"Stan Lee"

Jack Kirby’s son calls Disney+ documentary “Stan Lee” for minimizing his father’s contributions

Stan Lee’s storied career as a Marvel Comics writer is the subject of a brilliant new documentary produced by the company that now owns its most iconic characters. “Stan Lee” began streaming on Disney+ Friday after its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, and diehard Marvel fans praised David Gelb’s film for paying homage to a man who is synonymous with comics. But others criticized the film for oversimplifying a nuanced story.

Neal Kirby, the son of Lee’s longtime partner Jack Kirby, used his daughter’s Twitter account on Saturday to make a statement condemning what he sees as the film’s omission of his father’s contributions. While Lee and Kirby are credited as co-creators of most of their iconic characters, comic industry observers have long wondered whether Lee’s media persona has led to him getting a bigger share of the credit than he did. he deserved. Neal Kirby accused the documentary of perpetuating that narrative.

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“I understand that, as a ‘Stan Lee documentary,’ most of the storytelling is in his voice, literally and figuratively,” Kirby wrote. “It’s no big secret that there has always been controversy about the parts that have been played in the creation and success of Marvel characters. Stan Lee had the fortunate circumstance of having access to the bullhorn and corporate media, and he’s used it to create his own creation myths about the pantheon of Marvel characters. He made himself the voice of Marvel. So, for several decades he was “the only” man standing and blessed with a long life, the last man standing (my father died in 1994).

He continued, “Are we to assume that Lee had a hand in creating every Marvel character? We have to assume that it was never the other co-creator who walked into Lee’s office and said, “Stan, I have a great idea for a character!” According to Lee, it was always his idea. Lee spends a lot of time talking about how and why he created the Fantastic Four, with only one fleeting reference to my father.

Kirby also made fun of Lee’s intelligence, saying his father was more thorough, and infused his comics with context that Lee wouldn’t be able to add.

“It should be noted and it is generally accepted that Stan Lee had limited knowledge of history, mythology or science.” he has written. “On the other hand, my father’s knowledge of these matters, which I and many others can personally attest to, was extensive. Einstein summed it up best; ‘More knowledge, less ego. Less the knowledge, more the ego.’”