Newish Viacom-owned pay channel Epix has organized a free preview weekend running Friday through Sunday on Cox Cable, Verizon Fios and the Dish Network.
And the two most recent “Avengers” prequels – “Thor” and “Captain America: First Avenger” – are premiering this weekend on Epix, along with “With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story.”
None of these appear to be available via Netflix.
8:00 p.m. Friday: “With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story”
9:30 p.m. Friday: “Thor”
7:30 a.m. Saturday: “Thor”
9:30 a.m. Saturday: “With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story”
2:15 p.m. Saturday: “Thor”
6:00 p.m. Sunday: “Thor”
8:00 p.m. Sunday: “Captain America: The First Avenger”
The absorbing Stan Lee doc, which begins by depicting the spry 89-year-old charging around Comic Con, is full of old photos and footage of Lee, virtually recognizable without his trademark 2-tone hair and tinted eyewear. The doc reveals Lee worshipped Errol Flynn and originally thought he’d be an actor. At age 16 he worked at the world’s second-largest trouser manufacturing company.
In 1939 he was hired as an assistant at the new Timely Comics when its only office employees were “Captain America” creators Jack Kirby and Joe Simon. (Simon, who passed away at the age of 98 a little over four months ago, is interviewed for this thing, which is sort of awesome.) Lee became Timely’s acting editor-in-chief when he was only 18, following the abrupt departure of Kirby and Simon.
Lee and Timely operated out of the 14th floor of the Empire State Building between 1942 and 1951.
“There were only nine men in the [World War II] army who were classified as playwrights,” says Lee, and he was one of them. The others included William Saroyan, Carl Laemmle Jr., Frank Capra and Theodor Geisel. They wrote training films.
The son of Romanian-born Jewish immigrants, Lee – who apparently looked a lot like Rex Harrison in his youth -- married a WASPy English actress-model. The couple produced a biological daughter but were subsequently foiled by adoption agencies who considered them a “mixed” couple. They’re still together 50 years later despite her destroying the noiseless typewriter on which he created his most famous characters.
Jack Kirby wound up not illustrating Spider-Man (Steve Ditko got that job) because Lee felt Kirby made Spidey look too glamorous.
There's a lot more. Stan Lee's story is amazing. How crazy is it that Marvel filed for Chapter 11 in 1996, just four years befoer "X-Men" came out?