7 things you didn’t know about: Stan Lee

Stan Lee with Black Panther actor, Chadwick Boseman.
Stan Lee, creator of Spider-Man and other Marvel superheroes, dead at 95 Stan Lee with Black Panther actor, Chadwick Boseman.

The creator of Marvel’s pantheon of superheroes Stan Lee has died at the age of 95.

We take a look at the man behind the legend.

1. The Hulk was originally grey

The Hulk seen during MCM London Comic Con 2017 held at the ExCel on October 27, 2017 in London, England
Image: d Ollie Millington/Getty Images

According to lifestyle site Mental Floss, a problem at the printers turned the Incredible Hulk green. He was meant to be grey but the printers struggled to keep the colour consistent. “In the second issue of the comic,” Lee wrote, “with no explanation, he turned green.”

2. Stan Lee isn’t his real name

Fans leave tributes on Stan Lee's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame shortly after the news that the Marvel founder died aged 95 was made public on November 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Image: Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images

 His real name is Stanley Martin Lieber. The comic legend originally reserved the pen name Stan Lee for what he assumed would be his lesser work in comic-book writing. He intended using his full name for the novels he planned on writing.

3. Captain America was his first big break

Figurine of cartoon in Captain America costumes during Comicdom Con Festival, a three-day comics festival, took place at the Hellenic American Union in Athens on April 16 2016
Image: Giorgos Georgiou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Lee’s career started in 1939 when the 17-year-old took an assistant job at Timely Comics. Here he got his first big break as a writer. Tech site the Verge tells us he got the opportunity to write a Captain America strip. He adopted the name Stan Lee and penned it under that name. His first full comic Captain America Issue 5 was published in 1941.

4. Stan created a comic starring Pamela Anderson

Hugh Hefner, Pamela Anderson and Stan Lee during The Official Launch Party For Spike TV At The Playboy Mansion - Inside at The Playboy Mansion in Bel Air, California, United States.
Image: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

In 2003, Lee created a season of an animated series called Striperella. It starred Pamela Anderson as “a stripper by night and a superhero by late night”. General knowledge website Factinate says the show wasn’t renewed for a second season because Anderson wasn’t happy about Lee’s suggestions. He also pitched a comic to Playboy which would have featured characters named High Priestess Clitanna and Lord Peckerton.

5.  He only let his wife cut his hair

Comic book legend Stan Lee and wife Joan Lee attend a ceremony honoring Stan Lee with the 2,428th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 4, 2011 in Hollywood, California
Image: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

His wife Joanie Lee was the secret to his famous slick-back style. Mental Floss tells us Lee said in his memoir he had never been to a barber in his adult life.

6. He has appeared in 16 Marvel films

Marvel logo in Hamleys store. Marvel Comics Group is a publisher of American comic books and related media
Image: Ekaterina Kupeeva/123RF

A special clause in his contract with Marvel stated that Lee must appear in any film based on one of his characters. His cameo debut came in 2000’s X-Men. Lee also helped create his cameo characters.

7. He campaigned against drug use

Spiderman Marvel comics in Madame Tussauds Wax museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Image: Alexander Tolstykh/123RF

Factinate tells us in 1971, Lee was approached by the US Department of Health, Education and Welfare asking him to put an anti-drug message in one of his books. Lee wrote a Spider-man story involving Harry, his best friend, who starts abusing pills after a bad break-up. The Comics Code Authority did not approve of the storyline but Lee convinced the publisher and ran with it.


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