Who is Stan Lee? Do you really want to know? His tale is not for the lighthearted. Well, maybe it is considering that he's a millionaire and the force behind the Marvel Universe. What's the Marvel Universe, you ask? They publish crappy comic books that tend to restart themselves every five years, selling the same swill to a new generation. Some of you might be turned off by reading a column based on a comic book icon. Maybe you'd be better off by just sitting this one out. Come back next week for some porn star or something. The rest of you should grab your Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Master Guide, gel your hair back, and prepare to earn your nerd stripes.
The 1960's, when a dime bag cost a dime and the street swelled with the bodies of hyped hippies dodging a war or something, Stan Lee wrote comic books. In simpler terms, while Americans were off fighting in a war, Stan Lee was content with putting teen boys inside of skin tight costumes. Why superheroes, you ask? Well, I could give some Hitler Superman theory but it all comes down to the fact that in the 1960's, there were no police officers to protect the everyman. Stan jumped at this and decided that in his world there would always be someone fighting for justice. Where were the police officers in the real world? They were busy dying in a war, one in which Stan Lee took no part in. That's what we call draft dodging.
Stan's characters run the gamut of who's who in the comic community. Characters like Spiderman, the Incredible Hulk, the Fantastic Four and the X-men revolutionized the way in which nerds attempted to kill themselves. Gone were the days of attempting to fly like Superman off your garage, replaced with the lighter fluid drenched death of the Human Torch.
Fans of horrid poetry may note the use of alliteration in many of Stan's character, Peter Parker, for example. His did this so that he could remember his characters. Now if someone was paying me money to write stories then the least I could do is remember their names. Then again, it may not be his fault, drugs screw with your mind.
Thanks to his groundbreaking ability to copy the plot of every science fiction film in the 1950's, we now have the pleasure - nay, the honor -- of watching modern films based on his comic books. When the hugely popular Spiderman hit the screens, you'd think he'd sit back and proudly pronounce the glory of his film. He is after all in the film. He's in every film, because apparently the word "no" is not in the vocabulary of a casting director. Anyway, he sued Marvel. That's right; the man who makes a million a year just for answering mail sued the company that made a movie based on his idea. His reasoning revolves around the idea that he was promised a kickback if the film did well and it did, so the rich get richer. I love this country. The talented people always float to the top. Hell, he's laughing all the way to the bank, so what do you care?
You know whose not laughing though, right? Carl Burgos. Back in the 1940's he created the Human Torch. Stan Lee borrowed the character, changed his name, and put him into the Fantastic Four and since has given a fourth of what he makes in a year to Carl's family. Wait, no. He's a millionaire, he has to support his lifestyle and anyone who says otherwise it a communist.
Stan Lee didn't go to Vietnam and wrote crappy comics to boot.
Great Words From Great Americans
"I have never had a lap dance in Tampa or any other part of Florida. If I ever did have a lap dance, I don't think I would be discussing television ideas with the girl that was giving it to me." -Stan Lee
Stevehen J. Warren was born in America. He knows people. American people. You should contact him if you are an American. Or if you aren't an America, but have ever met one.