Who Wants to Be a Superhero?

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Who Wants to Be a Superhero?
Stan Lee and the contestants of Season 2
super heroes
Created byStan Lee
Bruce Nash
Directed byRick Telles
Presented byStan Lee
JudgesStan Lee
Narrated byStan Lee
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes14
Executive producers
  • Bruce Nash
  • Stan Lee
  • Scott Satin
  • Andrew Jebb
  • Gill Champion[1]
  • Andy Sheer[2]
  • Tess Gamboa
  • Walk Omiecinski
  • Supervising: Todd Jensen
Running time60 minutes
Production companies
Original release
NetworkSci Fi
UK version: CBBC
ReleaseJuly 26, 2006 (2006-07-26)[3] –
September 6, 2007 (2007-09-06)

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.[3] 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.[4] Lee was the only judge and would instruct the eliminated contestant: “Turn in your costume”.[5] 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".[4] 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.[3][1]


Stan Lee and Bruce Nash developed the concept.[5] In 2004, MTV was considering televising the show, even holding the regional auditions. The show moved to the Sci Fi Channel two years later[6] with the pitch well-received when they were told that Stan would judge.[5]

The show was renewed for a second season with hints of another country might get a junior version of the show.[2] Jarrett Crippen, aka the Defuser, won the second season.[7]

US season 1[edit]

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.[6]

Some filmed challenges were cut from the show.[6] 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.[1]

Nell Wilson (Fat Momma) at the 2008 New York Comic Con.

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.[8]

Feedback won the first season over Fat Momma.[6] 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.[9] Feedback appeared in the 2007 Sci Fi channel film Mega Snake.[10]

  Superhero completed the task
  Superhero was nominated for elimination
  Superhero was eliminated
  Superhero won
Superhero[11] Secret Identity[12] Concept[3] 1a 1b 2a 2b 3a 3b 4a 4b 5 6
Feedback Matthew Atherton
Software engineer
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
Disc jockey
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
Property manager/artist/sculptor
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
Automobile mechanic
25 years old
Coldwater, Michigan
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
Fire captain
34 years old
Bakersfield, California
Super strength/super speed/fire resistannce/lie detection IN IN IN NOM IN OUT
Monkey Woman ♀ Mary Votava
Real estate investor
28 years old
Seattle, Washington
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
Interior designer
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
College student/filmmaker
19 years old
Staten Island, New York
Super strength/super speed/flight/energy manipulation IN OUT
Levity ♂ Tobias Trost
Toy designer/animator
32 years old
Lakeside, Montana
Force shields/aerokinesis OUT
Rotiart ♂ Jonathan Finestone
Business owner
27 years old
Los Angeles, California
Spy cameras plant/spy for Lee, not a true contestant[1]

US season 2[edit]

Two or three villains, Dr. Dark and Bee Sting,[13] were used in this season and there was an overarching story line.[2] 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.[14]

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.[15] Crippen finished filming for his character's movie appearance by January 15, 2009. The movie, Lightning Strikes, also starred Kevin Sorbo.[16]


  Superhero completed the task
  Superhero was nominated for elimination
  Superhero was eliminated
  Superhero won

A plus sign indicates that the hero was singled out for praise by Lee in that episode.

Superhero Secret Identity Concept 1 2 3a 3b 4 5 6 7 8[14]
The Defuser Jarret Crippen
Police detective
Austin, Texas
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[2] 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[2] John Stork
Circus performer
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
College professor
Orlando, Florida
Super strength/invulnerability/flight/force-field generation/sonic blast/illusion creation IN+ IN IN+ IN IN+ IN OUT
Whip-Snap ♀ Paula Thomas
Security officer
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
Oakland, California
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
Homemaker/Former CIA
Bloomington, Illinois
Use hair extensions as a zip line/shape-shifting/super smell/can change into her costume using a prism stone OUT

UK season 1[edit]

In the UK version, 13 children competed in superhero persona; it was broadcast on CBBC.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e 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.
  2. ^ a b c d e Canning, Robert (29 July 2007). "SDCC 07: Who Wants to be a Superhero?". IGN. Ziff Davis LLC. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d Kerwin, Ann Marie (26 July 2006). "'Who Wants to Be a Superhero?' Who Doesn't?". Ad Age. Crain Communications. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b Dee, Johnny (4 May 2007). "Johnny Dee on Who Wants To Be A Superhero?". the Guardian. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  5. ^ a b c 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.
  6. ^ a b c d Goldman, Eric (6 September 2006). "Who Wants to be a Superhero? Interview: Feedback". IGN. Ziff Davis, LLC. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  7. ^ Renovitch, James (28 September 2007). "Epaulets, Hard-Plastic C-Cups, and a Superhero Cop". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  8. ^ Bonawitz, Amy (25 August 2006). "Who Wants To Be A Superhero?". CBS News.com. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  9. ^ Snook, Raven (19 June 2007). "Who Wants to Be an Action Figure?". TV Guide. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  10. ^ "Mega Snake (2007)". Rotten Tomatoes.com. Fandango. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  11. ^ West, Latoya. "Before You Watch Sci Fi's Who Wants To Be A Superhero?". about.com. About. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  12. ^ "Nash Entertainment-Who wants to Be a Superhero?-Cast and Crew". nashentertainment.com. Nash Entertainment. Retrieved 3 May 2022.
  13. ^ Logan, Michael (26 July 2007). "Stan Lee Takes on Paris Hilton and Wannabe Superheroes". TV Guide. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  14. ^ a b 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.
  15. ^ Grimes, Andrea (31 January 2008). "Grown Man Wears Spandex, Touches Balls ..." The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  16. ^ Whittaker, Richard (15 January 2009). "Shooting Hoops With the Defuser". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 4 June 2018.

External links[edit]