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 (stories that Lee "only" plotted weren't included). Here are the results!
90. "Spider-Man/Spider-Man vs. the Chameleon!" Amazing Spider-Man #1 (1962)
This was a a weird one, since the vast majority of the votes for this one were for simply "Amazing Spider-Man #1," but, well, there are TWO stories in Amazing Spider-Man #1, so which one did people mean to vote for? Since I wasn't very well going to e-mail a bunch of people just to clarify what story that they intended, I'm just going to let the two stories in the issue share this spot.
The first story, dubbed simply "Spider-Man," sets up Spider-Man's adversarial relationship with J. Jonah Jameson, as we see that Jameson has used his media empire to turn the public against Spider-Man. Spidey figured that when Jameson's astronaut son's capsule is in danger, he could both save a life and get Jameson off of his back by saving John Jameson. It did not work out that way...
In the second story in the issue, we got a meeting between Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, with Spidey looking to get a job from the team. This issue came out the same week as Fantastic Four #12, so they both count as the first time that characters from different Marvel titles met each other, thus firmly establishing the existence of the Marvel Universe.
89. "The Fury of the Femizons" Savage Tales #1 (1971)
As the 1970s began, Stan Lee began to try to push Marvel to be more and more innovative. One of the things that he wanted was for them to be able to go beyond the limits of the Comics Code. However, he was restrained a good deal by Marvel's publisher at the time, Martin Goodman (Goodman had sold the company a few years earlier but he was still in charge). Thus, when Stan Lee wanted to do black and white magazines that would not need to be approved by the Code, just like how Warren was doing with Creepy and Eerie and EC was doing with Mad, Goodman pushed back but finally allowed him to try Savage Tales. It lasted just a single issue, but when Lee himself succeeded Goodman as publisher, he made the black and white line a big part of his new stint as publisher.
Anyhow, while Savage Tales only lasted one issue in this specific incarnation, it was a good one, at least, with Stan himself contributing a story with art by John Romita. The story is about a futuristic world dominated by women (or Femizons). One of the members of the female ruling class, though, is forced to look beyond her gender to the suffering of the men of the world...
Beyond the outstanding Romita artwork, the story ends with a very dark twist for a Stan Lee comic book story.
88. "Captives of the Deadly Duo!" Fantastic Four #6 (1962)
Six issues before we saw the first meeting between characters from different Marvel heroes, we got the first step in a quasi-Marvel Universe when Doctor Doom, an issue after he debuted, teaming up with Namor, two issues after Namor himself made his Silver Age debut. The Doom/Namor relationship is great, as they are sort of like a super-villain Odd Couple, as Namor isn't really a villain so much as a jerk while Doom is, well, a SUPER-villain.
Of course, Doom being Doom, he betrays Namor, as well, and LAUNCHES THE FANTASTIC FOUR'S HOME INTO OUTER SPACE!!
How amazing is that idea? Kirby and Lee were so damned creative on this series.