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A tribute to Stan Lee, father of the superheroes

Spider-Man, Black Panther, and the X-Men are the great superheroes of our time. What you perhaps didn’t know was that they were all created by Stan Lee in the 1960s. The grandmaster of comics sadly died this week, aged 95…

Few artists and entrepreneurs have influenced American pop culture to the same extent as Stan Lee in the last 50 years. His superhero stories revolutionised the comic book in the 1960s. To this day, his characters such as Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk, and Thor – with their superpowers and very human self-doubt and neuroses – have captured the imagination of people across the world. As an author, publisher, and Hollywood magnate, Lee also facilitated the rise of Marvel Entertainment into the global media giant it is today. Its superhero films bring Disney, which has owned the rights to Marvel since 2009, billions of dollars in revenue each and every year. 

Stanley Martin Lieber was born in Manhattan on 28 December 1922. As a schoolboy, he devoured Shakespeare’s work, in addition to the books of Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, and many others. After high school, he began to write superhero stories for a small comic book publisher. It wasn’t until the 1960s, however, when, together with the talented draftsmen Jack Kirby and Bill Everett, his multi-layered characters including the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Thor, and Doctor Strange were born and earned him great success. 

On 22 November, Taschen-Verlag will publish a new book about the life and works of Stan Lee, who sadly died this week. Together with author Roy Thomas and publisher Benedikt Taschen, Lee had worked on the ‘Stan Lee Story’ for years and all 1,000 copies of the collector’s edition are hand-signed by the master himself. Over 444 pages, Lee’s incredible career, ranging from the 1940s to the 21st Century, is retold through a wealth of previously unseen photographs and numerous facsimiles of rare comic books. 

Photos: Taschen