Stan Lee has been a pop culture figure for close to forty years, and through his work in the field of comics, television and movies has generated a ton of publicity and news. Stan Lee, even more than most media figures, is reknowned for self-promotion. Authors Jordan Raphael and Tom Spurgeon have written this elaborately subtitled book to discuss and revamp the history of both Stan Lee and the comic book industry.
The book follows Stan Lee all the way from his childhood in the rough streets of New York City, to his early career at Atlas Comics during World War Two through the uneventful years of the 50s up to the famed Marvel Era and beyond. The book investigates each major era (and Stan's contributions to it) from the views of different players, including the industry, and artists and writers of both the mainstream and underground. Many major conflicts, including the legal and moral battle between Stan Lee and Jack Kirby over the rights to the creation of the Marvel Universe are addressed, with a very even hand.
Even when I was eight years old and reading Marvel, I could tell from Stan Lee's soapbox that he was full of hot air. This book reaches much the same conclusion, explaining many times when Stan Lee exagerated or outright lied about his accomplishments. However, the book also points out that Stan Lee's boasting is hardly unfounded, and that however much he seems to be playing for applause from all angles, his desire to entertain people is very genuine.
This is a very interesting book for comic book fans, and may also be an interesting book for those who wish to know more about the history of comics.