“Who Wants to Be a Super Hero?” should be the corniest reality show ever created.
So how come it isn’t?
There are certainly enough corny elements like the costumes, the “secret lair” and Stan Lee’s overdramatic exposition. But for some reason, it all works to make a goofy, endearing show.
“Hero” is a reality competition to find the next great super hero character. The contestants actually dress up and pretend to be these characters as they engage in challenges designed to demonstrate their super hero qualities. Each week, comic book legend (and the show’s executive producer) Stan Lee eliminates one of the heroes. The winner will be featured in a new comic and a Sci-Fi TV movie.
The premiere featured a bit of a twist as one hero was eliminated before even entering the lair. Levity was eliminated after telling Stan Lee’s spy that he planned to profit from the show by selling a Levity action figure. Then, the remaining heroes were given the challenge of changing into their costume in a public place (inconspicuously, of course) and then running to the finish line as quickly as possible. But along the route was a lost little girl crying for help. Of course, helping that little girl was the true competition and most of the heroes ran right past her. Three of those heroes were forced to explain to Lee why they shouldn’t be eliminated: Monkey Woman, the Iron Enforcer and Nitro G. The Iron Enforcer had been a problem from the beginning with his giant gun and his talk of killing, but Lee eliminated Nitro G because he changed out in the open and seemed a little too immature.
My favorite is, without a doubt, Major Victory. Not only did he help the little girl, but he did so in dramatic fashion with the fake superhero voice and everything (He’s a DJ, so what would you expect?). While most of the contestants simply act like themselves, Major Victory is actually playing the part.
It’s easy to dismiss these people as a group of comic book geeks living out their fantasies; but they’re much more than that. They’re people like you and me trying to prove that they’re something truly special—to us and themselves.
“Who Wants to Be a Super Hero?” airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on the SciFi Channel.