True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee is the new biography of American journalist Abraham Reisman by the late Marvel Comics icon Stan Lee. The book aims to explore both sides of Lee – the legend who left an indelible mark on the industry by co-creating some of the most popular characters in pop culture, and the controversial figure often accused of stealing credits for other creatives Hai ‘Kama and who has faced sexual harassment charges.
Like many famous people, Stan Lee has left a complicated legacy. And the book is a fearless attempt to bring to light the less savory aspects of Lee’s life and career that most people, including his fans, are not familiar with.
It is known in detail in this book that Lee created such a huge figure. As the editor of Marvel, the company launched so many pieces of intellectual property that the number would startle anyone’s mind. He helped create characters like Spider-Man, Avengers, X-Men and Fantastic Four that dominate pop culture today.
If his work on comics was not enough, he gave birth to another generation of fans – Millennials and Generation Z – with his cameos in Marvel films.
But the controversy nearly shocked Lee during his professional career, although he was very good at keeping his reputation more or less unaffected.
Jack Kirby, another comic-book legend who was also senior to Lee, was believed to have invented characters such as Thor and the Fantastic Four alongside Lee. But he rejected that in 1990 when he told The Comics Journal, “Stan Lee and I never collaborated on anything! I could never see Stan Lee being creative. I think Stan Has a God complex. Right now, he is the father of the Marvel Universe. “
Kirby left Marvel for DC, where he did some of the best work of his career with the New Gods storyline. Steve Ditko, who co-produced Spider-Man and Doctor Strange with Lee, was another Marvel creative who left for DC after a disagreement.
Through his charisma and camera-friendly image, Lee appeared as if he was the only person to revive Marvel in the Silver Age of comics. Even after leaving the comic-book industry, he remained an ideal figure for Marvel. He had this tendency to constantly make himself the center of attention. Other creatives at Marvel felt abandoned and vague compared to Lee’s immense fame.
True Believer went into detail about the discrepancies in Lee’s stories about how he allegedly invented some of the major Marvel characters. The discrepancies extend to the dialogue. Easily the most iconic piece of Spider-Man dialogue in comics is “with great power – great responsibility must come!” Which was previously remade for Tobe Maguire-led Spider-Man. But it’s also not original, says True Believer. A young Winston Churchill stated clearly in 1906, “Where there is great power, there is great responsibility.”
Lee will always be celebrated in a great and deserving manner. He played a big role in connecting comics with real-world themes, making heroes sensitive and relevant to humans. But when the conversation about his legacy comes up, we should also talk about the man behind that grand, gloriously cool grandfather personality.
True Lever: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee is an entertaining book about Stan Leez – what we know, and what we don’t.