Comedian guide 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 sequence is not simply being irreverent in taking up Stan ‘the Man’ Lee’s public picture, however somewhat echoing real-life criticisms of ‘the Father of Superheroes.’
Stan Lee is among the most prolific names in terms of superhero comics. There’s hardly a fan alive not acquainted with 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 many of the Marvel heroes individuals know at this time. However not everybody shares the identical opinion of Stan the Man, and several other creators have even created parodies of Lee to lampoon his less-than-reputable traits. Famously, iconic collaborator Jack Kirby criticized his former enterprise companion 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 probably the most 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 prepared to promote out these closest to him. Whereas the Legend is not a carbon copy of Lee, there are moments the place the similarities change into blatantly clear (equivalent to 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 exhibits the Legend hallucinating the ghost of a former enterprise companion 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 vital of Stan Lee? The reality is that whereas Lee stays a revered cultural determine, these he labored with had loads of destructive issues to say about him. In a scathing interview with The Comics Journal, Kirby rejected the concept Lee co-created Marvel characters like Thor and the Improbable 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 complicated” 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 legal enterprise” in Abraham Riesman’s biography True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee.
After all, The Boys takes a cynical view of the complete superhero style, so somebody who embodied it like Lee was at all times going to be brutally satirized by the sequence. Nevertheless, it is plain 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 would not see that as one thing to be happy with, and takes the chance to rake Stan Lee over the coals each time the Legend seems.
Sources: The New Republic, The Comics Journal