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Comic Book Legend Stan Lee Presents 'Mosaic'

7 Jan, 2007 By: John Latchem

Stan Lee Presents: Mosaic

The creative force behind such legendary Marvel Comics heroes as Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four is bringing a new generation of superheroes to DVD.

Comic book icon Stan Lee is teaming with Starz Home Entertainment on “Stan Lee Presents,” a potential franchise of animated features produced by Lee's POW! Entertainment and the Starz-owned Film Roman animation studio.

“We're very excited,” Lee said. “The DVDs should appeal to the same audience as those who enjoy Marvel comics.”The first title, Mosaic, hits shelves Jan. 9 at $14.98.Lee conceives of the characters and basic story and brings in a creative team to flesh out the details.

Mosaic tells the story of Maggie, a New York high-school student and aspiring actress who finds herself at the center of a conflict between mankind and a race of shape-shifting humanoid chameleons (See review). Scott Lobdell, a former scribe for Marvel's “X-Men” and “Fantastic Four” comics, wrote the script.

“There are great scenes,” Lee said. “A little bit of romance, which teenagers love, plus some comedy, and great excitement.”

Maggie, who is empowered with the traits of the chameleon, is voiced by Academy Award-winning actress Anna Paquin, who played Rogue in the live-action “X-Men” movies.

While Lee said he hopes Maggie will inspire young girls, he expects the film to find a broader audience.

“If you get a good story, with good characters, and it has drama, comedy, romance and great excitement, you'll get males, females, young people and old people,” Lee said. “I always go for the largest possible audience.”

Bonus features on the DVD include an introduction by Lee, interviews with Lee and director Roy Smith, and Mosaic-ku, a puzzle based on Sudoku in which players fill in spaces with different characters to earn a congratulatory message from Lee.

Also included is a 16-page comic book introducing the hero of the next “Stan Lee Presents” DVD, The Condor, due March 20. It's the story of a Latino skateboarding champion, voiced by Wilmer Valderrama of “That '70s Show,” who turns his back on his heritage until his parents are murdered and he is left crippled. He gains superhuman abilities through the use of nanotechnology.

The third “Stan Lee Presents” title in the pipeline is Ringo, a musical comedy that tells the life story of ex-Beatle Ringo Starr, voicing himself, as if he were a superhero.

“Ringo's a great guy,” Lee said. “I told him the idea and he said he'd love to do it.”

Lee has ideas for three more stories to round out a first wave of six titles, which could also lead to sequels.

“We hope to have an entire series of ‘Stan Lee Presents' DVDs out there, each unique and different from the other,” Lee said.

Now 84 and showing no signs of letting up, Lee also is busy at work preparing for the second installment of Sci Fi Channel's “Who Wants to Be a Superhero?” reality show (the first season is on DVD), and continues to make cameo appearances in the movies based on his work. He appears in animated form in Mosaic, but promises bigger surprises this summer.

“Wait until you see my cameos in Spider-Man 3 and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer,” Lee said. “The cameos are actually part of the plot!”

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