Just hours after the government debuted the latest part of their information campaign about the COVID-19 outbreak in Singapore, the “Virus Vanguard” superhero concept and art have been deleted on their social media channels and official site.
Who made the Singaporean Virus Vanguard?
Gov.sg, official Facebook page of the Singaporean government, credited artist collective “Band of Doodles” for the collaboration involving local “superheroes.”
Who is the Singapore Virus Vanguard?
According to the previous web page on the official Singapore government website, the Virus Vanguard is a set of fictional characters who “is the advance guard in our COVID-19 battle. The team is fighting on multiple fronts, an essential strategy to keep the enemy and its cronies at bay.”
The web page featured art and write-ups on five different ‘superheroes’. The creator of the characters was not credited on the web page. Here’s what got taken down after jut a few hours online:
Circuit Breaker and Mini Moh
According to her description, ” The girl was volunteering at a nursing home as part of school CIP when one of the patients took a particular liking to her. She then gave the 12-year old a tiara which, when worn, will unleash a humanoid machine – Circuit Breaker.”
Her powers included lossless data compression of 10000:1, digital equipment control at a distance, and hypersonic speed.
Fake News Buster
This character, on the other hand, was a “corporate cog data cruncher” who was approximately in his 20’s. His powers include being a “walking Google and Wikipedia” in one and being able to tell which information is true and which is a lie. He got his power from breaking up with his girlfriend and memorizing facts.
Fake News Buster allegedly used to be a flat-earther, or someone who does not believe in the heliocentric model of the solar system. He then “denounced all things fake,” and became the superhero featured on the web page.
His name meaning “Must Always Walk Alone” is reportedly used to remind the public of the need for social distancing. This superhero’s power was to repel people.
According to the deleted page, his name was, “Manzoorakkaman (Man Man for short), a sports super agent in his late 30s.”
The story for this character continued as, “Man Man is a fanatical Manchester United fan who grew up in the 80s when Liverpool kept winning titles and he was constantly taunted by his two Liverpool fan brothers. This made him despise everything Liverpool including their motto You’ll Never Walk Alone (YNWA).”
This superhero who looked like a woman with Dr. Octopus’ appendages “can detect the presence of any virus or bacteria and she dons an exoskeleton suit with extended multi-appendages to eradicate and disinfect. Ordinarily, she is Sonya, a microbiologist at Singapore Clinical Research Institute in her mid-20s,” according to the web page.
Her backstory included multiple science degrees earned abroad, but she was flushed down a toilet following a freak accident.
With her name being a pun on “Care Lady,” this superhero supposedly absorbed negativity and radiated positivity, which could allude to some form of emotional manipulation.
While her description said that she understands people’s emotions through telepathy, that superpower was usually portrayed in popular media as empathy.
This character is an alleged trillionaire who went mountain climbing in Kathmandu, where she achieved enlightenment and her powers.
The content on the superheroes and the social media posts have since been taken down after a deluge of comments criticized several aspects of the heroes.
According to some of the comments, the execution was “frivolous” and “light-hearted” in the context of COVID-19, but the idea was worthwhile.
Other comments said that there must be a better way to spend money on the COVID-19 response.
The government has since apologized to the public for any offense made through the campaign, and that the goal of the art and concept was to feature different measures being done against the COVID-19 outbreak.
The government also reportedly credited the artists on their Facebook post signaling the Virus Vanguard was ‘under review’.
What do you think of the Singaporean “Virus Vanguard”? Let us know in the comments!
Images from Gov.sg