Legendary writer and editor Stan Lee reflects on his 75-year career with Marvel in a new video commemorating the milestone.
Lee, who turned 94 years old last month, remembers starting out in 1939 as an assistant at what was then Timely Comics, owned by his cousin’s husband Martin Goodman. Although his duties initially involved assisting Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, they quickly grew from there.
“Strangely enough, after I was there for a short time, both Joe Simon and Jack Kirby left the company,” he recalls. “But, suddenly, I was all alone there, and the publisher said, ‘Hey, Stan, can you handle things until I get a grown-up?’ Well, when you’re 18 years old or so, what do you know? So I said, ‘Sure, I can take care of it.’ He forgot to get the grown-up, and I’ve been there ever since.”
Of course, Lee went on to become the company’s primary writer and editor-in-chief, during which time he co-created the Marvel Universe, before succeeding Goodman as publisher in 1972. He moved to the West Coast in 1981 to spearhead Marvel’s Hollywood ventures, and assumed the title of chairman emeritus.
His 75 years with Marvel was recognized in November by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, who presented Lee with a one-of-a-kind bronze statue depicting Spider-Man alongside Mickey Mouse.
“The comics can take care of themselves,” says Lee, who co-created the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Avengers, the Hulk, the X-Men, Daredevil and so many more characters. “I don’t think they need me any more for the comics.”
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