This week on the podcast, aside from playing a game whose rules could not be explained in a simple manner, the Geeks mourned Stan Lee’s death.
So, hey, they talked about their favorite Stan Lee creation. What’s mine, asked no one?
See, as much as I can and do admire Stan Lee’s various accomplishments in the early days of Marvel, many of his characters were altered by later creators into the more recognizable figures they are today. That’s fine. Most longstanding superheroes have the same thing going for them. God knows Superman now isn’t what he was in 1938. The early Daredevil was a happy-go-lucky swashbuckler while Magento was just a straight-up villain. The nuance of those characters would come later, most notably under the care of creators like Frank Miller and Chris Claremont, respectively. But a few of his creations were more or less fully formed by the time Stan finished up on them.
So, I’m gonna go with Dr. Doom.
While Doom is arguably a bit more nuanced now than he was when he first started appearing in various Marvel titles, most notably Fantastic Four, his best known characteristics are the genius, the ego, and above all, the bombast. There’s a reason Doom hasn’t been done right in the movies, and it’s because this is a guy who loves to say his own name. Of course Doom should rule all. Doom knows he’s the best. Combine that general personality that came from Stan’s dialogue with Jack Kirby’s iconic look, and you have that one villain that can threaten the entire Marvel Universe that isn’t Thanos, someone that just about every Marvel hero has faced off against at one point in time or another.
So, yeah, my pick is Doom. He’s one of the few characters, like Spider-Man and the Thing, who basically is the still the same character that Stan created. But that’s not a knock on Stan’s other creations. That other creators were able to build as much as they did off the foundation he laid is impressive by itself.
I’ll have another thing on Stan with this week’s Misplaced Heroes column, but this is all I have to say on this subject right now.