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Comics 411: Farewell to Stan Lee

November 14, 2018 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Stan Lee

I’m Steve Gustafson and thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to check out 411mania’s Comic Book Review Roundtable, every Thursday! Read up on the best reviews and let us know what you’re reading as well. Click to read the latest Comic Book Review Roundtable! Old Man Logan #50, Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth #1, and more!

Now, on with the show!

Last week we discussed the Saying Goodbye to ElfQuest!. Here’s what some of you had to say:

Thomas Stockel: “Elfquest was a big thing for myself and friends in high school, I recall the magazine sized black and white issues. I think I still own a copy of the Elfquest role playing game. The first twenty issues are an epic run, no lie. Then, I don’t know, along the way I grew less and less interested in the series overall. Honestly I didn’t realize it was still going on.”

Gil: “If we could go back to when I was a kid and recorded all the books I borrowed with my library card, majority would be the Elfquest graphic novels. Borrowed those multiple times. I kind of wish they kept doing those big graphic novels till the end. (And if they actually did, please let me know. I’ll buy them!!)”

Chip McFetters: “I was so in love with Elfquest as a lad that I planned out my own elf-epic, complete with detailed drawings of characters. Mailed a copy to myself so that I’d have proof in case someone ever came up with a similar story. I’d love to find that time capsule and tear it open to see what this young brain came up with.”

Peter Kohler: “I loved Elfquest…sad to see it go, but that’s a solid run”

Double J: “I honestly remember getting ahold of an ElfQuest ( couldn’t tell u which one ) in elementary school in the 80s. It was the very first comicbook I ever read, and I remember it being very racy for us to look at.

I remember that feeling that I had reading this article just now, some 30 years later. I’ll definitely give it another look online.”

Solomon Grundy: “I’m aware of elfquest more for Larry Elmore’s art than anything else…”

To read all the comments or to read last week’s column, CLICK HERE! As always, thanks for the input!

This week we discuss…

Farewell to Stan Lee

Before he was Stan Lee he was born Stanley Martin Lieber and he got his humble start in 1939 as a gofer for Timely Comics. That was Marvel before it was Marvel by the way.

Taking the pen name Stan Lee, he was named interim editor at 19 by publisher Martin Goodman. After serving in the military during the war, he returned to the publisher and served as the editor for decades more, leaving a legacy that will never be touched.

Stan Lee is responsible for icons like Spider-Man, the X-Men, Thor, Iron Man, Black Panther, the Incredible Hulk, Daredevil, Ant-Man, and the Fantastic Four, among others.

In the world of comic books, meaning can be lost in translation so I’ll be clear that Lee collaborated with artist-writer Kirby on the Fantastic Four, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Silver Surfer and X-Men. With artist-writer Ditko he created Spider-Man and the surgeon Doctor Strange, and with artist Bill Everett came up with the blind superhero Daredevil.

But today I want to talk about Stan.

“I used to think what I did was not very important,” he told the Chicago Tribune in April 2014. “People are building bridges and engaging in medical research, and here I was doing stories about fictional people who do extraordinary, crazy things and wear costumes. But I suppose I have come to realize that entertainment is not easily dismissed.”

In the 1970s, Lee was crucial in pushing the boundaries on censorship in comics, taking on more serious, topical subjects in comic books. The Amazing Spider-Man in which Peter Parker’s best friend Harry Osborn popped pills did not carry the CCA “seal of approval” on the covers, and created an argument that led to the organization relaxing its guidelines.

Outside the Marvel universe, his biggest achievement was his connection with fans all around the world. His jovial spirit, warm heart, and positive words for all will always be spoken of and remembered.

I never had the opportunity to meet him. No pictures of us to share. Like many out there, my connection to Stan came from reading his stories and watching his interviews. He was exactly who I thought he would be by reading his Soapboxes and I can’t overstate how even his simplest story shaped me in some way.

As impossible as it is, if I had to choose one story of his as my favorite, it would fall to Silver Surfer: Parable, written by Stan and drawn by Moebius and Keith Pollard. A simply epic story that deals with universal tones and the trappings of human nature. Pure Stan Lee.

Also difficult is trying to choose one tribute over another and after Lee’s passing the internet was filled with them. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said, “No one has had more of an impact on my career and everything we do at Marvel Studios than Stan Lee. Stan leaves an extraordinary legacy that will outlive us all. Our thoughts are with his daughter, his family and the millions of fans who have been forever touched by Stan’s genius, charisma and heart.”

Oh what a legacy it is.


That’s all the time I have. Check out our Comic Book Reviews tomorrow and see you next week!

article topics :

Comics 411, Stan Lee, Steve Gustafson