Tag Archives: stan lee

Review: The Death of Captain Marvel

The classic story, The Death of Captain Marvel, is back in an all-new printing! This trade collects Marvel Super-heroes (1967) #12-13, Captain Marvel (1968) #1 and #34, Marvel Spotlight (1979) #1-2, and Marvel Graphic Novel #1: The Death of Captain Marvel by Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Jim Starlin, Steve Englehart, Doug Moench, Gene Colan, and Pat Broderick.

Get your copy in comic shops now and in book stores January 15th! To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/comiXology/Kindle
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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Review: Marvel Tales Featuring: Fantastic Four #1

Celebrating 80 years of Marvel Comics, Marvel Tales reprints three classic stories, Fantastic Four (1961) #4, Fantastic Four Annual (1963) #6, and Fantastic Four #245, by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Sol Brodsky, Art Simek, Joe Sinnott, Sam Rosen, John Byrne, Bob Sharen, and Jim Salicrup with a cover by Jen Bartel.

Get your copy in comic shopsnow! To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook.

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review

Stan Lee: Politics and Business With Spencer Ackerman. Listen to the Podcast on Demand and on the Go

The politics and place of Stan Lee, as told by two self admitted Jack Kirby Jacobins trying to find a balance in a tale of conflict and legends.

Stan Lee and:

Being Jewish

The creative process

  • Civil Rights
  • The Vietnam War
  • The lawsuits
  • The digressions
  • And screwing over Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko

Host Elana Levin is joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Spencer Ackerman, a senior national security correspondent at The Daily Beast. Read his article on Stan Lee’s legacy here.

New Rule: Bill Maher No Longer Gets to Talk About Topics He Knows Nothing About

stan spidey

Source: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

I’ve been thinking about this since I first read about that Bill Maher blog post within which he calls into question Stan Lee‘s legacy, the intelligence and maturity of comic book fans, and the continued relevance of comic books in today’s world. I’ve been thinking that I didn’t want to write about the comedian who makes a living pissing people off, who’s only relevant in controversy, and that I didn’t want to add another article pointing to his blog.

But then, in a quiet moment, I realized I was a little bit miffed at his words, and decided to try and find the blog post in question to see if he had been ever so slightly misrepresented. He hadn’t been. His words, which a vast majority of comicdom have taken umbrage at will be pasted at the end of this post should you want to read them without visiting his blog post.

Given that this was posted less than a week after Stan Lee’s passing, there have been numerous articles covering Maher’s November 16th blog post and the reaction to it. There has been a lot of vitriol and anger. People have called him callous, attention seeking and irrelevant, but that Maher made such tasteless comments shouldn’t really surprise anybody. In what I understand to be a standard case of saying dumb things to provoke people and get a reaction because he’s a “comedian,” Maher has stayed remarkably true to who he is.

He is, like all of us, entitled to his opinion. And if he thinks that the young adults of this world are basically over grown children because of comics, well, then fair enough. If he wants to casually dismiss the death of a man who many of us hold in extremely high regard (even if he had his faults), then that’s his right. To do so after cashing a paycheck for Iron Man 3 is a bit hypocritical. Possibly he’s still bitter over being fired by ABC, which is also owned by Marvel’s parent company Disney.

But to do so whilst getting some pretty key things wrong? That really makes me laugh. With anger. Within his first two sentences, he has some pretty large, but easily researched, errors – and this is what, I believe, is the source of the anger directed at him.

The guy who created Spider-Man and the Hulk has died, and America is in mourning. Deep, deep mourning for a man who inspired millions to, I don’t know, watch a movie, I guess.

Firstly, Stan Lee didn’t create Hulk or Spider-Man alone, and never claimed he did (though there are valid arguments as to how much he contributed, this is neither the time nor place for that). Claiming he did invalidates the contributions of Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, two men with legacies that should rival Lee’s, and who inspired just as many as Stan did. Stan Lee inspired millions of comics fans to do a lot more than just watch a movie. A half hour of research would have turned up so many examples of this – whether it be industry professionals or fans like you and I, Stan Lee (and Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko) touched the lives of millions across his decades in comics.

kirby ditko.jpg

Source: co2comics.com

But sure. Say he inspired us to, I don’t know, go see a movie. What has Bill Maher inspired anybody to do? His career high was DC Cab in 1983. That’s a genuine question by the way, because I’ve never really paid much attention to him before.

Which may also be part of the reason for his blog post. Maybe he’s angry at the outpouring of grief over of Lee’s death, or maybe he wanted to use Stan Lee’s death to further a political agenda against millennials making America dumber. That is, after all, what the majority of the blog post is about. Once he grabs our attention with his casual disregard of Stan Lee’s death, he hits us with a treatise about millennial stupidity, blaming it in part on comics. Because comics are the One Thing that millennials didn’t give up and consequently remained dumb.

And that, my friends, is also a little out of touch.

He also makes the leap that somehow a public that’s interested in comics and comic related entertainment is a factor in our current state of politics. This ignores the history of comics that have been regularly progressive and forward thinking, far ahead of society. From Superman’s fight against political corruption, to Captain America advocating for entry into World War II a year before the US did, to discussing issues like drug addiction, the AIDS crisis, advocacy for LGBTQ rights, and so much more. A society truly into comics wouldn’t result in the election of Donald Trump. Maher doesn’t seem to know that but that hasn’t stopped him from opening his mouth on the topic. But, that’s a regular thing for Maher, whether it’s vaccines, Islam, or his inability to challenge his alt-right guests who he provides a platform (when even tech platforms are deplatforming them). Again, Maher speaks on a topic he knows little about but seems to hold comics impact on a level they just aren’t.

Fewer people read comics than, say, watch sports. Or play videogames. The latter has also seen a surge in popularity over the past three decades, but isn’t mentioned in the blog post. Probably because nobody famous enough in videogames died the week Maher wrote his blog post. But Stan Lee did, and so comics became his target.

Fine. Whatever.

But I don’t need to tell you millennials aren’t dumb. Nor that comics are a form of literature. You know this. Maher doesn’t, or doesn’t care. He doesn’t care that he has the wrath of comicdom coming down on him because right now we’re all talking about him.

So screw you Bill Maher for using Stan Lee’s death as a launching pad for your inane tripe. Screw you for using the death of a legend to try to bring yourself to relevance.

Screw you.

stan lee middle finger.jpg

Source: reddit


The text below is directly from Maher’s blog post. A link to the original post, and the hundreds of angry comments is further down.

The guy who created Spider-Man and the Hulk has died, and America is in mourning. Deep, deep mourning for a man who inspired millions to, I don’t know, watch a movie, I guess. Someone on Reddit posted, “I’m so incredibly grateful I lived in a world that included Stan Lee.” Personally, I’m grateful I lived in a world that included oxygen and trees, but to each his own. Now, I have nothing against comic books – I read them now and then when I was a kid and I was all out of Hardy Boys. But the assumption everyone had back then, both the adults and the kids, was that comics were for kids, and when you grew up you moved on to big-boy books without the pictures.

But then twenty years or so ago, something happened – adults decided they didn’t have to give up kid stuff. And so they pretended comic books were actually sophisticated literature. And because America has over 4,500 colleges – which means we need more professors than we have smart people – some dumb people got to be professors by writing theses with titles like Otherness and Heterodoxy in the Silver Surfer. And now when adults are forced to do grown-up things like buy auto insurance, they call it “adulting,” and act like it’s some giant struggle.

I’m not saying we’ve necessarily gotten stupider. The average Joe is smarter in a lot of ways than he was in, say, the 1940s, when a big night out was a Three Stooges short and a Carmen Miranda musical. The problem is, we’re using our smarts on stupid stuff. I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to suggest that Donald Trump could only get elected in a country that thinks comic books are important.

Source: Adulting

Around the Tubes

It’s a new week and we’re getting prepped for best of lists, Thanksgiving, and the holiday season! Lots to come before the year is up! While you await that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Jewish Telegraphic Agency – Stan Lee gave comic books permission to be more Jewish – An interesting take on his legacy.

AV Club – The Watchmen movie proves you can be faithful to a comic and still miss its whole damn point – Truth.

 

Reviews

The Outhousers – Damage Vol. 1 Out of Control

Talking Comics – Uncanny X-Men #1

Talking Comics – Wonder Woman #58

Stan Lee Remembered

“They take great pains to point out that comics are supposed to be escapist reading, and nothing more. But somehow, I can’t see it that way. It seems to me that a story without a message, however subliminal, is like a man without a soul. In fact, even the most escapist literature of all — old time fairy tales and heroic legends — contained moral and philosophical points of view………..None of us lives in a vacuum—none of us is untouched by the everyday events about us — events which shape our stories just as they shape our lives. Sure our tales can be called escapist — but just because something’s for fun, doesn’t mean we have to blanket our brains while we read it!”- Stan Lee ( December 28,1922-November 12,2018)

The world has lost another icon, as a constellation of tears have fallen from the heavens. The great Stanley Lieber, better known as Stan Lee, to most of the world, has ascended and the world has felt this giant’s void, as the world’s collective hearts have stopped beating momentarily to mourn that familiar voice which is no more. As emotional postings on social media from every part of the world, every industry, and a whole slew of celebrities, share how this one man has impacted their childhoods and who they are as human beings. My first thought was how is this real? Yes, he was 95, yes, he was in bad health, but just like older people in my family, that were getting up there in age, they still had their wits about them, and so did Stan Lee, but yet here we are, as this legend has ascended.

As I thought of the best way to honor his legacy, I felt somewhat conflicted. As the conflicting stories of his falling out with the King, Jack Kirby and his fraught relationship with the recently passed Steve Ditko, made me wonder what lead to, as he called it in an interview, “unfriendly misalliances.”

At his very core, he was a writer, one who would go on to create over 362 characters on his own and with collaborators including but not limited to Spider-Man, Iron Man, The Hulk, Doctor Strange, The Fantastic Four, Black Panther, Daredevil, The X-Men, Ant-Man, Thor, Luke Cage, etc. Other than that, he was the Marvel’s most outspoken founder, as he promoted the company in every breath he took and everywhere he went.

In some respects, he was Steve Jobs before there was Steve Jobs, as its was his leadership that lead the company to its world renown and shaped it into something more than a “funny papers” company, much like Jobs did for Apple over the course of his life, making it a goliath in the technology world. Lee was also Bundini to Kirby’s and Ditko’s Muhammad Ali, who was Ali’s famous cornerman, as it would come to be later known, that Kirby and Ditko were the main creative forces behind many of the Golden Age books that came out of Timely Comics, which later became Marvel Comics. The reality is, his life would be filled with regrets about this, as he revealed in an interview on the miniseries, The Secret History Of Comics.

My first exposure to Stan lee, was through the Saturday morning cartoon, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, where it was the first time, I heard the words, “True Believers.” I hear it now like the first time my 7 year old self heard it then with the all the enthusiasm and gusto that only Lee could deliver. It was through his love of characters and mythology, that I became enamored with comics, in the first place.

Growing up, one of the first times I ever picked up a comic was featuring Luke Cage, another of Lee’s creations. Through him I felt I was seen. Through him I saw someone else who felt racism and someone who was misunderstood. It was through Spider-Man, though I looked nothing like Peter Parker, that we shared similar struggles to belong and how it was to face tragedy. It was through Thor that I saw that my struggle with my parents was not unique to me. It was through Black Panther that I saw the ingenuity and fortitude of the immigrant as I saw the same hurdles my parents faced coming to America.

As I became more in love with comics, my love moved to different comics form different companies, one of them being DC, whose characters felt more grounded and more believable. I had become cynical in some respects and dismissed what came from the “House of Ideas,” as purely fantastical. Chris Claremont’s X-Men, at the time, was the one comic everyone talked about and I could care less. It became an issue of tribal loyalty to me, when it should not have been. I would look back it now, it felt like Marvel was the cool kids and DC was the rich kids who did not care what anybody thought. Of course, I would ultimately come back to Marvel because of their own dark hero, Moon Knight, one would embrace the darkness within, a character I felt was a cross between Doctor Fate and Batman.

Over time, I would embrace everything comics, and eventually so did the world. Pop culture encompasses everything comics based right now because innovators like Lee made those characters and worlds possible. Take for example, everyone’s obsession with zombies, it is true George Romero, was one of the first people to make it popular but its current entry into the zeitgeist is because of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic and tv show, who stands on Lee’s shoulders. Take hip-hop music, which is heavily embedded with pop culture references, as in one of Public Enemy’s songs, “Raise The Roof.” Chuck D raps:”

Expand my power on the hour, make you all behold
From the slammer swing a hammer like the mighty Thor
God of thunder, you’ll go under, then you’ll all applaud
And fathom that distance, the mad must reap
Meet Namor sea lord, Prince of the deep
Here for you to fear at any cost

As it is also was no coincidence that Ghostface Killah, from the Wu Tang Clan’s alias, is Tony Starks AKA Iron Man, who he dedicated a whole album to.

This is because Lee made comics part of popular culture.

The world’s love affairs with his characters expanded through cartoons, then the live action shows, like The Incredible Hulk. The expansion of the characters beyond the printed page lead to comics slow but persistent immersion into popular media. Blade in 1992, which was only obvious to comics fans was a Marvel property, was the company’s first legitimate foray into the movie world which Lee executive produced,(although he didn’t have a hand in creating the character) and actually would have featured the first Stan Lee cameo in a movie featuring a Marvel character. His scene was cut from the movie where his role was as the police officer who found Donal Logue’s character burnt crisp.

From what he started to what the world knows now as the Marvel Universe has grown exponentially. From the comics that the company still produces to the myriad of live action television shows, cartoons, and movies that makes up the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which celebrated its 10 year anniversary this year, a bittersweet milestone as the company effectively has lost its greatest champion a few months after.

As a comic book fan, I never met him and I wished I did. As many of my childhood heroes have started to leave this plane of existence and ascend, it’s important to let these icons know the impact they have on you. I wished I had the chance. I wish that the many chances I could have met him, that I did once just to tell him, “Thank you Mr. Lee, for letting this son of immigrants be seen when the rest of the world refused to. Thank you for letting me know I was not alone. Thank you for letting me know the world is my oyster”.

I will end this piece with a few exemplary words from my fellow contributors, who eloquently shared what he meant to them :

Steven Auclair, contributor:

I am truly heartbroken today. I never knew Stan personally. I met him once four years ago at Boston Comic Con which was a surreal moment. But even though I didn’t know Stan personally, I knew him through the characters he helped create and bring to life and helped those like me cope with the struggles of everyday life when I read a comic or watch a Marvel movie. These days Marvel gets a lock of flack for being more and more politically correct and I’ve been one of those critics, but at the end of the day the who Stan Lee was. He was a man who embraced change and embraced diversity and that reflects in Marvel today and in the future. Rest in Peace Stan Lee. There will never be another like you.

 

Jon Carroll, contributor:

It’s hard to say what Stan Lee did or did not do. His most frequent collaborators, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, we’re bona fide geniuses and the method of working Stan created put much of the burden of creation on their shoulders. That said at the end of the day nothing Kirby or Ditko did without Lee’s involvement was ever as good as the stuff they did together. Stan gave the Marvel characters their humanity as flawed and self-absorbed as it might be at times. If Ditko was the mind of early Marvel and Kirby was it’s bombastic heart, then Stan was the smiling face that welcomed you in and made you feel at home with his pithy dialog and his engagement with the fans through his columns, his responses to letters and his appearances at too many conventions to count. Kirby may have been “The King” but Stan was “The Man” and will remain so in our hearts as long as people read these funny little things we like to call comics. Excelsior True Believer!

 

Joe Ryan, contributor:

Todd Mcfarlane Spider-Man, and Chris Claremont X-Men got me into comics, and to this day, my favorite characters in any genre. As a boy, I didn’t realize the magical people behind these characters coming to light were Lee, Kirby, Ditko and more. I first saw Stan Lee on a X-Men VHS of the famed cartoon I bought at Pizza Hut. I was obsessed with that show, and I still remember a message he recorded for the Marvel fans like myself who bought the tape. He was so full of life and passion for these characters I loved, and it told a young Joe Ryan that he was like me. Except he not only loved these characters, he co-created them. RIP to a legend of a creator, and massive thank you to what he and Jack brought to me as not only someone who writes about comics, but first and foremost loves them as a fan as well. Excelsior!

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day! What’s everyone getting? What are you excited for? Sound off in the comments below! While you wait for shops to open, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

The Root – How Stan Lee, Creator of Black Panther, Taught a Generation of Black Nerds About Race, Art and Activism – There’ll be a lot of debate about the credit he should have but there’s no denying this.

 

Reviews

Newsarama – Avengers #10

The Beat – I Am Young

Newsarama – Immortal Hulk #8

Newsarama – William Gibson’s Alien 3 #1

With Great Power, There Must Also Come Great Responsibility: A Tribute To Stan Lee

Stan Lee

Source: sciencefiction.com

Stan Lee has passed away. Five words that comic fans knew would come, but hoped never to hear. But there they are.

TMZ reported that the legendary comic creator died in hospital in the early hours of Monday, November 12th. He was 95.  Upon hearing that news, like me, you’re in shock and your heart is probably broken. Stan Lee, a man who has had such a tremendous impact on the lives of so many people of all walks of life is no longer with us.

Stanley Martin Lieber never intended to have his birth name published in a comic because he always wanted to write the Great American Novel, so he would instead use Stan Lee to sign off his first Captain America story.  Stan Lee may have never written the Great American Novel, but he had an instrumental hand in creating and shaping something much more important; generations of comic and superhero fans.

stan spidey

AP Photo/Matt Sayles

For many of us, as kids we had no idea who created the comics or the cartoons they inspired. We had no idea that a lot of the colourful characters came from Stan Lee’s pen and Jack Kirby or Steve Ditko’s pencil. At least I didn’t. It wasn’t until much later that I discovered the man in the Soapbox was responsible for a lot of what I was reading and watching in my formative years. Whether it was X-Men: The Animated SeriesSpider-Man or the Marvel Power Hour my Saturday mornings were spent engrossed in superhero cartoons based upon characters from the comics Lee wrote in the 60’s.

Later I would find my way to the X-Men, and through comics I would be introduced to some of the best people I have ever known (including my wife), few of whom I’ve actually met in person. Because that is the magic of Stan Lee. His work connects people of all ages, all creeds and all nationalities. Through his work, my life has changed. I don’t know where I would be without comics, and  I don’t know who I would be. Uncle Ben’s often misquoted famous words came from Stan Lee, and with his great power he accepted the responsibility of his position – whether it was subverting the Comics Code to publish a story decrying drug use or giving every misfit or marginalized child a place at Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters, Stan Lee’s writing saved as many people as the characters he co-created.

I never knew Stan Lee, nor did I ever get the chance to meet him. But he has had an immense and unfathomable impact on my life. Comics have become such an integral part of my self identity over the years; they still make up the bulk of my reading materials, and have of late become the source of most of the movies I will see in the theater. Stan Lee has been synonymous with comics, despite his long association with Marvel Comics, and his passing marks the end of an era.

stanlee.jpg

thenewestrant.com

There will be hundreds, if not thousands of tributes to Stan Lee in the comings days and weeks. There will be people using this time to take issue with how much credit Stan Lee deserves with the  writing in those early X-Men, Fantastic Four and Spider-Man stories, among others. But this isn’t the time for those discussions. Not now. Now is the time for us to grieve for him in our own way; some will be feel the grief like a gamma radiated fist to the gut, and some won’t know what to do with themselves.

Stan Lee has passed away, and the world has lost a beacon of the comic book industry. A family has lost a father and grandfather; industry veterans have lost a mentor; and we have all lost a man who, through his stories and infectious energy, inspired us to be better than we were.

Stan Lee’s comics have influenced and permeated nearly every aspect of popular culture these days, and Stan Lee’s hand can be seen in many of the Marvel characters on screen. Characters he helped create have been part of some of the biggest movies in the 21st century, and have appeared on more pieces of merchandise than any of us can honestly fathom. His legacy will live on in the characters and stories he co-created. Stan Lee may be gone, but he will never be forgotten.

stanhulkspidey.jpg

Source: docnyc.net

‘Nuff Said.


Also published on Ramblings Of A Comics Fan

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