STAN LEE - Marvel Comics Superheo Writer Stan Lee - Marvel Comics Legend blackand white portrait

Stan Lee

Born December 28, 1922 with the name Stanley Martin Lieber. Usually billed as the original creator for Amazing Spider-Man and many other Marvel Comics characters, nearly 100% cameo appearances in Marvel-based movies, and perhaps the most famous in the popular imagination as the man most associated with comic books.

Tony Stank

Stan lee - Tony StankTony Stank and Stan Lee

Just Imagine Stan Lee's Catwoman

Bachalo Catwoman Cover Art - Stan Lee Imagine

Art by Chris Bachalo

AMAZON: Just imagine Stan Lee's Catwoman

Jack Kirby, 1961

Fantastic Four issue #1 from 1961

These kind of covers are called 'iconic' for a reason. Kirby's combination of Marvel's monster comic books of the early 1960s, along with Stan Lee's revision of superhero team adventure changed comic book history.

More Fantastic Four #1, 1961

Old Suit, New Suit for Stan Lee Media

Sept 2012: Stan Lee Media, which hasn't included the actual Stan Lee for a decade, is suing Walt Disney Company for all profits and ownership of the superhero movies and merchandise based on characters from Stan Lee. The 'intellectual property' cast includes Iron Man, Spider-Man, much of The Avengers, The X-Men and sundry others from the grocery list of 1500 characters Walt Disney got when it paid out $4 billion for Marvel in September 2009. This lawsuit has been tried (and dismissed) before, but this time Stan Lee Media is wanting a jury trial.

My question is this: How does Jack Kirby (and the Jack Kirby estate) figure into all of this? Not that they are involved in any fashion with this legal jousting, but if there is any chance of disrupting the legal provenance of ownership over the Marvel Comics characters (very slim chance, indeed) and resetting it back to the Martin Goodman era, then the matter of originator rests not only with Stan Lee, but is a Gordian knot of creation that also has to include Jack Kirby (and Steve Ditko, too, among others).

"Just Imagine" Wonder Woman by Stan Lee and Jim Lee, 2001

Stan Lee - Wonder Woman - Jim Lee artwork

Just Imagine Stan Lee's Wonder Woman, from DC Comics 2001, art by Jim Lee

Original Page October 2017 | Updated March 2018

How to draw Comics the Marvel Way - Stan Lee and John Buscema