Doombot? I kinda wish that were the case: ‘Who Wants To Be a Superhero?’ Review

(NOTE: This was posted by Ron Richards but it actually written by Josh Flanagan.)

I’ve managed to make my way through the first 2 hours of Who Wants to be a Superhero? with Stan Lee.

It is… well, it’s not good.

I mean, I knew it wasn’t going to be good, but it’s really just not very good. For the one thing, it’s a reality show, and at no point did I actually feel like it was very real. The contestants don’t seem to be very authentic, and there’s a lot of backstage snickering going on. All of the Stan Lee segments are clearly taped, and it doesn’t seem like he ever actually interacts with the contestants, and it’s all just a bit too silly. Mostly, this just isn’t a well produced or edited show. There are flashes of ingenuity, but they’re buried under heaps of mediocrity.

Now I should be clear that I’m fine with silly, but silly has to be well done. They’ve made the choice to be a little cheesy and a little serious, and I think for something to be successful, you’ve got to commit to one thing or the other. No one likes something that’s bad unless it’s really trying to be good. This show treads the line, and as such, it’s just odd, but that oddity doesn’t lend itself to anything very interesting.

Also, this can’t be very good for comic book people. I’m not a self-loathing comic book fan, but this is just silly. The reason I read comics is because of their quality and relevance as an entertainment medium, but this just junks all that, and since it uses the granddaddy of comics as its face, it snubs comic book readers who want comics to be taken seriously. I feel like comics are closer than ever to being accepted by a larger audience as something other than frivolity, but this show certainly doesn’t help. And I’m not oblivious to the fact that it’s okay to have fun with superheroes, and make fun of all that, but in order to do that, it has to be very good to start with, and as you may have guessed by now, I don’t think this is very good. They’re just pandering to the lowest possible denominator, and if they throw up some cleavage and short skirts, add in Stan Lee, and some silly bastards, viewers will buy it, but I can’t imagine they will. Of course, I’ve been wrong before.

To be fair, the dog attack thing was kinda grizzly.

What do you think? Do I just have a stick up my ass, or is this just terrible? Who else made it through this?


  1. I watched a good chunk of the first and the whole second. And I just can’t bring myself to see part 3. The problem is, is that is takes away any respect that the comic reading community can have. We like to think that the majority of people don’t know who Stan Lee is. But they do, my mom knows, who’s understanding of comics are as far reaching as, “That thing you’re wasting your money on?” And whatever the movies show her. But she knows who Stan Lee is, anytime he’s in one of the Marvel movies she says “Hey it’s Stan Lee!” And if my mom knows who he is, ALOT of people know now who he is. The day after the premier episode, I had a large chunk of the people I know asking me “Did you see that show?” or “Are many comic fans like that?” and, “Did you recognize anyone?” Just because I read comics, I get these questions. Spider-Man unmasking on the news, no one ask me a damn thing. Some guy crying to Stan Lee about how Stan’s like a “father” to him, I have a barrage of questions. This show is just bad for comics in general, it’s not well done, and the winning prize being that of an original comic, is just a spit in the eye. And let me ask, has Stan Lee done any good stories in the last ten years? Honestly? Why would this be any better? I can appriciate what he’s created, but I mean, come on.

  2. Yeah, I’m not interested in the social implications or whatever. It’s so bizzare that I’m into it. I’ll let you all know what happens with THE DARK ENFORCER. MAJOR VICTORY RULZ LOL MONKEY WOMAN IS HAWT

  3. I saw the first 2 episodes and I am flat out embarrassed. At first I was thinking their could be potential but�.ouch. Watching the show literally made me feel flat out shame. It places shame on comic readers, the medium of comics, and even Stan Lee. This show should be taken off the air immediately, it�s just plain garbage. It makes all readers look like absolute fools. Comic readers are already looked down on but this show looks like it was thrown together by the very people that hate the �geeks�. It seems like the show itself is nothing but a giant slap in the face of every decent person who simply enjoys a good story. The show has no respect for the craft of comics or even the public in general intended to watch the show. The people on the show can�t even take the show seriously, why should anyone else.

  4. I’m so glad I’m just not alone!

  5. I agree with all the points made. The show does not provide any evidence that the contestants are not “real” or uninfluenced by the producers, nor does it put comic book fans in a very good light. The show itself is corny, poorly constructed and a little embarrasing to watch.

    That having been said, I love this show. I manage to look past its faults, such as poor interaction between characters and shoddy editing, to see the true humor of the show. I can not get enough of the absolute absurdity of the show, the characters, and the situations they find themselves in. Major Victory cracks me up every second in which he’s on screen. He’s so over-the-top super-heroic that I can barely catch my breath in between fits of laughter. Granted, I’m not laughing for the reasons intended by the makers of the show, but to me, entertainment is entertainment.

  6. I don’t know how to communicate my own thoughts without saying LOLZ or making stupid cracks, so I’ll say it like this: I’m with Andrew.

  7. See, I tried to like it like that, but I couldn’t do it. Now, I’ll admit, I couldn’t turn away, but I was hardly enjoying myself. I’m not sure what that says.

  8. I download the episodes off of iTunes every week, yes, I PAY $2 to watch the show. That being said, I love it.

    Is the show dumb? Yes. Is it entertaining? I think so. I know its horribly staged and tacky but to be honestly, that’s what I associate with Stan Lee. It reminds me of the comics he used to right. Plus hearing him say excelsior and true believers makes me kiddy.

    I hope the final episode is Major Victory vs Feedback. Fighting on the roof top.

    I’m also guessing ALL the characters will appear in the comic, maybe in various nods to them.

    And what the hell was Stan thinking when he designed Dark Enforcer’s costume? I would have given him a War Machine/ Ultron combo outfit.


  9. C’mon now, does anyone really believe that Cell Phone and the Iron/Dark Enforcer are comic book fans? For the most part, these are just people who wanted to be on TV, it didn’t matter to them it it was about superheros, dating or, whatever else. I think there have been two guys who have said they were comic book fans, Feedback and the 19 year old guy who got kicked off the first episode. So basically, no one should assume that the people on the show are representive of the majority of comic fans.

    And anyway, the show is way more about superheros than comics in general, besides the winning getting like one issue at the end of the show that I doubt will sell too well- That’s not to say I wouldn’t buy a Fat Momma comic, though.

    I don’t know, I think some of you guys need to lighten up. The show pokes some fun at superheros, but so what. The idea that people would run around town in colorful longjohns isn’t that hard to poke fun at. The show is corny on purpose, I mean, ol’ Smilin’ Stan is the host. Maybe he’s why, but I couldn’t not have fun with this show if I tried.

  10. Like I said, if it was in any way good, I could be totally understanding, but it’s not good. It’s not even so bad that it’s good. It’s just bad. If Stan actually interracted with the people, fine, but he’s just a taped recording they play for them. I mean, did you watch Stripperella?

    If you want to have fun with it, please be my guest, but it’s not even a real reality show. It’s too staged.

  11. ok you guys win. this is too stupid to watch anymore.

  12. This show made me lose all the credibility that I had begun to earn for comics with my wife. I spent all that time and effort getting her to read Preacher, Y, and 100 Bullets and she was finally getting there. She read the first 5, underlined 5, Punisher Max trades last month. Then Stan Lee came along and put this f^kin floater out and I’m back to being a geek again. Thanks Stan, I’m glad you got your $20.

    On the other hand though, it does have kind of a Troma/snakes and gravy special effects quality to it that I can’t help but laugh at.