Stan Lee spent his final years as Marvel’s alleged father. The comic book legend died in 2018 at the age of 85, and he lived long enough to see many of the characters he co-created dominate the multiplex, and he dropped cameos in many of those. movies. One of his collaborators, Jack Kirby, died in 1994, long before the brand he helped launch was shot in the arm. There’s a new Stan Lee documentary on Disney+, and according to Kirby’s son, it paints a distorted view of what his father and Lee have created.
My dad Neal Kirby (Jack Kirby’s son) asked me to post this written statement in response to the Stan Lee documentary released yesterday on Disney+. pic.twitter.com/V4be2xyEJg
— Jillian Kirby (granddaughter of Jack Kirby) (@Kirby4Heroes) June 17, 2023
According DeadlineJillian Kirby, the comic legend’s granddaughter, posted a lengthy message from her father Neal, in which he takes umbrage at how the doc, simply titled Stan Lee, short-circuits his father’s contributions to Marvel. Neal acknowledges that a documentary about Stan Lee, which uses his voice on the narration track, is going to provide a biased perspective on the story. Still, Neal thinks this is going too far.
“It’s no big secret that there has always been controversy over the roles played in the creation and success of Marvel characters,” Neal wrote. “Stan Lee was blessed with access to the bullhorn and corporate media, and he uses it to create his own mythos about the creation of Marvel’s pantheon of characters. He made himself the voice of Marvel.
Neal argues that Lee simply couldn’t have been the sole inventor of some of the richest characters, which didn’t come out of thin air.
“It should be noted and it is generally accepted that Stan Lee had limited knowledge of history, mythology or science,” Neal wrote. “On the other hand, my father’s knowledge of these subjects, to which I and many others can personally attest, was extensive. Einstein summed it up best; ‘The more the knowledge, the less the ego. Less knowledge, more ego.
He keeps on:
“Are we to assume that Lee was involved in the creation of every Marvel character? Are we to assume it was never the other co-creator who walked into Lee’s office and said, “Stan, I have a great character idea!” According to Lee, it was always his idea. Lee spends quite a bit of time talking about how and why he created the Fantastic Four, with only one fleeting reference to my father.
You can read Neal Kirby’s full statement in the tweet embedded above.