Stan Lee hasn’t dreamed up anything of value recently: “Stripperella,” “Condor,” “Mosaic,” anyone? (Don’t get me started on “The Governator,” which reeks of desperate failure.)
Irony: Along comes the History Channel series “Stan Lee's Superhumans,” which is reasonably entertaining, but Lee hardly has anything to do with it. Its real host is Daniel Browning Smith, a ridiculously flexible guy whom Stan the Man (or so the intro would have you believe) sends across the globe to find real people with real superpowers. So Smith does all the heavy lifting, narration included; Lee, meanwhile, sits back and counts his royalty checks, we assume.
Each of the eight episodes profiles a handful of humans with extraordinary abilities ... or, in the case of the guy who puts himself in “Saw”-like contraptions of falling spikes and whirring drills, just no common sense. You can watch a samurai attempt to cut a fired pellet in half with one swoop of the sword; an old guy cover himself in 10,000 bees, an India resident who can fry an egg by hooking himself to electric currents that would kill you or me. My favorite bit focused on Scott Flansburg (see video below), who can compute complex calculations in his head faster than others can do with calculators.
Admittedly, this is interesting stuff, but “Superhumans” has the tendency to draw segments out twice as long as they need to be. Still, snakebites and stretchy skin, y’all! The graphics are comic-book cool.
I liked it better when it was called “That’s Incredible!” and hosted by Cathy Lee Crosby. —Rod Lott