SciFi: Who Wants to Be a Superhero? (Episode 3)

This week, the heroes were introduced to their new nemesis, Dark Enforcer ( Iron Enforcer), who showed up full of malevolent bluster but then disappeared again. The Iron Enforcer’s ridiculously huge gun would have made mincemeat of the heroes, but it was nowhere to be seen. This is why super-villains so often fail to defeat their do-gooder rivals: lack of planning and wasted opportunities.

Meeting your arch-rival is hungry work, so Stan Lee gave each of the heroes twenty bucks and sent them out — in full costume — to get lunch from a nearby takeout place. The food they each brought back, Lee said, would tell a lot about them. When all the heroes had returned, Dark Enforcer unveiled his insidious trap: the turncoat had hidden cameras throughout the restaurant and bribed the waitstaff to ask the heroes some very revealing questions.

The true test: can you keep your secret identity a secret? Only Feedback and Fat Momma wouldn’t reveal their alter egos to the waitstaff. Major Victory, who had passed all previous tests, gave up his real name without a second thought, Ty’veculus actually showed the waitress his driver’s license, and Creature gave her real name but not her superhero name.

Ultimately, Monkey Woman was eliminated; she offered up her real name before the waiter had a chance to ask, then wrote down the addresses of several web sites he could visit to apply for spots in reality television shows. The final straw: Monkey Woman’s alter ego is apparently not a real estate agent, as her application claimed, but an actress. After such a strong performance against the dogs last week, it was a shame to see Monkey Woman eliminated.

The second challenge of the week was a rooftop rescue. The heroes had to cross a beam connecting one rooftop to another in order to rescue a woman from a fire. Once again, Dark Enforcer showed up to complicate matters. He forced each of the heroes to wear a blindfold during their daring rescue attempt, concealing the fact that the beam they were crossing was not suspended over an alley, as they thought, but only inches above a mat laid out on the roof.

Despite the blindfolds and (in some cases) a fear of heights, each of the heroes succesfully crossed the beam and then led the frightened young lady (actually the twin sister of the woman on the other rooftop) to safety. Because no one failed the challenge, Stan decided to give the heroes a taste of what it feels like to pass judgment; each was asked to pick the hero they felt ought to leave the show and explain why.

Creature went first, and fell on her sword. Major Victory followed suit, declaring that he should be asked to leave. Ty’veculus selected Lemuria, claiming that by completing the rooftop challenge she proved she doesn’t know when to quit. Lemuria was next, and she also chose herself. Feedback admitted that he might be holding the other heroes back and should probably be eliminated. Finally, Fat Momma suggested that Feedback was taking things far too seriously, beating himself up after each challenge, and ought to be asked to leave for his own good.

Some of the heroes learned their lesson from the takeout challenge: nothing is as it seems. Stan Lee revealed that the exercise was a test of self-sacrifice, and that Ty’veculus and Fat Momma had failed. Fat Momma was somewhat redeemed by the fact that she appeared to be concerned for Feedback’s safety when she chose him for elimination, but Stan suggested that Ty’veculus’ reasons for selecting Lemuria were not as noble. Next time you point a finger, Ty’veculus, remember that there are three fingers pointing right back at you.

With Monkey Woman and Ty’veculus out of the picture, only five heroes remain: Creature, Fat Momma, Feedback, Lemuria and Major Victory. The third episode cranked up the drama big time. During the self-sacrifice test, several of the heroes opened the waterworks and praised their fellow contestants while throwing themselves to the lions, when Ty’veculus was eliminated the remaining heroes gathered around him for an emotional farewell, and at multiple points during the episode, Fat Momma and Lemuria verbally sparred. Without Iron Enforcer in the ranks as a quick, easy target, some tensions are starting to build where there didn’t seem to be any before.

This was easily the weakest of the episodes thus far. Major Victory had a few amusing quips (after his performance in the takeout test, he suggested that he was a weiner, not a winner, and his name ought to be changed to Major Dumbass), but the opportunities for his cheesy brand of heroism were a little scarce this time around. Plus, the introduction of Dark Enforcer seems to have done little more than make the heroes bicker among themselves; he needs to kick his villainy up a notch if he wants to be interesting and represent a real challenge. I suggest sharks with frickin’ LASER beams attached to their heads.