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The Adventure Begins... Again - July 26

Last year, it was Matthew Atherton, a software engineer by day, and a crimefighter by the name of Feedback at night, who got the ultimate prize of being immortalized in pen and ink in his own comic book.

BUT... There is another hero out there with a heart of a champion... and Stan Lee is out to find out who it is. Prepare for the adventure to begin again with season 2 of "Who Wants to Be a Superhero!" But if this incoming league of heroes thinks that they know how to play this game... they're in for a surprise.

The search began in 11 cities and yielded thousands of super types of all makes, models, spandex sizes, and... umm.. powers. Thousands more grabbed their home video cameras and filmed themselves in action. From that impressive many comes only a select few, which Stan met at his secret headquarters... somewhere in America.

Once Stan made his decisions, he had his sentinel, last year's winner Feedback, deliver the news. "Stan Lee wants YOU to be a superhero!"

This year's league of heroes...

Ms. Limelight - aka Trisha Paytas; Byron, IL; barista
Hygena - aka Melody Mooney; Sherman Oaks, CA; homemaker
The Defuser - aka Jarrett Crippen; Austin, TX; police detective
Basura - aka Aja de Coudreaux; Oakland; artist
Mr. Mitzvah - aka "Sir Ivan" Wilzig; Miami; multi-millionaire
Mindset - aka Phillip Allen; Coral Springs, FL; cashier (won his place by public vote on
Parthenon - aka Dan Williams; Orlando; college professor
Braid - aka Crystal Clark; Bloomington, IL, former CIA
Hyper-Strike - aka John Stork; Plainfield, VT; circus performer
Whip-Snap - Paula Thomas; Dallas; security officer

Feedback escorts our new team into the lair, part place to sleep and eat, part museum to Stan Lee. Gee, nepotism much? We can already see little riffs between Basura (who is messy) and Hygena (who's a clean freak) AND Mitzvah (who's a loner) and... well, everyone else.

In a room that appears through the magic of SciFi post-production (I'm sure it was pretty impressive when they saw it for the first time), Stan welcomes our true believers. As before, our heroes will be tested more on the lines of what makes a hero from the inside out, like honesty, integrity, and courage. He'll be watching their every move, and in the end, only one will receive the greatest prize in reality TV history... immortality. That comes in the form of...

- a comic book written by Stan
- his or her own action figure
- a role in a SciFi Original Movie

... but not all is as its seems. As Stan gets to the meat and potatoes of the contest, there is an interception by a cloaked figure, who tells the heroes to divide into two teams and head to the north and south aqueducts of the city's water plant if they ever want to see their precious mentor alive again.

Mindset, believing full well that they could be set up for a trap, believes that there's no other choice than to play the villain's game. The teams are set up thusly...

Defuser, Basura, Braid, Parthenon & Limelight (BLUE) vs. Hygena, Mitzvah, Mindset, Hyper-Strike & Whip-Snap (RED). Each team is assigned to one of two Nissan SUVs (we'll dub these the Hero-Cars), equipped with power windows, power steering, thrusters, shields, and turbo drive.

The blue team gets a message from our dark overlord, telling us that Stan is behind a wall of wind and water. The teams must work together to shut EVERYTHING down (all three switches must be off, and the valve must be deactivated). They will have four minutes to achieve this. The "key" to Stan's safety is right in front of them.

Oh, and there's one more thing. "If either team fails, your precious Stan Lee will have written his LAST comic book."

Wind is on.. water is pumping... BEGIN THE ACTION!

The Defuser takes charge, while Red Team just starts head long into it. Blue's water wasn't shutting off, though. Why was that... Wait. The KEY! It unlocks a lock to the water main. The Red team figures this out and has Whip-Snap head back to grab it from the cart.... but then Whip-Snap's knee snaps. Meanwhile, the entire Blue team heads back to the cart. Which team will prevail? Which strategy will prevail? Blue team stops the clock with :31 to go. The Red team, though, still has to shut off that mean... in five seconds... four...... three... two... one... zero. Red team fails.

But wait... the hooded hoodlum reveals himself to be... Stan the man. He staged his own kidnapping as a reminder that they will constantly be tested.

Back at the lair, Whip-Snap has a cry over failing herself and her family, old and new. Defuser tries to calm her down. Success. Then they join the other eight in a rallying cry...

That night, Limelight and Defuser share a kinship. The next morning... the rest of the team head out to their next alarm. There's been a robbery at the warehouse. Each hero has two minutes to question the warehouse's foreman. The most superheroic of the team may stave off elimination.

The task may be hindered at the start, as Mr. Long is very easily distracted. Defuser, armed with the power of the pen, doesn't let that get in his way. It also didn't help matters that he was more interested in Hyper-Strike's martial arts, Basura's revealing costume, and Braid's hair.

Stan reveals that this was yet another secret test. This isn't just about how much information you could extract from Mr. Long, but also how much you would reveal to him about yourselves.

Back outside, the team discovers that someone helped themselves to their super powered tires. Five-finger discount, baby. They... and by that, I mean WE also find a lost dog... and a poster for said lost dog. And an old mother with a walker. And a guy who needs help with some boxes.

Parthenon helps out with the boxes... Basura and Hygena help out the old lady... but the dog... will have to wait for another day.

And don't think that Stan hasn't noticed. Elimination time. To the roof!

Superheroing isn't about accomplishing tasks. It's about being heroic. Whip-Snap fell down... but picked herself back up. Defuser led his team to victory, but he was too busy changing tires to notice the three people in need. Hygena, Basura, and Parthenon did notice the old woman and the delivery man. Mitzvah noticed some key clues, but isn't really into the group think. Braid didn't really talk more about the crime than she did about herself. Limelight saw the older woman... and decided not to help.

Mr. Mitzvah, Braid, and Ms. Limelight are all marked for elimination. Mr. Mitzvah says that he was not intentionally rude. Braid says that she was here for a greater cause than herself. Limelight says that she'll keep giving 100%.

The time has come. The person leaving tonight is... Braid. With Mr. Long, she spent more time talking about herself than she did solving crimes. "Turn in your costume." She wishes she had more time to challenge herself.

Laying back will not win this competition. This is a journey, and the other superheroes will have to push themselves harder than they ever could.

Meanwhile, somewhere else in town, a woman with a bad Russian accent and an even badder set of killer bees are about to put their plans into motion...

To bee continued...


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