Stan Lee- arguably the most recognizable person in all of comics, for without him we wouldn’t have many classic creations such as the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Hulk, Daredevil, Silver Surfer, Spiderman and literally hundreds and hundreds more. Stan Lee (along with the creative team of artists working with him over the years) has created an entire universe of heroes and villains, powers and events and storylines from scratch. Out of all of his many creations, many would consider Spiderman to be his most famous, most popular, most successful and generally his best.
Stan Lee has stated that during his creation of Spiderman, many thoughts and variables crossed his mind. In wanting to use a new power, normally not seen in previous characters, he gave this character the ability to stick to walls, like an insect. From then on, such names like “Insect-man”, “Mosquito-man” and “Fly-man” initially entered his mind, until he finally cam across Spiderman; a name that had a scary, but heroic ring to it. Stan stated that he owes a lot of credit to a pulp magazine he read when he was younger titled: The Spider, Master of Men. Stan’s publisher at the time insisted that he change the character’s name, and basically the character himself. His reasons for this were: “people hate spiders. You cant name the lead hero after spiders because it wont sell”, along with “the hero cant be a teenager. Teenagers can only be sidekicks.” Lets just say that Stan and the millions of fans are glad he never listened to his publisher’s harsh criticism.
One more “crazy” idea caught the publisher’s eye. Stan would endow young Peter Parker with realistic problems that a teenager would have had in those days. He’d make him disappoint his date, be late for work, shrink his costume at the cleaners… the list goes on and on, about 50 years worth and the fans have always enjoyed it. A substantial part of why Spiderman has become such a fan favorite, even more so then the other heroes at Marvel is because of his realistic problems. Readers began to understand and relate to his problems, which made them care for the person inside the costume and not just for the superhero, something that never truly happened in comics before that.
In short, I want to say thanks to Stan Lee and the many other people who have helped create and contribute to the many marvelous characters of Marvel comics, but most of all Spiderman. Thanks Stan. This concludes Doomsday & Beyond’s celebration of Spiderman’s 50th birthday, so to steal a phrase “Excelsior”… Nuff Said!