Artwork by Sabaridas
“In the beginning Marvel created the Bullpen and the Style. And the Bullpen was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the Artists. And the Spirit of Marvel said, Let there be The Fantasic Four. And there was The Fantasic Four. And Marvel saw The Fantasic Four. And it was good.”
Stanley Martin Lieber was born in New York city on December 28 in the year 1922. He grew up during the time of the great depression and had his parents had to struggle to make ends meet. In 1939 when Lee was 17 years old. He joined Timely Comics as an office assistant. In those days people used ink to draw comics and Lee was supposed to make sure the inkwells are filled as well as run small errands for senior staffs.
"In those days [the artists] dipped the pen in ink, [so] I had to make sure the inkwells were filled", Lee recalled in 2009. "I went down and got them their lunch, I did proofreading, I erased the pencils from the finished pages for them".
In 1941, Lee created the ‘Destroyer in Mystic Comics No. 6’, ‘Jack Frost in USA Comic No. 1’ and ‘Father Time in Captain America Comics No.6’. Due to some internal issues in the company and Lee’s creativity and enthusiasm, he was made the Interim Editor of the company when he was just 19 years old. In 1942, he joined the United States Army and served stateside in the Signal Corps during the second world war. He wrote manuals, training films and slogans for the military and was the given the title ‘playwright’ by the military.
Lee joined back at Timely Comics in 1950s which was renamed as Atlas Comics. It was after this that Lee would go on to create some iconic universe in Marvel Universe. In association with his colleague Jack Kirby, Lee, created a team of superheroes called ‘Fantastic Four’ with superheroes like, ‘Hulk’, ‘Iron Man’, ‘Thor’, ‘Spider-Man, ‘X-Men’, ‘Doctor Strange’, etc. hroughout 1960s, he scripted, art-directed and edited most of Marvel's series while moderating the letters pages. He was also writing a monthly column, ‘Stan’s Soapbox’.
One of Lee’s most iconic characters, Spiderman was created in 1971 which was also a story about the effect of drugs. The Comics Code Authority was against it because of the portrayal of drugs was against the code. Lee and Goodman went ahead and published the story anyway. The character became very famous and Marvel was credited with promoting awareness against drug use. Later the CCA Scraped the Code and permitted negative depictions of drugs.
Stan Lee was integral to the revolution that Marvel brought to in comics. His characters shared a flaw which made them more human and understanding. He portrayed superheroes who are not very different from the common people. He brought in characters that had human flaws and super heroes that worried about paying the bills and going to college.
When Stan Lee started writing comics, he was embarrassed to write under his real name. he thought that it might affect his reputation when he writes the ‘The Great American Novel’. His pen name that he adopted was Stan Lee. Many years later, he legally changes his name from Stanley Martin Lieber to Stan Lee, his pen name. Lee later takes on the role of interim editor in early 1940s. Now we see Lee as someone who had a huge impact on the genre of comics. From being embarrassed about what he was doing to becoming the cornerstone of an age of heroes in comics. Stan Lee will always be remembered through his stories, characters and cameos.
Written by: Tom J Pulickan