Iron Man, kept alive by the miracles of science.
The Incredible Hulk, the inner demon in search of inner peace.
Daredevil, given second sight by the hazzards of radioactive waste.
The X-Men, the epitome of mutant outsiders; metaphors for descrimination and acceptance.
The Fantastic Four, humans exposed to a spacial anomaly--irradiating and transforming them into marvelous heroes.
Stan Lee's Marvel Comics, along with the Daunting Competition, defined the atomic age for Baby Boomers and my own Generation X. Always denied the credibility given to other Science Fiction writers, such as Harland Ellison or Ray Bradbury, Lee has plugged along regardless, guiding Marvel comics through the past four decades. In the pantheon of Post War writers Stan Lee stands apart as a truly American author, in a truly American medium. A true artist, Stan defined the format and the form of comic books, dominating the field as no one has dominated any other.
Stan the Man, a brief history:
Stan Lee joined, what was to become Marvel Comics, when he was 16 years old. Just one year later he was the youngest editor in the business. But when World War II came around, he joined the Army, serving in the Signal Corps. For three years, the Army had Lee write training films and manuals for all branches of military service. In addition, Stan Lee has the distinction of becoming one of only nine men, including William Saroyan, in the U.S. Army to be given the military classification "playwright."
Stan Lee, Chairman of Marvel Comics and Marvel Films, is known to millions as the man whose superheroes propelled Marvel to its preeminent position in the comicbook industry. Hundreds of legendary characters such as Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, The X-Men, The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Daredevil, The Avengers, Thor and Dr. Strange all grew out of his fertile imagination.
It was in the early '60s that Stan Lee ushered in what has come to be known as "The Marvel Age of Comics," creating major new superheroes while breathing life and style into such old favorites as Captain America, The Human Torch and The Sub Mariner.
During his first twenty-five years at Marvel's helm, as editor, art director and head writer, Stan scripted no fewer than two and as many as five complete comicbooks per week. His prodigious output may comprise the largest body of published work by any single writer. Additionally, Stan wrote newspaper features, radio and television scripts and screenplays.
By the time he was named publisher of Marvel Comics in 1972, Stan Lee's comics were the nation's biggest sellers. In 1977, Stan brought Spider-Man into the newspapers in the form of a syndicated strip. This seven-days-a-week feature which he has written and edited since its inception, is today the most successful of all syndicated adventure strips, appearing in more than 500 newspapers worldwide.
Stan Lee has written more than a dozen best-selling books including The Origins of Marvel Comics, The Silver Surfer, How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way, Bring on the Bad Guys and The Superhero Women. Most recently, he wrote the introduction to the best-selling "coffee-table book," Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World's Greatest Comics.
In 1981, Marvel launched an animation studio on the west coast and Stan Lee moved to Los Angeles to become creative head of Marvel's cinematic adventures. He began to transform his Spider-Man and Hulk creations into Saturday morning television and paved the way for Marvel's entry into live-action feature films.
Recently Lee has been the co-executive producer of the syndicated Marvel Action Hour starring The Fantastic Four and Iron Man and the Saturday morning series The X-Men. He also acted as the Executive Producer of UPN's The Incredible Hulk.
He continues to write his weekly column "Stan's Soapbox" as well as the daily newspaper comicstrip Spider-Man. And from time to time he finds time to script the occasional comic. Recently Stan worked on an Iron Man screenplay with writer Jeff Avatar, although it seems that the script will not be used for the Shellhead film in the works now.
Stan Lee recently ended his exclusive agreement with Marvel Comics, and launched StanLee.Net, an on-line multimedia company dedicated to revolutionizing comics. He also suprised many by going to work for DC Comics for a limited engagement series, retelling some of the classic DC Super Heroes in his own dashing style.
Stan Lee defined the atomic age, simultaneously creating the myth of the atom while exploring the truth of the human condition. Lee's characters span the human spirit, dwelling in the darkness and weakness that is humanity, while showing the hero inside of all of us. Like all of us, Stan's heroes are plagued with weaknesses and flaws, but they persevere and triumph over evil--always doing what is right--sometimes at great cost to their personal relationships.
Only a handful of mythmakers achieve immortality--Stan Lee has achieved more.
Stan Lee Picture
Stan Stares Down Spidey
This page is copyrighted by Tim Rassbach 2001, 2002.
Iron Man and all associated characters are the property of Marvel Comics.