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Marvel Remembers Stan Lee

This video is Marvel’s tribute to Stan Lee.
The take-away line is that Lee’s greatest creation was himself, the public persona of Marvel Comics.
That may detract a little from Lee’s contribution as co-creator, plotter, and scripter.
It also brings into focus how his public persona served to eclipse those whose creative contributions were at least as significant as Lee’s.
Look up Jack Kirby’s creation ‘Funky Flashman’ if you want an acerbic personal point of view about Lee’s public personality from the 1970s.
Anyway, this video highlights what Lee did contribute, which was himself.


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Vale Stan Lee

I started reading comic books in the mid 1970’s.
I was then, and continue to be a DC guy, but by the time I got into Marvel in 1978 the comics were all presented by Stan Lee, but Stan Lee himself was already gone from the day-to-day production of Marvel comics.
It’s been over forty years since Lee last really regularly wrote comics, with various items since then of a one-off or special nature.
Yet it is true to say that Lee gave the characters created before 1970 their voices, and set the pattern for the way in which the lives of those characters would be portrayed.
Even those characters created after 1970, who form a substantial portion of the portfolio of characters that are part of the public consciousness bear the stamp of Lee’s characterisations.
Until the mid-seventies the template for the artistic depiction of Marvel’s characters was that of Jack Kirby.
Through till today the template for the written characterisation of all superhero comics is basically that of Stan Lee.
There will be much debate about the levels of recognition that should be afforded to the co-creators who worked with Lee.
But what should not be open to debate is that without Lee’s contribution US comic books in their current form would not exist, nor would they sound like they do in terms of the stories they tell.

I didn’t read comics when Stan Lee was creating the substantial body of work for which he is known.
But all the comics I have read have been created in the shadow of his contribution.

Excelsior!


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Galactus Sized Reprint

Amazon Australia had this over-sized reprint of Fantastic Four comics featuring the character Galactus (and the Silver Surfer, naturally) at a ridiculously cheap price. It was lower in OZ$ than the US store’s price in US$.

By Grabthar’s hammer, what a savings.

It arrived today in a massive box.


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Hammer Time

My sons gave me Mjolnir (Thor’s hammer) for my birthday.

Thankyou Peter and Robert (and Georgia and Madi)

It lights up and makes noises.

And is finely accompanied by the Thor mug I also received from my friends the Fox’s.


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Vale Margot Kidder

Margot Kidder played Lois Lane in the 1978 Superman movie, displaying a hard-edged tenderness that was a perfect foil for Christopher Reeve’s guileless strength as he portrayed the Man of Steel.

For a comic book reading teenager in the 1970s watching a puffy Marlon Brando as Jor-el or Gene Hackman’s supposedly wig-wearing Lex Luthor were prices that seemed worth paying to get a Superman movie on the big screen, but there was no sense of sacrifice when it came to Kidder and Reeve who perfectly embodied the fictional characters they were plucked from relative obscurity to play.

Their skill as actors enabled them to respect their characters in such a way that they could have fun in the roles without ever seeming to send them up.

The personal lives of both actors transcended their careers, and for a kid from the 70s the fact that they are both gone is both surreal and another reminder of time’s relentless march.


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Yes Commissioner?

This Batphone won’t actually work.

Though there are such things available on the internet if your discretionary budget permits.

For us more modest denizens of Gotham this will suffice.

(Aficionados will recognize this is based on the Batmobile’s mobile Batphone, rather than the desktop version found in study, Batcave and Commissioner Gordon’s office.)


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Home For Literally Five Minutes And Now Out With Family

Out with two daughters.

Apparently I’m emotional support if someone dies.

As if that ever lasts in a comic book story.