Once you get past the superheroes and super-villains, Stan Lee is the most famous name in comic books.
For the general public, especially people over 35, if you ask them to name a comic-book creator, the most common answer by far will be Lee — and many of those respondents will be shocked if you inform them that the Marvel Comics standard-bearer made his mark as writer and editor, not as an artist. Lee, still a dynamo at age 87, has been a figure of fascination and controversy through the decades and that’s why there is considerable potential in a project such as “With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story,” the new documentary about the co-creator of Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Thor and Iron Man.
On Sunday at 5 p.m., the film by Terry Dougas, Nikki Frakes and Will Hess will screen at the American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre and I’ll be among the curious in the audience because I haven’t seen the film yet. Lee will be there too, and I’ll be interviewing him and the filmmakers after the 80-minute movie. The day begins at 3 p.m., though, with Lee making an appearance across the street at Every Picture Tells a Story, where he will be signing the high-end prints from the Marvel ArtWorks series (you can see Lee signing one of those pieces in the photo above).
There’s nothing that makes Lee happier than his cameos in all the Marvel films, so get ready for Sunday. Here’s a look back at Stan the Man as cinema tourist…
– Geoff Boucher
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