Superhero Reality Show Promises Immortality

Comic-book legend Stan Lee
Comic-book legend Stan Lee
(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

August 2, 2006 | Post Archive

Have you ever watched Japanese game shows in the wee hours of the morning on b-rated cable television channels? You know, those shows that make their contestants do insane things like consume barely-identifiable organic matter, perform dangerous stunts and endure torture?

It's hard to imagine television getting any more ridiculous, and up until about a decade ago, it would seem that western television, at least, wasn’t quite that absurd. But shows like "Fear Factor," certain MTV programming (something to do with a donkey named Johnny Knoxville, I think), "The Surreal Life" and even "The Simple Life," have given sensible television a run for its money. If you still find there's a hole in your reality-television heart, the Sci-fi channel might have the fulfillment you’ve been searching for. Get ready for "Who Wants to be a Superhero?" Instead of Regis, your host and judge is the legendary Stan Lee – the comic-book creator behind "Spiderman," "The X-Men," the "Fantastic Four" and "The Hulk." The show's site explains how it works:

Each contestant begins with an original idea for a superhero, a self-made costume, and his best superhero mojo. From thousands of hopefuls, Stan Lee chooses the lucky finalists who move together into a secret lair. There they will begin their transformations — and their competition for the opportunity to become real-life superheroes. Over the course of the series, they will test their mettle, try to overcome their limitations, and do what it takes to prove that they truly are super. The finalists will leave their former lives behind and live as their brainchild heroes 24/7, all under Stan Lee's watchful eye. Each week, our aspiring heroes will be challenged with competitions designed to test their true natures. No one will be leaping over tall buildings in a single bound; our superheroes will be tested for courage, integrity, self-sacrifice, compassion, and resourcefulness — all traits that every true superhero must possess.

What the contestants compete for is comic book immortality: the winner will star in his or her own comic book, which could potentially become a television series. Here's a list of finalists:

  • Cell Phone Girl
  • Creature
  • Iron Enforcer
  • Fat Momma
  • Feedback
  • Lemuria
  • Levity
  • Major Victory
  • Monkey Woman
  • Nitro G
  • Ty'Veculus

Among their collective powers are teleporting from one cell phone to another, healing with fruits and raw foods, hurling orbs of solar energy and banana-shaped weapons. Not too shabby, I suppose, but if Cell Phone Girl wins I'm giving away my TV. Reality television is a slippery slope indeed. (link)

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