WHAT: The recent death of comic book writer Stan Lee launched a multitude of tributes and accelerated interest in his works. Lee fever ran so high that a first issue of his “The Incredible Hulk” comic book sold last month in a Huggins & Scott auction for $167,280. Produced for Marvel Comics, the May 1962 issue was part of a renaissance of superhero comics. The man behind the movement was Lee, born Stanley Lieber in 1922. He was a giant in the comics world and a fan favorite from the 1940s to the end.
MORE: A master storyteller, Lee created a new generation of story-driven heroes including Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, and the X-Men.
In his work for Marvel, Lee co-created with selected artists. For the first Hulk comic, the artist was Jack Kirby. The success of the Hulk comic series led to a TV series as well as several films, including Marvel Studios’ “The Incredible Hulk.”
SMART COLLECTORS KNOW: Comics from Lee’s heyday are called Silver Age and date roughly from 1956 to 1970. Note that his importance ran well into successive eras. Along the way he transformed Marvel from a small publisher to a multimedia powerhouse.
HOT TIP: A key factor in the appeal of Lee’s stories was that he gave characters emotional depth. All was not just “Pow!” and insane action.