On June 5, 1962, with a crack of thunder, a new hero burst on the scene. Well, not a new hero exactly. A very, very old hero who'd been reimagined for a modern world. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby at the height of their (dubiously balanced) creative powers, with scripting help from Stan's brother Larry Lieber, took a millennia-old Norse god and made him into a superhero in Journey into Mystery #83, the debut of the Mighty Thor.
Stan Lee - Page 3
It’s not brought up too frequently in the recent waves of D.C. and Marvel blockbusters, but it’s kind of messed up that all the superheroes appear to be headquartered in New York. Yes, Manhattan magnetically attracts mega-powered megalomaniacs like mosquitos to a BBQ, but the rest of America, not to mention the rest of Earth, needs help as well. The comic books saw the Marvel universe establish a 50 States Initiative to ensure superheroic defense all across America, and the movies tend to send heroes on a jet toward danger wherever it may fall on the globe, but the reaction time is simply too slow.
Enter Chakra the Invincible, a superhero created by Stan Lee, Sharad Devarajan, and Gotham Chopra to serve the inhabitants of India. The subject of a string of comic books along with an animated film geared toward the sizable Indian market (2013’s animated film ran in English on Cartoon Network, but was also translated into Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu) will soon take on another new life with a full-blown Bollywood live-action adaptation, Variety reports.
On this day in 1966, in the pages of Fantastic Four #52, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced the world to Wakanda, the most technologically advanced civilzation in the world, hidden in the heart of the African continent. At the head of this great nation was its king, T’Challa, who had recently assumed the throne from his father, and with it the title of the Black Panther.
Doctor Doom first appeared in Fantastic Four #5 by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Joe Sinnott and Stan Goldberg, published on April 10 1961. One of the most iconic villains in comic book history, Victor Von Doom has always remained steadfast in his goals: Take over the world for its own benefit, and kill Reed Richards along the way, if there's time.
War hero. Secret agent. Government stooge. Machiavellian mastermind. Washed-up antique. Ageless warrior. Man out of time. Roughneck brawler. Unyielding patriot. Intergalactic assassin.
Nick Fury has been all these things, and many more, since his first appearance on March 5th 1963. He's a universal plot device, a character that can be adjusted and adapted to fit whatever a given story needs. He's been young, he's been old, he's been dead, he's been everywhere at once, he's been in hiding, he's been blindsided by corruption, he's been dead again, and he's been secretly behind the scenes the whole time. He's even been replaced by robot duplicates more times than anyone can remember.
On this day in 1962, the world was asked the question “Is he man or monster or... both?” as Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced the world to The Incredible Hulk. The Hulk has remained one of Marvel’s most reliable franchises throughout the decades due to his relatability and perhaps above all else, his adaptability.
Since the beginning, The Hulk has been a character in flux. Originally The Incredible Hulk was colored grey, but printing logistics forced the change to the classic green. Bruce Banner’s transformation was originally triggered when day transitioned to night, and Hulk was much more verbose in his early incarnations and spoke in the flowery and dramatic tone typical of Stan Lee.
With the Deadpool movie arriving in cinemas this week, media attention has turned to the character's co-creator Rob Liefeld, and it’s already caused a fair share of controversy. As part of an interview with the New York Times, Liefeld stated that he did “all the heavy lifting” in the creation of Deadpool, and even more bluntly, “I chose Fabian [Nicieza], and he got the benefit of the Rob Liefeld lottery ticket. Those are good coattails to ride.” Liefeld has called the article a "hit piece," but has made similar assertions on Twitter.
Liefeld’s words raise interesting questions about who gets to call themself the true creator of a character. Is it just the initial concept, idea, or design that warrants a creator credit, and does time spent defining a character count for anything?
Ideas were flying fast and furious at Marvel at the start of 1964. Lee and Kirby had introduced The Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants in X-Men #4, unleashed the first proper Hulk Vs. Thing battle in Fantastic Four #25, and revived Golden-Age icon Captain America in Avengers #4, while Lee and artist Don Heck had given readers Black Widow's first appearance in Tales Of Suspense #52.
So when the first issue of a new title went on sale on February 4th, it seemed like the next logical step in the Marvel's expansion. The company had been running house ads trumpeting the book for a couple months, and the cover loudly declared itself to be in their best tradition of greatness and innovation. But the truth is that Daredevil's genesis was difficult, and #1 was arriving a full six months after it was originally slated.
Everyone loves comic book trivia, but with 75 years of superhero comics behind us right now, there’s always some new obscure fact to learn. That’s why ComicsAlliance is going deep into the minutiae of your favorite names in comics in our continuing video series. You think you know comics? Well, here’s a few things you might not know!
Face front, true believer! This week we're taking a look at Stanley "The Manley" Lieber, aka Stan "The Man" Lee! Join us, effendi, as we take a peek under Stan's Soapbox to learn the secrets of how he got into comics, what he did when he got there, and what he's been doing since he left. Don't be an Irving Forbush and miss out. Excelsior! Where's the beef? Ba-da-ba-ba-ba I'm lovin' it!
Comic fans have debated about just how much Stan Lee contributed to the creation of Spider-Man, The X-Men, The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, Daredevil, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, the Silver Surfer and the Avengers for decades. Most likely, it'll be a point of debate for many more, considering that his collaborators --- artists Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and Bill Everett, to name three --- have said all they'll likely say on the matter.
But this point is inarguable: Stan Lee, born Stanley Martin Lieber on this day in 1922, co-created some of the most enduring, popular and beloved superheroes in popular culture. He is as responsible as anyone for the success of Marvel Comics. And he's still going strong as a cultural force.