With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility?

There were a few interesting reader comments at the Kirby Museum Facebook page on my series of interview questions for Stan Lee. Here’s one:

D Jason Fleming: Your animus toward Stan Lee is now so unhinged, petty, and ugly that I will no longer follow your page or blog. This is simply the clearest example — give him credit for something, then twist it into some kind of perversion. But, oh, you’re not SAYING that, you’re just asking a QUESTION. Sure.

Like I said several times during this series, this is a piece of satire, I don’t expect Stan Lee to answer any of these questions. I asked the questions about FF # 1 because Lee is still alive to answer them. I’m not attacking a dead man; I’m not badmouthing a guy who can’t speak up for himself; I’m posting online questions for a guy who is alive and well. I wanted to once and for all clearly show there are 100s of individual story elements in the published version of FF # 1 that were not in Lee’s synopsis. If Lee has an explanation for that, I hope he will share that with us.

And let me tell you, if you didn’t enjoy reading this series? For me, writing this series was a bore. Do you think I wanted to go through FF # 1 frame by frame? But I had to slog through Lee’s synopsis and FF# 1 to see what elements made it into the published book. And now I’m glad I did it. I didn’t realize Jack introduced so many wonderful comedic elements into that story. But I didn’t do this because I have some kind of “animus toward Stan Lee.” I did it because I put forth a theory: Jack Kirby created the FF characters with Lee, and Jack wrote the first book with Lee — I think a comparison of the FF # 1 synopsis  to the FF # 1 book proves this. I wanted to be semi-thorough (there’s actually a lot I left out) so I went through the book point by point. And I even phrased my observations as questions so as not to “bash” Stan, but to give him a chance to reply.

When Stan passes on there will no longer be a need to ask him these types of questions, he’ll be gone. So I figure now is as good a time as any to put them out there. I actually hope Lee will admit the truth. I’d love to see a happy ending to this.

You say I’m “petty?” I say not giving Jack credit for creating the FF characters and not giving Jack credit for writing the vast majority of the first FF story is “petty.” But that’s my opinion. We all disagree on all sorts of topics. Here in the USA some people will vote for Romney others will vote for Obama. That’s life. But is there anything wrong with asking either of those gentleman questions? Why is Stan Lee supposed to be off-limits when it comes to questions?

And what exactly is “unhinged,” “petty,” and “ugly” in that post? The fact that I pointed out Lee wanted the Thing to be dressed like a flasher? You know what I think is “unhinged,” “petty,” and “ugly?” Lee’s version of the Thing character: it was creepy. Thankfully Jack threw Lee’s ideas out and once Lee got Jack’s story, Lee ran with Jack’s version of the character. What on earth was Stan thinking with having a character in  a trench coat sneaking around “lusting” after his best friend’s girl, right in front of her brother, while trying to prevent the other 3 from helping humanity. And that in a comic book for 10-year-olds? You think that would have been a success? Didn’t Lee learn anything in his 20 years of doing Archie rip-off stories and EC rip-off stories about storytelling? Lee’s Thing was bizarre and his whole synopsis is a mess.

You know what else I think is “unhinged,” “petty,” and “ugly?” Stan Lee’s treatment of Jack Kirby over the last 60 years. Lee took credit for creating Jack’s characters and for writing Jack’s stories while Jack was alive and he has continued to do so since the day he passed away. That’s the “perversion.” A perversion of the truth.

But don’t worry, Saint Stan’s With Great Power documentary will be on Epix on April 27th so all of his fans can celebrate his life and worship their hero. In the meantime I took a moment to go through Fantastic Four # 1 and show all of you a good 90% of the published book is not in Lee’s synopsis by asking Lee a few questions.

Reflecting on the title of Lee’s documentary, here’s another question for Stan Lee:

Why doesn’t Stan Lee practice what he preaches? If Stan Lee really believes that with great power comes great responsibility why doesn’t Lee use the vast power he has as a celebrity to set the record straight and tell the truth: Lee did not create Fantastic Four alone, Jack Kirby helped create the characters and Jack wrote the bulk of the FF # 1 story.

Maybe Lee will mention this in his new movie.

Thanks for the comment. I appreciate the feedback. By the way a Kirby Dynamics no-prize to any of you who can identify each character behind Lee and tell us who the artist was that designed the costumes for each character. (Note: Burgos designed the first Human Torch, but Jack’s design for the Torch’s flame is pretty distinctive; and although that’s not Jack’s Iron Man design, Jack did design the first Iron Man costume).