OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: Let's Be Heroes
April 7, 2018 6:23 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

K.O. is a little kid in a world of heroes, villains and video game tropes. He wants nothing more than to become a strong hero himself, so when his mommy brings him in to her workplace at Lakewood Plaza Turbo, he goes nuts buying stuff in Mr. Gar's Hero Bodega. Will he be ready when evil robot Darrell attacks?

Show creator Ian Jones-Quartey is probably one of the most experienced world-building creators in animation. Not only did he make his own popular webcomic, RPG World, for years, but he did stints with two hugely popular deep-world shows, Venture Bros. and Steven Universe. OK K.O. falls neatly between the two: the world of heroes and villains and willingness to mine it for implications like Venture Bros., and the action and deep lore of Steven Universe. The stakes are purposely kept low most of the time; the main conflict of the show, the plaza vs. Lord Boxmore and his robots, is usually played for laughs, and, also like Venture Bros., the antagonists end up so deconstructed that you can't help liking them. The "evil" robots' adoring of their "Dad" Boxmore is one of the sweetest parts of the show, enough that one is left hoping that they aren't being set up for terrible disillusionment, or worse, at the hands of the writing staff.

MR. GAR, Level 11: Strengths: Giving orders. Weaknesses: ??? (prob. Carol)
Mr. Gar, owner of the bodega and, we find out later, former big-time member of P.O.I.N.T., is level 11, the highest level we've see (other than IJQ's characters from RPG World, who get honorary levels of 99 and -99). An impossibly godlike figure in this show's world, nevertheless he's brought to stuttering when around K.O.'s mom Carol. Could they have some kind of history, perhaps....

RAD (Radicles) Stock Boy, Level 2: Strengths: Alien strength, Weakness: Human weakness.
Rad, voiced by show creator Ian Jones-Quartey, seems like a smug and self-centered bro at first, but as the show continues shows hidden depths and awesomeness... when he stops faking being a jerk, that is.

ENID Cashier, Level 3, Weaknesses: Caring about stuff, Strengths: Power kicks, Power sarcasm, Power in general.
Enid is the typical surly teen working a dead-end job. Her apathy turns out to be caused by a series of demoralizing situations: embarrassment over her family, rejection from a former best friend, and a bad dating experience. Also, her job does suck.

We also meet our first Darrell, one of Boxman's main six lines of robots: Darrell, Shannon, Jethro, Raymond, Ernesto and Mikayla.

There's a nice action sequence where K.O. beats up Darrell, which is, of course, just a dream: K.O. got knocked unconscious by Darrell's first attack. Oooh, too bad kid. Fortunately, he learns fast, and soon is keeping up with Enid and Rad in plaza defense. Rad gets knocked out by Darrell too, and Enid's worried, but then Mr. Gar shows up with his MIGHTY ELBOW, and it's all over.

Backstory notes:
K.O.'s hero card binder has a Cartoon Network sticker on it, of course.

Other power levels, from K.O.'s hero card collection:
Drupe: 0 (strawberry girl who hangs out at Lakewood Plaza Turbo)
Gregg: 0 (bird creature who sometimes hangs out with Drupe)
Fish Dude: 2
Red Action: 4 (is from the future, becomes a friend of Enid's and Rad's)
Potato: 1 (rabbit, romantically linked with a brocolli character)
Miss Pastel: 1
Sparko: 3
Small One: 0?
Miss Mummy: 5 (sometimes a bodega customer)
Shy Ninja: 3
Nick Army: 2
Joff the Shaolin Monk: 2 (Nick and Joff are an item!)
The Flu: 2 (not -2?)
Punchy Judy is K.O.'s baby sitter. We don't get to see her power level yet, but we assume its greater than The Flu's 2.

Products in Mr. Gar's Bodega:
Lazer Swordz ("Cool New Colors," both spelled with a 'Z')
Flame Gauntlets
"Bottom" Towels ("Please take from top - mgmt")
Lightning Nachos

One of the best little touches on the show? Other worlds get rats; Lakewood Plaza Turbo gets tiny dinosaurs! Presumably they're on loan from Pee-Wee's Playhouse.

The older ladies who hang out at Carol's Fitness Dojo are Gertie, Ginger and Gladys. Later we find out that Ginger, at least, has a past....

The money of K.O.'s world is Technos, possibly a reference to Technos, creators of Double Dragon and the Kunio-Kun games (better known in the US as River City Ransom).

We meet best friends (maybe more than friends?) Brandon and A Real Magic Skeleton for the first time.

"It's only magic...
It's it amazing when you know?
Every second that you see is
Twenty-four connected pieces.
Thank you for coming,
Thank you for staying,
Thank you for watching the show!"
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