Who Wants to Be a Superhero? The Basura-less, dignity-less Episode 5.

Who Wants to be a Superhero?  Season 2!

Before we start, here’s an observation. The heroes this year don’t seem to be as distressed about getting kicked off the show like they did last year. Only Mindset really seemed adamant that he should remain on the show. Mr. Mitzvah bid a pleasant farewell, Braid and Basura seemed sorta indifferent, and Ms. Limelight seemed rather relieved to leave. What gives? Did they finally see Feedback’s really cheesy comic book? Did they realize the comic book covers they made looked nothing like them? Did they come to the conclusion that they’d only get awkwardly shoe-horned into the Sci-fi Z-grade monster movie of the week?

“Defuser…. you’re the laziest superhero on Mars.”

Speaking of which, what happened to last year’s contestants? Feedback can be seen doing the exit interviews on the sci-fi.com website. Major Victory was helping out with the initial back the scenes look. But where’s everyone else?

Creature, a.k.a. Tonya Kay, has her own website. It looks like she’s recently playing a gremlin in progressive.com commercials. Fat Momma was last seen at The San Diego ComicCon. I’d check in on the other former heroes, but the show’s about to start. By the way, Tyveculus’s website is a mess. It would be endearing, though, if his kids were managing it. I can forgive that.


Back to the show.

My early pick for tonight’s elimination? The Defuser (not The Diffuser, as I have mistakenly typed in previous recaps). They’ve been setting him up for a fall since last episode; I think he’s due. The strikes against him — real or imagined — were so transparent last week that it’s apparent they’re trying to turn the TV audience against him. Not me, though. I love you, The Defuser!

But yeah, Defuser’s probably going home. And that Whip-Snap’s going to cry at some point.

The heroes are contemplating how half the team has now been eliminated. Suddenly, sparks fly throughout the lair. As the heroes stand around, the TV comes on! The news guy, a stately Peter Graves like fellow, says that the effete villian known as Dr. Dark is causing rolling blackouts throughout the city. (Always blame it on the guy with the fencing mask, huh? Prejudice!) Stan returns to the screen, and he says he’s traced the power diversion to a remote power station.

The heroes meet the greatest villian of all: Operaman!

TO THE SUPER NISSAN PATHFINDERS! Seriously, I don’t know why they’re taking two. They could save gas with only one; there’s only, like, five of them now, and I’m pretty sure these Pathfinders are equipped with that optional third row.


The heroes arrive at a fenced off lot in suburban LA. It’s under some electrical powerlines … not the most scenic place in the world, unless you work for Gainax. The ambiguously homosexual Dr. Dark challenges the heroes to disable his eeevillll power converter. There are five fuses to shut down — one fuse for each hero — and he only gives them five minutes. (Today’s episode brought to you by the number 5.)

He tells them that they have to face their fears in the conducter tubes. Like animals! Yes, WWTBAS goes Fear Factor on us! And to the shock of no one, Whip Snap screams! Oh, man, I would have bet on crying. I guess this is a nice change up.

After the bloodiest challenge of all, the men could only recover the top half of Whip Snap’s torso.

Whip Snap goes first into the tunnel. She encounters what she calls a rat (looks like a mouse to me). We’re treated to a lot of Nightvision as Whip Snap retreives the first fuse. The heroes are so happy that she’s confronted her fears. Group hug!

Parthenon is next. He says he fears the snakes. And yup, it looks like there are a bunch of boa constrictors in this tunnel. Parthenon succeeds, and Defuser rewards him by patting his ass. Hey, officer, what’s Parthenon’s partner going to think?

Hygena goes next and runs into a spider web. Then into a snake. Then into a “rat.” She takes a while because she’s freaking out ever step of the way. But really, who could blame her> Hyper-Strike’s up next. Nothing remarkable happens except that we’re treated to his inner monologue. Some special effects show LA going up in flames! Er, sparks.

“The goggles… they do nothing!”

The Defuser is last, with only about a minute to go. Defuser say’s he’s claustrophobic. It takes a big man to admit that. Speaking of which … he’s got a bit of a squeeze ahead. He gets stuck. Will the Defuser overcome his broad shoulders to … defuse … the fuse?


As he crawls through the pipe, a spider lands on Defuser’s back. Good thing he’s got that padded vest. Defuser reaches the fuse box … and gets the fuse with 3 seconds to go! Hooray! Triumphant music blares.

Stan Lee is impressed by their bravery, and he has arranged for a night out. The heroes dine at the lovely Casa Vega, which — frankly — looks like any family Mexican restaurant. Sorta like an Azteca, actually.


Guys in spandex at a Mexican restaurant? Just another day in LA, apparently.

I’m sure this is kinda weird for all the diners to have actual superheroes in their midst. Kids arrive at the heroe’s desk. Whip Snap playhs with the kids and then says that they are showing so much admiration. The camera pans to the kids exhibiting none of that. Defuser gives one of the kids a gadget that he invented.

The heroes scatter to help the restaurant staff. They’re Super Waiters!


Anyway, Dr. Dark shows up on the screen in the lair, threatening to reveal something saucy about their past. Whip Snap is up first. Dr. Dark holds up a little birdhouse. How devious! It’s a pretty dark secret: she “confiscated” (read: stole) her friend’s car in a fit of anger.

Hygena is up next, and … oh, geez, Dr. Dark actually uses the word “saucy.” I thought I had the copyright on that word! Hygena apparently secretly wanted to take up sexy burlesque dancing. Stan Lee suggests installing a stripper pole in the lair. Nooooooo! Bad thought bad thought bad thought!

“You’re surprised? I’m cosplaying as a French maid, for God’s sake!”

Hyper-strike’s “friends” re-enact his most embarassing moment, when he had an unfortunate slip up and he was fired from a show. He uses this moment to do a back-flip to prove his worth. Nothing stops the backflip! It’s a winner, I say.

Parthenon’s sin? His partner rats him out and says that Pathenon’s personal room is decorated in a pirate motif. He even has a treasure chest that contains silky gold pillows! Wait… this is a sign of evil? Tacky, yes … but evil? Dr. Dark says that Parthenon is being swayed to the dark side. The … pirate dark side. This means that little girls with Captain Jack Sparrow and Will Turner blankets are the spawn of Satan! I knew it.  And Kiera Knightley is probably a succubus, too.

The Defuser turns out to not have a high-school diploma. Defuser explains that he’s turned his life around since … but this turns out to be a ruse to catch him off guard. Swerve! Dr. Dark says Defuser has another secret and waves around a shaker and a champagne glass. Is he saying Defuser was a secret agent?

“It was a woman who drove me to drink… come to think of it I never did hang around to thank her for that. Ha cha CHA cha!”

Well, The Defuser turns red. The Defuser’s only imbibed alcohol about three times in his life. It turns out he drank during an intoxylizer test, where you’re supposed to imbibe alcohol for the police training. Apparently, while drunk, he ends up destryoing a whole bathroom. Awesome, man! I know you’re my hero. Stan accuses him of not telling the whole story since the beginning.


“And Hyper-Strike’s backflips continue to be an inspiration for us all.”

Defuser and Parthenon get good marks. Hygena is seen as an underperformer, while half the team thinks Whip-Snap overreacts. Good, I thought only the viewers at home noticed. Whip-Snap looks like she’s about to … well, that she’s about to snap. Do I smell a heel turn?

The heroes are called up to the roof for eliminations.

The three heroes called to the stand are

  • The Defuser – for not being able to hold his alcohol and for giving pieces of his costume at the Mexican restaurant
  • Whip Snap – for buckling under pressure
  • Hygena – for underperforming in her missions

The Defuser and Hygena are repeat offenders. Whip Snap suddenly gets some confidence and tries to persuade Stan that she knows her weaknesses and she’s gone a long way. As Stan is about to announce the loser, the heroes hold hands. This is kinda cool: they’ve been doing this every episode, and it doesn’t seem scripted at all. It’s a great sign that the heroes really were friendly with each other on the show.

And the person leaving the lair tonight is …


Ohhh… Snap!  (Kill me.) 

The team group hugs. There are three guys and one woman left on the team. Whip Snap seems relieved. Whip Snap goes to the garbage can and tosses in her whip. She and The Defuser salute. (This was a neat segment; they were obviously great buddies during the roller coaster challenge.)

The final four are Parthenon, Hyper-Strike, The Defuser, and Hygena. Not a bad final four, all said. Parthenon is the front runner, though, as he’s the only one who hasn’t been called to the stand yet.

Dr. Dark prepares his evil Stan Lee clone. He opens his soulless eyes. Now the world will bow down to EVIL STAN LEE!

“Where is Padme?”

 All in all, this was a less exciting episode than the previous ones. Crawling through tunnels doesn’t make good TV, and the “Dark Secrets” portion didn’t have anyhing juicy.  At least last year, during that same segment, Major Victory had to confront his stripper past.  Here, we had a guy who’s main offense was his obsession with pirate decor.  Anyway, I won’t be doing a recap next week, as I’ll be travelling somewhere.  I’ll try to catch-up with the re-airing on scifi.com the week after.  Until then, excelsior!

(And aren’t you proud of me that I didn’t make any lewd association between the one gay contestant and his obsession with pirates?  Because that would be uncouth.)

Squirrel Girl says:

“Goodbye, Whip Snap. Please, please don’t cry. There are much worse things that could happen to you, like … I don’t know, starring in a movie with a giant snake, maybe?”


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