|Who Wants to Be a Superhero?|
|Created by||Stan Lee|
|Directed by||Rick Telles|
|Presented by||Stan Lee|
|Narrated by||Stan Lee|
|Country of origin||US|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||14|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Original network||Sci Fi|
UK version: CBBC
|Original release||July 26, 2006 –|
September 6, 2007
|Followed by||UK version|
|Related||Stan Lee's Superhumans|
Who Wants to Be a Superhero? was a superhero genre reality TV series broadcast on the Sci Fi Channel produced by Nash Entertainment and POW! Entertainment. The show was created by Stan Lee and Nash Entertainment. A junior version of the show was broadcast on BBC Two/CBBC in the UK.
Potential contestants auditioned as their super hero selves. The final 10 selected were then placed in common quarters. The contestants were then tested for super hero traits. Lee was the only judge and would instruct the eliminated contestant: “Turn in your costume”. He also mentored the contestants and made appearances, primarily on TV screens, on a giant plasma at the top of a tower block, monitor resting in the middle of a pile of trash or on individually issued "communicators". Winner's character concept would be the star of a Stan Lee scripted Dark Horse comic book and of a TV movie for the Sci Fi (SyFy) Channel.
Stan Lee and Bruce Nash developed the concept. In 2004, MTV was considering televising the show even holding the regional auditions. The show moved to the Sci Fi Channel two years later with the pitch well received when they were told that Stan would judge.
US season 1
At the Los Angeles 2004 auditions, Matthew Atherton applied as Knightbeam, powered from artificial light. Atherton reapplied as Feedback and was originally selected as an alternative.
Some filmed challenges were cut from the show. The first challenge (1a) was from Rotiart, a plant from Lee, who talked to the contestants to find out who was there for the right reasons. The next challenge (1b) was to discreetly change into costume and then race to a finish line, with a secret part being to help a lost little girl.
The three finalists had their potential comic book cover shown to them. Then they had the challenge of getting school children to vote for them after telling them their origin story. Fat Momma won the children's vote. The next challenge was to track down Dark Enforcer at Universal CityWalk via planned clues with Major Victory winning. Fat Momma wanted to quit, as she felt Feedback deserved it more, but was convinced to stick it out by the other two. Major Victory was then eliminated.
Feedback won the first season over Fat Momma. The top three, winner Feedback, runners-up Fat Momma and Major Victory, were made into action figures by Shocker Toys released along with the season two's figures. Feedback appeared in the 2007 Sci Fi channel film Mega Snake.
|Feedback ♂||Matthew Atherton
34 years old
Las Cruces, New Mexico
|Absorb powers from video game characters/generate a feedback field that disrupts electronics within 15 feet/computer genius||IN||IN||IN||NOM||IN||IN||IN||IN||IN||WIN|
|Fat Momma ♀||Nell Wilson
Online sales specialist/single mother
42 years old
Los Angeles, California
|Grows to 5X her normal size when angry/eating a doughnut activates other powers||IN||IN||IN||IN||IN||NOM||NOM||IN||IN||OUT|
|Major Victory ♂||Chris Watters
38 years old
San Francisco, California
|Super strength/flight/super jump/survive without air/super vision/manipulate sound waves||IN||IN||IN||IN||IN||IN||NOM||NOM||OUT|
|Lemuria ♀||Tonatzin Mondragon
30 years old
Los Angeles, California
|Shoot lasers/shoot fireballs/levitation/drain energy from people, animals, and plants/throw orbs of solar energy||IN||IN||IN||IN||IN||IN||IN||OUT|
|Creature ♀||Tonya Kay
25 years old
|Can heal others with fruit and raw foods/shoot fire beams/magical bullwhip/throws knives with unerring precision||NOM||IN||NOM||IN||IN||IN||OUT|
|Ty'Veculus ♂||E. Quincy Sloan
34 years old
|Super strength/super speed/fire resistannce/lie detection||IN||IN||IN||NOM||IN||OUT|
|Monkey Woman ♀||Mary Votava
Real estate investor
28 years old
|Skills of a monkey/talk to monkeys/high-tech weapons disguised as bananas/bamboo staff||IN||NOM||IN||IN||OUT|
|The Iron Enforcer ♂||Steel Chambers
35 years old
Brooklyn, New York
|Densest bone structure of any human/death punch/various high-tech weapons||NOM||NOM||NOM||OUT|
|Cell Phone Girl ♀||Chelsea Weld
22 years old
La Crescenta, California
|Teleport from one cell phone to another/eyes can take digital photos/mentally download information from a computer/use cell phone waves to move objects and shoot laser beams||IN||IN||OUT|
|Nitro G ♂||Darren Passarello
19 years old
Staten Island, New York
|Super strength/super speed/flight/energy manipulation||IN||OUT|
|Levity ♂||Tobias Trost
32 years old
|Rotiart ♂||Jonathan Finestone
27 years old
Los Angeles, California
|Spy cameras||plant/spy for Lee, not a true contestant|
US season 2
Two or three villains, Dr. Dark and Bee Sting, were used in this season and there was an overarching story line. In addition to the first season rewards of a Stan Lee written comic book published by Dark Horse and a Sci Fi Original movie appearance, the winning character would also get a Shocker Toys action figure.
Jarrett Crippen's character was originally named Take Down, but as that name was trademarked by a wrestler, Stan Lee chose "The Defuser" after discussing his job as a police detective. Crippen finished filming for his character's movie appearance by January 15, 2009. The movie, Lightning Strikes, also starred Kevin Sorbo.
A plus sign indicates that the hero was singled out for praise by Lee in that episode.
|The Defuser ♂||Jarret Crippen
|Use non-lethal weapons/body can function at 110%/super strength/super speed/enhanced reflexes/super hearing/night vision||IN||IN||IN||IN||NOM||NOM||IN||NOM||WIN|
|Hygena ♀||Melody Mooney
Sherman Oaks, California
|Use a magic necklace to turn cleaning tools into weapons||IN+||IN+||IN+||IN||NOM||NOM||NOM||NOM||OUT|
|Hyper-Strike ♂||John Stork
Plainfield, Vermont/Chicago, Illinois
|Martial arts expert/super strength/enhanced durability/enhanced agility/can manipulate own qi||IN||IN||IN||NOM||IN||IN+||NOM||NOM||OUT|
|Parthenon ♂||Dan Williams
|Super strength/invulnerability/flight/force-field generation/sonic blast/illusion creation||IN+||IN||IN+||IN||IN+||IN||OUT|
|Whip-Snap ♀||Paula Thomas
Dallas, Texas/Los Angeles, California
|Expert at using a whip/increased flexibility/decomposing touch/absorbs strength from the Earth||IN+||IN||IN||IN||IN||OUT|
|Basura ♀||Aja de Coudreaux
|Use magic to turn trash into weapons/communicate with insects||IN+||IN||NOM||NOM||OUT|
|Ms. Limelight ♀||Trisha Paytas
Byron, Illinois/Los Angeles, California
|Absorb the powers and skills of action stars from movies/fantastic swimmer/sense people's weaknesses/use a mirror to temporarily blind foes||NOM||NOM||NOM||OUT|
|Mr. Mitzvah ♂||Ivan "Sir Ivan" Wilzig
Miami, Florida/New York City
|Star of David paddle that can deflect any attack/super strength/flight/night vision/super senses||NOM||NOM||OUT|
|Mindset ♂||Phillip Allen
Coral Springs, Florida
|Super intelligence/telekinesis/time travel/indestructible armor/sense danger/excellent problem solver||IN||OUT|
|Braid ♀||Crystal Clark
|Use hair extensions as a zip line/shape-shifting/super smell/can change into her costume using a prism stone||OUT|
UK season 1
- Heffernan, Virginia (3 August 2006). "Who Wants to Be a Superhero?': Misfits Just Want to Save the World". New York Times. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
- Canning, Robert (29 July 2007). "SDCC 07: Who Wants to be a Superhero?". IGN. Ziff Davis LLC. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
- Kerwin, Ann Marie (26 July 2006). "'Who Wants to Be a Superhero?' Who Doesn't?". Ad Age. Crain Communications. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
- Dee, Johnny (4 May 2007). "Johnny Dee on Who Wants To Be A Superhero?". the Guardian. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
- Littleton, Cynthia (13 November 2018). "How 'Who Wants to Be a Superhero' Reflected Stan Lee's Amazing Legacy and Goofy Charms". Variety. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
- Goldman, Eric (6 September 2006). "Who Wants to be a Superhero? Interview: Feedback". IGN. Ziff Davis, LLC. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
- Renovitch, James (28 September 2007). "Epaulets, Hard-Plastic C-Cups, and a Superhero Cop". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
- Bonawitz, Amy (25 August 2006). "Who Wants To Be A Superhero?". CBS News.com. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
- Snook, Raven (19 June 2007). "Who Wants to Be an Action Figure?". TV Guide. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
- "Mega Snake (2007)". Rotten Tomatoes.com. Fandango. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
- West, Latoya. "Before You Watch Sci Fi's Who Wants To Be A Superhero?". about.com. About. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
- "Nash Entertainment-Who wants to Be a Superhero?-Cast and Crew". nashentertainment.com. Nash Entertainment. Retrieved 3 May 2022.
- Logan, Michael (26 July 2007). "Stan Lee Takes on Paris Hilton and Wannabe Superheroes". TV Guide. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
- Werts, Diane (7 September 2007). "The TV Zone: New 'Superhero': The Defuser". Newsday. Archived from the original on 16 September 2007. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
- Grimes, Andrea (31 January 2008). "Grown Man Wears Spandex, Touches Balls ..." The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
- Whittaker, Richard (15 January 2009). "Shooting Hoops With the Defuser". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 4 June 2018.