Stan Lee (born Stanley Martin Lieber 28 December 1922 - 12 November 2018) was an American writer, editor, and memoirist, who — with several artist co-creators, especially Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko — introduced complex, naturalistic characters and a thoroughly shared universe into superhero comic books.
- WITH GREAT POWER THERE MUST ALSO COME--GREAT RESPONSIBILITY!
- Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962) – The first Spider-Man story.
- In later stories and adaptations, including the 2002 movie, this has appeared as "With great power comes great responsibility."
- The saying pre-dates Amazing Fantasy. The phrase "with great power goes great responsibility" was spoken by J. Hector Fezandie in an 1894 graduation address at The Stevens Institute of Technology - "The Moral Influence of a Scientific Education", The Stevens Indicator, Volume 11, Page 217. The exact phrase was repeated during a speech by President Harry S. Truman in November 1950 - Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Harry S. Truman, 6666 (published 1965), Page 703. A UK Member of Parliament implied in 1817 that a variant of it was already a cliché (Thomas C. Hansard, ed (1817). Parliamentary Debates. p. 1227. Retrieved on October 10, 2013. "He should, however, beg leave to remind the conductors of the press of their duty to apply to themselves a maxim which they never neglected to urge on the consideration of government—" that the possession of great power necessarily implies great responsibility."" The editor is quoting William Lamb (pp. 1125–1229)). The sentiment is also found in Luke 12:48: "from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked" (NIV).
- Closing signature line on "Stan Lee's Soapbox" editorial pages, since the 1960s.
- See, for example, Web of Spider-Man 84 (January 1992)
- 'Nuff Said!
- Often-used line on "Stan Lee's Soapbox" editorial pages, since the 1960s.
- Face front, true believer!
- Often-used line on "Stan Lee's Soapbox" editorial pages.
- In the early days, I was writing scripts for virtually all the books, and it was very hard to keep all the artists busy; poor little frail me, doing story after story. So I'd be writing a story for Kirby, and Steve Ditko would walk in and say, 'Hey, I need some work now.' And I'd say, 'I can't give it to you now, Steve, I'm finishing Kirby's.' But we couldn't afford to keep Steve waiting, because time is money, so I'd have to say, 'Look Steve, I can't write a script for you now, but here's the plot for the next Spider-Man. Go home and draw anything you want, as long as it's something like this, and I'll put the copy in later.' So I was able to finish Jack's story. Steve in the meantime was drawing another story.....Okay, it started out as a lazy man's device...but we realized this was absolutely the best way to do a comic.....Don't have the writer say, 'Panel one will be a long shot of Spider-Man walking down the street.' The artist may see it differently; maybe he feels it should be a shot of Spider-Man swinging on his web, or climbing upside-down on the ceiling or something.
- On the early days of work at Marvel Comics. Interview (1975)
- They are working on The Fantastic Four, The Silver Surfer, Iron Man, Dr. Strange, The Hulk— they're doing a sequel to Spider-Man, a sequel to X-Men, and probably a third sequel to Blade. They still haven't gotten around to Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.— they have to do the Ghost Rider.
- On characters he created in comic books which are being used as the basis of movies. Interview at the DareDevil movie premiere (February 2003).
- To me you can wrap all of Judaism up in one sentence, and that is, 'Do not do unto others...' All I tried to do in my stories was show that there's some innate goodness in the human condition. And there's always going to be evil; we should always be fighting evil.
- As comics writers we had to have villains in our stories. And once World War II started, the Nazis gave us the greatest villains in the world to fight against. It was a slam dunk.
- What did Doctor Doom really want? He wanted to rule the world. Now, think about this. You could walk across the street against a traffic light and get a summons for jaywalking, but you could walk up to a police officer and say "I want to rule the world," and there's nothing he can do about it, that is not a crime. Anybody can want to rule the world. So, even though he was the Fantastic Four's greatest menace, in my mind, he was never a criminal!
- On Doctor Doom, in Stan Lee's Amazing Marvel Universe (2006) by Roy Thomas
- "We tried to make our characters as human and empathetic as possible. Instead of merely emphasizing their super feats, we attempted to make their personal life and personal problems as realistic and as interesting as possible. We wanted to make them seem like real people whom the reader would like to spend time with and want to know better.
- "Another definition of a hero is someone who is concerned about other people's well-being, and will go out of his or her way to help them -- even if there is no chance of a reward. That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero."
- "Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you" is the greatest phrase ever written. If everyone followed that creed, this world would be a paradise.
- The worst advice Stan Lee ever gave me: “Work with the devil himself if he has talent.”
Quotes about Lee
- When my father died, no one from Marvel or Disney reached out to me. From day one, they have commoditized my father's work and never shown him or his legacy any respect or decency. In the end, no one could have treated my father worse than Marvel and Disney's executives.
- Joan Lee, as quoted in Stan Lee's daughter: 'No one could have treated my father worse than Marvel and Disney's executives' (August 22, 2019) by Sarah Whitten, CNBC.