The History of 'Stan Lee Presents' at Marvel Comics

I will continue to celebrate Stan Lee's legacy in comic books (and more) with this series, The Life and Times of Stan Lee.

Reader R.J. G. (and, separately, reader Derek B.) wrote in with this one. The phrase "Stan Lee Presents" has a long history at Marvel Comics, but how did it actually come about? And when did it end? Let's take a look!

RELATED: How Stan Lee's Defiance Changed the Comics Code Forever

Obviously, as you all know by now, one of the interesting things about the Marvel Age of Comics is that Stan Lee was very open about WHO the people were who were producing the comics. He might not have credited them the way that he should, but he DID credit them all. This, of course, included himself, who was almost always credited first in the comics.

Even when he eventually began to give Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby special credits in their books unlike other artists, including noting that Ditko was plotting Amazing Spider-Man by himself and that Jack Kirby was more than just the artist of Fantastic Four, Lee's name went first, as the "Script and Editing" for Amazing Spider-Man...

and as the first name of "Stan Lee and Jack Kirby" in Fantastic Four...

(It's weird that Kirby was never given official plotting credit like Ditko got in Amazing).

This, of course, led Marvel Comics readers to associate Stan Lee with their favorite comic books. He slowly but surely became one of the first true celebrities associated with comic books.

Therefore, even when Stan stopped writing a comic book, they continued to list Stan's name first as the editor of the comic book...

It's only logical, of course, as Marvel, of course, wanted to highlight to the fans that Stan was still heavily involved in the comics, so they should keep on reading them just like they always did.

Then, of course, Stan Lee was promoted to Publisher and President of Marvel Comics. Roy Thomas was now Marvel's Editor-in-Chief. He still wanted to keep Stan's name in the comics, of course, so he came up with the clever idea of having Stan Lee PRESENT the comic. He was, after all, still Marvel's Publisher and President, right? So it was all above board!

This soon evolved into an actual special logo that would go along with the books as the header...

In 1975, Stan Lee (who was still heavily involved in the comics at this point, as he would remain for the rest of the decade, just in a more and more reduced capacity as time went by until he moved to California in 1981, at which point he reeeeally stopped being involved in the day to day production of the comics) came up with the idea of having blurbs at the front of the comic books that would tell the reader the concept of the comic book....

These blurbs would become constant presences in Marvel Comics for the next two decades, and as such, "Stan Lee Presents" became ingrained in the minds of Marvel Comics readers.

Two hundred issues later, they still remained there!

Of course, a number of times in the years between those 200 issues, various writers eliminated the blurbs in their comics and just went with a brief "Stan Lee Presents."

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