fun at Rosie’s incredible bulk. Nets All-Star Jason Kidd, as bald as Lex Luthor, claimed in a divorce filing that his 105-pound wife Joumana’s superpowers included punching, kicking, and the ability to throw “nearby household objects.” (Her lawyer, Raoul Felder, a.k.a. the Punisher, dismissed such talk as “the realm of fantasy.”) Onetime defender of the weak Jeanine Pirro, whose Spidey sense tingles whenever she suspects hubby Al is playing Dr. Octopus, signed on to host a daytime talk show.
While announcing a “troop surge” (Kryptonite to formerly loyal sidekick and Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki), President Bush paid lip service to Peter Parker’s credo that with great power comes great responsibility, saying about Iraq, “Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me.” Yoko Ono’s driver turned archenemy threatened to expose a Bizarro World life in which she belittled the Beatles and Jackie O. The Legion of Doom was suspected to be operating inside Riverside Park, which topped a new list of crime-ridden municipal spaces.
A Fantastic Four of Queens teens sought justice against a graffiti vandal by choking him with a nonutility belt, slashing and stabbing him, running over him with their car (twice), and then threatening to find out if bullets bounced off his head. Giants owner John Mara played the Riddler, granting coach Tom Coughlin a one-year extension but saying, “He knows we need to do better.” Howard Stern took home an $83 million bonus from Sirius radio, which should buy a lot of Fartman getups. And an evil smell infiltrated Manhattan from parts unknown -- though city officials were happy to finger New Jersey as the villain -- driving New Yorkers inside their fortresses of solitude. —Mark Adams