Stan Lee Month

I’ll be wrapping up “Stan Lee Month” here at Kirby Dynamics soon as we near the cable premiere of his documentary With Great Power on March 27 on Epix. Thanks to everyone out there for all the great feedback on this series. I love talking about the Kirby/Lee authorship debate. It was fun speaking to all of you on Facebook and via email. I’m impressed with how even people out there who disagree with me were incredibly polite.

There are a few people out there who have me baffled, though. A couple of you act like I’m torturing poor Stan. A few of you are behaving like I’ve kidnapped a poor 90-year-old man and I have him tied to a chair and I’m electrocuting him.

Don’t you all understand that Stan Lee could care less about my stupid questions? Just listen to the way he laughs at Jack in this 1987 interview. If Stan Lee laughed at Jack Kirby when he tried to suggest he was involved in writing the stories? What do you think he would say about some obscure blogger? Lee doesn’t care what people like me have to say. He’s had 50 years to address this topic and he decided long ago to ignore any criticisms.

I realize the series did go on too long — such is the nature of blogging every day, concepts get spread out depending on how much free time I have — but I would hope even Lee’s most hardcore fans would understand what is happening in front of our eyes:

Stan Lee just used his POW! production company to do a documentary about himself. Apparently it’s a total fluff piece where we can look forward to about 2 hours of more Lee self-promotion. Wouldn’t it be a crying shame if there wasn’t someone somewhere out there in the cyberverse poking fun at this — pointing out that Lee is a hypocrite? Must we all march to the drumbeat of the PC police? Lee’s version of the history is not historically accurate — and he’s in charge of a documentary film about himself? What a joke.

So you know what? To the tiny handful of you out there weeping and wailing because I took a couple weeks to clearly show you all  that Jack probably wrote about 90% of the FF # 1 story, spare me the accusations I’m torturing an old man by posting questions for him online.

And no one is forcing him to read my questions or to answer them. In reality they are all rhetorical questions anyway. They are questions for you to answer. You go through all my questions for Lee and answer them. Guess what you’ll say when you’re done? “Yes, it’s possible Jack Kirby created the FF characters with Stan and it’s possible Jack wrote FF # 1 with Stan.” Some of you might even say it’s probable, or even an historical fact.

Don’t worry. Lee will survive my series of questions. He is having the time of his life now as his Avengers movies is about to come out. Lee’s like Uncle Scrooge swimming in his money. I guarantee he doesn’t give a damn about addressing Jack’s side of the story.

In the meantime, instead of badmouthing me for comparing the FF # 1 synopsis to the published FF # 1 book, why don’t some of you Lee fans do some research on Stan Lee. Look at all the books he did for Goodman from the 1940s through the 1950s and tell us what characters Lee created and tell us about some of his best stories. Tell us about the patterns in his creative life. Dig up some documents that prove your case. Then tell us what he did after Jack quit in 1960. Prove to us that Lee is indeed a solo-genius creator by showing us the stuff he created without Jack and Steve Ditko.

I won’t be holding my breath. I’m beginning to think this whole “Kirby Krusader” gimmick is simply the dying breath of the last few people out there willing to defend Stan Lee’s veracity. You have nothing else to add to the dialogue so you complain that your fearless leader is being attacked.

One more thing about this upcoming Lee documentary. I’m not going to pass judgement on it until I’ve seen it, but here’s an observation: I think many agree Lee/Kirby was a pretty important team in comics, and the period where Lee worked with Jack in the 1960s was a very important part of Lee’s life.

Just look at all the characters behind the “hero” on the movie poster (at the bottom of this post today) — those were all created by Jack Kirby during the 1960s (Spider-man, Dr. Strange, and the Vulture were created by Ditko). So I’m expecting to see a pretty significant chunk of this film focusing on that period and specifically on Lee’s relationship with Kirby.

Or am I crazy? Lee barely mentioned Jack in his “bio-autography.”

I believe Lee even badmouthed Jack in his autobiography suggesting Jack was crazy for thinking he worked on Spider-man (but I read Lee’s book long ago so maybe I got the quote mixed up). Stan’s book was about 256 pages, I think he discussed Jack for maybe 1 or 2 pages? I threw my copy in the garbage, so if anyone out there can pull the sections where Lee discussed Jack, I’d appreciate it.

I joked after I finished that book that reading the Stan Lee autobiography was like reading a 250 page book about Stan Laurel where only one page was spent discussing Oliver Hardy.

Reading the Stan Lee autobiography was like reading a 250 page book about Bud Abbott where only one page was spent discussing Lou Costello.

Reading the Stan Lee autobiography was like reading a 250 page book about Dean Martin where only one page was spent discussing Jerry Lewis.

Seriously, Lee’s autobiography was an absolute joke. Sure, I know Lee did lots of other stuff in his life besides work on comics with Jack in the 1960s, but how can you totally glaze over the most important creative 10-year period in a man’s life in an autobiography?

What if Paul McCartney worked with a ghostwriter on an autobiography about his whole life, and out of 250 pages only 1 or 2 mentioned John Lennon! Can you imagine! It’s inconceivable.

One of the reasons I write about Stan Lee is I am absolutely amazed by this guy. How does he get away with it? He is truly the ultimate con man.

I’ve never seen anyone pull the wool over so many eyes the way this guy has. And even though people know he isn’t telling the truth — they still love him. It’s a testament to the power of the Marvel machine, and a testament to the power these superhero characters have over people. It’s an amazing glimpse into how a human being can become a legend.

Well… maybe Lee will redeem himself with his self-produced documentary about himself? Or are we looking at another con job where Paris Hilton gets more face time than the guy who designed just about all those characters behind Lee in this movie poster…