Singapore's corona-crushing superhero squad grounded by football fans

Liverpool followers were Kryptonite for Must Always Walk Alone Man, Dr Disinfector and the rest of the Virus Vanguard

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Singapore has grounded a superhero squad intended to educate its population about staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, in part because the Lycra-clad creations offended fans of Liverpool Football Club.

The superheroes were collectively known as the "Virus Vanguard" and comprised:

  • Circuit Breaker – a reference to the label applied to Singapore's extended lockdown
  • Fake News Buster – self-explanatory
  • Dr Disnfector – again, needs little explanation
  • Care Leh-Dee – she's a mystery to us
  • MAWA MAN – MAWA means "must always walk alone"
Singapore's Virus Vanguard

Singapore's Virus Vanguard ... Click to enlarge

The Vanguard appear to have quickly earned ire from comic book fans for being derivative and from plenty of others for just being naff. But was MAWA MAN's avid fandom for Manchester United Football Club proved the team's undoing, as his powers of repulsion and catchphrase twist on Rodgers and Hammerstein's tune "You'll Never Walk Alone" has long been Liverpool FC's anthem and therefore offended some fans.

Asian ardour for English football can become rather extreme. So extreme that a change.org petition found 900 Liverpool fans willing to sign up for MAWA MAN's erasure.

The song has also become something of a solidarity statement during the coronavirus pandemic. The Liverpool fans' campaign hit the back of the net, with Singapore's government quickly admitting the Virus Vanguard had met their match.

A counter-petition to bring back MAWA MAN has 11 signatories at the time of writing.

India's corona-crushing superhero, Vayuu, seems to be continuing the fight without public pushback. ®

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