Thursday , July 29 2021

Stan Le, the giant volleyball of Marvel

It was in Marvel that Disney was at the Walt Disney Company: an iconic figure. And although Stan Lee did not create the publisher himself Four Fantastic, of Spider-man, X-Men or even Avengershe was undoubtedly the incarnation for decades. So much so that the voluble scriptwriter-editor-producer has almost always been invited to make a wink on film productions or television adapted from the Marvel universe. Missing in Los Angeles this November 12 at the age of 95, the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the official co-inventor of Spider-Man and the most famous Gitanians in Marvel's socks will continue to be famous for helping them to displease The comics industry in the 60s

Imagined in collaboration with designers Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby in particular, the superheroes promoted by Lee between 1961 and 1966 innovated for their more intimate and tormented aspect than their hieratic elders of the distinguished DC competitor (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and other Green lantern ). Paradoxically characterized by a self-carefree typical Lee style, Marvel supermans have been defined as the equivalent in comics of the new wave of French cinema. Probably it is no coincidence that one of the latter's spokesmen, the director and renowned comedian Alain Resnais, were annoyed by the love of these superheroes, more in contact with everyday life, the shudders of Spider-Man / Peter Parker to rent galleys for The Fantastic Four. Resnais and Lee also formed a lasting friendship at the end of the sixties and together they fed some cinematographic projects that never arose finally. They were far from imagining that thirty years later, at the beginning of 2000, the anti-heroes super-heroes co-created by Lee were going to reign in Hollywood in successive shots seen throughout the world.


Stan Lee in the midst of his creations.


Even today, almost all the films of Marvel Studios (Disney's affiliate since 2009) are based on characters, humor and narrative grammar, which Stan Lee and his colleagues laid the foundations for half a century. In spite of the end of life, hidden in 2017 by the death of his wife Joannie forever, without mentioning a sordid sequel to personal mishaps, Stan Lee lived long enough to see his superheroes turned into world box office champions. A dizzying destiny for this ex-son of Romanian Jewish immigrants, born in 1922 in Manhattan, trapped by the poverty of his parents, struck harshly by the Great Depression.


During his teen years in the Bronx, Stanley Martin Lieber fled to the novels of adventures, mythology and movies with Errol Flynn. She secretly enchants the dream of becoming a writer, by accumulating strange jobs such as delivering sandwiches, putting on a Broadway theater or a cabinet. In 1939, at age 17, he was hired as an animator for the Timely Comics label, a subsidiary of a publishing company owned by a family member, Martin Goodman. Riding no flash or triumph of Superman, published a year earlier by a competitor (the DC future), Timely publishes comic books with heroes endowed with superpowers, such as the Submariner, the Ka-Zar and the flaming Android The Human Torch, draft of the future member of the Fantastic Four. In Timely, Stanley fills the charms, searches the authors' breakfasts, eliminates the sketches of the pages so that they are recycled … But very soon, he aspires to do more. Growing sector since the creation of SupermanThe comic industry is enjoying a golden age, bestsellers sell up to one million copies every month and Stanley Lieber wants to write.

Created in 1941 by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, the patriotic and anti-Nazi superhero, Captain America, will give the opportunity to inaugurate his talent as a dialogue in issue 3 of the magazine (dated May 1941). His pseudonym Stan Le. Enrolled in the army in the service of broadcasts in 1942, Stan returns to Timely to demobilize in 1945 to climb the stairs. But the postwar climate is, unfortunately, infinitely more hostile to comics, now considered too violent and responsible for perverting youth or even pushing them into delinquency. The superheroes are no longer fashionable and Captain AmericaHowever, Gondola's head at Marvel four years earlier, ceased to appear in 1949. Timely, renamed Atlas in the 50s, he will reorient himself to romances, westerns, poles, spies, comedies … But Stan Lee s & # 39 ; bored The industry became a routine, the box was uninhibited, and the Bronx teenage girl who dreamed of a large feather came to the middle age with the impression of losing her great design.


Stan Lee in 2000


In front, still market leader, DC comics returns to attack with a new superhero team that revives the genre in 1960: the Justice League of America. Summoned by his boss Goodman to simulate the rivals, Stan Lee decides, on the advice of his wife, to innovate for good and to invent, with Jack Kirby, a family of watchmen who will simply revolutionize comics: the Fantastic Four. Red Richards (Mr Fantastic), his wife Susan (renamed Jane in VF), his brother-in-law Johnny Storm (The Human Torch) and his childhood friend The Thing (Ben Grimm) form an openly operative group. Their private lives, discord, discomfort and financial worries talk about their exploits, all in a much less rigid tone, more relaxed than their colleagues in DC. Just comic hit successfully in 1961 that Stan Lee, driven by his boss to create other superheroes in the same line, gives birth in 1962 the future cornerstone of the whole empire of Marvel: Spider-Man, introduced in the magazine Amazing fantasy n. 15.

The most superhero soap

Designed by Steve Ditko, this superhero named Peter Parker will crush American youth. A high school student, unmarried and shy, friki before the science fan, this orphoon lifted by his aunt May and his uncle Ben acquires his superpowers after a radioactive spider in a laboratory (at this moment of fear of the atom, radiation in all his ways provided an ideal alibi for Stan Lee and his authors). Crushed by the fault of refusing to arrest a thief who, that same afternoon, will kill his uncle, Parker decides to put his powers at the service of the good and becomes Spider-Man. Complex, often broke unlucky with women and struggling with a thousand daily concerns (including caring for a sick aunt), Peter Parker plays the hearts of readers, who identify with him how happy they are in the face of the exploits of his alter ego in costume. True innovation in the history of comics, for its youth and its appearance, Spider-Man quickly becomes Marvel so Superman and Mickey are in DC and Disney: a header. Without matching the records of Superman of Krypton, the sales of or spider-man Fly up to several hundred thousand copies per month.

Read also 5 comics to discover Spider-Man

Harassed by the police, denigrated in the press, from modest social funds, Spider-Man is the perfect antihero for the second half of the 1960s marked in the United States by the protest movements and the rejection of Dad's America. . At the head of a fabulous creative decade for Marvel Comics, Stan Lee imagines almost all the future headliners of the superhero superheroes – Hulk, Iron Man, Avengers, X-Men, Black Panther, Ant-Man … The "soap" character of the heroes Marvel, widely exploited Spider-man, but also its greater permeability to the contemporary world attracts older readers, even students. Stan Lee, whose farce and a half, encourage him to accept numerous press interviews and invitations to campus lectures, becomes the charismatic VRP of Marvel fashion. We came from Europe to meet him, like Resnais or Fellini and, little by little, Lee's pen and his taste for microphones will drive him away from pure creation.

Adulation and controversy

Editor in chief of Marvel Comics Until 1968, Stan Lee became a publishing director in 1972 and, little by little, tries to organize the migration of his heroes to other media, in priority television. Frequently operating around the clock in Hollywood from that moment, Lee has achieved some results. A cartoon Spider-man He was born in 1967 (his generic VF and the famous song "The spider, the spider, is a very unique being …" will travel to the French school in the seventies). The screen weaver will also be subject to a very bad TV series in 1977, followed by Captain America and, more satisfactorily, a cathode adaptation The Incredible Hulk With the bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno in the role of the green monster. As told later to journalists, Stan Lee and Alain Resnais, who became friends in the early 70's, dreamed at the time of a French-made Spider-Man movie that will leave the project very soon. Between the 1970s and 1980s, Hollywood studios will only get out of the shameful series of the Marvel program or the B-mashed series. Cool, Stan Lee, has settled definitively in Los Angeles since 1981 with his wife Joannie and his only daughter, the plague to see ahead, the competing DC Comics wins two golden adaptations of their biggest superheroes: Superman (1978) by Richard Donner ordinance Tim Burton (1989).

At age 67, Lee was no longer an honorary member of the Marvel Comics Group when it was bought in 1989 by Wall Street billionaire Ronald Perelman. Impotent from his semi-retirement, he will be seen from the west coast to the financial collapse of Marvel, a victim of a perplexing and almost fraudulent management of the company by Perelman, as well as a spectacular collapse of the comics market. This does not stop him from continuing to be a figure loved by readers around the world, although, in the circle of insiders, a lasting controversy begins to settle for the ubiquitous mustache and the reality of his various creative paternities. It is necessary to say that, from an interview to the next, sometimes, Stan Lee seems to slightly change his version of the circumstances of the creation of his modern myths, the approaches that he puts in the name of a cloudy memory. Focused for many years by his excommunicated Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby, Stan Lee is reproached by purists for literally confiscating his designers the miraculous concepts of Spider-Man and other Fantastic Four. And so, also a substantial part of royalties …

The general public and other less radical readers consider that, in any case, Lee incorporated a face that Marvel always needed, a paternal figure that opened the doors of this fabulous kingdom. Among these grateful fans, a plethora of directors, screenwriters, producers, actors, ex-children from the 1960s and 1970s, who, at the end of the 1990s, have enough influence in Hollywood for wanting to see the beautiful adaptations of the Marvel Crever heroes on screen. This is good: the company is finally out of its financial nightmare, taken in 1998 by a tandem of toy makers, Ron Perlmutter and Avi Arad, which begins, like Stan Lee but with more outline, on a meal tour. Hollywood The inauguration of the 21st century will be marked culturally by the beginning of the reign of the heroes Marvel, in an America soon tortured by the September 11 attacks and calls for new rescuers. In 2000 and 2002, the triumphs in the cinema of X-Men and above all Spider-man Place the cult editor on the world pop culture map. Stan Lee, who has become a production series with his company POW Entertainment, has been permanently dismissed from the new Marvel management, but with a pretty compensation of almost one million dollars per year. And a "duty of representation" in the media in each new cinematographic release. It's good: he loves it.

Success of the chain

"I am so proud Spider-man of Sam Raimi, corresponds exactly to what I imagined. The movie scene where Uncle Ben, unemployed, reads the classifieds to find a job made me think of my own father looking for work during the Great Depression … I modeled Ben Parker over it, "said Stan Lee, in 2002, to the author of these lines, in his office in Los Angeles. "I would like it so much that my old friend Bob Kane (the co-creator of Batman in 1939, died in 1998, Ed) is there to see Sam Raimi's movie, what followed me hacking after Batman's success by Tim Burton! He added, his naughty smile, characteristic of his lips.


Stan Lee considered the adaptation of Sam Raimi of Spider-man a frank success.


From the decade of 2000, at age 80, Stan Lee finally enjoys the global explosion of movies inspired by his "superheroes" and, with pride, has been able to see the editor once again the tendency to move to a multimedia studio. Marvel Studios was founded in 2006 and, starting in 2008, Iron Man The famous Marvel Cinematographic Universe opens on the big screen, which will put the box office world upside down. Since then, Lee will make a systematic appearance in all the films produced at home by the group, but also in the X-Men franchises, The Fantastic Four (Fox studio) and Spider-Man (Sony). I was still traveling, this year, in productions Marvel Avengers: Infinite War e Ant-Man and Wasp.

Worshiped by All-Hollywood, as famous as Walt Disney throughout his life, Lee definitely knew how to navigate his era and multiplied the interactions with his followers on Twitter, through his account @therealstanlee. It seemed eternal and invincible, always marking the outputs of his favorite cryptic interjection ("excelsior"). But, obviously, even Stan Lee was not a superhero. The news of his death is already causing a profound shock in the world of pop culture, that we do not finish seeing swirls in the coming weeks. Exegetes and historians will be responsible, for posterity, of accurately determining Stan Le's contribution to the fantastic beast of Marvel. But today, all readers who have vibrated, cried, laughed, excited to convert the pages of the Spider-Man adventures just have to add these few words: thanks, Mr. Lee.

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