Thursday, January 15, 2009


ITEM! Under the category of misleading misprints comes this one from Brit newspaper The Guardian: “Stan Lee ‘to create world’s first gay superhero’.” Waitwhowhatwhere? I swear to Odin this stuff happens to me all the time. What the reporter (and I use the term loosely here) was trying to write a story about is my upcoming turn as executive producer on the cable TV adaptation of Perry Moore’s excellent novel, Hero. A novel that Mr. Moore wrote, by-the-by, in specific response to Marvel’s portrayal of the death of the real first openly gay superhero, Northstar. Not that’s there’s anything wrong with that.

I know that being misrepresented by the press is just the price you pay when you’re as famous, fabulous, and most of all modest, as Yours Truly is, but wallopin’ web-snappers! Plus, as the more sagacious among you already know, “executive producer” is just Hollywood speak for “sit down and shut up while we attach your name to this project to get studio funding behind it.” Goodness gracious, me. If your Uncle Stanley was in any way connected creatively with this project, I’d probably have Thom Creed team up with Stripperella after a patented Stan Lee opening scene where the two heroes mistook each other for super villains and slugged it out for about 10 minutes. While spouting a shakespearian soliloquy. In a mud wrestling pit. With Bruce Campbell as the referee. Now THAT would be entertainment, folks!



Odkin said...

Are there any "serious" novels about comics or superheroes that don't have a homosexual theme?

First "Kavalier & Clay", now "Hero". Is this just what it takes to get noticed by the media (which would be cynical opportunism on the writer's part)? Or is it just the modern artists' compulsion to muddy up anything too clean, heroic, or American?

It seems like we can no longer tolerate the idea of anything better than ourselves. We have to infuse everything good with some element of our basest behavior so we can legitimize it.

Stan the Man said...

As a writer myself, I'd propose the opposite point of view, Odkin. One of the great strengths of imaginative literature, and even mythology, is that we can use fantastic situations and exaggerated archetypes to portray ourselves and our society much more freely (and accurately) than would be possible in more realistic fictional genres. Rod Serling, Gene Roddenberry, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Yours Truly and Jack kirby — and hosts of others — knew this and used it to create potent stories that resonate with the human condition.

... and that's your bonus soapbox speech for today, Fearless Ones! Until Aunt May comes out of the closet as a Skrull sleeper agent, Keep making Yours Marvel!


Anonymous said...

I think that some gay and/or bisexual superheroes of both sexes would not only be a "natural" thing, assuming superheroes were here, but would be a great thing for all the kids who like to find more people like them. And really, as far as I am concerned, no one could do a better job than Stan Lee...

Anonymous said...

I WAS RIGHT about your so-called "funny books" all along! "Funny" indeed!

__F. Wertham, MD