Stan Lee, the architect of Marvel's universe, the author of numerous comic book heroes, and the public-facing head of the Marvel comic books, listed below are his 11 best creations.
The Inhumans are a Terrific concept in-and-of-themselves: Highly Developed, superpowered, moon-dwelling distant-distant-distant cousins of humanity. But amongst a whole race of mad, impressive, and crazy-awesome personalities, Black Bolt stands out. He is the king of the Inhumans. However, his distinctive power a "quasi-sonic scream" prevents him from usually talking, which implies that even this royal, superpowered, space-god keeps the toes of clay for which Lee's personalities are most famous.
A common misconception concerning the Black Panther personality is that He had been created as a way of linking into current events, specifically the growth of the Black Panther Party. The truth though, is that the Black Panther predated the founding of the Black Panther Party by several months! It's just one of several examples of tapping into the zeitgeist Lee was at his creative peak, as he and regular co-creator Jack Kirby introduced King T'Challa, who isn't only the first black superhero, but also an early example of a non-American superhero.
Though Frank Miller is the creator most closely associated with Daredevil (and rightfully so), Matt Murdock was created decades before Miller's celebrated run by none other than Stan Lee and Namor the Sub-Mariner founder Bill Everett. Although the hardboiled noir elements of the book wouldn't really come in before Miller got his hands on him, Lee, Everett, Wally Wood, John Romita Sr, along with others assembled an iconic personality -- the blind lawyer who defends his clients by day and shields Hell's Kitchen by night -- which nonetheless retains weight today, as evidenced by the fan-favorited Netflix series.
The Wonderful Four is likely Stan Lee's single Best contribution to comics. It kicked-off the Marvel Age of comic books, reinvigorating superheroes for succeeding generations, it gave fandom a complete family of iconic heroes, and it fleshed out the Marvel Universe with many supporting characters. But on top of all that? The Fantastic Four also gave us one of the best comic book villains ever: The arrogant, brilliant, ruthless leader of Latveria...Doctor Doom.
Doctor Doom is excellent, but he is not even close to my favorite Character from Lee & Kirby's legendary Fantastic Four run. I am cheating a bit, lumping the Devourer of Worlds Galactus in with his greatest herald, the Silver Surfer, however, I think that it's probably alright, due to how closely linked the two characters are and, more importantly, how fantastic they're together. Galactus & Silver Surfer are an ideal example of the type of gonzo absurdity which Lee & Kirby played a straight face, making it palatable to children, adults, and everyone in between.
It's a widespread belief to state that the Hulk is just a Superhero Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. While there are certainly some similarities (brilliant doctor turns himself into a despicable monster), they're all very surface-level. What makes the Hulk truly special is what drives him, which is his rage. That simple twist on the older Jekyll/Hyde archetype makes it feasible to use the green giant to research all parts of anger, making him immediately recognizable to generations of comic book readers.
Like Doctor Doom and The Fantastic Four, Lee's Biggest contribution to the X-Men might be their best villain, the Master of Magnetism, Magneto. Generations of comic book creators have put their spin on the protagonist, but the core idea has primarily remained the same: Magneto is a man that while not inherently evil, is so furious at the bigotry he confronts he is forced to hit back. He was Malcolm X to Professor X's Martin Luther King, Jr. Combine this incredible motivation with the intriguing, versatile ability to control magnetic fields, and you have the recipe for one of the best comics characters of all time.
Nick Fury is, very possibly, the very flexible and malleable of Any of Stan Lee's creations. In his very first appearance, back in 1963, Nick Fury was the mind of an elite army group, as a part of this war-based Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos. By 1965, but with the explosive popularity of James Bond films, Fury had transitioned into more of a spy character. As the years have worn on, Fury did not just stay an active portion of the Marvel Universe -- he became an increasingly critical component, both in comics and film, since the head of S.H.I.E.L.D.
There was no way that Spider-Man -- one of the most popular and Lasting superheroes of all time wasn't likely to make this list. For years, Spider-Man was one of Marvel's flagship titles, ushered through countless now-iconic storylines from Lee, co-creator Steve Ditko, and the legendary John Romita, Sr. As a youth-based superhero that squared off nearly exclusively against older guys, Spider-Man was a vital part of Marvel's explosive increase in popularity.
Benjamin Grimm, The Ever-Lovin' Blue-Eyed Item, is most closely Connected with Jack Kirby, making sense, since the Lower East Side-dwelling, rough-and-tumble Jewish character had an inordinate number in common with the King of Comics. But for the most part, it was Stan Lee that gave the Thing his voice in these early years, and as such he was an essential part of creating the character among Marvel's most cherished and most complex.
Another character that had his origin in The Fantastic Four, Uatu is just one of the notions that's become so crucial to fandom, which it's easy to forget how bizarre it is. A member of this race of aliens known as the Watchers, Uatu hangs out to the moon and, you guessed it, watches things. The trick, however, is that he is bound never to interfere with what he sees going down on the Earth. However, he always finds ways to avoid this limitation.
As of right this very second, we consider these to be Stan Lee's Greatest creations. But if you were to inquire ...the list will likely be different, due to the extremely deep roster we are looking at here. Tell us your favorite Stan Lee creations in the comments!
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