Stan Lee, the creator of Marvel's superhero pantheon, is dead


Stan Lee November 2016 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Stan Lee November 2016 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. STEW MILNE / INVISION FOR HASBRO, INC.

Hulk, Iron Man and many other superheroes are now orphans. American writer and comic book publisher Stan Lee died on Monday, November 12, at a clinic in Los Angeles, after a family lawyer in the AP, who confirmed the location information TMZ. Stan Lee was 95 years old.

His signature and a smiling face, his glasses with his eyes over his thick mustache, is forever linked to the economic and artistic adventure of Marvel Comics, a publishing giant. pulp, cheap fictitious magazines and American comics. An opportunist crazy for his detractors, a genius mocking others, Stan Lee could claim paternity claims for a large number of 5,000 heroes in the Marvel catalog.

With designers Jack Kirby or Steve Ditcom, "The Stan The Man", as it was sometimes called, was an industrial superhero player. It is also known that American comics made an artistic record that was not reserved for the youngest. "I did not dream of a comic as a child, I wanted to be a player. My first hero was Errol Flynn", at the beginning of the documentary film Stan Lee told all his glory With great power: Stan Lee's story, published in 2010.

For several years she was weakened and shocked by the death of her wife, Joan, at the turn of the seventies of the marriage in July 2017, the star of Marvel continued to appear regularly in public.


Born on December 28, 1922 in New York, a family of Romanian Jewish immigrants, his real name Stanley Martin Lieber grew up in Washington Heights during the Great Depression. From a very modest background, young Lieber, in addition to studying at DeWitt Clinton High School, Bronx University, opts for indispensable jobs to help the home.

Lee supports his uncle Robbie Solomon, who refers to Timely, a publisher of porridge, and then to comics, which will become Marvel Comics in the early sixties. Martin Goodman, his boss, is nothing more than Stanley's cousin. He rented it in 1940 as an assistant and manager. It's not 18 years old. Courageous and persevering, young Stanley quickly finds himself in the arms of Joey Simon and Jack Kirby, star designers Timely. Lieber wears a coffee, brings sandwiches, but he already erases or reads the boards.

The first written contribution by Stanley Lieber is the double page of the text written in 1941 Captain America, a patriotic hero created by Simon and Kirby. At that time, the comic book had two pages that were written in order to benefit from the preferential postal tariff, but the authors did not have any problem downloading the draft, convinced they had not read it.

Soon, the young editor renounces his name for the Stan Lee pseudonym, which comes directly from him. "I booked Stanley Martinez Lieber for a wonderful novel I have not written yet"he explained in the documentary With great power: Stan Lee's story. Attacked by a worker, Stan Lee writes serial series scenarios that are made under different pseudonyms, suggesting that Timely employs a large number of writers.

Read also Stan Lee: "The stories about superheroes are stories for the greatest"

Editor-in-chief at 20

When they disagree on their salary with Martin Goodman, Joe Simone and Jack Kirby, Stan Lee becomes the editor-in-chief. She has 20 years and takes care of writing comics, forming a dialogue, writing new stories about Captain America and starts in a humorous comic. Before joining the army in October 1942 and joining Signal Corp, the military communications service. At the end of the Second World War, Stan Lee continued his duties as editor of Timely, who moved to the prestigious Empire State Building. He will have nearly thirty years in the post, a long record in the "Bullpen" nickname issued by Marvel's editorial board.

In the 1950s, when comic strips were accused of promoting juvenile delinquency, the sale of comic strips of superhero comics was on the half-mast. Timely, now Atlas is also trying to solve the crisis in the structure of numbers distribution. Stan Lee then creates polished scripts for all types of comics: romantic, humorous adventures for teenagers, Western, science-fiction guys, dedicated to the most selling titles.

At the end of the decade, the screenwriter is tired and is thinking of resigning after twenty years of work. He is one of the last full-time employees at Martin Goodman.

The device was restarted

At the same time, number one in the release of comics, DC, with great success, raises the genre with Justice League of America. The Alliance Adventure, run by Wonder Woman and Flash, reached the top of the US sales. Goodman, who wants to take advantage of the revival, Stan Lee sums up his team of "super vengabees".

With the encouragement of his wife Joan, the former English model and actress, with whom he married in 1946, Lee looks at the story of a comic that suits him absolutely, more adult, breaking with classical narrative habits. Supported by talented Kirby – he returned in 1958 – Stan Lee was born the first number Fantastic Four in 1961. Success is not immediate but solid; Fantastic Four the longest series Marvel will publish by 2011.

In this process, Lee and Kirby revive the Marvel machine so that they represent more superheroes than anyone: hulk (1962), Thor (1962), X-Men (1963) Avengers (1963). With cartoonist Steve Ditke, Don Heckom or Bill Everett, he will give birth to other superhuman men who have now crossed into posterity: Iron Man (1963) Daredevil (1964) or Spider-Man (1962). There are so many names that symbolize this period, known as the "silver age" comics.

Superman is more human

Much more than the idea of ​​a machine gun, Stan Lee renews the heroic genre using his recipe Fantastic Four to the next creations. By 1961, people had life and meat. Lee breathes psychology and humanity into his protagonists who are armed with special forces. Such as Fantastic Four, superheroes of the sixties are big mouths, capable, sometimes hate their abilities. Thus Hulk or Thing are considered as monsters; Iron Man has problems with alcohol. Although everyone has the right to publish themselves, many heroes share adventures and grow their shoulders in the same universe, mostly in New York.

While the US Code Coding Body censured any roughness and any claim in comic boxes, Stan Lee captures and plays with themes and social presentations of the times. The accident that caused Bruce Banner, a nuclear physicist, Hulk, responds to the question of atomic danger. The attacks of young Peter Parker (Spider-Man) are confronted with doubts of adolescents, the heart of Marvel's goal. In 1966, in the middle of the civil rights fight, Lee gave life to Black Panther, the first not only black, but African superhero. With Iron Minor challenges compassion for a disappointing military-industrial complex. In the X-Exchange scenarios, the entire segregation register, difference, exclusion is disclosed.

Artist of his legend

"The true loyalty of the great circus Marvel, Stan Lee organizes the succession and choreography of key issues, announces the most important authors on the track and constantly addresses the public", writes Jean-Marc Lainé in his biography Stan Lee, Homer XXe century (2013, Electric Sheep). Due to editorial creation, Stan Lee adds to his activities derivative products, readers' mail, the creation of a fan club to maintain public sympathy.

This is a crazy period "Bullpen". While ten years earlier, a comic strip comic was buried, Stan Lee presented his authors by putting them in magazines and quoting all the names on comic strip comics, without forgetting to mention themselves. Even when no longer holds a pencil, a label "Stan Lee represents" is systematically loaded on the entire catalog.

This cult of personality, as well as the juicy profits of Marvel, provide for the good atmosphere of the facade. Employees and writers require an increase, a better sharing of benefits, as well as a greater recognition of heroes' fathers. Between Lee, Kirby and Ditko, large voltages appear or reappear.

As Stan Lee, as a screenwriter, he had to write stories. But rather, he prefers to delegate the writing of a story very early in order to hold the only stationary conversations. "I inserted words into the bubbles, even though I had the original idea"he explained. He then leaves the editorial management of magazines a little longer. He trusts his characters in his seconds, such as Roy Thomas (Avengers) or Len Wein (Thor Spider-Man). Visits of US Universities, Press Releases: Relinquish paper, and since 1972, it has been consulted to represent Marvel outside.

At the same time, he left New York for Los Angeles and took control of many television adaptations of his superheroes, such as the series Spider-Man but Incredible Hulk. It thus intervenes in about fifteen movie, cartoon, series projects that transmit heroes to the Freaks on the screen. This is hard to concretize.

Independence and credibility

The economic and artistic bankruptcy of Marvel, who, due to the unusual exploitation of collections and speculation in the comic strip market in the nineties, led Toy Biz to buy a publishing house. It's negotiating Stan Lee's contract again. He signed an agreement with Ikea Perlmutter and Avi Arad, two Israeli female entrepreneurs who became bosses. He becomes the Honorary President for Life, he keeps the executive title on personalized films of his characters, and is particularly exclusive of exclusivity. Stan Lee can then work for other publishers like DC Comics, the main competitor of Marvel.

This sudden independence will not leave Lee confused. In 1998 he founded Stan Lee Media to create works on the Internet, including the online submission of a new superhero universe. The company goes bankrupt two years later and management is chasing fraud. No matter, Stan Lee, innocent, founded in 2001 Pow! Entertainment, a production company that develops projects for television and cinema. He will make films in collaboration with Disney.

Although Lee remained very active, he does not help him last time. "Over the past ten years, commentators, historians and fanatics have reviewed their judgments, writes Jean-Marc Lainé, More and more, they say Stan Lee is a fox fox, whose sole talent knows how to make the most of the talents of others. " In accordance with his public statements, Stan Lee sometimes built his legend and label to strengthen decorated and partial memories.

Restore popularity

The release of the central films, adapted to his creations, strengthens the sense of daring. At the beginning of 2000, the trend was reversed by the launch of Avi Arad; more feature films of Superheroes from the Marvel catalog fascinate the cashier as comic readers X-Men from Bryan Singer. "The Man The Man" is invited to appear in the movie, a stone in the style of Hitchcock. A sad pleasure that will be systematically restored.

A tireless ambassador who is attracted by attention tries to detect red carpets in the previews, move the crowds to different fan conventions. Since 1992, he has been engaged in the advisory and executive role of producers in the field of filming and cartoons. Her return to grace and popularity is rising, as success comes together. In January 2011, at the age of 88, he got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Stan Lee never gave up, in his career for more than seventy years. At the end of the documentary With great power: Stan Lee's storystated: "Retirement is a bad word, it would be a punishment, because I'm already doing what I like … I just want to have more time."

Stan Lee in 5 days

December 28, 1922 : Birth in New York

1.940 : Enter the timely publisher, who will become Marvel Comics in the early sixties

1.961 : Created by "Fantastic Four"

2.000 : Participates in the film adaptation of many heroes from the Marvel catalog

November 12, 2018 : Death of 95 years

Pauline Croquet

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