Stan Lee (born Stanley Martin Lieber, December 28, 1922), is an American comic book writer, editor, publisher, media producer, 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 Hulk, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Thor, and many other fictional characters, introducing complex, naturalistic characters and a thoroughly shared universe into superhero comic books. 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. 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 The Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1995.
Did you know that comic books were once under fire much the same way video games are now? Back in the 50's there was a push to ban comic books for the violence perpetrated in many of them. Psychiatrists came to the conclusion that they were the single greatest cause for teenage delinquency among other afflictions.
Here is an article about the hearings:
How Comics Were Censored in the 1950s
After World War Two, the comic book industry trend was toward gory real-life stories or tales of horror. Severed heads and graphic violence were often part of these stories. Many of the most extreme examples came from artist Jack Cole, best known as the creator of Plastic Man.
Censorship of comic books officially began with psychologist Dr. Frederick Wertham's infamous book, "The Seduction of the Innocent." The book aimed at the crime, superhero, and horror comics genres, in particular EC Comics published by William Gaines. "The Seduction of the Innocent" further claimed that the glorification of sex, violence, and drugs in comic books was a root cause of juvenile delinquency, one of the prime social issues of the 1950s. Among other comics, Wertham accused Wonder Woman comics of promoting lesbianism, and Batman and Robin promoting homosexuality.
Imagine not having SpiderMan or SuperMan or BatMan or the Hulk or the FantasticFour or WonderWoman or the SilverSurfer or any comic book characters that you grew to enjoy as a child or an adult.
I still have a pillow case from when I was a child that has all the SUPER FRIENDS on it. My Mom had to make sure it was washed before I would go to sleep for many years. It could not sit in the hamper or hang out in the laundry room, EVER!
I came home from school and the first thing I watched was SpiderMan, then SuperMan, etc.
Now Stan Lee is simply as iconic as "apple pie". Without his dedication and vision, comic book heroes would have not survived and thrived the way they did and still do today.
This is a list of the comic books character's he is credited with creating or collaborating on either in print or movie productions:
- Aquaman (with Scott McDaniel) (2002)
- Batman (with Joe Kubert) (2001)
- Catwoman (with Chris Bachalo) (2002)
- Crisis (with John Cassaday) (2002)
- Flash (with Kevin Maguire) (2002)
- Green Lantern (with Dave Gibbons) (2001)
- JLA (with Jerry Ordway) (2002)
- Robin (with John Byrne) (2001)
- Sandman (with Walt Simonson) (2002)
- Secret Files and Origins (2002)
- Shazam! (with Gary Frank) (2001)
- Superman (with John Buscema) (2001)
- Wonder Woman (with Jim Lee) (2001)
- Amazing Spider-Man #1–100, 105–110, 116–118, 200 (1962–80); (backup stories): #634–655 (2010–11)
- Avengers #1–35 (1963–66)
- Captain America #100–141 (1968–71) (continues from Tales of Suspense #99)
- Daredevil, #1–9, 11–50, 53 (1964–69)
- Daredevil, vol. 2, No. 20 (backup story) (2001)
- Epic Illustrated No. 1 (Silver Surfer) (1980)
- Fantastic Four #1–114, 120–125 (1961–72); No. 296 (1986)
- The Incredible Hulk #1–6 (continues to Tales to Astonish #59)
- Journey into Mystery (Thor) plotter #83–96 (1962–63), writer #97–125 (1963–66) (continues to Thor #126)
- Ravage 2099 #1–7 (1992–93)
- Savage She-Hulk No. 1 (1980)
- Sgt. Fury #1–28 (1963–66)
- Silver Surfer #1–18 (1968–70)
- Silver Surfer vol. 2, No. 1 (1982)
- Silver Surfer: Parable #1–2 (1988)
- Solarman #1–2 (1989–90)
- Strange Tales (diverse stories): No. 9, 11, 74, 89, 90–100 (1951–62); (Human Torch): #101–109, 112–133; (Doctor Strange): #110–111, 115–142, 151–158 (1962–67); (Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.: #135–147, 150–152 (1965–67)
- Tales to Astonish (diverse stories): No. 1, 6, 12–13, 15–17, 24–33 (1956–62); Ant-Man/Giant Man: #35–69 (1962–65) (Incredible Hulk: #59–101 (1964–1968); Sub-Mariner: #70–101 (1965–68)
- Tales of Suspense (diverse stories): No. 7, 9, 16, 22, 27, 29–30 (1959–62); (Iron Man): plotter #39–46 (1963), writer #47–98 (1963–68) (Captain America): #58–86, 88-99 (1964–68)
- Thor #126–192, 200 (1966–72), 385 (1987)
- What If (Fantastic Four) No. 200 (2011)
- The X-Men #1–19 (1963–66)
Glad they didn't accomplish what they set out to do, aren't you?