To the uninitiated, the estimated 130,000 fans who flocked to the San Diego Convention this weekend for the 33rd annual Comic-Con International may appear strange, as many attend dressed in costumes vividly colored and accessorized to look like their comic book heroes.
But as the wild popularity of movies like “The Dark Knight” and “The Avengers” – as well as television shows like “Dr. Who” and “The Walking Dead” – attest, the American culture is captivated by science fiction and superheroes.
The original Comic-Con, known then as the Golden State Comic Book Convention, began in 1970 with only a few hundred comic book fans in the basement of the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego.
Today, it is the largest convention of its kind in the world, where TV producers and movie studios spend big dollars and send their biggest stars (this year’s attendees included Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jack Black, Joss Whedon and Sylvester Stallone to name just a few) to promote their newest projects to one of the most faithful and rabid audiences in the world. This year’s convention reportedly sold out in just minutes, as people from across the globe flocked to San Diego to get the inside scoop on the next blockbuster comic, TV show or movie coming down the pike.
“Why does anybody go to Comic-Con? It’s just a magnet for films that have this kind of [audience],” Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich told the Los Angeles Times. “We’re pretty psyched about it.”
Ulrich and the rock band attended the convention this year to promote the new film, “Metallica Through the Never.”
One man who is no stranger to the superhero world – or the dozens of similar comic conventions that are held each year all over the U.S., Canada, Europe and even as far away as India – is Jeeves Urquhart, star of the new reality series from WND-TV called “Zero to Superhero.”
In this ground-breaking new WND-TV series, the 341-pound Urquhart is undergoing an amazing transformation, slimming down and suiting up to become a real-life hero.
“There’s only thing I’ve ever wanted to be,” Urquhart says, “and that’s … a superhero.
“All you have to do is look at the nightly news,” he continues. “Here in America, we’ve never been so lost as a culture. People are worried. They’re fearful for the future. They yearn for a real superhero. I aim to become one. And you’re coming with me!”
“But this show isn’t just about a guy ‘dressing-up’ in costume,” explained Joseph Farah, co-founder and CEO of WND. “It’s about a group of specialists getting together and actually training and equipping a superhero-wannabe from the ground up.”
“We’re going beyond comic books and caricatures,” producer Molotov Mitchell said. “We’ve never seen what actual superhero-making would look like. It will be incredible to watch Jeeves drop tons of weight. It will be amazing to see him learn incredible fighting skills and face his worst fears.”
“There’s never been a show like this. Ever,” Farah added. “We’re not actually sure how Jeeves will respond to this transformation.”
Will the hardcore, tactical training take its toll on Urquhart, physically and emotionally?
Join the rest of America and find out. See the trailer here: