Who Wants to Be a Superhero?
|Who Wants to Be a Superhero?|
Stan Lee and the contestants of Season 2
|Created by||Stan Lee
Aja De Coudreaux
"Sir Ivan" Wilzig
|Narrated by||Stan Lee|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||14|
|Executive producer(s)||Stan Lee
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Original channel||Sci Fi Channel|
|Original run||July 27, 2006– September 6, 2007|
Who Wants to Be a Superhero? was a reality show hosted by Stan Lee. Contestants dress up as comic book superheroes of their own invention. Each week, Lee challenges the contestants to represent what "superheroes are all about." One or more of the superheroes deemed the least deserving is eliminated per episode. The grand prize for the winning superhero is to have his or her character star in a Dark Horse Comics comic book written by Lee and appear in an original movie to be aired on the Sci Fi Channel. The winner also receives a trip for two to Universal Studios Florida to participate in the park's Parade of Superheroes.
Season 1 premiered on July 27, 2006 on the Sci Fi Channel. Season 2 premiered on July 26, 2007. Stan Lee and his partner Gil Champion refused to confirm or deny rumors of a third season; Champion, in a shared 2007 interview with iF Magazine, stated "I guess it's a little early." There has been no sign of a third season, so despite no official announcement, the show is believed cancelled. Stan Lee has also co-created a British children's version of the series.
- Rotiart (aka Jonathan Finestone; Los Angeles, California) - Was a spy planted by Stan Lee to help weed out the least worthy superheroes. Stated that his name backwards is "Traitor" and left on his own (because he wasn't an actual contestant) in Episode One.
- Levity (aka Tobias Trost; Lakeside, Montana) - Eliminated in Episode One for discussing profitability of his character for his toy business. In his exit interview, he says that Rotiart manipulated their discussion.
- Nitro G (aka Darren Passarello; Staten Island, New York) - Eliminated in Episode One for failing the first challenge, 'Quick Change', by changing in plain sight and bypassing a girl in distress.
- Cell Phone Girl (aka Chelsea Weld; La Crescenta, California) - Eliminated in Episode Two for failing the courage-oriented watch-dog challenge by quitting in only four seconds, explaining that a headache was the problem.
- The Iron Enforcer (aka Steel Chambers; Brooklyn, New York) - Eliminated in Episode Two for not demonstrating Lee's ideas regarding a hero's behavior and values. Recruited by Stan to return as a supervillain, The Dark Enforcer.
- Monkey Woman (aka Mary Votava; Seattle, Washington) - Eliminated in Episode Three for giving away her secret identity without being asked and for concealing being an actress during her audition.
- Ty'Veculus (aka E. Quincy Sloan; Bakersfield, California) - Eliminated in Episode Three for failing the self-sacrifice challenge by recommending Lemuria for elimination, questioning her motives and reasons for being on the show.
- Creature (aka Tonya Kay; Coldwater, Michigan) - Eliminated in Episode Four following the revelation of her past as a litterbug and for jaywalking on the show.
- Lemuria (aka Tonatzin Mondragon; Los Angeles, California) - Eliminated in Episode Four for being the only hero to fail the prisoner challenge.
- Major Victory (aka Chris Watters; San Francisco, California) - Eliminated in Episode Five because of Stan Lee's concern that he was becoming a "parody of a superhero."
- Fat Momma (aka Nell Wilson; Los Angeles) - The final superhero asked to turn in her costume, in Episode Six, losing out to Feedback, though she said that, "Even if I had won, I couldn't be happier."
- Feedback (aka Matthew Atherton; Las Cruces, New Mexico) - Dubbed "the next great superhero" by Stan Lee.
The ten-hero cast of the second season was:
- Braid (aka Crystal Clark; Bloomington, Illinois) makes herself any age, race, or gender  and can turn her hair into crime-busting tentacles. She was eliminated in episode one for failing to gather information from a crime scene, and for being laid back in most challenges rather than taking action, in addition to caring more about explaining her powers than aiding the victim.
- Mindset (aka Phillip Allen; Coral Springs, Florida) is a telekinetic time traveler  on a mission to end all war. Originally named Omnicron, Mindset was voted the viewers' choice to win via an Internet poll earlier in the year. Eliminated in episode two for putting himself ahead of his fellow superheroes, hurting Limelight's feelings by accusing her of putting on an act and refusing to play Bee Sting's rules in her spelling bee.
- Mr. Mitzvah (aka Ivan Wilzig; Miami, Florida and New York City) is a real-life Bruce Wayne who lives in a castle. This multi-millionaire's mission, under the guise of Mr. Mitzvah, is to save the lives of children. He sports a Star of David paddle, which is able to deflect any attack. Season 2 premiered in his castle. He was eliminated in episode three for failing to show courage for a second time and secluding himself from the other heroes.
- Ms. Limelight (aka Trisha Paytas; Byron, Illinois and Los Angeles) is a caped-crusader who absorbs the powers of action stars on TV and in movies. She sports a mirror used to distract her enemies, and she developed night vision mainly from the large amount of time she spent in dark theaters. She was also eliminated in episode three for being unable to perform under pressure for two episodes in a row.
- Basura (aka Aja De Coudreaux; Oakland, California) uses her mystical powers to turn trash into treasures. She enlists the help of all bugs everywhere and can tell how an object was made by merely touching it. She was eliminated in episode four for not being assertive enough, as well as her hesitancy to help a mother look for her child.
- Whip-Snap (aka Paula Thomas; Dallas, Texas and Los Angeles, California) was raised in Texas, and has a mastery of the whip. Due to her time spent on the streets, she has also developed a sixth sense that alerts her to danger, and if her bare skin touches a villain, that villain is turned into sand. When asked about her character, Paula moved Stan Lee by telling him she based much of her character's hard past on her real life. She was eliminated in episode five due to her own self-doubt. Paula has recently appeared on TVLand's "She's Got the Look". The first episode aired in 2008.
- Parthenon (aka Dan Williams; Orlando, Florida) is an archaeologist who gets his mystical powers from an ancient gauntlet called the Armaguard, which he discovered in Greece. He has referred to himself not as a "gay superhero," but rather a superhero who "happen[s] to be gay," and has said that he sees himself as a gay role model. He was eliminated in episode six for failing to bond with the children featured in the episode.
- Hygena (aka Melody Mooney; Sherman Oaks, California) fights crime and grime, using a magic necklace dating back to the ancient Greek goddess Hygieia to make weapons from all types of cleaning utensils, including a feather duster that shoots radiation. She tied with Hyper-Strike as the second greatest superhero. Melody was raised near Calgary, Canada, later moved to O'ahu, Hawaii, and finally settled in Los Angeles, California.
- Hyper-Strike (aka John Stork; Plainfield, Vermont and Chicago, Illinois) is a martial arts expert with super strength and agility and, as his name suggests, superhuman speed. He can manipulate his qi (life force) and that of others. He also possesses the unique ability of using his sweat as a weapon. He tied with Hygena as the second greatest superhero.
- The Defuser (aka Jarrett Crippen; Austin, Texas) and winner of Season 2 is an expert paramilitary superhero who uses non-lethal weaponry to stop villains. He has the unique ability to function at 110 percent. On September 6, 2007, in a two-hour special on the SciFi Channel, Stan Lee chose the Defuser as "the next great superhero."
A spin-off series, The Superhero After Show, premiered on the Sci Fi Pulse broadband network immediately following the Eastern Time Zone broadcast of the first episode. The series was hosted by Feedback (Matthew Atherton) and is shown on Sci Fi Pulse. Feedback interviews Superhero contestants as they depart the show; each departing challenger shares reflections on his or her show experience and plans for the future. In the final installment, Feedback interviews Stan Lee about the season as a whole.
The UK Premiere was shown during a 2007 bank holiday special on May 5, 6, and 7th. While UK viewers could not compete in the show, a competition was launched by SCI FI for fans to submit a video of themselves as a superhero. Prizes included the winners footage being included on the DVD. The show continued to run every Monday, the last of season 1 being broadcast on June 18, 2007.
The Sci Fi Channel Australia premiered Season 1 of the show on May 10, 2007; while Season 2 premiered on September 24, 2007. Season 1 of the show was aired in New Zealand on C4 on October 23, 2007. It also aired in Canada on IFC, in Asia on STAR World, and in Latin America through the cable TV station Sony Entertainment Television, with Spanish subtitles. The first season started to air in Denmark, on the TV2 Zulu channel, on January 9, 2008, for a Wednesday evening slot at 22:00.In Indonesia, this program premiered season 1 in Trans7 on December 27, 2007 started to air at 20.30 and in the Philippines at Jack TV.
In the United Kingdom, the BBC commissioned its own version of the show, also called Who Wants To Be a Superhero?, for child contestants. It began airing on BBC Two on 3 January 2009. H20 Man is the current winner.
- Sci Fi'S Breakout Hit Who Wants To Be A Superhero? Starring Stan Lee Returns With An Even Bigger Second Season
- Elliott, Sean; "Stan Lee and Gil Champion Pick a Winner for Season 2 of Who Wants to Be a Superhero?- PART 1"; iFmagazine.com; September 6, 2007.
- Love, Brett (2007-07-20). "Who Wants To Be A Superhero? season two -- An early look". TV Squad. Retrieved 2007-08-17.
- Masaki, Lyle (2007-07-24). "Interview with Dan Williams of Who Wants to Be a Superhero?". AfterElton.com. p. 2. Retrieved 2007-08-20.
- Juergens, Brian (2007-08-03). "Gay TV Recap: Superhero gets SuperFABULOUS!". AfterElton.com. Retrieved 2007-08-17.
- Bentley, Rick. (July 25, 2007) The Fresno Bee Looking for the next superhero: Marvel's Stan Lee wants someone who is unique. Section: Life; Page E6.
- Menounos, Maria (August 9, 2007) NBC Today Show Interview: Hygena and Parthenon discuss "Who Wants to be a Superhero?" Time: 7:00-10:00 AM
- Craker, Lorilee. (July 22, 2007) The Grand Rapids Press "Superhero" pits wannabes for prizes. Section: Entertainment; page D11. reprint at Tune in July 26 9/7C on SCI FI Channel!
- Robinson, Amy. (August 23, 2007) The Charleston Gazette The idiot box. It's not super, but hero show well-suited for summer nights. Page 2D.
- "Hygena". SciFi Pulse Broadband Network. p. 1.
- The Futon Critic (September 7, 2007) The Diffuser Conquers All To Win Season 2 Of SCI FI's Who Wants To Be A Superhero?
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