Thursday , April 15 2021

Stan Lee's heroes, and their shortcomings, are part of our culture DNA

Lee, who died this week at 95, was an innovative, almost unexpected presence in the comic book industry. As a lead editor, publisher and chair of Marvel Comics, he created barrels of iconic characters and left behind a cultural legacy that is almost too large.

In order to frame that legacy is simply as one of costume heroes and their number of sheets of spinning toys are dramatic dramatic; Lee's characters, their shortcomings, their ethical battles and their victory over difficulties have now been written into our culture DNA.

The most successful co-creation of Stan Lee, the Spider-man article.

The most successful co-creation of Stan Lee, the Spider-man article.Credit:Sony

In life, Lee has survived by one child, but in our culture there are too many complex heroes and heroin who came after decades of reinforcement, the centerpiece of a dollar comic book, a television empire and a film.

They are almost too much to name, but they include the stronger Thor, the Teenage Spider man, the troubled Hulk of "do not make me angry, you will not like me when I'm angry", the sophisticated and sophisticated Panther Two strong and X-Men really awful.

As much as a daughter of J.C. Himself, they are also Stan Lee children.

Lee's own story is almost a century ago, when the 17-year-old boy took up a job in the beginning of a publication named Timely Publications, now owned by Marvel Entertainment. It was in 1939.

In historical terms, 1939 was a big year in comics. This was the year of the first comic Superman, Comics Action # 1, has published. That is also the year Batman made his first appearance in Detective Comics # 27.

In other headings the same year: With the Wind a The Wizard of Oz released in cinemas and the Second World War broke out. A busy year measuring anyone.

Not until 1961, however, Lee's comic book pantheon was won, in collaboration with artist Jack Kirby; They included the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Thor, Iron Man and the X-Men. (Lee also co-creates Daredevil with Bill Everett, and Doctor Strange and Spider-man with Steve Ditko.)

The most striking thing about Lee's creations was the likelihood of the iconic heroes of DC Comics, but the intense differences.

Stan Lee (left) with actors Hugh Jackman, who plays Wolverine, and Ryan Reynolds, who play Deadpool, in Comic-Con.

Stan Lee (left) with actors Hugh Jackman, who plays Wolverine, and Ryan Reynolds, who play Deadpool, in Comic-Con.Credit:AP

DC heroes were somehow becoming the perfect princes of the great kingdoms: Supermodable Superman & Krypton, Wonder Woman's wire from the state-of-the-state Themyscira Amazon, the Batman of Gotham City and Aquaman, the heir to the kingdom of Atlantis. They were all born to greatness, and although their stories sometimes drew a disaster, their drawings had been uniformly driven by a man to lead.

By contrast, Lee's characters were human, but they were folded to self-cheated copies.

Lee was abolished: the radiation that turned Peter Parker into Spider-man, the gamma cones made by Dr Bruce Banner of the Hulk and even the cosmic rays created by the Four Fantastic.

Even when Lee's heroes came into force alone through births and unions, they did not sit, like the Superman chisel-jaw, in the middle of the world in which they live, but instead, as and X-Men camddeall, suddenly in a sense of differentity, deviation of the norm that is placed on the margins of society.

Lee's characters were perfectly imperfect: the Iron Iron transformer Tony Stark was fighting alcoholism, Peter Parker was Spider-man Peter Parker, and Dr Banner, alias of the Hulk, was distressed by the worst case of anger management The history of the comic book.

Where DC heroes were clear – Batman's tendency for a violent violence – Marvel's hero break.

It is not surprising, therefore, that the DC heroes who dominated the culture of film and television in the 1980s reflected the richness of that age and was excessively polished.

In the decades since, since the real world has become a dark and boring place to live in, Lee's creams have stepped into the heart of our cultural stories, a dark mirror to a much more complex world.

In 2018 Lee's legacy is extensive. Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, who owns the Marvel empire, Lee this week as a man that was so amazing as comic book creations. "He had the power to inspire, entertain, and connect," said Iger, remarkably in his own right to Marvel's fans around the world. "Only its heart size is beyond its imagination scale."


Even an old competitor, Comics DC, Marvel, presents a statement recognizing that Lee has fundamentally changed the way our culture looks at the hero's journey. "Modern comics will always steal its rigid mark," the company said in a statement. "Our infectious enthusiasm reminded us why we all fell in love with these stories in the first place."

And lending a voice to the actor who lived in those characters, suggested by Australian actor Hugh Jackman – who played Wolverine, created by Lee's successor in Marvel, Roy Thomas – said Lee had "made the world a better place through the power of a modern mythology "and" loved "to this" scratch business of being human ".

Apparently, it seems extremely ironic that Lee's career as a pioneer of a comic book and legacy we're almost leaving us does not happen.

In the early 1960's, Lee would remember later, he was almost walking away from the comic book industry. He was eager to write character stories with depth and complexity, but his publisher in Marvel simply wanted "lots of action and many fights".

This is Lee's wife, who changed his mind when he suggested: "Why not write one of the way you want to write it? You're going to an end, so if it fires you, who cares out of your system. "

The one he wanted to end it The Four Fantastic, the comic book that served as a catalyst for the modern Marvel pantheon.

Lee's career would take many decades longer, and even after he had finished working on weekly comic statements for the company, he kept his weekly column – the "Soapbox Stan" named in Blessing – where he would be pontificate with all wisdom and tendency thinking of The New York Times.

There were many columns, but it was not as permanent in effect as the one that challenged America's 1960s on its bigotry and racism. He repeats as powerful in 2018 as he was five decades earlier in 1968.

"Sooner or later, we must learn to judge each other on our own merits," Lee said. "Sooner or later, if a man never worthy of a man, we must fill our hearts with tolerance.

"For that reason, and only then, will we truly be worthy of the concept of man created in the image of God, God who calls us all His children."

Michael Idato is Senior Writer in Los Angeles for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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