TROUBLE CITY

STAN, MEET WALT

Movie NewsDan VintonComment

Eff You, Nerds!Despite a fair amount of cheese spread over the dry cracker (not that kind of cracker, you racist bastard) that is Stan Lee, you can't deny the guy's infectious charm. Stan Lee was always the larger than life excelsior!-ator and legend until his introduction as wannabe superhero mentor in the ridiculously overblown and embarrassingly entertaining Who Wants to Be a Superhero?, which transformed him into more of an endearing Grampa figure. Kind of like Old Man Witherbottoms in the tidy house down the street who handed out the ribbon candies instead of the Snickers at Halloween-time.

Endearing Grampy, comics legend or both, Stan Lee's wheeled and dealt a pretty sweet set-up with Disney. In a story oozing corporate backrubbing and honeymooning, Stan Lee's POW! (acronym for Purveyors of Wonder--frankly, one of the best company names ever) has signed a first look deal with The Mouse House across a variety of entertainment mediums, most notably home video and film. Great news, because I'm dying to see Striperella and The Condor realized as family films steeped in the rich tradition of The Pacifier and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.

Stan Lee himself prognosticates: "The big thing is we're trying to do projects that are high concept, stories that will lend themselves to franchises." Good to see they're branching off in a direction not many other entertainment companies are chasing right now.

Ok, so the press release steeped more in fluff and pomp than actual details paints an easy target for snark-laden commentary, but there's no denying Stan Lee remains an enigmatic presence. His post-Daredevil creations haven't really nabbed the pop culture consciousness and thanks to so many of his creative inspirees having trod the road for which he first helped beat the path, Stan Lee's golden age ideas of superheroes (and forgettable post-modern apprenti like Feedback) aren't what's going to keep him in the pop culture consciousness until his dying day, which is certainly a driving force behind the deal.

With movies Like Sky High doing decent BO and the virtually surefire Disney name attached to Lee-inspired projects, there may still be some magic (hopefully) behind the bug-eyed glasses and svelte mustachio of Spider-Man's Daddy.