While watching Filmation’s live-action Shazam! as a kid, Obie Scott Wade wondered what would have happened if the titular character shouted something like “SHE-zam!” instead of his typical transformation word. Would he become a different hero? Get a different costume? The idea kept churning around in his head until he eventually developed the concept of SheZow.
|The newest SheZow!|
SheZow centered on the Hamdon family in the fictional city of Megadale (based on Belmont Shore in Long Beach, CA and Melbourne, Australia) moving into the home of recently deceased relative, Agnes Monroe (Elizabeth Nabben). The 12-year-old son of the family, Guy (David-Myles Brown & Samuel Vincent), discovered a secret compartment which held a ring. Jokingly putting it on turned him into the superheroine SheZow (still a boy, but now in woman’s clothing). Along with being the height of couture fashion, Guy also gained super strength, speed, empathy and agility, a sonic scream, and an arsenal of weaponry in her Beautility Belt including laser lipstick (a laser sword that looked like a tube of lipstick) and a boomerang brush. He also had She-S-P, a precognitive ability that warned him of immediate danger, and would eventually gain the abilities of flight and animal communication. That’s not to say SheZow was without weaknesses: particularly getting his hair mussed or wearing a color other than pink. His powers also needed to be frequently recharged by being around nature and could be affected by any ailments afflicting Guy. Because of Guy’s natural looks, he comes off as the most beautiful girl in the city when transformed.
|Maz reacting...well to Guy's new identity with Kelly looking on.|
Aiding Guy in his newfound superhero occupation was his twin sister Kelly (named for Wade’s sister, voiced by Diana Kaarina), who was president of the international SheZow Fan Club and was a self-proclaimed expert on the heroine (although she was as unaware that Agnes was her as anyone), and best friend Maz Kepler (Matt Hill), who constantly adopted identities of his own to try and be SheZow’s sidekick. Together, Guy and Maz had a pet brick named Rick. Unaware of these events was their father, Boxter (Dan Hamill), a police officer who hated SheZow because he felt she interfered with police business, and mother, Droosha (Nabben), a bongo-playing poet who adored SheZow (although she did find out in one episode, but had her memory erased). There was also Wanda (Cecelia Ramsdale), editor of the school newspaper, Kelly’s best friend and whom Guy had a crush on. However, Wanda thought Guy and Maz were idiots for the stupid stunts they always did in trying to emulate what they saw on their favorite show, Buttwipe.
|Sheila, a heroine's best friend.|
SheZow operated out of the She-Lair, which rested deep below Agnes’ house. Among its chief features was a place to store SheZow’s primary mode of transportation, the Shehicle, and the supercomputer operated by snarky A.I. Sheila (Jacquie Brennan). Sheila appeared as a pair of pink lips on the monitor and enjoyed jokes at Guy’s expense. However, she was serious when she came to their work and was actually fond of Guy; mentoring him as much as a rambunctious 12-year-old could be mentored. Everything was powered by a special kind of gem called “glamrock”.
|Most of S.I.C.K.: Candy Rapper, Mega Monkey, Mocktopus and Chill Finger.|
To go along with this quirky heroine was an assortment of equally quirky and eccentric villains. Among them was Cold Finger (a play on the name of James Bond villain Goldfinger, voiced by Lyall Brooks), formerly SheZow’s biggest fan who turned to villainy over a sense of betrayal and possessed ice powers; Dr. Frankenweather (a play on Frankenstein, voiced by Taj Moore), a former TV weatherman who wanted to control the weather to conquer the world; Fibberachee (a play on Liberace, voiced by Moore), a rock star who was jealous of SheZow’s popularity and was able to turn his audience into zombies that did his bidding; Mega Monkey (Brooks), a genetically-enhanced monkey from the future who desired to enslave the world; S.I.C.K. (Society of Incredibly Callous Kriminals), the team formed by Mega Monkey comprised of yo-yo-wielding Señior Yo-Yo (Brooks), the candy-themed rapper Candy Rapper (Hamill), the excessively-drooling Spit Bubble (Brooks), sea monster Mocktopus (also Brooks), and SheZow’s jealous former sidekick Tara (Brennan); SheZap (Vincent), SheZow’s evil clone created from a discarded fingernail that fell into toxic waste; Tattoozala (a play on Methuselah, voiced by Brooks), the world’s oldest tattoo artist whose own tattoos could come to life via a magic chant; Brouhaha (Brooks), an anthropomorphic fox and trickster from the 50s who laughs to the tune of “Shave and a Haircut”; and Baby Scarington (Nabben), a monster baby doll that can control nightmares, amongst others.
Other characters included the chauvinistic superhero team XSELSIOR, comprised of Buff Buddy who had super strong extending armpit hair, Captain XL (Moore), who had a sizeable girth and super strength, Geek Sheikh, who could control technology, and Glint Eastwood (a play on Clint Eastwood), with mesmerizing powers; Uma Thermal (named for Uma Thurman, voiced by Nabben), a heroine with fire powers and a temperament to match; and gender-bent duplicates from another dimension: Gal Hamdon, aka DudePow (incidentally—and weirdly—the heroes became each other’s love interest, voiced by Ramsdale), Kelli Hamdon (Moore), Maizy Kelper (also Ramsdale) and A.I. Dudley (Mark Katz). The characters were designed by Kyla May, Claire Cheok and Paul Tippett.
SheZow was actually introduced to the world on May 4, 2007 as an episode of the short-lived Disney Channel anthology series, Shorty McShorts’ Shorts. The short, animated by Pilot Mercury Filmworks, saw Guy (Jason Earles) and Kelly (Emily Osment) finding the ring, Guy becoming SheZow, and rescuing his best friend (named Jose, voiced by Tyler Posey) from two neighborhood bullies. Wade was able to revive the concept and sell it to Network Ten in Australia, where it made its debut on December 15, 2012. The show was eventually presented to The Hub (now Discovery Family) for its North American broadcast, and then-head Margaret Loesch was initially hesitant based on the concept. However, after viewing it and seeing it was funny, she placed it on the network and it began its run thereon June 1, 2013. Brown played the starring role in the Australian and New Zealand broadcasts, but was recast with Vincent for other English-speaking territories. Christopher Elves served as the composer and sang backing vocals on the theme with Jeff Gunn.
|SheZow with his alternate double, DudePow.|
The series was written by Wade along with Lazar Saric, Brendan Luno, Tania Lacy, Josh Hamilton, Keith Wagner, Dennis Haley, Marcy Brown, Becky Overton, Ann Austen, Kevin Sullivan, Denise Downer, Justin Kennedy, Ray Boseley, Kate Knechtel, Mark Fellows, S. Armstrong & S. Krause, Carter Crocker, Kevin Nemeth, Chris Carter, Eric Truehart, Dan Reheuser, Tommy Campbell, Josh Worth, Philip Dalkin and Doug MacLeod, with Reheuser serving as story editor with Wade and Mark Winslow as script consultant. Wade has stated in interviews that most of the gags and gadgets came from ideas from female members of his staff; particularly SheZow’s weaknesses. A recurring joke featured the addition of “she” to various words, turning them into puns (such as “hilarious” becoming “she-larious”). Each episode was comprised of two segments. Animation duties were handled by Moody Street Kids, Kickstart Productions and Vision Animation.
|The prerequisite evil clone.|
Because of the central conceit of the show, SheZow came under fire before it even aired in the United States; particularly from conservative and family groups. They charged that the series was pushing a LGBT agenda and that it would “confuse children about gender.” Wade maintained that SheZow had nothing to do with being transsexual or any kind of agenda, and was simply a comedic hero in a silly costume. Further, he denied the idea that the show could be harmful to children since he was a kid when he initially conceived of the idea.
|Trouble alert: the show's about to be cancelled!|
Ultimately, the series only managed to run a single season despite decent ratings. Hasbro, the majority partner in The Hub, was having financial difficulties at the time that would ultimately lead to their selling their stake to Discovery Communications the next year. Network Ten also didn’t order any additional episodes. The show did manage to rack up two Australian Screen Sound Guild award nominations, however. In 2014, SheZow gained an official Twitter and Tumblr account (both largely inactive now) where they announced a line of apparel available through Café Press and the first issue of a comic published through Wade’s company, ObieCo Entertainment. It was made available in a limited print run and digitally through Amazon. The series has not yet received any official home media releases; however, the SheZow World accounts did promote the fact that episodes are available in various forms and quality around YouTube and for free streaming on TubiTV.
“SheZow Happens / Cold Finger” (12/15/12 AUS, 6/1/13 US) – Guy finds and puts on his Aunt’s ring, becoming SheZow. / Kelly convinces Guy to appear at SheZow Con where he ends up battling SheZow’s old foe, Cold Finger.
“Makin’ Bank / Super Sidekick” (12/16/12 AUS, 6/8/13 US) – Guy takes a $500 bill after foiling a bank robbery, causing him to shrink and lose his powers. / Guy becomes jealous when Max, in his sidekick guise as the Shaverine, saves the day and earns the praise of the town.
“Glamageddon / SheZap” (12/21/12 AUS, 6/15/13 US) – The original SheZow’s former sidekick Tara challenges him to a duel. / When Guy spits a broken nail into some toxic chemicals, he creates his own slimy evil double: SheZap!
“S.I.C.K. Day / Stuck Up” (12/22/12 AUS, 6/22/13 US) – When Boxter ends up in an embarrassing photo in the newspaper, Guy comes up with a plan to get him credit for stopping a villain. / When the town honors Guy with a stamp and holiday he becomes stuck up and things start sticking to him.
“SheZow Meets DudePow / ShePhat” (12/23/12 AUS, 7/27/13 US) – Stopping Cold Finger’s scheme causes SheZow to accidentally open a portal to another dimension and bring over his counterpart: DudePow. / Deciding to get endorsements leads SheZow to extreme gluttony and reduces his effectiveness as a hero.
“Guy & Doll / Family Tree” (12/28/12 AUS, 6/29/13 US) – Baby Scarington traps Guy in a super nightmare. / Following Mega Monkey through time leads Guy and Kelly into meeting a succession of former SheZows.
“Babysitter Jitters / No Tattoo 4 U” (12/29/12 AUS, 8/3/13 US) – SheZow has to watch a de-aged Kelly and Maz while also dealing with animals escaping from the zoo. / A day at the fun park is interrupted when Tattoozala attacks a tattoo parlor.
“A Walk in My Heels / She-T” (12/30/12 AUS, 8/10/13 US) – Guy invisibly saves Kelly, making her believe she has powers of her own. / SheZow unwittingly ends up in the middle of an alien plot to steal the planet’s oceans.
“Brouhaha / Shehicle Pickle” (7/6/13 AUS, 8/17/13 US) – Guy and Maz unwittingly sell a containment device when they go through Agnes’ things to raise money. / SheZow takes the busted Shehicle to a mechanic who’s actually the car thief, Mr. Cylinder.
“Momnesia / Facsimilady” (7/13/13 AUS, 8/24/13 US) – Guy’s mother stumbles upon his secret and intends to share it with the whole town. / Guy discovers a robot maid in the She-Lair that ends up malfunctioning after cleaning up some spicy food.
“ShePal / Le Pigeon” (7/20/13 AUS, 8/31/13 US) – Guy tries to impress a girl on the school paper by getting her an interview with SheZow. / SheZow must protect the town from Le Pigeon and his flock of deadly birds.
“In She-D / Fibberachee” (7/27/13 AUS, 9/7/13 US) – Using expired vanishing cream to sneak into a 3-D movie causes Guy to go “No-D”, which will wipe him out at midnight. / The kids’ favorite pop star has decided to become the biggest star in the world by eliminating SheZow.
“Sarcazmo the Great / SheSquatch” (8/3/13 AUS, 9/14/13 US) – A backyard renovation magician goes nuts on the Hamdon yard in order to improve ratings on his show. / Guy must go camping in order to recharge his powers and ends up encountering the SheSquatch.
“Fortune Kooky / Black is the New Pink” (8/10/13 AUS, 7/6/13 US) – Winning a fortune cookie puts Guy in the crosshairs of a mob boss. / Guy tries out a new look for SheZow that ends up costing him his powers.
“Mr. Nice Guy / Dental Breakdown” (8/17/13 AUS, 7/13/13 US) – A chick flick gives SheZow super empathy that prevents him from using violence against his enemies. / The Tooth Fairy’s nephew discovers Guy’s lost tooth contains SheZow power and uses it to enhance his magic.
“Crash Thunder / Meet Dr. Frankenweather” (8/24/13 AUS, 7/20/13 US) – Guy helps his favorite wrestler overcome his fear of trolls. / SheZow must stop a mad scientist from altering the weather.
“Maz Junior / Uncommon Cold” (8/31/13 AUS, 9/21/13 US) – Guy’s new pet is desired by a wealthy man who illegally collects endangered species. / Guy’s cold is enhanced by his powers, forcing him to race to find a quick cure.
“Transformation Overload / Wishington” (9/7/13 AUS, 9/28/13 US) – Guy seeks help to stop his random transformations. / Guy and Maz abuse a wishing well, irritating the resident leprechaun.
“PSA-Lister / Friend or Faux” (9/14/13 AUS, 10/5/13 US) – Guy decides to try and find fame by doing PSAs as SheZow. / When Kelly quits being his advisor, Guy turns to the SheZow fan club.
“SheZow for a Day / No Girls Allowed” (9/21/13 AUS, 10/12/13 US) – Discovering that a twin can wear the ring, Kelly becomes SheZow and discovers heroing isn’t as easy as it seems. / SheZow expresses interest in joining a new superhero team only to be discriminated against.
“Unplugged / Lawn Gone Mad” (9/28/13 AUS, 10/19/13 US) – Guy’s desire to win an auction leads to Shelia taking herself offline. / Guy tries using an untested super fertilizer to restore the lawn after he destroys it.
“Evil Villains Day / Vampire Cats in Zombie Town” (10/5/13 AUS, 10/26/13 US) – Mega Monkey brainwashes the Mayor into giving villains a free pass on “Evil Villain’s Day”. / Guy angrily tossing his game system causes a video game villain to come to life.
“SheZon’s Greetings / Snow Way, Dude!” (10/12/13 AUS, 11/30/13 US) – SheZow has to rescue Santa from the clutches of Tatooselah. / Cold Finger is freed and plans to put SheZow in a prison similar to his.
“Hot Rocks / SheZap is Whack” (10/19/13 AUS, 11/9/13 US) – SheZow and Maz meet a rock-n-roll-loving lava monster while trying to keep the planet from exploding. / SheZap traps Guy so he can steal the Shehicle.
“Missing Link / Null and Void” (10/26/13 AUS, 11/16/13 US) – SheZow and Maz find Maz’s long-lost uncle. / A pair of foreign exchange students come to town expressly to defeat SheZow.
“Supernatural History / DudePow Returns” (11/2/13) – Madame Curiador wants to steal SheZow’s ring for a museum exhibit. / DudePow recruits SheZow to help her defeat Mega Monkey in her world.