Growing up poor in New York City, Stanley Lieber escaped by reading adventure stories and dreamed of writing his own.
He began working at age 16 as an errand boy for Timely Comics magazine and got to write a Captain America story. But he signed it as Stan Lee, saving his real name for the day he would be a “real” writer.
When veteran writers quit Timely, Stan moved up to full-time writer and editor – as a teenager!
For two decades, he wrote story after story of predictable, perfect heroes as the company grew and became Marvel Comics. So boring.
His wife suggested that he write the superhero story that he’d want to read. So Stan teamed up with artist Jack Kirby, and they created the flawed yet Fantastic Four – a huge hit with comics readers!
What next? Reflecting on his own childhood, Stan invented a lonely, geeky, science-loving hero – the Amazing Spider-Man, drawn by Steve Ditko – an even bigger hit with readers!
Finally, the Marvel Comics’ bosses decided that Stan should make a series of unconventional superheroes, and the Marvel Comics Universe was born.
Continuing with Stan’s move to Hollywood as his superheroes became movie stars, this lively picturebook includes great background information. You can find free activity sheets here, courtesy of the publisher.
Who’s your favorite Marvel superhero?
Book info: With Great Power: The Marvelous Stan Lee: An Unauthorized Biography / Annie Hunter Erickson; illustrated by Lee Gatlin. Page Street Kids, 2021. [author interview] [artist site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.