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  1. #1
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    Default Stan Lee and Spider-Man

    Now, Stan said over the years that he didn't have a favorite character and that he loved all of them, which might be true. But, do you think he put more effort into Spider-Man than the other characters he helped create?

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    This belongs on a Spider-Man thread, I should think.

    Quote Originally Posted by CTTT View Post
    Now, Stan said over the years that he didn't have a favorite character and that he loved all of them, which might be true.
    Stan Lee didn't really care a great deal about comics, personally. In his private utterances and recorded exchanges he was constantly trying to get out of comics into more respectable lines of work (fiction, movies, media personality).

    So I don't know how much Stan Lee really liked any of the Marvel characters on a personal level. If he liked Spider-Man it was because he was popular and Stan Lee wanted to be associated with that popularity.

    But, do you think he put more effort into Spider-Man than the other characters he helped create?
    Well he didn't do much or any major lifting in creating the character or concept you know. So I'd say he put as much effort in creating Spider-Man as he did other characters, lol.

    -- The concept of Spiderman and even the name pre-existed Lee, it was developed in the 1950s by the Simon and Kirby studios, with Simon even designing a Spiderman logo (sans hyphen).
    -- Per Tom Brevoort, a Lee defender, it was Kirby who pitched the idea of Spiderman as a teenage hero with spider-abilities to Stan when he was presenting concepts.
    -- Kirby developed a first concept which had the hero staying with his Aunt and Uncle. Then Kirby claims that the workload was too much so he gave it to Steve Ditko who expressed an interest.
    -- Ditko says that he chanced on the concept at Lee's office and felt it was too much like The Fly (an Archie comics hero that was a repurposed concept from the failed Spiderman of Simon and Kirby idea) and it seems like Lee cottoned to his interest and asked him to give it a whirl.
    -- Ditko came up with the costume design, gadget design, action movement, character designs, and the basic plot i.e. -- boy gets bitten by a radioactive spider, lets go a burglar who kills his Uncle.
    -- The names of the characters, seem to have been cobbled from earlier stuff, Jack Kirby did a Golf comic in the late'50s called "On the Green with Peter Parr" and Ditko and Lee did a Timely/Atlas era comic about a mermaid who stayed with Aunt May and Uncle Ben (let's see how Al Ewing finds a way to work that into continuity).
    -- Stan Lee's big innovation was the hyphen. That was definitely him.

    So basically, the only original stuff in the first Spider-Man comic was by Steve Ditko. The interesting question is if Ditko liked Spider-Man because it seems like Ditko valued Doctor Strange as a more personal creation, being that it originated and generated almost entirely from him whereas with Spider-Man he was salvaging a Kirby-Simon pitch that went nowhere in circles for a decade or so.
    Last edited by Revolutionary_Jack; 06-13-2021 at 09:12 PM.

  3. #3
    Ultimate Member jackolover's Avatar
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    It’s all subjective, I feel. To me, I liked Spider-Man the most, so I would say Stan wrote him the best. But on a relative level of where the writer comes from, in this case Stan Lee’s dialogue, like Revolutionary says, Stan’s motivations were not towards loving comic characters, but the marketing. As a fan of Spider-Man, I tend to romanticise my feelings towards the writing of the characters, so Stan Lee comes off as loving Spider-Man the most. A Thor fan would say it was him. An FF fan would say it was the FF.

  4. #4
    Mighty Member Jman27's Avatar
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    Not sure aren’t there any interviews that can answer those question?
    "He's pure power and doesn't even know it. He's the best of us."-Matt Murdock

    "I need a reason to take the mask off."-Peter Parker

    "My heart half-breaks at how easy it is to lie to him. It breaks all the way when he believes me without question." Felicia Hardy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jman27 View Post
    Not sure aren’t there any interviews that can answer those question?
    It depends on the interview, the time of day, the year on the calendar. As Lee became a big time celebrity, he became more and more public facing and circumspect, often telling people what they wanted to hear.

    In interviews over the decades, Lee at various times claimed J. Jonah Jameson was his favorite character, and the character he identified with most. And apparently he campaigned to play Jameson in a live-action movie version in the many attempts to bring the character on-screen. Probably for the best it never happened, because to quote Sam Raimi, "I know Stan. He can't act." (Raimi was reluctant to even offer Lee cameos).

    But on the other hand, privately Lee rarely seem to voice any special feeling for any Marvel character. He often wanted to get out of comic books and resented being associated with it.
    Last edited by Revolutionary_Jack; 06-14-2021 at 10:05 AM.

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    I've read multiple times that Stan Lee always thought Silver Surfer was his favourite character. He probably didn't get much of a chance to do anything with him due to sales not being great for that character.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFJamie94 View Post
    I've read multiple times that Stan Lee always thought Silver Surfer was his favourite character. He probably didn't get much of a chance to do anything with him due to sales not being great for that character.
    Silver Surfer was a character entirely developed independently by Jack Kirby without input from Lee.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Silver Surfer was a character entirely developed independently by Jack Kirby without input from Lee.
    There's a difference between created (which, true, was done by Kyrby alone), and developed, which definitely Stan helped doing, to the point he was the last character he retained creative control.

    I think you really need to re-evaluate all your "Stan didn't do anything". Most of us here are already quite aware he tended to take credit for things he didn't do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Silver Surfer was a character entirely developed independently by Jack Kirby without input from Lee.
    I think the fact that one of the reasons that Kirby left Marvel was that Stan Lee developed the character of Silver Surfer in a way that was different than the way that Kirby originally conceived the character puts lie to that. It is true that Kirby created the visual of Silver Surfer and the idea of Galactus having a herald completely independently of Lee, Kirby intended him to be a creature of pure energy who learned about humanity from Alicia Masters, and Lee gave him an origin in the Silver Surfer ongoing that established he was Norrin Radd, who sacrificed his humanity to spare his home planet. We can argue what is the better origin of the character but the one that saw print and is canon was the one Stan Lee developed.

    https://twomorrows.com/kirby/articles/23notes.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shunt View Post
    There's a difference between created (which, true, was done by Kyrby alone), and developed, which definitely Stan helped doing, to the point he was the last character he retained creative control.
    The biggest story Silver Surfer was ever part of was the Galactus Trilogy which was entirely Kirby.

    I think you really need to re-evaluate all your "Stan didn't do anything". Most of us here are already quite aware he tended to take credit for things he didn't do.
    Being aware of something is one thing, and actually acting on that information is a separate thing.

    The latter requires you to completely decenter Stan Lee from most considerations of Marvel characters.

    Quote Originally Posted by RJT View Post
    I think the fact that one of the reasons that Kirby left Marvel was that Stan Lee developed the character of Silver Surfer in a way that was different than the way that Kirby originally conceived the character puts lie to that.
    The Silver Surfer most widely known and influential is his role in the original Galactus Trilogy, which was entirely Kirby, end of story.

    Kirby created The Silver Surfer entirely by himself without input from Lee or anyone. Ergo, it's Jack Kirby's character.

  11. #11
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    You know, I'm sorry to say, but I'm really bored of having this conversation about Stan Lee now. Whenever anyone mentions his name, you pop up with an "Actually he didn't create these characters".
    It's getting really boring now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFJamie94 View Post
    You know, I'm sorry to say, but I'm really bored of having this conversation about Stan Lee now. Whenever anyone mentions his name, you pop up with an "Actually he didn't create these characters".
    It's getting really boring now.
    Totally. It's the same feeling I have when I talk to some ex-smokers, new born Christians or people who have just discovered my favourite band and think they know more about it than anyone else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    The biggest story Silver Surfer was ever part of was the Galactus Trilogy which was entirely Kirby.



    Being aware of something is one thing, and actually acting on that information is a separate thing.

    The latter requires you to completely decenter Stan Lee from most considerations of Marvel characters.



    The Silver Surfer most widely known and influential is his role in the original Galactus Trilogy, which was entirely Kirby, end of story.

    Kirby created The Silver Surfer entirely by himself without input from Lee or anyone. Ergo, it's Jack Kirby's character.
    Who created Norrin Radd?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJT View Post
    Who created Norrin Radd?
    Who created "Logan"? When Wolverine appeared in Len Wein's original Hulk versus Wolverine, he wasn't called Logan and wasn't identified as a mutant even, or in fact conceived to have healing factor that made him semi-immortal, or that the claws are inside him. That all developed gradually in Claremont's run (X-Men #100 is when we learn that the claws are inside him, #103 is when he's called Logan for the first time). In either case it doesn't matter because near everyone agrees that Wolverine was created by Len Wein, Romita Sr' and Roy Thomas, albeit Len Wein is given prime credit. Even Claremont.

    If you want to say Stan Lee created Silver Surfer because he came up with the Norrin Radd stuff, then that amounts to saying Claremont created Wolverine. Now whether later creators are entitled to a share in the characterization of a licensed character is an interesting debate and something I am in favor of...but that's separate when the reality of Kirby's creativeness has so obviously been sidelined and short-selled whether in actuality, by Lee, or in rhetoric, by Lee-defenders. Especially since Jack Kirby literally created the Silver Surfer -- including the name -- the gimmick, the look all by himself.

    Quote Originally Posted by FFJamie94 View Post
    You know, I'm sorry to say, but I'm really bored of having this conversation about Stan Lee now.
    Well get used to it. Going forward, discussions on Stan Lee will always come with this kind of debate and asterisks and annotations and pushbacks. When you do contentious and disputable, and shady things in your life, expect your legacy to be contested, disputed and have shade thrown over it. After Riesmann's biography, you can no longer naturally assume nor treat Stan Lee as the primary or even the major creative voice in Marvel or blithely ask if Spider-Man is Stan Lee's favorite character or if so-and-so is Stan Lee's favorite character and just assume that there won't be pushback.

    It's getting really boring now.
    I am sorry that the reality of comics credit stealing and exploitation of creative labor bores you so much. As for me,


  15. #15
    Astonishing Member marhawkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    It depends on the interview, the time of day, the year on the calendar. As Lee became a big time celebrity, he became more and more public facing and circumspect, often telling people what they wanted to hear.

    In interviews over the decades, Lee at various times claimed J. Jonah Jameson was his favorite character, and the character he identified with most. And apparently he campaigned to play Jameson in a live-action movie version in the many attempts to bring the character on-screen. Probably for the best it never happened, because to quote Sam Raimi, "I know Stan. He can't act." (Raimi was reluctant to even offer Lee cameos).

    But on the other hand, privately Lee rarely seem to voice any special feeling for any Marvel character. He often wanted to get out of comic books and resented being associated with it.
    I've always found Stan's role in the old animated series intersting.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1N9TIvIEnpA
    how much of that was what he thought people would like to hear and how much was his actual personal thoughts?

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