Stan Lee Review: A Cultural Icon, In His Own Words

stan lee tells his own amazing life story in an entertaining and creative documentary that deliberately steers clear of controversy. Director David Gelb (Jiro’s Dream Sushi, Chef’s Table) celebrates Lee’s 100th birthday with a light-hearted look back at an extraordinary man. Models, animation, sound recordings and extensive archival footage are used to paint a wholesome picture of a beloved cultural icon. Lee takes you through his impoverished childhood and the decades that built Marvel Comics into a household name. It’s a Wikipedia approach that doesn’t delve too deep into it, but gives an adequate and pleasant summary of the greatness.

stan lee He has a mustache, sunglasses, and a warm, fatherly smile. He recalls staring at flies crawling on walls as a child. His imaginary hero has incredible strength, but is no different from ordinary people. They need a job, bills to pay and daily stress to deal with. Lee wanted real-world stories. He begins by explaining how the day job became the defining focus of his childhood.

MOVIEWEB Video of the dayscroll to continue content

Stanley Martin Lieber was born in 1922 to Eastern European immigrants on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. They were extremely poor during the Great Depression. His father, a seamstress, was unemployed for most of Lee’s youth. He commented that he felt very sorry for a man who struggled to provide for his family with basic necessities. Li found a job as quickly as possible. He was a handyman, fetching coffee and water for salesmen in a trouser factory. Lee claimed that if he hadn’t been fired, he would have worked there for the rest of his life.

Comic Books for All Ages

stan lee documentary

The Thirties brought an opportunity to determine the course of history. Lee was 16 when he was hired to work for Timely Comics’ Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. He does everything from mopping floors to writing manuscripts. Lee was a voracious reader as a child. He was carrying a briefcase and looked like a writer. Lee adored matinee star Errol Flynn and his bravado adventures. He could easily spin simple stories of heroic deeds. captain america is their biggest seller. Even before World War II started, Nazis were the perfect villains. But Stanley Lieber was embarrassed to write such juvenile material. His name became his pseudonym.

1941 was a pivotal year for Lee Kuan Yew and the country. Pearl Harbor thrust the United States into a global conflict. Li Yingzheng enlisted in the army, but did not go to the battlefield. He incorporated finance textbooks into comics to aid in the training process. Soldiers got paid faster. It was during this “aha moment” that Lee realized comic books could target an older audience. He returned to Timely Comics (now Atlas Comics) as lead writer and editor. Lee received carte blanche from publisher Martin Goodman to steer the company in a new direction.

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Gelb became more nuanced during this critical period. Lee married Joan Boocock, a vivacious British hat model, and started a family. In interviews, they all admit that their lives are higher than their status. They enjoy traveling, luxury cars and dinner parties as socialites. Lee is still ashamed of his profession. The return of Jack Kirby allows Lee to create more adult-oriented stories. The Fantastic Four embody a new type of superhero team. Sue Storm has powers of her own, equal to her fiancé Reed Richards. That thing had great power, but turned into a rock monster. He feels ugly and lonely. Human Torch, a teenager, is dealing with bullying. The villain Doctor Doom isn’t pure evil. Lee wanted comic books in shades of gray. The world is not black and white. His characters needed to reflect real issues. Lee mocks the Fantastic Four being kicked out of their headquarters for not paying their rent.

victory lap in blockbuster cameo

Stan Lee in Captain America: Civil War
Marvel Studios

Lee and Martin Goodman chose Marvel Comics as their new name. Hiring artist Steve Ditko in the fifties led to transformative success. Lee slyly puts the superhero that Goodman rejected into the final issue of Fantastic Fantasy. Peter Parker was a teenager living with his elderly aunt. He has no money, is constantly berated by his bosses, and labeled a villain despite his heroics. The Sixties needed someone to reflect the changing times. spider man became the hit that cemented Marvel and Lee as stars.

Lee spoke candidly about dealing with the Comics Regulation Authority. Publisher-approved regulators sanitize comics. They cannot print anything that is considered controversial. Lee despised apartheid and the Vietnam War. Marvel Comics shows black characters interacting with white characters during times of social unrest. Lee’s African superhero Black Panther pushes boundaries. A great scene of Lee arguing with DC Comics editor Julius Schwartz for the audience on the talk show. Schwartz believes comic books are for kids. Lee’s cartoons are written with a college-level understanding. He believes that comics have a moral responsibility to educate and educate. Lee has won legions of fans of all ages with his mature personality.

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stan lee There are two standout features that separate this film from good to bad. Gelb cleverly uses miniatures to depict key events. We hear Lee’s voice while seeing static figures in the depicted scene. This effectively outlines what’s happening in Lee’s words with simple visual accompaniment. In 1987, Jack Kirby and Lee gave a radio interview as unexpected guests, in a way that touched upon the toughest and most controversial of issues: money. Lee created the characters and wrote the comics, but Kirby and Ditko drew them from their imaginations. Marvel Comics owns the trademark. Lee and his illustrators do not own any copyrights. Ditko believes Spider-Man is his creation. Lee disputed that claim. Spider-Man was his original idea. The film glosses over an ugly transformation between longtime collaborators.

positive outlook for stan lee

stan lee Confusing time jump from the 80s to 2010.we see lee on set Thor Filming one of his many cameos. He basked in a well-deserved victory lap. But little has been explained about how Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige turned their comic books into blockbusters. We also didn’t mention those previous attempts at film that failed miserably. Lee will not be nerfed for failed explorations. He achieved great success, but also stumbled along the way. The documentary is a bit ironic, ignoring Lee’s own motto of showing the heroes what’s wrong.

stan lee A production of Marvel Studios and Supper Club. It premiered at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival as a spotlight documentary. Stan Lee is currently available to stream exclusively on Disney+.

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