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.

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

  1. Hey Tom, you missed one:

    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!

    Liked by 1 person

    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.

      Liked by 1 person

  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.


    1. It’s explicitly set in South Vietnam in Iron Man’s debut appearance. Stan just forgot. Or wanted to avoid mention of Vietnam in a licensing document, at a time that Americans were dying there.

      Trouble is, for Tony to be “thirty-ish” in 1966, he’d have been seventeen-ish when the Korean War ended.


  3. Did Stan know anyone with the last name “Marko”. He laid a small foundation for a Marko crime family. Flint Marko. Cain Marko. Man-Mountain Marko.


  4. This may be the first concrete example of Stan starting to “Marvel-time” the characters, and downwardly adjust their ages.

    If Reed and Ben were in their early 30s in 1966, they were born in the early-to-mid-1930s, and were way too young to serve in WWII. Heck, if they were in their early 30s in 1961, they were probably too young to serve in WWII, unless they managed to catch the very tail end of it.

    At this point in the comics, Spider-Man was still aging in “real time,” but this may be around when Stan started thinking about slamming the brakes on it.


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