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This article is about the comics creator. For other uses, see Stan Lee (disambiguation).

Stan Lee (born Stanley Martin Lieber; December 28, 1922, died November 12, 2018)[1] was an American comic book writer, editor, actor, producer, publisher, television personality, and former president and chairman of Marvel Comics.

In collaboration with several artists, most notably Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, he co-created Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, the Avengers, Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, and many other fictional characters, introducing complex, naturalistic characters[2] and a thoroughly shared universe into superhero comic books.[3] In addition, he headed the first major successful challenge to the industry's censorship organization, the Comics Code Authority, and forced it to reform its policies.[4] Lee subsequently led the expansion of Marvel Comics from a small division of a publishing house to a large multimedia corporation.

He was inducted into the comic book industry's Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1995.

Early life and career

Lee was born in New York City, New York, in the apartment of his Romanian-born Jewish immigrant parents, Celia (née Solomon) and Jack Lieber,[1][5][6] at the corner of West 98th Street and West End Avenue in Manhattan.[1] His father, trained as a dress cutter, worked only sporadically after the Great Depression, and the family moved further uptown to Fort Washington Avenue,[7] in Washington Heights, Manhattan. When Lee was nearly 9, his only sibling, brother Larry Lieber, was born. By the time Lee was in his teens, the family was living in a one-bedroom apartment at 1720 University Avenue in The Bronx. Lee described it as "a third-floor apartment facing out back", with him and his brother sharing a bedroom and his parents using a foldout couch.[8]

Lee attended DeWitt Clinton High School in The Bronx,[9] where his family had moved next. A voracious reader who enjoyed writing as a teen, he worked such part-time jobs as writing obituaries for a news service and press releases for the National Tuberculosis Center; delivering sandwiches for the Jack May pharmacy to offices in Rockefeller Center; working as an office boy for a trouser manufacturer; ushering at the Rivoli Theater on Broadway; and selling subscriptions to the New York Herald Tribune newspaper. He graduated high school early, at age 16½ in 1939, and joined the WPA Federal Theatre Project.


A text filler in Captain America Comics#3 (May 1941) was Lee's first published work. Cover art by Alex Schomburg.

With the help of his uncle, Robbie Solomon,[10] Lee that same year became an assistant at the new Timely Comics division of pulp magazine and comic-book publisher Martin Goodman's company.[11] Timely, by the 1960s, would evolve into Marvel Comics. Lee, whose cousin Jean[12] was Goodman's wife, was formally hired by Timely editor Joe Simon.[11]

His duties were prosaic at first. "In those days [the artists] dipped the pen in ink, [so] I had to make sure the inkwells were filled", Lee recalled in 2009. "I went down and got them their lunch, I did proofreading, I erased the pencils from the finished pages for them".[13] Marshaling his childhood ambition to be a writer, young Stanley Lieber made his comic-book debut with the text filler "Captain America Foils the Traitor's Revenge" in Captain America Comics #3 (May 1941), using the pseudonym "Stan Lee", which years later he would adopt as his legal name. Lee later explained in his autobiography and numerous other sources that he had intended to save his given name for more literary work. This initial story also introduced Captain America's trademark ricocheting shield-toss, which immediately became one of the character's signatures.[14]

He graduated from writing filler to actual comics with a backup feature, "'Headline' Hunter, Foreign Correspondent", two issues later. Lee's first superhero co-creation was the Destroyer, in Mystic Comics #6 (August 1941). Other characters he created during this period fans and historians call the Golden Age of comics include Jack Frost, debuting in USA Comics #1 (August 1941), and Father Time, debuting in Captain America Comics #6 (August 1941).[15]

When Simon and his creative partner Jack Kirby left late in 1941, following a dispute with Goodman, the 30-year-old publisher installed Lee, just under 19 years old, as interim editor.[16] The youngster showed a knack for the business that led him to remain as the comic-book division's editor-in-chief, as well as art director for much of that time, until 1972, when he would succeed Goodman as publisher.[17][18]

Lee entered the United States Army in early 1942 and served stateside in the Signal Corps, writing manuals, training films, and slogans, and occasionally cartooning. His military classification, he says, was "playwright"; he adds that only nine men in the U.S. Army were given that title.[19] Vincent Fago, editor of Timely's "animation comics" section, which put out humor and funny animal comics, filled in until Lee returned from his World War II military service in 1945 and rented the top floor of a brownstone in the East 90s in Manhattan.[20]

He married Joan Clayton Boocock on December 5, 1947,[1] and in 1949, the couple bought a two-story, three-bedroom home at 1084 West Broadway in Woodmere, New York, on Long Island, living there through 1952.[21] By this time, the couple had daughter Joan Celia "J.C." Lee, born in 1950; another child, Jan Lee, died three days after delivery in 1953.[1] Lee by this time had bought a home at 226 Richards Lane in the Long Island town of Hewlett Harbor, New York, where he and his family lived from 1952 to 1980,[22] including the 1960s period when Lee and his artist collaborators would revolutionize comic books.

In the mid-1950s, by which time the company was now generally known as Atlas Comics, Lee wrote stories in a variety of genres including romance, Westerns, humor, science fiction, medieval adventure, horror and suspense. By the end of the decade, Lee had become dissatisfied with his career and considered quitting the field.[23][24]


The Fantastic Four #1 (November 1961). Cover art by Jack Kirby (penciller) and an unconfirmed inker.

Marvel revolution

In the late 1950s, DC Comics editor Julius Schwartz revived the superhero archetype and experienced a significant success with its updated version of the Flash, and later with super-team the Justice League of America. In response, publisher Martin Goodman assigned Lee to create a new superhero team. Lee's wife urged him to experiment with stories he preferred, since he was planning on changing careers and had nothing to lose.[23][24]

Lee acted on that advice, giving his superheroes a flawed humanity, a change from the ideal archetypes that were typically written for pre-teens. His heroes could have bad tempers, melancholy fits, vanity, greed, etc. They bickered amongst themselves, worried about paying their bills and impressing girlfriends, and even were sometimes physically ill. Before him, most superheroes were idealistically perfect people with no serious, lasting problems.[25]

The first superhero group Lee and artist Jack Kirby created was the Fantastic Four. The team's immediate popularity led Lee and Marvel's illustrators to produce a cavalcade of new titles. With Kirby primarily, Lee created the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and the X-Men; with Bill Everett, Daredevil; and with Steve Ditko, Doctor Strange and Marvel's most successful character, Spider-Man.

Comics historian Peter Sanderson wrote that in the 1960s:

DC was the equivalent of the big Hollywood studios: After the brilliance of DC's reinvention of the superhero ... in the late 1950s and early 1960s, it had run into a creative drought by the decade's end. There was a new audience for comics now, and it wasn't just the little kids that traditionally had read the books. The Marvel of the 1960s was in its own way the counterpart of the French New Wave.... Marvel was pioneering new methods of comics storytelling and characterization, addressing more serious themes, and in the process keeping and attracting readers in their teens and beyond. Moreover, among this new generation of readers were people who wanted to write or draw comics themselves, within the new style that Marvel had pioneered, and push the creative envelope still further.[26]

Stan Lee's Marvel revolution extended beyond the characters and storylines to the way in which comic books engaged the readership and built a sense of community between fans and creators.[27][28] Lee introduced the practice of including a credit panel on the splash page of each story, naming not just the writer and penciller but also the inker and letterer. Regular news about Marvel staff members and upcoming storylines was presented on the Bullpen Bulletins page, which (like the letter columns that appeared in each title) was written in a friendly, chatty style.

File:Amazing Fantasy 15.jpg

Amazing Fantasy#15 (1962), the first appearance of Spider-Man. Cover art by Jack Kirby (penciller) & Steve Ditko (inker).

Throughout the 1960s, Lee scripted, art-directed, and edited most of Marvel's series, moderated the letters pages, wrote a monthly column called "Stan's Soapbox," and wrote endless promotional copy, often signing off with his trademark phrase "Excelsior!" (which is also the New York state motto). To maintain his taxing workload, yet still meet deadlines, he used a system that was used previously by various comic-book studios, but due to Lee's success with it, became known as the "Marvel Method" or "Marvel style" of comic-book creation. Typically, Lee would brainstorm a story with the artist and then prepare a brief synopsis rather than a full script. Based on the synopsis, the artist would fill the allotted number of pages by determining and drawing the panel-to-panel storytelling. After the artist turned in penciled pages, Lee would write the word balloons and captions, and then oversee the lettering and coloring. In effect, the artists were co-plotters, whose collaborative first drafts Lee built upon.

Because of this system, the exact division of creative credits on Lee's comics has been disputed, especially in cases of comics drawn by Kirby and Ditko. Similarly, Lee shares co-creator credit with Kirby on the two Fantastic Four films, while also sharing the same credit with Ditko with the Spider-Man feature film series.

In 1971, Lee indirectly reformed the Comics Code. The US Department of Health, Education and Welfare asked Lee to write a story about the dangers of drugs and Lee wrote a story in which Spider-Man's best friend becomes addicted to pills. The three-part story was slated to be published in Amazing Spider-Man #96-98, but the Comics Code Authority refused it because it depicted drug use;[29] the story context was considered irrelevant.[30][31][32] With his publisher's approval, Lee published the comics without the CCA seal.[33][34] The comics sold well and Marvel won praise for its socially conscious efforts.[35] The CCA subsequently loosened the Code to permit negative depictions of drugs, among other new freedoms.[36]

Lee also supported using comic books to provide some measure of social commentary about the real world, often dealing with racism and bigotry. "Stan's Soapbox", besides promoting an upcoming comic book project, also addressed issues of discrimination, intolerance, or prejudice.[37][38] In addition, Lee took to using sophisticated vocabulary for the stories' dialogue to encourage readers to learn new words. Lee has justified this by saying: "If a kid has to go to a dictionary, that's not the worst thing that could happen."[36]

Later career

File:Stan Lee 1973.jpg

Lee at the 1973 San Diego Comic Con.

In later years, Lee became a figurehead and public face for Marvel Comics. He made appearances at comic book conventions around America, lecturing at colleges and participating in panel discussions, and by now owning a vacation home on Cutler Lane in Remsenburg, New York[39] and, from 1975 to 1980, a two-bedroom condominium on the 14th floor of 220 East 63rd Street in Manhattan.[40] He moved to California in 1981 to develop Marvel's TV and movie properties. He was an executive producer for, and has made cameo appearances in Marvel film adaptations and other movies. He and his wife bought a home in West Hollywood, California previously owned by comedian Jack Benny's radio announcer, Don Wilson.[41] Lee was briefly president of the entire company, but soon stepped down to become publisher instead, finding that being president was too much about numbers and finance and not enough about the creative process he enjoyed.[1]

Peter Paul and Lee began to start a new Internet-based superhero creation, production and marketing studio, Stan Lee Media, in 1998. It grew to 165 people and went public, but near the end of 2000, investigators discovered illegal stock manipulation by Paul and corporate officer Stephan Gordon.[42] Stan Lee Media filed for bankruptcy in February 2001, and Paul fled to São Paulo, Brazil.[43][44] Paul was extradited back to the U.S., and pleaded guilty to violating SEC Rule 10b-5 in connection with trading of his stock in Stan Lee Media.[45][46] Lee was never implicated in the scheme.

Some of the Stan Lee Media projects included the animated Web series The 7th Portal where he voiced the character Izayus; The Drifter; and The Accuser. The 7th Portal characters were licensed to an interactive 3-D film attraction in four Paramount theme parks.

In the 2000s, Lee did his first work for DC Comics, launching the Just Imagine... series, in which Lee reimagined the DC superheroes Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and the Flash.

Lee created the risqué animated superhero series Stripperella for Spike TV. In 2004 he announced a superhero program that would feature Ringo Starr, the former Beatle, as the lead character.[47] Additionally, in August of that year, Lee announced the launch of Stan Lee's Sunday Comics,[48] hosted by, where monthly subscribers could read a new, updated comic and "Stan's Soapbox" every Sunday. The column has not been updated since February 15, 2005.

In 2005, Lee, Gill Champion and Arthur Lieberman formed POW! (Purveyors of Wonder) Entertainment to develop film, television and video game properties. POW! president and CEO Champion said in 2005 that Lee was creating a new superhero, Foreverman, for a Paramount Pictures movie, in tandem with producer Robert Evans and Idiom Films, with Peter Briggs hired to collaborate with Lee on the screenplay.[49]

In 2006, Marvel commemorated Lee's 65 years with the company by publishing a series of one-shot comics starring Lee himself meeting and interacting with many of his co-creations, including Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, the Thing, Silver Surfer and Doctor Doom. These comics also featured short pieces by such comics creators as Joss Whedon and Fred Hembeck, as well as reprints of classic Lee-written adventures.

In 2007, POW! started a series of direct-to-DVD animated films under the Stan Lee Presents banner. Each film focuses on a new superhero, created by Stan Lee for the series. The first two releases were Mosaic and The Condor. In June of that year, Walt Disney Studios entered into an exclusive multi-year first-look deal with POW! Entertainment.[50]

File:Stan Lee by Gage Skidmore.jpg

Lee at the San Diego Comic-Con International in July 2010.

On March 15, 2007, Stan Lee Media's new president, Jim Nesfield, filed a lawsuit against Marvel Entertainment for $5 billion, claiming that the company is co-owner of the characters that Lee created for Marvel.[51] On June 9, 2007, Stan Lee Media sued Lee; his newer company, POW! Entertainment; POW! subsidiary QED Entertainment; and other former Stan Lee Media staff at POW![52]

In 2008, Lee wrote humorous captions for the political fumetti book Stan Lee Presents Election Daze: What Are They Really Saying?.[53] In April of that year, at the New York Comic Con, Viz Media announced that Lee and Hiroyuki Takei collaborated on the manga Karakuridôji Ultimo, from parent company Shueisha.[54] That same month, Brighton Partners and Rainmaker Animation announced a partnership POW! to produce a CGI film series, "Legion of 5".[55] That same month, Virgin Comics announced Lee created a line of superhero comics for that company.[56] He worked on a TV adaptation of the novel Hero.[57] He wrote the foreword to the 2010 non-fiction e-book memoir Skyscraperman by skyscraper fire-safety advocate Dan Goodwin, who had climbed skyscrapers dressed as Spider-Man.[58]

In 2009, he and the Japanese company Bones produced their first manga feature, "Heroman", serialized in Square Enix's Monthly Shōnen Gangan; the feature was adapted to anime in April 2010.[59][60]

Lee guest-started in season five of Eureka.[61] He said he had a guest appearance in season seven of Entourage.[62]


Lee's favorite authors include Stephen King, H. G. Wells, Mark Twain, Arthur Conan Doyle, William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and Harlan Ellison.[63] He also likes movies with Bruce Lee.[64]

Awards and honors

  • Lee has received several awards for his work, including being inducted into the Harvey Awards' Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1995.
  • On November 17, 2008, Stan Lee was awarded the National Medal of Arts.[65][66]
  • The County of Los Angeles declared October 2, 2009 Stan Lee Day.[67]
  • The City of Long Beach declared October 2, 2009 Stan Lee Day.[67]
  • Lee won the Comic-Con Icon Award 2009 at Scream Awards.[68]

Fictional portrayals


Lee and Kirby (lower left) as themselves on the covers of The Fantastic Four #10 (Jan. 1963). Art by Kirby & Dick Ayers.

Stan Lee and his collaborator Jack Kirby appear as themselves in The Fantastic Four #10 (January 1963), the first of several appearances within the fictional Marvel Universe.[69] The two are depicted as similar to their real-world counterparts, creating comic books based on the "real" adventures of the Fantastic Four.

Kirby, during his years of working for DC Comics in the 1970s, created the character Funky Flashman. With his hyperbolic speech pattern, gaudy toupee, and hip '70s-Manhattan style beard (as Lee sported at the time) this ne'er-do-well charlatan first appeared in the pages of Mister Miracle.

Kirby later portrayed himself, Lee, production executive Sol Brodsky, and Lee's secretary Flo Steinberg as superheroes in What If #11, "What If the Marvel Bullpen Had Become the Fantastic Four?", in which Lee played the part of Mister Fantastic. Lee has also made numerous cameo appearances in many Marvel titles, appearing in audiences and crowds at many characters' ceremonies and parties, and hosting an old-soldiers reunion in Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #100 (July 1972). Lee appeared, unnamed, as the priest at Luke Cage and Jessica Jones' wedding in New Avengers Annual #1. He pays his respects to Karen Page at her funeral in the Daredevil "Guardian Devil" story arc,Script error: No such module "Unsubst". and appears in The Amazing Spider-Man (June 1977).

The "Young Dan Pussey" stories by Daniel Clowes, collected in Pussey!, feature an exploitative publisher who relies on Lee's gung-ho style and "Bullpen" mythology to motivate his stable of naive and underpaid creators; the stories mainly satirize the state of mainstream comics in the 1990s, but also the subculture of young superhero fans that Lee helped to create.

In Marvel's 1991 comic book adaptation of game Double Dragon, a character modeled after Stan Lee was specifically created for the comic and is introduced as the father of the protagonists, Billy and Jimmy Lee. The character is only referred by his first name, Stan, although the play on his name is obvious when one considers the Lee brothers' surname.

In X-Play on the cable network G4, the character "Roger, the Stan Lee Experience" - dubbed "the fifth-best-thing next to Stan Lee" - is a foul-mouthed, perverted stand-up comic parody of Lee. Roger's segments normally consist of him describing details of numerous unspeakable adult encounters, usually involving the wife of another Marvel veteran, Jack Kirby, with each encounter somehow leading to the creation of a well-known Marvel character.

In Marvel's July 1997 "Flashback" event, a top-hatted caricature of Lee as a ringmaster introduced stories which detailed events in Marvel characters' lives before they became superheroes, in special "-1" editions of many Marvel titles. The "ringmaster" depiction of Lee was originally from Generation X #17 (July 1996), where the character narrated a story set primarily in an abandoned circus. Though the story itself was written by Scott Lobdell, the narration by "Ringmaster Stan" was written by Lee himself, and the character was drawn in that issue by Chris Bachalo. Bachalo's depiction of "Ringmaster Stan" was later used in the heading of a short-lived revival of the "Stan's Soapbox" column, which evolved into a question & answer format.

In his given name of Stanley Lieber, Stan Lee appears briefly in Paul Malmont's 2006 novel The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril.

Lee and other comics creators are mentioned in Michael Chabon's 2000 novel about the comics industry The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.

On one of the last pages of Truth: Red, White, and Black, Lee appears in a real photograph among other celebrities on a wall of the Bradley home.

In Ultimate X-Men #20, a caricature of Lee appears as a photograph next to the letter Xavier leaves for his students.

In Stan Lee Meets Superheroes, Stan Lee comes in to contact with some of his favorite creations. The series was written by Lee himself.

In Karakuridôji Ultimo a caricature of Lee in 12th century Japan as the creator of both Ultimo and Vice, named Dr. Dunstan.

Film and television appearances

Marvel film properties


Lee as Willie Lumpkin in Fantastic Four, 2005

Stan Lee appeared in cameos as one-scene characters in many (but not all) movies based on Marvel Comic characters he helped create. He was the 22nd ranked actor in terms of box office takings thanks to his cameos in Marvel movies.[70]

  • In the TV-movie The Trial of the Incredible Hulk (1989), Lee's first appearance in a Marvel movie or TV project is as jury foreman in the trial of Dr. Bruce Banner.
  • In X-Men (2000), Lee appears as a vendor of a hotdog stand on the beach when Senator Kelly emerges naked onshore after escaping from Magneto.
  • In Spider-Man (2002), he appeared during Spider-Man's first battle with the Green Goblin, pulling a little girl away from falling debris.
  • In Daredevil (2003), as a child, Matt Murdock stops Lee from crossing the street and getting hit by a bus.
  • In Hulk (2003), he appears walking alongside former TV-series Hulk Lou Ferrigno in an early scene, both as security guards at Bruce Banner's lab. It was his first speaking role in a film based on one of his characters.
  • In Spider-Man 2 (2004), Lee again pulls an innocent person away from danger during Spider-Man's first battle with Doctor Octopus.
  • In Fantastic Four (2005), Lee appears for the first time as a character from the comics, in a role credited as Willie Lumpkin, the mail carrier who greets the Fantastic Four as they enter the Baxter Building.
  • In X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), Lee and Chris Claremont appear as two of Jean Grey's neighbors in the opening scenes set 20 years ago. Lee, credited as "Waterhose man," is watering the lawn when Jean telekinetically redirects the water from the hose into the air.
  • In Spider-Man 3 (2007), Lee appears in a credited role as "Man in Times Square". He stands next to Peter Parker, both of them reading a news bulletin, and commenting to Peter that, "You know, I guess one person can make a difference". He then says his catch phrase, "'Nuff said."
  • In Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), Lee appears as himself at Reed Richards' and Susan Storm's first wedding, being turned away by a security guard for not being on the guest list. In Fantastic Four Annual #3 (1965), in which the couple married, Lee and Jack Kirby are similarly turned away.
  • In Iron Man (2008), Lee (credited as "Himself") appears at a gala cavorting with three blond women, where Tony Stark mistakes him for Hugh Hefner.[71] In the theatrical release of the film, Stark simply greets Lee as "Hef" and moves on without seeing Lee's face; another version of the scene was filmed where Stark realizes his mistake, but Lee graciously responds, "That's okay, I get this all the time."[72]
  • In The Incredible Hulk (2008), Lee appeared as a hapless citizen who accidentally ingests a soft drink mixed with Bruce Banner's blood, leading to the discovery of Dr. Banner's location in a bottling plant in Brazil.
  • In Iron Man 2 (2010), during the Stark Expo, Lee, wearing suspenders and a bright colored shirt and tie, is greeted by Tony Stark as "Larry King".
  • Lee said he had met with Kenneth Branagh, director of the planned film Thor about his possible cameo in that movie and at Fan Expo 2010 Lee admitted to playing a truck driver in the film.[73]

Warner/DC properties

File:Stan lee on stas apokolips now part2.jpg

Stan Lee mourning on Dan Turpin's funeral. Above TV capture from original episode and below storyboard art by Bruce Timm and text comments by Paul Dini.

  • "Apokolips...Now! Part II" In the original broadcast airing of the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Apokolips... Now! Part 2", an animated Stan Lee was visible mourning the death of Daniel "Terrible" Turpin, a character based on Marvel Comics Universe co-creator and Marvel main artist Jack Kirby. The scene also included such Marvel characters as the Ben Grimm, Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Nick Fury, Johnny Storm, Steve Rogers, Tony Stark, and Peter Parker, Jack Kirby DC characters as Big Barda, Scott Free, Orion, Kamandi, comics artists Bruce Timm, Alex Ross and his father Norman Ross, and TV producers and writers Glen Murakami, Dan Riba, Paul Dini, Alan Burnett and Mark Evanier. This shot appeared in the completed episode and was aired in February 7, 1998 in WB Kids, but was later modified to remove the likeness of Marvel characters in the Superman: The Animated Volume 3 DVD box set.[74]

Other film, TV, and video

  • He was the host of the 2010 History Channel documentary series Stan Lee's Superhumans.
  • Lee makes a cameo appearance as the "Three Stooges Wedding Guest" in the 2004 Disney film The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.
  • Lee hosted and judged contestants in the SyFy series Who Wants to Be a Superhero?
  • Lee appears with director Kevin Smith and 2000s Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada in the DVD program "Marvel Then & Now: An Evening with Stan Lee and Joe Quesada, hosted by Kevin Smith".
  • One of Lee's earliest contributions to animation based on Marvel properties was narrating the 1980s Incredible Hulk animated series, always beginning his narration with a self-introduction and ending with "This is Stan Lee saying, Excelsior!" Lee had previously narrated the "Seven Little Superheroes" episode of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, which the Hulk series was paired with for broadcast.
  • Lee did the narration for the original 1989 X-Men animated series pilot titled X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men.
  • Lee was interviewed on the History Channel Show Superhuman by Daniel Browning Smith, who held several Guiness Records for extreme flexibility[75] due to having Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a genetic condition affecting collagen formation. Smith had created his own comic book to display his own struggles as an outcast for his flexibility, and legitimately surprised Lee with a quick demonstration of his talent.
  • In the animated series Jim Henson's Muppet Babies, Lee plays himself in a live-action scene of the "Comic Capers" episode.
  • Lee was an executive producer of the 1990s animated TV series Spider-Man. He appeared as himself in animated form in the series finale episode titled "Farewell, Spider-Man". Spider-Man is transported by Madame Web into the "real" world where he is a fictional character. He meets Lee and the two swing around until Spider-Man drops him off on top of a building; Madame Web appears and brings Spider-Man back to his homeworld. Realizing he is stuck on a roof, Lee muses, hoping the Fantastic Four will show up and lend a hand.
  • He also voiced the character "Frank Elson" in an episode of Spider-Man: The New Animated Series series broadcast by MTV in 2003, and titled "Mind Games" (Parts 1 & 2, originally aired in August 15 & 22, 2003).
  • He voiced a loading dock worker named Stan on The Spectacular Spider-Man in the episode "Blueprints".
  • Lee had an extensive cameo in the Kevin Smith film Mallrats. He once again played himself, this time visiting "the" mall to sign books at a comic store. Later, he took on the role of a sage-like character, giving Jason Lee's character, Brodie Bruce (a longtime fan of Lee's), advice on his love life. He also recorded interviews with Smith for the non-fiction video Stan Lee's Mutants, Monsters, and Marvels (2002).
  • Lee appeared as himself in an extended self-parodying sketch on the episode "Tapping a Hero" of Robot Chicken.
  • Lee appeared as himself in writer-director Larry Cohen's The Ambulance (1990), in which Eric Roberts plays an aspiring comics artist.
  • In The Simpsons episode "I Am Furious Yellow" (April 28, 2002), Lee voiced the animated Stan Lee, who is a prolonged visitor to Comic Book Guy's store ("Stan Lee came back?" "Stan Lee never left. I am starting to think his mind is no longer in mint condition.") He asks if Comic Book Guy is the stalker of Lynda Carter - the star of the 1970s show Wonder Woman - and shows signs of dementia, such as breaking a customer's toy Batmobile by trying to cram a Thing action figure into it (claiming that he "made it better"), hiding DC comics behind Marvel comics, and believing that he is the Hulk (and fails trying to become the Hulk, while Comic Book Guy comments he couldn't even change into Bill Bixby). In a later Simpsons episode, Worst Episode Ever, Lee's picture is seen next to several others on the wall behind the register, under the heading "Banned for life".
  • Lee also appears as himself in the Mark Hamill-directed Comic Book: The Movie (2004), a direct-to-video mockumentary primarily filmed at the 2002 San Diego Comic-Con.
  • Lee also made an appearance on December 21, 2006, on the NBC game show Identity.
  • Lee appeared as himself in episode 3.16 of The Big Bang Theory.[76]
  • Lee appeared in the manga and anime series of Heroman as a regular at a diner. He was voiced by Atsushi Ii in the Japanese anime.[77]
  • Lee voiced the Mayor of Superhero City in the Super Hero Squad Show.[citation needed]
  • He plays a bus driver in the 16th episode of the first season of Heroes.[78]
  • Lee appeared as himself in the 5th episode of the seventh season of the HBO series Entourage.
  • Lee appeared as "Hank Excelsior" in the October 7 episode of the CW's new series Nikita, based on the well-known film La Femme Nikita.

Video games

  • Lee narrated the 2000 video game Spider-Man, the 2001 sequel Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro, and 2010's Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions.[citation needed]
  • He made his first onscreen video-game cameo in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, lending his likeness and voice to New York senator Stanley M. Lieber (a reference to Lee's birth name), who is taken hostage late in the game's first act by Titanium Man. Lieber has unique dialogue with each of the characters upon rescue, and both his dialogue and in-game dossier make various references to both Lee and Marvel Comics (such as referring to his constituents as "True Believers" and citing "Excelsior!" as the New York state motto).[79]


  • Lee recorded a public service announcement for Deejay Ra's "Hip-Hop Literacy" campaign.
  • He narrated the Fantastic Four Radio show.

Action figure

At the 2007 Comic-Con International, Marvel Legends introduced a Stan Lee action figure. The body beneath the figure's removable cloth wardrobe is a re-used mold of a previously released Spider-Man action figure, with only minor changes.[80]

Selected bibliography

  • The Amazing Spider-Man #1-100, 105-110, 116-118
  • The Avengers #1-34
  • Captain America #100-109, 112, 114-141
  • Daredevil #1-9, 11-50, 53, 81, 400 (Vol. 2 #20)
  • The Fantastic Four #1-115, 120-125, 154, 180, 189, 236, 296
  • Journey into Mystery #1, 3, 55, 62, 64, 71-79, 83-125
  • Ravage 2099
  • Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #1-28
  • The Silver Surfer #1-18
  • Solarman #1-2
  • Strange Tales #1, 9, 11, 67, 73-74, 78-86, 88-89, 91-95, 97-98, 100-147, 150-157, 174, 182-188
  • Tales to Astonish #1, 6, 12-13, 15-17, 24-33, 35-101
  • Tales of Suspense #7, 9, 16, 22, 27, 29-30, 39-99
  • The Mighty Thor #126-194, 200, 254, 385, 432, 450
  • The X-Men #1-19

Stan Lee Foundation

The Stan Lee Foundation was founded in 2010 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.[81]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Lee, Stan, and Mair, George. Excelsior!: The Amazing Life of Stan Lee (Fireside, 2002), p.5. ISBN 0-684-87305-2
  2. Wright, Bradford W. Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), ISBN 978-0-8018-7450-5, p. 207
  3. Wright, p. 218
  4. Wright, p. 239
  5. Renee Graham (2003-02-12). "Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  6. "Stan Lee". Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  7. "Lewine, Edward, "Sketching Out His Past", ''The New York Times Key Magazine'' Slide Show (September 4, 2007), Image 1". The New York Times. Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  8. "Lewine, ''The New York Times'', Image 2". The New York Times. Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  9. "Biography". Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  10. Per Timely Comics' wartime editor Vincent Fago in interview, Alter Ego vol. 3, #11 (November 2001)
  11. 11.0 11.1 Lee's account of how he began working for Marvel's predecessor, Timely, has varied. He has said in lectures and elsewhere that he simply answered a newspaper ad seeking a publishing assistant, not knowing it involved comics, let alone his cousin's husband:

    "I applied for a job in a publishing company ... I didn't even know they published comics. I was fresh out of high school, and I wanted to get into the publishing business, if I could. There was an ad in the paper that said, "Assistant Wanted in a Publishing House." When I found out that they wanted me to assist in comics, I figured, 'Well, I'll stay here for a little while and get some experience, and then I'll get out into the real world'. ... I just wanted to know, 'What do you do in a publishing company?' How do you write? ... How do you publish? I was an assistant. There were two people there named Joe Simon and Jack Kirby – Joe was sort-of the editor/artist/writer, and Jack was the artist/writer. Joe was the senior member. They were turning out most of the artwork. Then there was the publisher, Martin Goodman.... And that was about the only staff that I was involved with. After a while, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby left. I was about 17 years old [sic], and Martin Goodman said to me, 'Do you think you can hold down the job of editor until I can find a real person?' When you're 17, what do you know? I said, 'Sure! I can do it!' I think he forgot about me, because I stayed there ever since".IGN FilmForce (June  26, 2000): Stan Lee interview part 1 of 5

    However, in his above-cited, 2002 autobiography, Excelsior! The Amazing Life of Stan Lee, he said:

    "My uncle, Robbie Solomon, told me they might be able to use someone at a publishing company where he worked. The idea of being involved in publishing definitely appealed to me. ... So I contacted the man Robbie said did the hiring, Joe Simon, and applied for a job. He took me on and I began working as a gofer for eight dollars a week...."

    Joe Simon, in his 1990 autobiography The Comic Book Makers (cited under References, below), gives the account slightly differently:

    "One day [Goodman's relative known as] Uncle Robbie came to work with a lanky 17-year-old in tow. 'This is Stanley Lieber, Martin's wife's cousin', Uncle Robbie said. 'Martin wants you to keep him busy'".

    In an appendix, however, Simon appears to reconcile the two accounts. He relates a 1989 conversation with Lee:

    Lee: I've been saying this [classified-ad] story for years, but apparently it isn't so. And I can't remember because I['ve] said it so long now that I believe it".
    Simon: "Your Uncle Robbie brought you into the office one day and he said, 'This is Martin Goodman's wife's nephew'. [sic] ... You were seventeen years old".
    Lee: "Sixteen and a half!"
    Simon: "Well, Stan, you told me seventeen. You were probably trying to be older.... I did hire you".

  12. Lee and Mair, Excelsior, p.22
  13. Boucher, Geoff, "Hero Complex" (column): "Jack Kirby, the abandoned hero of Marvel's grand Hollywood adventure, and his family's quest", Los Angeles Times, September 25, 2009 (online; scheduled for print edition September 27, 2009)
  14. Thomas, Roy, Stan Lee's Amazing Marvel Universe (Sterling Publishing, New York, 2006), p. 11. ISBN 978-1-4027-4225-5 The line reads: "With the speed of thought, he sent his shield spinning through the air to the other end of the tent, where it smacked the knife out of Haines' hand!" It became a convention starting the following issue, in a Simon & Kirby's comics story depict the following: "Captain America's speed of thought and action save Bucky's life—as he hurls his shield across the room".
  15. Thomas, Stan Lee's Amazing Marvel Universe, pp. 12-13
  16. Thomas, Roy; Stan Lee (2006). Stan Lee's Amazing Marvel Universe. Sterling Publishing. p. 14. ISBN 1402742258.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  17. Kupperberg, Paul (2006). The Creation of Spider-Man. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 12. ISBN 1404207635. 
  18. Brooks, Brad coauthors=Tim Pilcher (2005). The Essential Guide to World Comics. London: Collins & Brown. p. 13. ISBN 1-84340-300-5.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  19. McLaughlin, Jeff; Stan Lee (2007). Stan Lee: Conversations. University Press of Mississippi. p. 59. ISBN 1578069858.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  20. "Lewine, ''The New York Times'', Image 3". The New York Times. Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  21. "Lewine, ''The New York Times'', Images 4-5". The New York Times. Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  22. "Lewine, ''The New York Times'', Images 6-7". The New York Times. Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  23. 23.0 23.1 Kaplan, Arie (2006). Masters of the Comic Book Universe Revealed!. Chicago Review Press. p. 50. ISBN 1556526334. 
  24. 24.0 24.1 McLaughlin, Jeff; Stan Lee (2007). Stan Lee: Conversations. University Press of Mississippi. p. 138. ISBN 1578069858.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  25. Noted comic-book writer Alan Moore described the significance of this new approach in Comic Book Resources (January 27, 2005): "Chain Reaction": "The DC comics were ... one dimensional characters whose only characteristic was they dressed up in costumes and did good. Whereas Stan Lee had this huge breakthrough of two-dimensional characters. So, they dress up in costumes and do good, but they've got a bad heart. Or a bad leg. I actually did think for a long while that having a bad leg was an actual character trait".
  26. Sanderson, Peter. (October 10, 2003): Comics in Context #14: "Continuity/Discontinuity"
  27. "Marvel Bullpen Bulletin - December 1965". Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  28. "Marvel Bullpen Bulletins 1965-1970". Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  29. "Amazing Spider-Man Masterworks Vol. 10". August 20, 2008. Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  30. "Marvel Comics History and Marvel Comics Background". Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  31. "Spiderman | Hulk | Wolverine |". Marvel Comics. Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  32. "History of Comic Book Rating Systems « Moshe’z". February 25, 2009. Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  33. "chronocomic: Amazing Spider-Man #96-98". SuperMegaMonkey. May 1, 1971. Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  34. McGinn, Andrew (May 4, 2007). "Spider-Man A to Z". Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  35. July 2, 2007 (July 2, 2007). "The Five Most Controversial Moments in Comic Book History | Pulp Secret - Comics News and Reviews". Pulp Secret. Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  36. 36.0 36.1 "Stan Lee Super Hero- Excelsior!". July 27, 2006. Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  37. "NEA News Room: 2008 National Medal of Arts - Stan Lee". November 17, 2008. Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  39. "Lewine Image 8". The New York Times. Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  40. "Lewine, ''The New York Times'', Image 10". The New York Times. Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  41. "Lewine, Image 11". The New York Times. Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  42. SEC Litigation Release No. LR-18828, August 11, 2004.
  43. "Stan Lee Holder Peter Paul Flees to South America, According to Cohort's Affidavit",, March 5, 2001
  44. "Accusations Against Peter Paul Retracted and Corrected in Court Filing",, May 7, 2001
  45. United States Attorney's Office, "Peter Paul, co-founder of Stan Lee Media, Inc., pleads guilty to securities fraud; Fraud scheme caused $25 million in losses to investors and financial institutions", press release, March 8, 2005.
  46. Witt, April . "House Of Cards: What do Cher, a Hollywood con man, a political rising star and an audacious felon have in common? Together they gave Bill and Hillary Clinton a night they'll never forget – no matter how hard they may try", The Washington Post, October 9, 2005, p. W10
  47. "Ringo Starr to become superhero". BBC. August 6, 2004. 
  48. "Stan Lee Launches New Online Comic Venture". CBC. August 6, 2004. 
  49. Liza Foreman (March 1, 2005). "''The Hollywood Reporter'' (March 1, 2005): "Lee, Evans' POW! fields 'Foreverman'", by Liza Foreman". Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  50. "Disney Studios Signs Exclusive Deal With Stan Lee". Magical Mountain. Retrieved Jun. 15, 2007.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  51. "Stan Lee Media Sues Marvel". Archived from the original on Sept. 22, 2007.  Check date values in: |archive-date= (help)
  52. "June 9: Stan Lee Media, Inc. Files Expected Lawsuit Against Stan Lee". Daily Blog. The Comic Reporter. Retrieved Sept. 22, 2007.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  53. (Filsinger Publishing, ISBN 978-0-9702631-5-5)
  54. "NYCC 08: Stan Lee Dives Into Manga". IGN. Retrieved Apr. 8, 2008.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  55. "Stan Lee Launching Legion of 5". Retrieved Apr. 16, 2008.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  56. Stan Lee to oversee Virgin Comics' superheroes, LA Times, April 19, 2008
  57. Stan Lee 'to create world's first gay superhero. The Daily Telegraph, January 14, 2009
  58. "Skyscraperman". Retrieved Sept. 15, 2009.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  59. "Stan Lee, Bones Confirmed to be Working on Hero Man - Anime News Network". Anime News Network. April 10, 2008. Retrieved Mar. 9, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  60. "Stan Lee & Bones' Heroman Anime Now in Production - Anime News Network". Anime News Network. October 6, 2009. Retrieved Mar. 9, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  61. "Exclusive: Stan Lee to Guest-Star on Eureka". Retrieved August 19 , 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  62. Cochran, Jau. "Stan Lee To Guest-Star on HBO's Entourage",, June 9, 2010
  63. Stan's Soapbox, Bullpen Bulletins, October 1998
  64. Stan's Soapbox, Bullpen Bulletins, October 2000
  65. Garreau, Joel. "Arts, Humanities Medals Awarded; Bush Awardees Include Stan Lee, Olivia de Havilland", The Washington Post, November 18, 2008; Page C02
  66. Boucher, Geoff. Hero Complex (section): "Thor's cartoon, Stan Lee's medal and Dick Tracy's fate all in Everyday Hero headlines", Los Angeles Times, November 17, 2008
  67. 67.0 67.1 Meeks, Robert (October 2, 2009). "L.B. Comic Con: It's Stan Lee Day!". Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  68. "TV: Video Highlights from the 2009 Spike TV Scream Awards". Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  69. Stan Lee (as a character) at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
  71. Eric Goldman (May 4, 2007). "Stan Lee's Further Superhero Adventures". IGN. Retrieved May 14, 2007. 
  72. Iron Man Ultimate 2-Disc Edition DVD, disc 2, "I Am Iron Man" documentary
  73. Weintraub, Steve. "Exclusive: Stan Lee Talks About His Cameo in Iron Man 2",, October 17, 2009
  74. The original sketches created by Bruce Timm and commented by Paul Dini appears in the book The Krypton Companion (TwoMorrows Publishing)
  75. "Contortionist Daniel Browning Smith the Rubberboy". Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  76. "". Jan. 28, 2010. Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)
  77. "Heroman (TV)". Anime News Network. Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  78. Julia Ward (2007-02-07). "Stan Lee to make Heroes cameo". TV Squad. Retrieved 2010-09-17. 
  79. "Comics Continuum by Rob Allstetter: Wednesday, July 22, 2009". July 22, 2009. Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  80. "Stan Lee: Marvel Legends". Retrieved Apr. 27, 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  81. Stan Lee Foundation official site


  • Lee, Stan, Origins of Marvel Comics (Simon and Schuster, 1974; Marvel Entertainment Group, 1997 reissue, ISBN 0-7851-0551-4)
  • Lee, Stan, and Mair, George. Excelsior!: The Amazing Life of Stan Lee (Fireside, 2002) ISBN 0-684-87305-2
  • Ro, Ronin. Tales to Astonish: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, and the American Comic Book Revolution (Bloomsbury USA, 2005 reissue) ISBN 1-58234-566-X
  • Raphael, Jordan, and Spurgeon, Tom. Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book (Chicago Review Press, 2003) ISBN 1-55652-506-0
  • Simon, Joe, with Jim Simon. The Comic Book Makers (Crestwood/II, 1990) ISBN 1-887591-35-4; reissued (Vanguard Productions, 2003) ISBN 1-887591-35-4
  • Stan Lee at the Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators
  • Stan Lee at the Grand Comics Database
  • Stan Lee at the Comic Book DB
  • Stan Lee at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database

Further reading

  • McLaughlin, Jeff, ed. Stan Lee: Conversations (University Press of Mississippi, 2007), ISBN 978-1578069859


Preceded by
Joe Simon
Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief
Succeeded by
Vincent Fago
Preceded by
Vincent Fago
Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief
Succeeded by
Roy Thomas
Preceded by
Fantastic Four writer
Succeeded by
Archie Goodwin
Preceded by
Archie Goodwin
Fantastic Four writer
Succeeded by
Roy Thomas
Preceded by
The Amazing Spider-Man writer
Succeeded by
Roy Thomas
Preceded by
Roy Thomas
The Amazing Spider-Man writer
Succeeded by
Gerry Conway
Preceded by
The Incredible Hulk writer
(including Tales to Astonish stories)

Succeeded by
Gary Friedrich
Preceded by
Gary Friedrich
The Incredible Hulk writer
Succeeded by
Roy Thomas
Preceded by
Thor writer
(including Journey into Mystery stories)

(with Larry Lieber in 1962)
(with Robert Bernstein in 1963)
Succeeded by
Gerry Conway
Preceded by
The Avengers writer
Succeeded by
Roy Thomas
Preceded by
(Uncanny) X-Men writer
Succeeded by
Roy Thomas
Preceded by
Joe Simon
Captain America writer
(including Tales of Suspense stories)

Succeeded by
Gary Friedrich
Preceded by
Daredevil writer
Succeeded by
Roy Thomas

Script error: No such module "Unsubst".

External links

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