Huge ego, plagiarism and low-key shots ... The hidden face of Stan Lee, the "father" of the Marvel superheroes

Huge ego, plagiarism and low-key shots ... The hidden face of Stan Lee, the "father" of the Marvel superheroes

The success of Marvel comics? It’s him. The most famous nonagenarian of cinema? It’s him. Yet this brilliant resume hides some controversy. Last on Monday, April 23, a masseuse filed a complaint of sexual assault against him. Franceinfo looks to Stan Lee on Wednesday for the theatrical release of “Avengers: Infinity War” Who is really Stan Lee? This 95-year-old gentleman appears on the screen with a handful of seconds alongside all the characters of the Marvel galaxy: Spiderman, Thor, Captain America and the Avengers, whose last part, Infinity War , will be released Wednesday, April 25th. For the young audience fed to the superheroes, Stan Lee is the father, even the grandfather, of all this universe. In detail, only a handful of historians and fans dispute the paternity of his works. On Monday, April 23, a masseuse also lodged a complaint of sexual assault against him. Franceinfo draws its portrait. Early 1960s. Madison Avenue, New York. Stan Lee is the publisher of the comics division of the box of his cousin, Martin Goodman, who is far from being a philanthropist. Stan Lee started from the bottom , erasing the boards inked by the big names of the profession. Then by writing the pages of text in comic book reviews, those that no one ever reads, but which are essential to obtain preferential postal rates and reassure parents concerned that their offspring read real books. Little by little, he rose in rank, to the point of signing the scenarios of the most prestigious series. Signing scenarios is a way of speaking. There are very few traces of his work. “Sometimes he just gave me directions on the phone” , recalls Jack Kirby, cartoonist and co-writer of Fantastic Four , heroes who took Marvel out of the rut. “It has happened that I do not need to tell Jack” , says Stan Lee to the magazine Castle of Frankenstein at the height of their glory, in 1968. This alchemy will crystallize in what is called the Marvel Method, as pointed out Xavier Dupont, one of the best connoisseurs of the work of Stan Lee, to whom he devoted a conference to last festival Angoulême . Kirby and Lee were meeting on Fridays, talking for three hours about stories to come, an assistant was taking notes, and the next week Kirby came back with 20 boards. Xavier Dupont at franceinfo As long as the comics, which are more devoted to superheroes, remain confined to kiosks, no cloud on the horizon. “No one really had time to put down his creations and keep the evidence , recalls Bob Batchelor, author of a biography of Stan Lee . They were too busy finishing their boards in time and whipping on their drawing board to boil the pot. ” At the time, a Kirby was paid 25 dollars a board, and fell five a day to feed wife and children. Nobody really formalizes that the Fantastic Four were inspired by characters he had sold to another publisher. Same for Spiderman . Officially created by Stan Lee in 1962, the most popular of the Marvel characters was actually designed by Jack Kirby, who himself had followed the idea of ​​his screenwriter Joe Simon … Comics creator Stan Lee with Spiderman in his office in Beverly Hills, United States, December 18, 2008. (JONATHAN ALCORN / ZUMA / REA) Historians of comics are becoming archaeologists to unravel who created what. “Take the Fantastic Four.The first few boards have mysteriously disappeared, so we can not know if Stan Lee corrected Jack Kirby’s dialogues in the sidelines. , illustrates Jean Depelley, author of a biography of reference on Jack Kirby . And when quarrels erupted over the paternity of the heroes, a synopsis of number 8, typed by Stan Lee, surfaced, as if by chance, almost eight years after publication. ” Still, when the first animated cartoons inspired Marvel superheroes are started, the production invites Stan Lee in a loft located just next to the studios to oversee the manufacture. Jack Kirby remains locked in his studio. A few months later, the management of Marvel and the famous uncle Martin Goodman with sea urchins do not renew his contract … which allows the passage to resolve the issue of copyright: for Marvel, the author of Fantastic Four, it’s Stan Lee. Point. And since he is an employee of the company, his creation belongs to Marvel. Period. We are in 1969, and if Jack Kirby continue his bulimia of boards including DC Comics, great rival Marvel, with less success, Stan Lee will see evaporate his creative genius and will not produce much of notable . The charm is broken. “I gladly compare their association to that between Alexandre Dumas and Auguste Maquet , his nigger , Xavier Fournier supports. It is established that Alexandre Dumas did not do much on some novels, except to go back behind his collaborator to change the rhythm or retouch a dialogue. That said, when Auguste Maquet emancipated himself, his novels did not fly high. Experts quantify to 30% the role of Stan Lee in the creative process with its authors. But his ability to design a complex universe where characters’ stories intertwine – forcing fans to buy almost the entire catalog – is a genius. The concern is that over time, Stan Lee and his baggage has cast in the shadows all those who worked with him. “Too much has been attributed to Stan” says Gerry Conway, a veteran of the comic book industry that started in 1970. “Stan is suffering from a complex of God” , persifle Jack Kirby. Dick Ayers, a senior author, remembers being scrozen after repairing a Stan Lee overwhelmed by an urgent scenario for a series. When Dick Ayers asks to sign his work, Stan Lee would have belated : “Sign, but since when do you have an ego?” For years, the front page of many Marvel comics was surmounted by a “Stan Lee presents”, which was removed in 2005, decades after the mustache stopped producing the slightest idea. The case will end in court – “The most friendly trial of my life” , ironisera Stan Lee – and will result in a big check in the millions of dollars. Stan Lee has always had a very high opinion of himself. Young, he chose this pseudonym instead of his real name, Stanley Lieber. He preserves it for “his great American novel” , who will never see the light of day. When he returns from the war, his colleagues try to mock him with a colleague. At the restaurant, he finds himself facing some … Patricia Highsmith , future popess of the detective novel and who will reveal, decades later, his penchant for women. His comment of their candlelight dinner in 1948? “Stan Lee is only interested in Stan Lee.” Two decades later, the discarded draftsmen take revenge, pencil in hand. Jack Kirby give to the planet Ego , which appears in particular in Guardians of the Galaxy, the traits of Stan Lee, before brocarding him in unscrupulous impresario in an episode of Mister Miracle . Joe Simon, co-creator dismissed Captain America , will script a humorous board where a certain Stan Me makes a specialty of recycling heroes created by others … This ego blister is also seen on his appearance. A puny little man in the 1950s, Stan Lee sacrificed the fashion of the toupee to hide his baldness during the next decade. Success inflating his bank account, he will move to implants. In the 1970s, it is not uncommon to find him with a collar shirt pie open open to the navel and trousers paws eph to envy Claude François or Joe Dassin. A rock star, a real one. “As soon as there was an opportunity to shine, he would not let it go,” summed up Bob Batchelor. In his biography Joe Simon says that when a student called him “Homer of the twentieth century” during his many conferences at universities, Stan Lee was busy … before rushing to circulate the remark in the press. Joe Simon also remembers a conversation with “Stan the man” about the art director position he had arrogated to himself. “I am the only one to have responded to the announcement” Stan Lee responds without disassembling himself. “What an announcement, and the fact that you’re from the boss’s family did not play, maybe?” “That’s right, that’s right, I had completely forgotten.” Comics creator Stan Lee in New York (United States), July 10, 1978. (SANTI VISALLI / ARCHIVE PHOTOS / GETTY IMAGES) After decades of lean cows zoning into Hollywood cocktails to convince second-rate actors to portray Spiderman or Hulk in the movies, Stan Lee eventually regains notoriety thanks to the avalanche of adaptations of his heroes on a grand scale. screen and his cameos, expected by fans as the final banquet with Assurancetourix attached to a tree in Asterix . “But if Jack Kirby was still alive [he died in 1994] , he would have appeared in the movies , argues Xavier Fournier. We see him briefly in a TV movie , The Trial of the Incredible Hulk . ” Is the only fault of Stan Lee to have stayed in the light longer than the others? Before the funeral of Jack Kirby, he made sure, via a third party, that his presence would not upset the family. The cyclothymic Jack Kirby had just dedicated it to the sweltering in a vitriolic interview in The Comics Journal . Just after the ceremony, Stan Lee was about to leave quietly, when Mark Evanier, Jack Kirby’s long-time assistant, screamed at him. “Stan! Stan!” Believing he was caught, he had decamped without asking for his rest. Mark Evanier carried the message of Jack Kirby’s widow who wished to see him say a few words to the assembly. Too late. “The real injustice that is being faded, little by little, is to recognize the co-creators of the Marvel characters on the same level as Stan Lee.” In 2014, shortly after Disney’s purchase of Marvel, Jack Kirby’s heirs received a big check in addition to recognizing the designer’s role. Ironically, he has recently been honored The award-winning Bill Finger Award, named after a … Batman screenwriter cannibalized by Bob Kane, the only name in history. Not sure that Stan Lee, whose fortune is estimated at 50 million dollars, take umbrage. Read also Related topics To read on

Leave a comment

Send a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.