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Happy Birthday Stan Lee! (December 28th)

Taking a look at Stan Lee's epic 91 years!

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1. Stan Lee Was Born Stanley Martin Lieber.

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When he started writing comic books, he decided to use the non de plume Stan Lee because he wanted to save his real name for the great novel he would write one day. Something tells me that novel may never see the light of day.

2. One Of Stan Lee's First Jobs Was Writing Obituaries!

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Not exactly the way many great writers would like to have started out but Stan Lee did this part-time for the National Tuberculosis Center. Maybe that is the reason why Marvel's characters never really stay dead. That would have quite an effect on me as well.

3. Stan Lee Joined The Army In 1942.

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He would serve in the Army for the duration of World War II until 1945 serving stateside as part of the Signal Corps where he would write manuals, training film scripts, and slogans for the Army's World War II home front efforts. Occasionally he would also do cartooning while part of the Signal Corps.

4. Stan Lee Is A Quasi-Movie Star!

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Since 2000’s X-Men, Lee has appeared in 16 films based on Marvel Comics characters – characters that he either created or helped create during his time with Marvel. My personal favorite cameos of his are from Daredevil, Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger and The Amazing Spider-Man.

5. Stan Lee Is The Recipient of the 2,428th Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame.

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You can find Stan Lee’s star at 7072 Hollywood Boulevard in front of the Live Nation Building and he was awarded the honor on January 4, 2011. Presenting him the award was POW! COO and president Gill Champion and comic book artist Todd McFarlane.

6. Martin Goodman Saw Something In Stan Lee In 1941!

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When Stan Lee was only 19 years old, Goodman named Lee interim editor at Timely Comics (as Marvel was known at the time). Mainly due to the departure of Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, that Goodman felt that Stan Lee was his best choice says a lot about his eventual potential as a creator.

7. Spider-Man And The Case Of The Hyphen!

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Back when Stan Lee was creating Peter Parker's alter ego in 1962 DC's Superman was one of the biggest comics out there. Lee was worried about his new hero (who wears those similar blue and red colours, and has a name that starts with an "S") would be glossed over as too similar.

That was when he inserted the hyphen, so the cover of Spider-Man comics would have the two words broken up to create a look distinct from Superman. The difference essentially persists to this day, as Spider-Man is among the only major superheroes to have a hyphen randomly inserted into his name.

8. Ironman.

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“I think I gave myself a dare. It was the height of the Cold War. The readers, the young readers, if there was one thing they hated, it was war, it was the military. So I got a hero who represented that to the hundredth degree. He was a weapons manufacturer, he was providing weapons for the Army, he was rich, he was an industrialist. I thought it would be fun to take the kind of character that nobody would like, none of our readers would like, and shove him down their throats and make them like him ... And he became very popular.”

9. Marvel Comics.

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Stan Lee who worked for Marvel as a writer for hire sued Marvel in 2005 because he was hurt by Marvel Comics’ decision to keep profits from him over his 60 years with the company

10. He almost left the business.

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Multiple accounts say that by the mid-1950’s, after a brief stint in the U.S. Army (1942-1945) and having written everything from adventure to romance, an unhappy Lee considered quitting the comic business entirely. An opportunity to create his own brand of heroes, starting with the Fantastic Four, kept him in the game.

11. He’s created more major characters than you might know!

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Lee went on to help create a huge portion of Marvel’s now-iconic comic characters including the Fantastic Four, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, X-Men (with Jack Kirby), Daredevil (with Bill Everett), Doctor Strange (with Steve Ditko), and Spider-Man (with Steve Ditko).

12. You can experience being Stan Lee for yourself!

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That is, if you bought The Amazing Spider-Man video game adaptation of the movie. One of the exclusive offers for the game was playing a short side-quest via DLC where you play as Stan himself looking for lost pages of his manuscript while using all the powers at Spider-Man’s disposal. For some fans, this is a dream come true.

14. Alliteration: Silver Surfer. Fantastic Four. Green Goblin.

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Stan Lee of Marvel Comics gave several of his characters alliterative names so they’d be easier to remember.

Betty Brant, Bruce Banner, Doctor Doom, Fantastic Four, Green Goblin, Happy Hogan, J. Jonah Jameson, Matt Murdoch, Otto Octavius, Pepper Potts, Peter Parker, Silver Surfer, Sue Storm, Stephen Strange, Scott Summers, Wade Wilson, Warren Worthington III...if you couldn’t tell by now, Stan Lee is OBSESSED with alliteration! Over the years, his constant consonance has developed not only into a personal trademark, but also into an industry cliché!

His reasons for using this literary technique are actually threefold:

1. He has a terrible memory

2. It would stick with the reader more

3. He just REALLY likes alliteration

15. His Best Quotes!

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1. "There is only one who is all powerful, and his greatest weapon is love." - Lee in Silver Surfer

2. "I'm a frustrated actor. My ... goal is to beat Alfred Hitchcock in the number of cameos. I'm going to try to break his record." - Feb. 6, 2006

3. "I never thought that Spider-Man would become the world wide icon that he is. I just hoped the books would sell and I'd keep my job." - Mar. 13, 2006

4. "With great power there must also come ... great responsibility!" - Amazing Fantasy #15, Aug. 1962

5. "I'm no prophet, but I'm guessing that comic books will always be strong. I don't think anything can really beat the pure fun and pleasure of holding a magazine in your hand, reading the story on paper, being able to roll it up and put it in your pocket, reread again later, show it to a friend, carry it with you, toss it on a shelf, collect them, have a lot of magazines lined up and read them again as a series. I think young people have always loved that. I think they always will."

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