Stan Lee's Biggest Contribution to Comics

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by crookeddy, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. crookeddy

    crookeddy Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Today (December 28) is Stan Lee's birthday. What do you think is his one biggest contribution to the world of comics?
     
  2. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    It's either :

    1) The comic book hero with day to day soap opera type problems (looking at you here Spidey !)

    OR

    2) His contributions to the characters and shared world that developed into The Avengers and The X Men.
     
  3. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    The Great Wide Somewhere
    Arguably there's precedent for both of those things, Lee had a lot of pretty good ideas but mostly he had a lot of support from people like Kirby surrounding him who made those pretty good ideas into great ones. Once he lost the support structure he built at Marvel he never really created anything worthwhile again. Like Bob Kane though, he is a showman and self-promoter first and foremost, and built a second career off of being "Stan Lee!" the creator of heroes. And like Bob Kane, his actual contributions to those heroes' origins will always be somewhat suspect.
     
    ichab and TREK_GOD_1 like this.
  4. Serveaux

    Serveaux The Wind Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Location:
    SoL
    His big contribution was simply and essentially: story.

    First, I think setting the early Marvel universe in New York City was a brilliant thing. May not seem like a lot now.

    Basing stories on the characters dealing with people problems and people limitations - hell, super-genius Reed Richards thought he had the stock market figured out and bankrupted the FF - was innovative for comic book narrative and made a big difference.

    His characters want human things: they want love. They want a little peace. They want to fit in. They even want status and money - especially those of them who really lack status and money (Hiya, Parker). They're good or bad, or more importantly, human - based largely on how they respond to those desires (Hiya, Parker).

    (The only DC legacy character who at his core wants a damned personal human thing is Batman, only if you allow that the essential subtext of the character is a guy working out the emotional pain of early trauma, ie. that he's seeking retribution).

    Beyond that, basing the premises of the characters on something other than "Here's this guy's superhero shtick - alien/gadget/masked identity etc. - separated Marvel's new characters from the legacy characters of the 1940s and 1950s. The Fantastic Four were a pretty direct outgrowth of the science fiction "Tales To Astonish" type magazines that Marvel or its predecessor were already publishing. Thor comes out of mythology. The Hulk is Jekyll-and-Hyde. Spider-Man is really the exception, early on - and he's explicitly a pastiche and a sort of parody of the old long-john crowd.

    These characters, and some level of appreciation for the original stories and situations that made them, are going to be around long after Marvel Studios success with these bloated movie spectaculars has waned and mutated into something else.
     
  5. { Emilia }

    { Emilia } Madness Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    Location:
    Köln
    Is that the guy who does all these cameos?

    He is in the comic business? ;)
     
    GNDN18 likes this.
  6. Serveaux

    Serveaux The Wind Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Location:
    SoL
    He's in the Stan Lee business. I think his biggest contribution may have been inventing "personal branding" disassociated from any specific activity or product. The Kim Kardashian of superheroes.

    (If there is no superhero based on Kim Kardashian I call dibs).
     
  7. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Location:
    Around
    Giving relationship advice in Mallrats.
     
  8. Serveaux

    Serveaux The Wind Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Location:
    SoL
    Lee's filmed at least one cameo as a Starfleet admiral for an unreleased Trek fan film. :lol:

    stanlee-farragut-480x220[1].png
     
  9. Mage

    Mage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    If I recall correctly, he was the admiral in charge of the Excelsior project.....
     
  10. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Escaped from Delta Vega
    Let's not forget DC's The Doom Patrol were the first "misfit" team of heroes with problems/self-esteem issues predating the X-Men (and there's been enough legitimate discussion/analysis--some by co-creator Arnold Drake himself) over the decades that the X-Men swiped the concept, right down to the wheelchair-bound leader).

    In the 40's DC's The Spectre's original stories were rather grim in that Corrigan's non-afterlife mission was not one to be shared with smiling, "save the day" counterparts at National or Timely. Although The Spectre's original character model was derailed by a later addition of a comedic character he was unique in that he was a character dealing with--arguably--the most important goal one would have when taking their last breath. That original intent was restored with the character was revived in the mid 1960s, so DC had characters A-list or not--that dealt with some very human problems.

    Perhaps, but its not uncommon for adaptations to become the most recognized version of a concept, leaving no interest in future generations to discover the source, as is the case (to lesser degrees) of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Planet of the Apes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
  11. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Disavowed by the Secretary Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Location:
    Connecticut will self-destruct in five seconds
    His artistic collaborators deserve their share of the credit for their co-creations, but the one through-line in Marvel's breakout years is Stan Lee. And the earliest examples of what often gets described as self-promotion were establishing Marvel's brand identity.
    Happy Birthday to The Man! :beer:
     
    shivkala likes this.
  12. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    Given that their initial #1 within four months of each other, by different publishers I think it's more likely that it's a case of "only so many stories in the world" and Stan Lee and Drake & Haney coincidentially came up with similar ideas about the same time. I'd also suggest that the X-Men developed far beyond its original roots as the far more successful and popular version even accounting for a similar initial premise.
     
  13. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    Happy birthday, Stan! I would have to say Stan's greatest contribution to comics was Fantastic Four number one, the one that started it all.
     
  14. Serveaux

    Serveaux The Wind Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Location:
    SoL
    Meh, accusing comic book writers of swiping from one another is like accusing an NFL team of cheating. It's a mug's game.
     
  15. EmoBorg

    EmoBorg Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Location:
    in the 10 dimensions of reality
    Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Jerry Siegel, Bob Kane and other comic writers help create and shape the modern American Mythology. The British have King Arthur and Robin Hood. Americans have Marvel and DC Superheros.
     
  16. Serveaux

    Serveaux The Wind Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Location:
    SoL
    Oh God, I hope that's not the comparison. America comes off pretty sad, there.
     
  17. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    Washington State, USA
    Stan Lee's biggest contribution is probably creating or co-creating most of the big heros of the Marvel universe, and helping turn Marvel into a major force in the industry when he was in charge of it.
     
  18. shivkala

    shivkala Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Location:
    shivkala
    I agree with this site here,
    His biggest contribution was not the characters, mostly that's those who were not credited properly for their efforts such as Steve Ditko and Stan Lee.
     
  19. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Walrus Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Sitting on a cornflake.
    Jack Kirby?
     
  20. shivkala

    shivkala Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Location:
    shivkala
    Damn it, yes! Poor Jack, Stan even ends up stealing his credit in my subconscious! :devil: