Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Stan Lee 100

Stan Lee was born 100 years ago on this date.  

Remembering the man and his life (December 28, 1992 to November 12, 2018), with a group of Marvel Comics that he wrote...

...that were one hundred issues!

Strange Tales #100 (September, 1962)

The first of the Stan Lee 100 issues, with a cover drawn by Jack Kirby and inked by Steve Ditko (names that would always be there to help Stan Lee reach his heights).

Though there were a few Marvel super heroes at this time, this anthology book was still odd horror tales, with stories plotted by Stan, and likely written by Larry Leiber, with art by Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and Don Heck.

This issue was reprinted in the Marvel: June 1962 Omnibus (2021).

The next issue of Strange Tales would see half the book taken over by the Fantastic Four's Human Torch, with Doctor Strange and Nick Fury to follow in years to come.

Journey Into Mystery #100 (January, 1964)

Here begins a run of stories that Stan Lee would be better known for, this one featuring Thor, the god of thunder!

Under a cover by Jack Kirby and Sol Brodsky, with interior work by Don Heck, Thor faced off against Mr. Hyde (who debuted in the previous issue).  While successful against Mr. Hyde, Jane Foster did not impress Thor's father, Odin, and thus Odin would not allow Thor to marry the young nurse Thor was infatuated with.

This tale has been reprinted many times, including in Thor's first Marvel Masterworks, and his first Epic Collection.

Tales To Astonish #100 (February, 1968)

This issue features a battle royal between the two characters, Hulk and the Sub-Mariner, that shared the title.

With a cover by Marie Severin and Dan Adkins (who also did the inside, with a little inking assistance from Roger Brand), the two heroes often branded villains battled (though it was the fault of neither...the Hulk was being controlled by the Fantastic Four villain, the Puppet Master).

Among other places, this story was reprinted in the third Hulk Marvel Masterwork and in the third Hulk Epic Collection (and would fit in a second Sub-Mariner Epic Collection whenever Marvel makes one).

Captain America #100 (April, 1968)

Here, Stan Lee returns to a character he had worked on since World War II (as Captain America took over the Tales To Suspense title that he had shared with Iron Man).

Jack Kirby supplied the cover (with inks by Syd Shores and Joe Sinnott), with interiors by Kirby and Shores, where Cap, Black Panther and Agent 13 (Sharon Carter) battle who they think is Baron Zemo in Wakanda, defeating the man, with Cap suggesting to Black Panther to join the Avengers as his replacement (which he would).  The issue also features a bit on Steve Rogers' origin, and his meeting with the Avengers.

This issue was reprinted in Captain America's second Marvel Masterwork as well as in his second Epic Collection (and a few other places).

Fantastic Four #100 (July, 1970)

Stan Lee's great triumphant issue 100, where he had written all the previous issues of as well, along with Jack Kirby.

Here, with Kirby inked by Joe Sinnott, the Fantastic Four, along with Inhuman Crystal (who was a part of the team), battled all the FF foes...sort of.  The Mad Thinker and Puppet Master had made android duplicates of the villains, and set them against the five heroes, in an epic tale, celebrating 100 issues with the same writer/artist.

This issue would be reprinted in the tenth Fantastic Four Marvel Masterwork, as well as in their sixth Epic Collection.

Amazing Spider-Man #100 (September, 1971)

Another Stan Lee triumph, as he had written all of the issues previously, though here, he had a few artists working with him over the decades, including Steve Ditko and John Romita.

Under a cover by John Romita and Frank Giacoia, with interiors by Gil Kane and Frank Giacoia (and backgrounds by Tony Mortellaro), Peter Parker struggled with his spider powers (nothing new), faced hallucinations of his old foes (new and old), and, by the end, ended up with six arms (totally new).  Hey, Stan could always put Peter through his paces, and an anniversary issue was no exception!

This issue was reprinted in the eleventh Amazing Spider-Man Marvel Masterwork, and in the sixth Epic Collection of that series.

Truly, a touch of the career that was Stan Lee's, and a nice look at the overall history he created, on this, what would have been his 100th birthday.



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