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.
Just Imagine Stan Lee's Catwoman
Art by Chris Bachalo
Jack Kirby, 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.
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
Original Page October 2017 | Updated March 2018