Earlier this month, Stan Lee passed away at the age of 95. Lee was likely the most famous comic book creator in the history of the medium and he was the Editor-in-Chief for Marvel Comics for a remarkable three decades stint from the Golden Age through the launch of the Marvel Age of Comics. Working with iconic creators like Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, John Romita, Joe Maneely, John Buscema, Don Heck, Wallace Wood, Dick Ayers, Gene Colan and many more, Lee either co-plotted and scripted or simply scripted some of the most famous stories in the history of comics. We asked you to vote for your picks for the top comic book stories that Lee either scripted or co-plotted and scripted. Here are the results!
100. "The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants!" X-Men #4 (1964)
It pretty clear from the start of the X-Men that the most compelling character in the series was their villain in the first issue, Magneto. Therefore, it is little surprise that Lee and Kirby so quickly not only returned to Magneto in the fourth issue of the series (Kirby is inked by Paul Reinman in this issue) but also chose to expand Magneto's part of the story by giving the master of magnetism his own team of evil mutants, aptly dubbed the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Two of the members of this team, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, soon became so interesting that Lee removed them from the X-Men to make them heroes and members of the Avengers.
The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants were so striking that they were used in almost every issue after they were introduced until they were briefly written off a year into the series.
99. "The Menace of Modred the Evil!" Black Knight #1 (1955)
Before Jack Kirby returned to Marvel in the late 1950s (after being their star artist in the early 1940s, where he and Joe Simon co-created Captain America), Stan Lee's star artist was Joe Maneely. Tragically, Maneely lost his life to a bizarre accident on a commuter train where he fell between cars on the moving train. Maneely was the type of artist who was so good that Lee would go out of his way to create certain stories for him to best use his skills. Perhaps the most famous of these attempts was the short-lived, but beloved, Black Knight series. Maneely's art really shined on these stories of valiant bravery in the time of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
Lee gave the series a bit of a modern flair, with the conceit being that the Black Knight is secretly Sir Percy, a nobleman who Merlin enlists to act as the Black Knight and, in order to maintain the charade, has to publicly be a coward so that no one suspects that he is the heroic Black Knight.
Gorgeous, right? The series obviously stuck with Lee, as he later introduced a villainous Black Knight during the early years of the Marvel Age (before Roy Thomas brought the Knight back to the side of good with the introduction of Dane Whitman, the nephew of the evil Black Knight).
98. "The Silver Burper" Not Brand Echh #1 (1967)
One of the most charming attributes that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby had during the 1960s is how much they were willing to laugh at themselves. They did not take themselves too seriously at all. Lee is well known for this, but Kirby was also very wiling to poke fun at himself, so it is no surprise that they combined to do an amazing takedown of their own classic Fantastic Four work with "The Silver Burper" in the first issue of the Marvel satirical series, Not Brand Echh (inks by Frank Giacoia).
The sight gags alone are worth the price of admission!