Comedian ebook legend Stan Lee is beloved by followers all over the place, however The Boys is surprisingly savage with its satire of the icon. Nevertheless, the collection is not simply being irreverent in taking over Stan ‘the Man’ Lee’s public picture, however somewhat echoing real-life criticisms of ‘the Father of Superheroes.’
Stan Lee is without doubt one of the most prolific names relating to superhero comics. There’s hardly a fan alive not conversant in the creator’s works or his many cameos within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The cultural picture of Lee presents him as an affable hype-man who helped create a lot of the Marvel heroes folks know in the present day. However not everybody shares the identical opinion of Stan the Man, and a number of other creators have even created parodies of Lee to lampoon his less-than-reputable traits. Famously, iconic collaborator Jack Kirby criticized his former enterprise accomplice by creating the sleazy businessman Funky Flashman in DC’s “Fourth World” epic.
The Boys’ Legend Embodies Actual-World Criticisms of Stan Lee
The Boys went far additional with its criticisms of Lee by creating some of the repugnant parodies ever seen in comics. In The Boys #7 by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, Billy Butcher introduces Hughie to the Legend, a cutthroat PR man who labored for Vought-American and created the backstories for the world’s quite a few Supes. The Legend is foul-mouthed, misogynistic, corrupt, and keen to promote out these closest to him. Whereas the Legend is not a carbon copy of Lee, there are moments the place the similarities turn out to be blatantly clear (reminiscent of referencing Lee’s catchphrases “Face entrance, True Believer!” and “Excelsior!“) The parody takes issues a step additional in The Boys #67 by Ennis and Russ Braun when it reveals the Legend hallucinating the ghost of a former enterprise accomplice who it is implied he cheated out of credit score.
The Legend Is the Final Criticism of Stan Lee
However why is The Boys so important of Stan Lee? The reality is that whereas Lee stays a revered cultural determine, these he labored with had loads of damaging issues to say about him. In a scathing interview with The Comics Journal, Kirby rejected the concept that Lee co-created Marvel characters like Thor and the Incredible 4, saying “Stan Lee and I by no means collaborated on something! I’ve by no means seen Stan Lee write something.” Kirby additionally said that Lee had a “God advanced” and “took benefit of whoever was working for him.” Kirby is not the one one with harsh phrases for Lee. Steve Ditko extensively criticized Lee for initially denying him credit score as Spider-Man’s co-creator (one thing Lee later recanted), and The New Republic cites Roy Thomas (Lee’s successor as Marvel’s editor-in-chief) describing Lee as a “complete firm man.” In the meantime, Lee’s POW! Leisure was described as “a largely felony enterprise” in Abraham Riesman’s biography True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee.
In fact, The Boys takes a cynical view of the whole superhero style, so somebody who embodied it like Lee was at all times going to be brutally satirized by the collection. Nevertheless, it is simple that the favored picture of Stan Lee as a grasp of comedian creation is undercut by the accounts of many individuals who labored with him instantly. No matter his involvement in creating iconic characters, Lee made immense contributions to the recognition of Marvel’s heroes, however The Boys does not see that as one thing to be pleased with, and takes the chance to rake Stan Lee over the coals each time the Legend seems.
Sources: The New Republic, The Comics Journal