The 100 Greatest Stan Lee Stories Ever Told: #45-41

Last 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!

45. "Doc Ock Wins!" Amazing Spider-Man #53-56 (1967)

This four-part story was the first Doctor Octopus storyline of the Stan Lee/John Romita era. Mike Esposito inked Romita on all four issues. The story follows Doctor Octopus' quest for the Nullifier, a device that can stop all mechanical devices (even simple ones like guns) when it blasts them. Before Doc Ock gets to that point, he first causes problems by becoming a boarder at Aunt May's boarding house!!

Besides the Doc Ock drama, Peter's love life is getting interesting as Gwen Stacy seems more and more interested in him. They go together on a trip to the museum, courtesy of one of their professors, a kindly man named Dr. Miles Warren who will certainly never make clones of them in the future.

Doctor Octopus finally gets the Nullifier and when he uses it on Spider-Man, a funny thing happens - it takes away Spider-Man's memory!! Uh oh...

Spidey teams up with Doctor Octopus, but something tells him that this isn't right, so he ends up turning on his new partner...

It's too late to keep the Army from thinking that Spidey is a traitor, though! Oddly enough, Spider-Man ends this storyline without his memory returned. He gets it back the following issue, after a fight with Ka-Zar.

44. "He Who Holds the Cosmic Cube!" Tales of Suspense #79-81 (1966)

This three-parter by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Frank Giacoia and Don Heck, brought the Red Skull into the modern age at the same time as the Cosmic Cube was introduced, the reality-altering device that the Red Skull gets a hold of, leading to one of the most famous battles in Captain America history (a battle that has been done and redone countless times in the years since) as Red Skull is the king of the world and no one can stand against him but Captain America...

Tremendous work.

43. "--And Who Shall Mourn For Him?" Silver Surfer #5 (1969)

Stan Lee loved the idea of using the Silver Surfer ongoing series as a way to tell slightly more profound stories about humanity and one of the stories that he was most proud of from this era came in the fifth issue, where Silver Surfer is injured and the only person to help him was an African-American scientist named Al Harper. Lee made one of the most aggressive political statements of the period for him when Harper explains why he was willing to help the Surfer out...

It reads extremely tame now, but at the time, that was quite progressive (and actually got Lee some complaints in the fan mail from readers who felt that he was making his stories "too political"). Later, the Surfer gets caught up in a deadly game with the cosmic being known as the Stranger, with Al being forced to sacrifice himself to save the world...

Awesome piece of tragedy there.

Page 2: See #42-41

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