The synopsis of The Exploding Detective by John Swartzwelder, an amazing writer on the Simpsons (link - he stopped in the 14th season - not coincidentally about when it began its decline?).
To help differentiate himself from the rest of the private detectives in Central City, Frank Burly decides he needs a gimmick to attract customers. He purchases a refurbishedWorld War II jet pack that was part of a NAZI plot to conquer Heaven in the afterlife and outfits it with booster rockets that he bought from a women's fashion magazine. Calling himself "The Flying Detective" he begins recklessly streaking across the skies of Central City and crashing into buildings. In fact, the citizens of Central City see him crash, burn, and explode so often that they begin to suspect the hapless detective possesses super powers that protect him from serious injury.
At the same time, a bizarre new crime wave hits the city. An army of robots led by Napoleon commits a series of robberies in the industrial district, stealing chemicals and other raw materials. Frustrated, the mayor and the chief of police approach Frank Burly about becoming the city's patron super hero. In exchange for $1,500 a week, Burly agrees to don a cape and tights and fly through the city in the name of justice and goodness. However he soon finds he has bitten off more than he can chew when Napoleon turns out to be a robot and the real mastermind behind the crime wave unleashes his assassin robots against The Flying Detective.