Nowadays, audiences seem to like their superheroes extra angsty.

Nowadays, audiences seem to like their superheroes extra angsty.

It started with Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" flicks, with Peter Parker all conflicted and human and stuff. It's nice to relate.

Well, the uber-dark indie superhero comedy "Super" dishes up plenty of angst with a blubbering schmuck who transforms into a superhero of sorts.

Frank (Rainn Wilson) was already a bit of a sad sack, and that was before his beautiful wife (Liv Tyler) left him for a sleazebag (Kevin Bacon).

In his grief, Frank turns to divine inspiration, which apparently tells him to become a costumed crime-fighter. With a pipe wrench.

I had high hopes for "Super," coming from James Gunn, director of the gruesome and hilarious "Slither."

But the tone of "Super" is a bit schizophrenic. It's occasionally rather funny but often too dark for its own good. The violence is gruesome, bordering on sadistic. It's hard to get laughs against that.

I'll admit: I don't like Wilson and got hung up on his casting. He's one-note, and I don't find him especially funny. Cast a real actor like Philip Seymour Hoffman in this role, and you'd have a completely different (and better) movie.

The most anti-social sect of the comic-book crowd will likely enjoy "Super." I'd say "Kick-Ass" did it better.