Stan Lee, ‘X-Men’ will close out Hero Complex Film Festival

May 01, 2012 | 1:01 p.m.
stan lee office Stan Lee, X Men will close out Hero Complex Film Festival

Stan Lee (Barbara Davidson/Los Angeles Times)

Stan Lee, the living Marvel himself, will close out the 2012 Hero Complex Film Festival — and he’ll get some on-screen backup from Wolverine, Magneto and the other uncanny mutants in the landmark 2000 film “X-Men.”‘

x men poster 2000 Stan Lee, X Men will close out Hero Complex Film Festival

“X-Men” (Fox)

“An Evening with Stan Lee” will bring the 89-year-old dynamo of pop culture and co-creator of Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, the X-Men and hundreds of other characters onstage for an in-depth conversation. You could say that Lee is the most famous name in comic books who isn’t a comic-book character — but at this point he he’s appeared in so many Marvel stories — both on the page and on the screen in his movie cameos — that it’s difficult to know where Lee the creator stops and Lee the character begins.

Stanley Lieber was born in New York City on Dec. 28, 1922, but when he got his first published writing credit (it was the third issue of “Captain America Comics” in May 1941), he opted for “Stan Lee” because he thought it wise to save his real name for the respectable writing that he would do after his brief stop in comics. Last year marked his 70th anniversary in comics and he’s become a larger-than-life figure with his Barnum bombast and relentless work ethic.

Seven decades presents a lot of ground to cover but the plan is an emphasis on the Silver Age creations that filled the skies of the Marvel Universe. We’ll talk about his collaborators through the years — Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, John Romita Sr., John Buscema, the late Moebius, to name a few — and I’ll try to get him to talk not just about his triumphs, but also his disappointments.

show Stan Lee, X Men will close out Hero Complex Film Festival After the onstage segment, Lee will help introduce the night’s screening: Bryan Singer’s “X-Men,” a pivot-point in Hollywood’s approach to comic-book adaptations and the beginning of the superhero cinema as we know it now a dozen years later. The film made a star of newcomer Hugh Jackman (he’s now appeared as Wolverine in five films, counting last year’s cameo in “X-Men: First Class”) and the strong ensemble is led by Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Anna Paquin, Famke Janssen,  James Marsden, Halle Berry, Rebecca Romijn, Bruce Davison and Ray Park.

The first issue of “The X-Men” by Lee and Kirby arrived in September 1963 and presented an “outsider” saga with a school for gifted youngsters — more specifically, mutant beings who possess wondrous powers but also face fear, conspiracy and prejudice.

“The Evening with Stan Lee” will have several tributes to Lee during course of the program and of course that should include fan voices prominently. In the comments section below, post some of your thoughts about Lee, his career or his legacy and I might pick yours to read at the event (which, by the way, we will film and post here on Hero Complex).

– Geoff Boucher


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6 Responses to Stan Lee, ‘X-Men’ will close out Hero Complex Film Festival

  1. A fan says:

    I suppose this is something Stan has heard many times before, but it's my story and it'll have to do. Seventh grade was the hardest, most embarrassing years of my life. Let's just say it had to do with being introduced to sexual behavior at the wrong time, by the wrong people, under the wrong circumstances. Circumstances that became public and turned me into a paranoid wreck manifesting OCD behaviors and nervous tics all over the place, which were also noted and discussed. I got through that year by retreating into the world of 1960s Marvel superhero comics — Spiderman, Fantastic Four, Thor, the Hulk, and on and on. Those characters were my friends, as were Stan, Jack, Johnny and the rest of the Marvel Bullpen of those magic, bygone years. They didn't judge me, they led me to a place where decency and fairness triumphed, where effort was rewarded, where heroism wasn't only possible it was routine. They helped me drag myself out of the muck and carry on. For all I know they saved my life. Thank you, Stan Lee. Your work was not the least bit trivial to me.

  2. Mike says:

    I just met Stan Lee in Pittsburgh on April, 21st. He was a classy guy even when his handlers were rushing people like cattle through the autograph line. He's certainly still spry and has a spring in his step.

  3. Chris B. says:

    Much has been written and said about Stan's inspired collaborations with Kirby, Ditko and the rest, his skill at putting flawed superheros in real-life settings, his writing wit and clever dialog and his knack for making characters that are known and loved around the world 50 years later. But what is often overlooked are the supporting players that Stan co-created in the 1960s who he fully developed into individuals with colorful personalities — J. Jonah Jameson, Joe Robertson, Frederick Foswell (the criminal who turned crime reporter), Alicia Masters, Mary Jane Watson, Foggy Nelson, Happy Hogan, Wyatt Wingfoot, Gabe Jones, Hogun the Grim, the Ancient One, the Watcher, the list goes on (admittedly Stan's female lineup was weak). There would be no Marvel Universe without those characters, and certainly without Stan Lee.

  4. Jay G says:

    I had the honor of meeting Stan at Comic Con a few years ago and he could not have been any nicer. As he was walking past the attendees that were gathered in the autograph area, they stopped what they were doing and gave him an ovation and he graciously waved. The man's a class act!

  5. charlie says:

    sigh. a GOD among insects. true legend

  6. excellent submit, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of

    this sector don’t notice this. You must continue your writing. I am confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!

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