Stan Lee is a well-beloved figure who is best known for creating the famous Marvel brand of superheroes. His status has given him a legacy that’ll never die, and he even cameoed in every Marvel movie when he was alive. However, while Stan Lee created plenty of characters within the Marvel universe, he didn’t create all of them. In fact, Captain America, the very first Marvel superhero, was created twenty years before Lee got into the comic business. This begs the question of whether truly created Marvel into the phenomenon it is today.
Lee got his start with Marvel in 1961. His goal was to try and make heroes feel realistic, to make the “unreal real.” In order to accomplish this, Lee created the Fantastic Four as his very first superheroes. Through them, he showed that even heroes make mistakes and also deal with the same issues most people go through. Fantastic Four comics really took off once they were published. Fans loved reading about these four imperfect heroes who come together to do the best they can.
After the success of the Fantastic Four, Lee created Spider-Man in 1962. A teenaged superhero was unheard of and there was worry that Spider-Man wouldn’t resonate with fans. On the contrary, Spider-Man blew up in popularity and Lee’s career in superhero comics took off. Ever since then, he’s come up with some of the most iconic characters known today such as the Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Black Widow, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, etc. Those aren’t even the only ones he created; they just happen to be the most popular, currently. He’s even had a hand in creating quite a few villains like Green Goblin, Loki, Magneto, and Kingpin to name a few.
The reason Lee is considered the face of Marvel might have to do with the fact that Iron Man was the character that made superheroes big in the movie industry. This kickstarted superheroes becoming a big trend in all forms of media.
It’s important to keep in mind that while Lee created a lot of Marvel characters, he didn’t create every single one or Marvel itself. Some of the characters he came up with were also created by the likes of Jack Kirby and other artists. However, Lee played a big hand in Marvel becoming as big as it is today. Through his marketing of the brand and his continuous creativity, he kept Marvel alive.