10 things I learnt about Stan Lee in 2018

In 2018 we lost a legend. Last year I learnt so much about Stan Lee both as a fan and a journalism student. As a Marvel fan I thought I knew Stan Lee, however the more I learn about him I only appreciate the man more.

1. His real name was Stanley Martin Lieber

It’s ironic his pen name “Stan Lee” became so well known to the point people got confused when he said his name was “Stanley Martin Lieber”. Eventually he officially had his name changed to “Stan Lee”.https://youtu.be/fveVQP1g3vA

2. He had a tough childhood and young adulthood

While Stan Lee started working at in comics in his late teens this was not his first job. He had many jobs before that in order to support his parents  who were constantly struggling to pay rent during the Depression.

Working at Timely Comics (which became Marvel comics) was no piece of cake either. There were times when Stan was the only one who had a job there and in his early days of working there he was basically an errand boy.

During his time at Timely Comics World War II broke out and like many young American men he enlisted to go fight. Stan never really saw or participated in much action as he was soon sent to write scripts, pamphlets and other material to educate soldiers about relevant issues.

3. He almost quit comics

Stan Lee never really wanted to be a comic book writer. Comics was meant to be a stepping stone in order to become a novelist. If only he knew back then how well loved Marvel and comics would be today.

After World War II comics fell on hard times, however with his and Jack Kirby’s creation of the Fantastic Four saved Marvel comics. One of the key people in the Fantastic Four’s creation was actually Stan’s wife Joan. Stan Lee had enough of writing comics for other people and really wanted to write novels. On the advice of his wife he promised to make one more comic the way he would like it to be that way he’d either quit or be fired. Luckily for us he wasn’t fired and the Fantastic Four became a major success.

4. He wrote a series of comics for DC

What would DC’s favourite heroes be like if Stan Lee wrote them?

This is what DC wanted to know when they asked Stan Lee to recreate heroes such as Batman and the Flash in a “What if?” comic series.

5. As a child he wanted to be an actor

Well it’s not hard to see why. Stan Lee’s love for cameos demonstrates not only his love for Marvel, but his enjoyment of acting.

Even here in one of his last interviews it’s hard to see who admires who more.

6. He has a star on the Hollywood walk of fame

There’s no denying he’s a star and he will always be a star in our hearts.

When he passed away his star is where many fans paid tribute to him.

7. He has a charity called the Stan Lee foundation

Stan Lee sees comics as not only a form of entertainment, but also a form of education. Even today in places like the UK, America and Australia there are people who grow up not knowing how to read. One of the main goals of the Stan Lee foundation is to change this.

8. Hulk became green due to a printing accident

The Hulk is another iconic Marvel character. One of the most iconic aspects about the Hulk is his colour: green. I realise there are other versions of the Hulk which are different colours, however the original Hulk was grey and later became green.

9. Peter Parker is inspired by Stan Lee’s teen years

Peter Parker is just an ordinary guy and that’s why many people like him. He’s ordinary and real because he is based on real situations and problems that Stan Lee faced himself.

It’s Spider-Man/Peter Parker’s personal problems that actually endear us to him and make him relatable.

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Whether it’s Spider-Man or Spider-Gwen or any other Spider person it’s the person behind the mask that makes them relatable.

After talking to various people I get the impression that people like Spider-Man just as much as Peter Parker. It’s interesting to note that with most Marvel characters the person behind the hero, the every man, is just as important as the hero themselves.

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Some Marvel heroes don’t even need to wear masks to be heroes

10. He was told Spider-Man would never be successful

Originally he was told how people would not like Spider-Man because people hate spiders. He was also told Spider-Man couldn’t be a hero because he was a teenager and teenagers could only be sidekicks.

No one could have predicted just how popular and iconic Spider-Man would become.

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Spider-Man is now admired by people all over the world.

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