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 originUS
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes14
Executive producer(s)
  • 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 company(s)
Original networkSci Fi
UK version: CBBC
Original releaseJuly 26, 2006 (2006-07-26)[3] –
September 6, 2007 (2007-09-06)
Followed byUK version
Related showsStan Lee's Superhumans
External links
season 1
season 2

Who Wants to Be a Superhero? was a super hero 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 Sci Fi channel film, Mega Snake.[10]

  Superhero completed the task
  Superhero was nominated for elimination
  Superhero was eliminated
  Superhero won
Superhero[11] concept[3] 1a 1b 2a 2b 3a 3b 4a 4b 5 6
Feedback ♂ video game based IN IN IN NOM IN IN IN IN IN WIN
Fat Momma ♀ doughnut powered; 12x grow[5] IN IN IN IN IN NOM NOM IN IN OUT
Major Victory ♂ super strength & sound waves[5] IN IN IN IN IN IN NOM NOM OUT
Lemuria ♀ Sun powered[12] IN IN IN IN IN IN IN OUT
Ty'Veculus ♂ IN IN IN NOM IN OUT
Monkey Woman ♀ banana weapons[12] IN NOM IN IN OUT eliminated without nominations due to lying during her audition
The Iron Enforcer ♂ densest bone structure NOM NOM NOM OUT came back as the villain The Dark Enforcer[6]
Cell Phone Girl ♀ cellphone based IN IN OUT
Nitro G ♂ IN OUT eliminated as failed to stop to help child & changed in public [1]
Levity ♂ air control OUT eliminated by personal attempt to cash in on show[1]
Rotiart ♂ 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 1 2 3a 3b 4 5 6 7 8[14]
Parthenon ♂ IN+ IN IN+ IN IN+ IN OUT
Whip-Snap ♀ IN+ IN IN IN IN OUT
Ms. Limelight ♀ NOM NOM NOM OUT
Mr. Mitzvah ♂ NOM NOM OUT
Mindset ♂ IN OUT
Braid ♀ OUT

UK Season 1[edit]

In the UK version, 13 children competed in superhero persona and was broadcast on CBBC. Stan Lee was replaced as judge by kids' TV presenters Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes. Those eliminated were told that they were "powered down". The winner would fly to Los Angeles to meet Lee and have a comic book made about the persona.

Some psychologists criticized the show saying that contestants were possibly harmed as they were subjected to unnecessary distress, while viewers complained about the kids crying.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Heffernan, Virginia (August 3, 2006). "Who Wants to Be a Superhero?': Misfits Just Want to Save the World". New York Times. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e Canning, Robert (July 29, 2007). "SDCC 07: Who Wants to be a Superhero?". IGN. Ziff Davis LLC. Retrieved May 31, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d Kerwin, Ann Marie (July 26, 2006). "'Who Wants to Be a Superhero?' Who Doesn't?". Ad Age. Crain Communications. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Dee, Johnny (May 4, 2007). "Johnny Dee on Who Wants To Be A Superhero?". the Guardian. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e Littleton, Cynthia (November 13, 2018). "How 'Who Wants to Be a Superhero' Reflected Stan Lee's Amazing Legacy and Goofy Charms". Variety. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e Goldman, Eric (September 6, 2006). "Who Wants to be a Superhero? Interview: Feedback". IGN. Ziff Davis, LLC. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  7. ^ Renovitch, James (September 28, 2007). "Epaulets, Hard-Plastic C-Cups, and a Superhero Cop". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved May 31, 2016.
  8. ^ Bonawitz, Amy (August 25, 2006). "Who Wants To Be A Superhero?". CBS News.com. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  9. ^ Snook, Raven (June 19, 2007). "Who Wants to Be an Action Figure?". TV Guide. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  10. ^ "Mega Snake (2007)". Rotten Tomatoes.com. Fandango. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  11. ^ West, Latoya. "Before You Watch Sci Fi's Who Wants To Be A Superhero?". about.com. About. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  12. ^ a b Goldman, Eric (July 26, 2006). "IGN Interviews Two Sexy Superheroes". IGN. Ziff Davis, LLC. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
  13. ^ Logan, Michael (July 26, 2007). "Stan Lee Takes on Paris Hilton and Wannabe Superheroes". TV Guide. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  14. ^ a b Werts, Diane (September 7, 2007). "The TV Zone: New 'Superhero': The Defuser". Newsday. Archived from the original on September 16, 2007. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  15. ^ Grimes, Andrea (January 31, 2008). "Grown Man Wears Spandex, Touches Balls ..." The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  16. ^ Whittaker, Richard (January 15, 2009). "Shooting Hoops With the Defuser". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved June 4, 2018.

External links[edit]