How ‘Who Wants to Be a Superhero’ Reflected Stan Lee’s Amazing Legacy and Goofy Charms

Variety | 11/13/2018 | Cynthia Littleton
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Stan Lee, the industry legend who died on Monday at the age of 95, had his name on numerous TV series over the years thanks to the deep archive of characters that he created. But one of the most extensive projects Lee did as an on-camera personality was the reality show “Who Wants to Be a Superhero,” which ran on Sci Fi Channel (prior to its rechristening as Syfy) in 2006 and 2007.

The series was a perfect reflection of Lee’s legacy and influence in bringing together 12 everyday people who jumped at the chance to craft their own superhero personas and compete for the opportunity to be part of a Stan Lee-penned comic book.

Show - Group - Contestants - Imaginations - Life

The show drew a diverse group of contestants who fired up their imaginations to bring to life characters such as Rotiart (a 27-year-old man from Los Angeles), whose superpower was an ability to record his surroundings and replay it on a screen on his chest. Lemuria (a 30-year-old woman from L.A.) drained energy from people, plants, and animals to help her fight crime. Fat Momma (a 42-year-old from L.A.), whose spandex costume was enhanced by doughnuts, could grow to 12 times her size when necessary. Major Victory (a 38-year-old man from San Francisco) had super strength and the ability to manipulate sound waves.

Lee served as the only judge on the series. But he was a spectral presence, only appearing on screens and other flat surfaces to deliver challenges designed to test the contestants’ physical, emotional, and intellectual mettle. The awareness that the contestants brought of superhero tropes from decades gone by only underscored the impact of Lee’s work for Marvel Comics and others.

Lee - Camera - Superhero - Producer - Bruce

Lee was a natural on camera, “Superhero” producer Bruce Nash recalled. “He loved it, he was quick and funny,” Nash told Variety. But he didn’t...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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