Wednesday, 14 November 2018

RIP, Stan Lee

Stan Lee with Marvel's Beatles Story.
November 12, 2018, 95 year old Stan Lee passed away, the year after his British-born wife had died. Born in 1922, Lee was the brains behind the Marvel Comics many superheroes, co-creating many of the characters which today are well known movie and TV heroes, like Spider-Man, the X-Men, The Avengers and Daredevil.

For years, the Beatles made cameo appearances in Marvel Comics, and in 1978, Marvel published the Beatles' story in comic book form.

The Beatles Story
David Anthony Kraft wrote the script and the drawings were done by a couple of future superstar artists: George Perez and Klaus Janson.

Back in 2005, Stan suggested a collaboration for Ringo. Stan the man wanted to make a superhero of him. It was going to be an animated series, which Ringo would voice. The two of them made headlines that day, but nothing came of it. At the time, Stan said: "Ringo is beloved worldwide for his commitment to people and his singular wit. Our Ringo superhero character will combine these qualities, along with secret powers which people generally didn’t know about because he has kept them secret, until now."

In 2012, Stan remembered what happened: "We were going to do something together--an animated cartoon, he wanted to be a superhero. Ringo, you're a sweet guy--you ain't no superhero. But we were going to come up with something funny. The best thing that came out of it was that we took a photo where I'm playing the drums and he's reading Spider-Man. We had four or five meetings. I had a bunch of ideas, he didn't like 'em--he had a bunch of ideas that were horrible! We just didn't make it. We're good friends, but we've never done anything."

Ringo reads up on Spider-Man as Stan Lee takes care of the drums.

Apparently, Stan had pitched the same idea to Paul McCartney. Paul said this when remembering Stan: "I was  lucky enough to meet him. He came over to my office and we sat around for a while chatting about comic books and my admiration for his work. Actually he was suggesting making a superhero who would wield a Höfner bass guitar. The guitar would have super powers and we spent some time imaging what those could be. He had a great sense of humour and I must say the idea of becoming a guitar wielding superhero in one of his comic books was very appealing."


Paul McCartney and Stan Lee met up again during Superbowl

McCartney, who was the comic book fan among the Beatles, once composed a song featuring two Marvel characters, "Magneto and Titanium Man".

Wings performed "Magneto and Titanium Man" during their world tour of 1975-76 featuring Jack Kirby's drawings as backdrop.
Beginning with the first Spider-Man film in 2002, Stan Lee has made cameos in Marvel films, the last of which was in the current movie, "Venom". This was actually part of his contract, a special clause in the agreement specifies that Stan must appear in any film based on one of his characters.

Pop culture wouldn't have been what it is today without Stan "the man" Lee. Excelsior!

6 comments:

William Campbell said...

Too bad his cringeworthy cameo appearances ruined so many movies. What an embarrassment.

Ole M. Olsen said...

I was pleasantly surprised to see this tribute to Stan Lee here.

I've been a comics - and Marvel Comics - fan for even longer (at least slightly) than I've been a Beatles fan. And although Stan had long since ceased writing comics on a regular basis by the time I started reading them, he has always been present, and his work at Marvel in the 1960s has been like “classic literature” to me. His belief that superheroes didn’t have to (and shouldn’t) be “perfect”, but rather ordinary people who happened to gain superpowers and try to do the best they could with their powers and their lives, was a stroke of genius. The comics he made with other comics giants like Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, John Romita and John Buscema (among others) still surpasses most of what’s been made since, in my opinion. It has given so much joy and so much comfort to so many people over the years – including me. (In other words, much like the Beatles have).

Despite his advanced age and even his frail health over the past year or so, it somehow seemed like Stan Lee would always be around. But he has certainly deserved to rest now.

By the way, Stan actually made his first (modern) Marvel cameo in the first X-Men film (2000). And just like some Beatles fans think that the modern releases are ripoffs while others love them, some of us found his cameos "cringeworthy" while others were always looking forward to seeing his cameos and considered them among the most enjoyable moments of the films.

Martin said...

Stan was a true pioneer and alongside Dennis O 'Neil and Neal Adams at DC (with The Batman), Lee's work along with Jack Kirby's has not been bettered. Such a shame that Marvel is now a money making circus and a politically correct propaganda machine. RIP Stan....

Ole M. Olsen said...

A week and a half after Stan Lee moved on, it feels appropriate to add a little P.S. with his own words about bigotry, racism and diversity.

1968: https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/08/15/stan-lee-addressed-racism-50-years/

2017: https://youtu.be/sjobevGAYHQ

Barbara Gelnett said...

Cool to see the Stan Lee-Beatles connection. Hard to see Stan lee's cameo appearances in fluff action Marvel movies as "cringe worthy". I love them! Beatles continue to inspire me with their cultural impact. I loved watching my middle school students rocking their Yellow Submarine t-shirts in this decade. As a blogger myself, today I am moved by the "Nowhere Man" Jeremy was such a boob.
https://bggelnett.blogspot.com/2018/11/see-clearly-or-go-nowhere.html

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