- Looking for another version of Stan Lee? Check out the Stan Lee disambiguation page.
Stan "The Man" Lee (December 28, 1922 - November 12, 2018) was an American comic book writer and one of Marvel Comics main creative forces who created at least 2/3 of all Marvel characters. Some of these characters include Spider-Man, Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Thor, X-Men, Iron Man, and others. Stan Lee was an executive producer on Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
Early life and career
Stanley Martin Lieber was born on December 28, 1922, in New York City to Romanian immigrants Celia and Jack Lieber. With part of his childhood spent during the Great Depression, Lieber and his younger brother, Larry, watched his parents struggle to make ends meet for the family.
Lieber, who later shortened his name to "Lee" as a writer, went on to be hired as an office assistant at Timely Comics in 1939 and became an interim editor for the company in the early 1940's. Lee also served domestically in the army during World War II, working as a writer and illustrator.
Co-creating the Fantastic Four
In the early 60's, Lee was called upon by his boss to create a series for Marvel Comics (Timely's new name) that could compete with rival DC Comics' hit title Justice League of America. Citing writing influences like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Jules Verne, and following the encouragement of his wife Joan, Lee did away with some of the usual superhero conventions. Hence, with artist and co-creator Jack Kirby, the fantastic Four was born in 1961. A slew of new Marvel creations soon followed, including the Hulk, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Daredevil and the X-Men.
Marvel Comics beccame a highly popular franchise, and Stan Lee was promoted to editorial director and publisher in 1972. He later moved to the West Coast to be involved in Marvel's film ventures and eventually became chairman emeritus.
Lee was particularly known for his dynamism with copy and for imbuing his characters with a sense of humanity, tackling real-world issues like bigotry and drug use, which would influence comics for decades. An outgoing, humorous showman, he also developed a number of slogans as part of his shtick, including a Latin-derived call to rise, "Excelsior!"
Witnessing the rise of a blockbuster industry
Lee has become involved in a variety of multimedia projects while also serving as an ambassador for Marvel, even though he has filed lwsuits against the company and been the subject of debate over appropriate compensation for comic creators. The writer has seen Marvel develop into an entity that has inspired blockbuster film entertainment like the Iron Man and X-Men series, Thor and Avengers.
Lee started intellectual property company POW! Entertainment in 2001 and the following year published his autobiography, Excelsior! The Amazing Life of Stan Lee. Later in the decade he received a Medal of Arts honor from President George W. Bush and launched the History channel show Stan Lee's Superhumans, a series that looked at people with remarkable skills and abilities.
2012 saw more new ventures. Lee co-wrote a graphic novel, Romeo and Juliet: The War, which landed on The New York Time's best-seller list and launched a YouTube channel, Stan Lee's World of Heroes, which features comic, comedy and sci-fi content. At the end of the year Stan Lee turned 90.
Stan Lee married Joan Boocock on December 5, 1947. They remained married until Joan's death in 2017. Together they had two children, Joanie Celia Lee (born 1950) and Jan Lee (born 1953, died three days after birth).
Stan Lee died at the age of 95 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, on November 12, 2018, after being rushed there for a medical emergency earlier that day.
- Night of the Lizard
- The Spider Slayer
- Return of the Spider Slayer
- Doctor Octopus: Armed and Dangerous
- The Menace of Mysterio
- The Sting of the Scorpion
- Kraven the Hunter
- The Alien Costume, Part I
- The Alien Costume, Part II
- The Alien Costume, Part III
- The Hobgoblin, Part I
- The Hobgoblin, Part II
- Day of the Chameleon
- The Insidious Six
- Battle of the Insidious Six
- The Mutant Agenda
- Mutants' Revenge
- Enter the Punisher
- Duel of the Hunters
- Blade, the Vampire Hunter
- The Immortal Vampire
- Tablet of Time
- Ravages of Time
- Shriek of the Vulture
- The Final Nightmare
- Doctor Strange
- Make a Wish
- Attack of the Octobot
- Enter the Green Goblin
- Rocket Racer
- The Man Without Fear
- The Ultimate Slayer
- The Spot
- Venom Returns
- Goblin War!
- Turning Point
- Despite being credited as an executive producer for the entire series, Stan Lee only had influence over the first season of Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
- Originally John Semper Jr. was going to have Norman Osborn become the Hobgoblin and his original idea for the series never included the Green Goblin. Stan Lee was able to intervene and made it to where Green Goblin (Norman Osborn) and Hobgoblin (Jason Macendale) both appeared in the series.
- Stan Lee was responsible for Peter Parker's redesign in this series. Originally John Semper Jr. was going to use a design similar to how Peter Parker looked in the comics. However, according to John Semper Jr., "He was based on detailed instructions given by Stan Lee to producer Bob Richardson, who then drew the design himself. Stan wanted to 'update' the look of Peter Parker. When we first started working on the series, Peter looked like Romita's version of Peter. But, one day, Stan woke up on the wrong side of the bed and decided he wanted a new look, and so this was what was created. Nobody was more surprised by the change than I was. Any resemblance to Nicholas Hammond is purely coincidental."
- Looking back on Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Mark Hoffmeier said "Season one was both arduous and fascinating with some days being up to eight to ten hours of meetings. And when it came time to break for food all Stan Lee wanted was a Snapple."
- According to John Semper Jr., Stan Lee once cornered him one day and he was adamant that Mary Jane had to be the only woman in Peter's life Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
- In the 1990s Stan Lee wrote a script treatment for a live action Spider-Man movie that never got made (and is separate from the James Cameron movie). Stan Lee then gave a copy of the script to John Semper Jr. to reference something called the Spidey Van which never got used in Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
- Stan Lee claimed to check "every premise, every outline, every script, every model sheet, every storyboard, everything to do with putting the show together." To ensure the stories were told faithfully, Lee and producer John Semper Jr. recurited writers who had experience for the comic books to work on the scripts, among them was Gerry Conway and Marv Wolfman.
- Stan Lee wrote the Spider-Man: The Animated Series comic in the Totally Kids magazine.
- Stan Lee also wrote the script for the Spider-Man Cartoon Maker along with John Semper Jr.
- Stan Lee once gave John Semper a copy of the final Spider-Man newspaper strip which he wrote. When Stan Lee autographed the newspaper strip for Semper, Stan gave him the nickname "Jaunty" John Semper.