Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

At 89, Comics King Is Busier Than Ever

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

At 89, Comics King Is Busier Than Ever

Article excerpt

Stan Lee turns 90 in December and is arguably more popular now than at any point in his decades-long career, thanks to the surging box-office influence and might of comic-book heroes such as Spider- Man, the Incredible Hulk, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Thor and Iron Man.

As the co-creator of these mythical figures, mostly with his former partner at Marvel, the late Jack Kirby, Mr. Lee has become a driving force of popular culture, though he long ago moved beyond these heroes and their home at Marvel Comics.

These days the former Marvel Comics editor and publisher is chairman of POW! (Purveyors of Wonder) Entertainment, making event appearances and filming cameos for the superhero films that are often cheered by fans as loudly as the appearance of the heroes themselves.

Q.: What is your official role with Marvel?

A.: I'm not sure. I'm still under salary with Marvel. I have my own company also, but I'm obligated to spend 15 percent of my time working for Marvel. Of course, I spend more than that because I love Marvel and I do whatever I can, and I do voice recording for a lot of their book projects, especially for little kids, and I do whatever promotion I can. I mean, I'll always be with Marvel.

Q.: Do you like the direction of Marvel, especially with the increasing emphasis on its films?

A.: How can you not like it? It's the movies really that have given Marvel the biggest boost, I believe. They've made those characters so famous worldwide.

Q.: Do you have much input into the films now?

A.: Not really. Sometimes I'll have a lunch with whoever is going to direct a new movie if he hasn't directed one of ours before. I remember once I had lunch with Robert Downey Jr. He just wanted to get my take on what Iron Man was like.

Q.: So many of Marvel's titles have made it to the big screen, but is there one superhero you think would make a great film?

A.: I think any of them if they're done right. I think that Dr. Strange would be great, and I think the Black Panther would be a major hit. …

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