Lanford Beard
April 13, 2012 AT 08:51 PM EDT

Neil Davidson

This week may have started out tough for Newark mayor Cory Booker, who faced complaints about the cost of police overtime for Whitney Houston’s funeral, but it ended with a “BANG! THWAP! POW!” That’s right, after rescuing a neighbor from a burning building, Booker has joined the likes of Ryan Gosling, Chuck Norris, Sean Penn, Mark Wahlberg (at least in his own head), and Seattle’s Phoenix Jones in garnering real-life superhero status — and his own meme!

The 43-year-old pol returned home last night to see flames coming from his neighbor’s home. After learning that the neighbor’s grown daughter was still inside, he and two members of his security detail rushed into the house. “It was a really frightening experience for me,” Booker said to ABC News this morning. “I didn’t think we were going to get out of there.” Despite Newark police detective Alex Rodriguez’s attempts to pull him out, Booker stayed inside, followed his neighbor’s screams, and carried her out on his shoulder. He was taken to the hospital, where he was treated for second-degree burns and smoke inhalation. (Only after tweeting about it, of course.)

With great power comes a great meme, Booker is now on Team Meme, with countless photos and websites flooding the Internet as tributes to his heroism. From Tumblrs to Twitter hashtags (#CoryBookerStories, ), the mighty mayor is all over the place. One of my personal favorites is the tweet from political commentator Miles Grant: “When Chuck Norris has nightmares, Cory Booker turns on the light & sits with him until he falls back asleep.” Another, a split-screen (via Mashable, where I found the above Gosling/Booker image) of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton texting, “Cory, house fire in Newark. I’m in the air.” Booker: “On it.”

More iterations are available on the Super Cory Booker and Cory Booker Stories Tumblr pages. Let’s begin the inevitable Gosling versus Booker debate… Oh wait, somebody already did? What about the inevitable Katniss “Girl on Fire” punchlines? Been there, done that? Well okay then.

What’s your favorite Booker bit, PopWatchers?

Read more:

Newark mayor responds to high cost of Whitney Houston funeral. But what is the price of mourning?

Extra! Extra! Ryan Gosling saves woman’s life!

Seattle’s self-proclaimed superhero Phoenix Jones is unmasked, vows to continue fighting crime

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