Stan Lee


Stan Lee

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Stan Lee (born Stanley Martin Lieber; December 28, 1922) is an American comic book writer, editor, and the former president and chairman of Marvel Comics.

With several artist co-creators, most notably Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, he co-created Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, and many other characters, introducing complex, naturalistic characters and a thoroughly shared universe into superhero comic books. He subsequently led the expansion of Marvel Comics from a small division of a publishing house to a large multimedia corporation.

Biography

Early life and career

He was born in New York City, New York, in the apartment of his Romanian-born Jewish immigrant parents, Celia (née Solomon) and Jack Lieber,at the corner of West 98th Street and West End Avenue in Manhattan. His father, trained as a dress cutter, worked only sporadically after the Great Depression, and the family moved further uptown to Fort Washington Avenue,in the Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights. 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.

Lee attended DeWitt Clinton High School in The Bronx, 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.

Fictional portrayals

Stan Lee and his collaborator Jack Kirby appear as themselves in The Fantastic Four #10 (Jan. 1963), the first of several appearances within the fictional Marvel Universe. 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 as a possible parody of Stan Lee. 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,[issue # needed] and appears in The Amazing Spider-Man (June 1977).
In Alan Moore's satirical miniseries 1963, based on numerous Marvel characters of the 1960s, Moore's alter ego "Affable Al" parodies Lee and his allegedly unfair treatment of artists.

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.

Film and television appearances

Marvel film properties

Stan Lee appeared in cameos as one-scene characters in many (but not all) movies based on Marvel Comic characters he helped create.

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.

Lee has cameo roles in the Fox Broadcasting Company telefilms Generation X (1996) and Nick Fury: Agent of Shield (1998)

In X-Men (2000), Lee appears as a customer at 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 car.

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 catchphrase, "'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. 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."

In Incredible Hulk (2008), Lee appears 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.

Warner/DC properties

In the original broadcast airing of the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Apokolips... Now! Part 2", an animated Stan Lee was planned to be visible mourning the death of Daniel "Terrible" Turpin, a character based on Lee's collaborator Jack Kirby. The scene would also have included such Marvel characters as the Fantastic Four, Nick Fury, and Peter Parker, as well as such Kirby DC characters as Big Barda, Scott Free, and Orion. This shot appeared in the completed episode and was aired in 7 February 1998 in WB Kids, but was later removed in the DVD release of the episode.

Other film, TV and video

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".

Lee narrated the 2000 film Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV, under the pseudonym "Peter Parker."

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 Pryde of the X-Men.

Lee was executive producer of a 1990s animated TV series, titled Spider-Man: The Animated Series. He appeared, as animated character (and with his voice), in the series finale episode titled "Farewell, Spider-Man". Spider-Man was teleported into the "real" world where he is a comic book hero. He swings Stan Lee around and drops him off on top of a building. Realizing he is stuck on a roof, Lee muses "Maybe the Fantastic Four will pop up and get me down."

He also voices 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 Aug. 15 & 22, 2003).

Lee has an extensive cameo in the Kevin Smith film Mallrats. He once again plays himself, this time visiting "the" mall to sign books at a comic store. Later, he takes 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 appears 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 voices 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 70s 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 episode, 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. He appeared in The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004) as the "Three Stooges Wedding Guest", a Spaniard who learns English from watching Three Stooges shorts.

Stan Lee narrates the 2000 video game Spider-Man and the 2001 sequel Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro.

Lee is producer and host of the reality-TV show Who Wants to Be a Superhero?, which premiered on the Sci Fi Channel July 27, 2006, and had its second season in summer, 2007.

Lee has made two appearances as a subject on To Tell the Truth: first in 1970, and again in 2001.

Lee also made an appearance on December 21, 2006, on the NBC game show Identity.

Lee voices characters in POW! Entertainment's direct-to-DVD "Stan Lee Presents" line of animated features. In Mosaic he voices the security guard Stanley at Interpol, and in The Condor he voices a candy-store owner whose granddaughter the Condor saves.

In the "Unexpected" episode of the TV science-fiction drama Heroes (2006), Lee appears as a bus driver kindly greeting Hiro Nakamura.

Radio

Lee recorded a public service announcement for Deejay Ra's "Hip-Hop Literacy" campaign

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 re-used from the mold of a previously released Spider-Man action figure, with only minor changes. (Credit: Wikipedia).

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