Stan Lee, who almost singlehandedly (along with illustrators Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko) turned the fortunes of Marvel Comics around with his colorful and lucrative comic character creations, such as Spider-Man, The Hulk, The Fantastic Four, The X-Men, Iron Man, and Thor, and started a revolution in print and eventually television and film media which helped make him and the comic book industry a somewhat credible, facile establishment, with annual earnings reaching untold BILLIONS, turns 90 years old today!
Born in the Upper West Side of Manhattan in 1922 as Stanley Lieber, and growing up in poor squalor type surroundings during The Great Depression of the 1930s, Lee found his solace in plenty of books and cinema of that period, in particular the exploits of the characters made famous by old school actor Errol Flynn, best remembered for his portrayal of swashbucklers and Robin Hood. It led to Lee’s writing pastime, which then led to small time gigs where he wrote obits and press releases.
Today marks the birthday of one of the greatest, most influential, and innovative comic book artists of all time, the late Jack Kirby, responsible for creating and co-creating some of comicdom’s most well known and gold standard characters in the history of the genre – Captain America, The Hulk, The Fantastic Four, and The X-Men, to name a few.
The New York Times, who had written about Kirby 10 years after his death on February 1994, by which time he had amassed a portfolio of work almost tantamount to the works of Picasso or Michelangelo in his respective field, summed up the style of the man’s art this way:
Each and every week “Let’s Go Red Wings!” MK2Fac3 and “Clap! Clap! Clap, Clap, Clap!” Henchman21 read a lot of comics. Seriously you guys, a lot of comics. Maybe too many comics. I mean, it is possible”¦ theoretically. They look forward to some more than others, I mean, who doesn’t? So, let’s take a look into the depths of their pull lists, grab some comics, and we’ll let YOU know what the top books to look forward to are for the week of May 2, 2012. Single issues and trades, they’re all here.
Comics rule everything around me. So, in believing in the mantra of C.R.E.A.M., it is my pleasure to tell you about a vast array of new comic books that are coming out this week. There are a wealth of new creator owned books coming out from Image, while DC Comics guides into the Night of the Owls. Meanwhile, behind the facade of an innocent looking bookstore, your local comic shop lets Marvel showcase the latest installment of their comic about heroes fighting each other, while Dark Horse collects some shorts from Dark Horse Presents and Valiant returns! Yes, comics, indeed, rule everything around me. Hence, we offer upon you the readers, The GoD List.
There’s no doubt now that Marvel Studios’ superhero team-up spectacle The Avengers, once a gigantic question mark seemingly earmarked for a spectacular failure, is going to be the blockbuster to beat this summer.
Although its U.S. release won’t happen until this Friday, the movie is already taking in record grosses around the world and early reviews have been overwhelmingly positive; critics who were practically foaming at the mouth to excoriate the Joss Whedon-directed comic book extravaganza have hailed The Avengers as Marvel’s best film since Iron Man…or even its best film since EVER.
The movie is currently on track to open to a record-breaking first weekend here in the States. Needless to say Marvel’s gamble that has been four years in the making has paid off richly.
I have a feeling The Avengers is going to be one of the most entertaining movies we see this year. Last night the film was screened for critics and the overall reaction was extremely positive. Make no mistake, the expectations for this movie are higher than any comic book-based blockbuster made to date with the possible exception of the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises. At least we can take some comfort in knowing that it delivers where it counts, and then some.
Now, Paramount Pictures and Marvel Studios have released a brand new image of the Hulk as rendered by FX artisans Industrial Light and Magic. You can check it out here below.