Stan Lee: The work of Marvel’s superhero instigator
Translated by Elpida Dalietou
How did the famous comic writer create Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk and the most famous superheroes of our time?
Today, as an honor to the charismatic publisher of Marvel comics (and of DC for a point in time) Stan Lee, we will have a blast from the past so that we can see how he was inspired to create the famous comic-book heroes that both children and adults have adored.
Stan Lee started working at an early age, writing… obituaries for a news service and press releases for the National Tuberculosis Centre! He had also been a delivery boy for a farmacy!
But success didn’t take long…
His first job as a comic book writer didn’t start out ideally for him. As he had stated in the past, his boss made him write comics ”with lots of action and scenes with battles, because that’s what the people want”!
But the brilliant writer wasn’t satisfied.
He had suggested to his boss that a plot should be added to the project, but the answer was no. Clearly disappointed and annoyed, Stan Lee expressed his wife’s desire to resign, but she told him “since you’re going to quit someday, why don’t you write in your own way? if he fires you, it doesn’t really matter.”
And that’s how he started writing. The result? Fantastic Four!
The Incredible Hulk
Aware of the great success of the Fantastic Four, Stan Lee and his editorial team initially thought of creating another superhero team. Their idea, however, did not go forward and they decided to create another character in the group, which would be a.. monster, but a good monster!
The world, of course, did not love the idea of Hulk much, but the new superhero managed to make history over the years.
Stan Lee, inspired by a science fiction book called ”The Spider”, created a teenager who got superpowers when he was bitten by a radioactive spider. His publisher was completely opposed to this idea. He didn’t like the idea of a teenager becoming a superhero, but also didn’t like the idea of a spider being a superhero’s main element.
Stan Lee (fortunately) did not agree with the opposite view and created Spider-Man, perhaps his most beloved hero!
When Stan Lee brought Iron Man into the ”limelight”, the world had just entered the Cold War period, and seeing that children and adolescents hated the war, he was inspired to create a war hero who would fascinate the younger audience.
“He made weapons and sold them to the American army, he was rich, it seemed very interesting to make such a character, one the public would relate to,” Stan Lee had previously stated for Iron Man.
The American cartoonist moved on to a move that most companies wouldn’t make were they in his place in the ’60s. He created the first superhero of colour! He was inspired by a political party of the time, which consisted of members of color named ”the Black Panthers”. Stan Lee explained, however, that there was no political agenda, he just liked the name.
Thus, in an 1966 issue of the Fantastic Four, the world would witness the first comic-book appearance of Black Panther.
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