Marvel-ous! Issue #10: Marvel Files: Stan Lee
Name: Stanley Martin Lieber
Alias: Stan Lee
Born: December 28. 1922 (age 91)
Spouse: Joan Clayton Boocock Lee (1947-present)
First Comic Appearence: Captain America Comics #3 (May 1941)
Stan Lee is often seen as the godfather of comics, and the face of Marvel Comics. Stan Lee joined Timely Comics in 1939 as an assistant, with the help of his uncle Robbie Solomon. Lee has said that during these early days, his daily activities included filling inkwells, fetching lunch for the writers and artists, and proofreading. In 1941, Lee made his debut in comics by writing filler text for Captain America Comics #3. It was at this point that Stan took his now famous pseudonym. He has gone on record saying that this was because he wanted to keep his birth name for more "literary" works.
In late 1941, mere months after joining Timely Comics, Martin Goodman, the then publisher of Timely, promoted Lee to an interm editor. Lee was only 19 at the time, but he showed a natural talent for this job, so much so that he would stay on as editor-in-chief until the early 1970s, when he took over Goodman's position as publisher.
Famously, in the late 1950s, Lee was planning on changing degrees and leaving the comic industry. Before he could though, his wife convinced him to put out a comic based on the kinds of things that he would want to read. Taking this advice, Stan created the Fantastic Four, basing them on his view that superheroes should have flaws, because they are natural beings. During this time, Lee created a large section of the "mainstream" Marvel characters including Daredevil, Hulk, Iron Man, the X-Men, Thor, Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, and the Avengers, among others.
Lee was scripted and edited the majority of Marvel's series in the 1960s, along with writing a monthly column called "Stan's Soapbox". This continued until 1972, when Lee decided to step down from writing, and take the role as publisher for Marvel Comics.
Lee has also been a long time supporter of social commentary and equality in comics. In his column, as well as many of the comics he wrote, Lee was known to address racism, discrimination, and prejudice, which were just as relevant topics in the 1960s as they are now.
Lee has not only acclaimed by fans, but also through awards in the comic book industry. In 1994, he was inducted into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1995, and in 2008, received the National Medal of Arts.
Lee also founded the Stan Lee Foundation in 2010. Its goal is to focus on literacy, education and the arts. Its stated goals include supporting programs and ideas that improve access to literacy resources, as well as promoting diversity, national literacy, culture and the arts.
Stan Lee is still heavily involved with Marvel Comics, often acting as their figure head, and appearing in cameo roles in most mainstream Marvel films. Lee has appeared in films, television, animation, YouTube, and even hosted his own television program dedicated to showcasing individuals with extraordinary talents and abilities.
Stan Lee has not only had a profound impact on comics and Marvel, but in turn has had a huge impact on comic book fans, movie fans, and the popular culture of the world. Lee is an incredible man, who is still full of energy and creativity, despite his age. Lee is not done creating and shows no signs of slowing down.
Thank you so much for reading, and I apologize for how long it took to get this issue out.