Comics icon Stan Lee churned out hundreds of characters during the great Marvel renaissance of the 1960s and his collaborations with artists such as Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Don Heck and John Buscema created a vast and history-making tapestry of heroes and villains. But surely there were some duds in there, too, right? That was essentially the question posed by Patt Morrison of the Los Angeles Times and it led to this answer:
“Oh, no, if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t have written it. Wait a minute, there was one. Jack Kirby and I were doing the Fantastic Four. We needed a new villain — we always worked under tremendous deadlines; we were doing dozens of books a month. I said: “Jack, I think a great name is Diablo; why don’t you draw a guy called Diablo, and we’ll give him some kind of power.” And he drew a real scary-looking guy, but I had no idea who Diablo was or where he came from. I must have batted out something and Jack drew it, and to this day I can’t remember what the Diablo story was. The only thing I ever wrote that I don’t know what it was! So I think I didn’t like that particular issue.”
That issue, by the way, was “Fantastic Four” No. 30 from the summer of 1964 (you can find a great summary of the story right here). Morrison talked to Lee about plenty of other things, too, you can find her in-depth Q&A right here. If you’re a Marvel fan, by the way, and you live in Southern California, you might want to check out the closing night of the Hero Complex Film Festival.
— Geoff Boucher
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