Lee & Kirby: THE CHARACTER WRITE-UPS OF STAN LEE

I’m fairly certain that I came across these documents at Scott Edelman’s blog. In any case, Scott was one of those who found these documents preserved in the back of a drawer in the Marvel offices and hung onto them. Around 1966, as Marvel was beginning to make its first faltering in-roads into other media, in particular television animation, writer and editor Stan Lee wrote up the ten character biographies listed below as a sort of cheat sheet for those looking to adapt the Marvel heroes–in particular, for the 1966 MARVEL SUPER HEROES cartoon series. These descriptions give a wonderful insight into how Lee viewed these characters at this early point.

4 thoughts on “Lee & Kirby: THE CHARACTER WRITE-UPS OF STAN LEE

  1. Hey Tom, you missed one:
    http://www.scottedelman.com/2012/02/18/and-the-incredible-hulk-is-meant-to-sound-like-huh-are-you-sure/

    These are beyond fascinating. I LOVE character write-ups like these and seeing how Stan envisioned these characters (or at least how he summarized them outside the pages of a book) at this still-early stage is fascinating!

    Reading the Thing’s powers really underscores how much power creep has happened over the years: “One of the strongest mortals on earth. Can life ten-ton weight.”

    I’m shocked that some of the standout bad-guys — Dr. Doom, Magneto, Loki — didn’t rate a write up. As it stands, only Baron Mordo(!) got attention, not counting non-superhero antagonists like Thunderbolt Ross and J. Jonah Jameson.

    And while I’m not surprised to see Daredevil, Ant-Man and the Wasp missing from these pages, I would have nonetheless loved reading how Stan summarized these heroes as well.

    The paper-thin and stereotyped characterization he gives to his female characters is disappointing. Also pretty predictable, given how he wrote them back in the 60s. *sigh*

    Most shockingly, his view of Captain America was that he was so right-wing that he would have joined the JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY????? Holy shit!!! Maybe Stan didn’t realize how extremist this group was, but damn!

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    1. I think the “John Birch Society” reference was intended to mean “The most anti- of anti-Communists”. This was still during the Cold War, not too far from the Cuban Missile Crisis, memories of McCarthyism still fresh, etc. The anti-Communism of many early Marvel stories was extremely strong. And remember the 1950’s version of Captain America, that was anti-Communist to the point of parody. Birchers would have loved it.

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  2. The best thing Marvel could do would be to take these bios, give them to a good writer who doesn’t know ANY Marvel history or have ANY AGENDA and make them stick to what Stan wrote but start from scratch.

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