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Press Conference Held Saturday, July 28, 2007

Saturday morning at the Con, the press was invited to meet with Stan Lee and two of this year’s superhero contestants on Sci-Fi Channel’s reality hit STAN LEE’S ‘WHO WANTS TO BE A SUPERHERO?’ However, this event was held in a different room than the EUREKA and GALACTICA panels, which made it a much more… free flowing gathering. But even in the midst of chaos and numerous TV crews, the excellent Sci-Fi crew made sure that the print and web journalists had time with everyone they wanted to speak to.

First up for me was Hyper-Strike, an energetic young hero with a shock of blonde hair and a costume straight out of a classic anime. HS seemed a little dazed and awed by the whole Con experience; it was his first time at San Diego, and it showed. But he was a trooper, telling me he planned on putting on street clothes (and assuming his secret identity, I’d suppose) and hitting the floor later in the day. Silently, I prayed for him- the Con eats its young, you know.

I inquired about filming, and he informed me that it was complete. Pushing a bit further, he told me that the greatest thing about the entire experience was Stan Lee, by far. “He’s so sharp, so funny… I couldn’t believe it when they told me he was 84!” He also dispelled one myth about Stan’s presence on the show: “He is always on the TV screen, and we were always talking to Stan. It’s always a blast to talk to Stan!”

Hyper-Strike left me with the message he wants to spread as a hero. “Stay positive. Do what you’re passionate about.” Words I’m sure Stan Lee would approve of.

Next came Hygena, a lovely woman with a clever streak a mile long. Unlike Hyper-Strike, she’s more than a little familiar with Comic-Con; she first started coming to the show five years ago, because she married a member of the nerd tribe to which so many of us belong. In fact, he’s a true vet of the show, attending since he was 14 years old. And it was through his allegiance to the show that Hygena’s powers were born.

Last year at the show, while in her civilian identity, she was struck by the… malodorous nature of many of the attendees. Thus, Hygena: the hero who cleans up and after the other heroes. God bless her… I can’t imagine a more useful person to have on the floor.

“I didn’t know what to expect from the filming,” she told me. “It was more emotional than I expected. The challenges helped us all bond, and I was amazed at how I adapted to the situation and began caring about everyone.” She was also impressed by the experience of doing the Comic-Con panel. “The panel was packed. And Stan is so quick and fun… I was nervous to share the stage with him.”

I was offered the opportunity to talk to Stan The Man himself for a few minutes, but I thought it over for a moment and declined. Ultimately, what could I say that hasn’t already been said to the man? What could I ask him that eight million other journo-dorks haven’t already asked? I watched him from across the room for a few moments and, well… I marveled at him. He could have taken the money and called it a day a long time ago, but he still keeps plugging away. And you simply have to respect it and give him his due. And his space. Excelsior!

Thank you to the excellent staff at Sci-Fi Channel for their generosity and time.

Marc Mason

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