The Meteor Man (1993)


The Meteor Man is a 1993 superhero film written, directed, and starring Robert Townsend, and featuring an ensemble cast. Townsend stars as a mild-mannered schoolteacher, who becomes a superhero after his neighborhood in Washington, D.C. is terrorized by street gangs. Although the film is set in Washington, it was mostly filmed in the Reservoir Hill, Baltimore neighborhood of Baltimore. Robert Townsend named his characters real identity, Jefferson Reed, after one of his childhood heroes, his favorite teacher.


Jefferson Reed is a mild mannered school teacher in Washington D.C.. His neighborhood is terrorized by a local gang called the Golden Lords. One night, Jeff steps in to rescue a woman from the gang, only to end up running from them himself. Hiding in a garbage dumpster, he manages to escape, and as he climbs out of it, he is struck down by a glowing green meteorite which crashes down from the sky. His spine is crushed and he receives severe burns. A small fragment of the meteor was left over and was taken by a silent vagrant (Bill Cosby). Reed awakens several days later in the hospital, but when his bandages are taken off, he is miraculously healed from all his injuries. Jeff soon discovers the meteorite has left him with other abilities too, such as flight, x-ray vision, superhuman strength, invulnerability, healing powers, absorb a book's content by touch, freezing breath, telepathy with dogs and telekinesis. Confiding this to his parents (Robert Guillaume and Marla Gibbs), he is convinced by them to use his powers to try and help the community. His mother designs a costume for him, and as The Meteor Man, he takes on the Golden Lords and their leader Simon Caine (Roy Fegan). He shuts down a crack house, stops a robbery, and unites the Crips, Bloods and the police. The Golden Lords learn of Meteor Man's identity, and the ongoing loss of his powers. As the gang vs. the community rivalry gets out of hand, after yet another attack by the Golden Lords. The community members plan to make a deal with them, Jeff jumps in and teaches them about fighting for their beliefs. A powerless Jeff fights Simon and gets beaten up in the process. Simon raises his gun up towards Jeff, planning to shoot him until Jeff's neighbor (James Earl Jones) throws a record at him and successfully knocks the gun out of Simon's hand. At this point the neighborhood fights back and the same man who picked up the small meteor fragment uses it to strip the Golden Lords of their guns. The man accidentally drops the meteor on the ground with Jeff and Simon noticing this. They both get a fragment of the meteor, gaining superpowers, and engage in a brawl, with Meteor Man as the victor. Afterwards, the drug lord Mr. Byers (Frank Gorshin) confronts Meteor Man, but is outnumbered by the Bloods and the Crips, who show up to protect Meteor Man. Byers is then arrested by the police after attempting to "take a vacation to the Bahamas".