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A Brief History of Stan Lee's DC Comics Work

It's hard to say more about Stan Lee than what has already been written. He was an innovator of the comic book craft and pushed the boundaries of creativity at a time when it was needed most. But most of all, Stan Lee is remembered as the idea man that brought an entire fictional universe to life. Everyone knows what he provided Marvel Comics, but what about DC Comics? Believe it or not, the face of Marvel also did some work for its biggest rival.

RELATED: DC Comics Honors the Life of Stan 'The Man' Lee

Together with artists like Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, Bill Everett, and Don Heck, Lee brought Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Daredevil, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Black Panther, Doctor Strange and Ant-Man into the world. After so many years of success at one company, how could Stan Lee's work at DC ever hope to live up to his name?

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To be frank, it can't, but that's okay. He only had a few credits to his name outside of the Marvel imprint, and despite the fact that his work at DC has been mostly forgotten, it is still appropriate to pay homage to everything he contributed to the industry, no matter how small and inconsequential it may seem to have been. Any time you get to read Stan the Man, you take it and you enjoy it.

An Ode to Batman and Superman

Stan Lee's first credit in a DC Comics publication came in the Detective Comics #600 anniversary issue from 1989. The main story is the final chapter of the three-part "Blind Justice" from Sam Hamm, Denys Cowan, Dick Giordano and Frank McLaughlin.

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However, DC brought together notable comic book writers and artists to add additional content to the back of the book. While Neal Adams and Will Eisner contributed pinups, Julius Schwartz and... Penn and Teller... wrote odes to the Dark Knight. Stan? He wrote a poem to Batman.

RELATED: How Stan Lee Helped Create the Modern Superhero Universe

His final work for DC was a story starring the publisher's other icon in 2004's DC Comics Presents: Superman #1. The issue was part of a series of one-shots that paid homage to the recently departed former editor Julius Schwartz.

Each issue followed Schwartz's practice of using covers as a starting point for the story. Lee was paired with Darwyn Cooke for his issue — a dream team if there ever was one. It would seem, if anything, that Stan's superpower was to work with the best artists of the age, and there were few in greater demand in 2004 than Cooke.

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Next Page: Find Out What Stan Lee's Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman Looked Like

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