Today is the birthday of comic genius and wily television personality, Stanley Lieber, better known as Stan Lee. The Marvel writer and editor behind works such as "The Amazing Spiderman" and "The Incredible Hulk" is turning 90 years old this Friday, December 28.

stan lee birthday

A young Stanley Lieber began his comic career at Timely Comics in 1939 in New York. His initial duties included proofreading, erasing pencil marks and filling inkwells, but two years after this drudgery he enjoyed his first text-filler job in a 1941 issue of "Captain American Comics," writing under the pseudonym Stan Lee.

His first real career break arrived at 19 years old, when Timely editor Joe Simon and his creative partner Jack Kirby left the company. Lee was subsequently given the post of interim editor, but it was his talent for writing and imagining epic heroes that earned him the permanent position of editor-in-chief, a seat he would occupy until 1972 when he was made publisher of Timely's later evolution, Marvel Comics.

Lee's truly creative era began in the late 1950s, however, when DC Comics spurred a trend in superhero stories, courtesy of characters like the Flash and the Justice League of America. Lee was given the task of creating a team of heroes similar to JLA for Marvel, the result of which was the Fantastic Four. Working mostly with Kirby as well as with Bill Everett and Steve Ditko, Lee went on to devise personalities like the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, the X-Men, Daredevil, Doctor Strange and, of course, the Amazing Spider-Man.

stan lee


In his later career, Lee dabbled in work for DC Comics, refashioning heroes like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Flash for a series called, "Just Imagine..." His most recent endeavor is a new YouTube channel, aptly named "Stan Lee's World of Heroes."

We'd like to wish Mr. Lee a very happy 90th birthday. Scroll through the slideshow of Lee's greatest hits below and let us know which Marvel character is your favorite in the comments section. (We'll start you off with our fave -- Savage She-Hulk.)

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  • The Amazing Spider-Man

    In 1962 Stan Lee created the Amazing Spider-Man along with co-plotter Steve Ditko. Lee produced 100 issues, spawning characters like Mary Jane Watson and the Green Goblin. IMAGE: A rare first issue of The Amazing Spider-Man comic book series valued around $30,000. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

  • The Avengers

    The year 1963 marked the debut of the Avengers team, created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist/co-plotter Jack Kirby. The motley crew of super-heroes included the likes of Thor, the Hulk, Captain American and Iron Man.

  • Thor

    First seen in issue #83 (cover-dated Aug. 1962) of 'Journey into Mystery,' the Mighty Thor was created by Stan Lee, writer Larry Lieber and artist Jack Kirby. The series was renamed for its superhero star starting with issue #126 (March 1966).

  • The X-Men

    The Stan Lee-Jack Kirby duo is also credited with creating the X-Men team, which first appeared in 'The X-Men' #1 issue in 1963. The original characters were: Angel, the Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl, Professor X, and the supervillain Magneto.

  • Daredevil

    The blind super-hero, Daredevil, is a Stan Lee creation dating back to 1964.

  • Silver Surfer

    Stan Lee and Jack Kirby are also the comic geniuses behind the Silver Surfer, a character who first appeared in a 1966 issue of 'The Fantastic Four,' starring in its own eponymous series two years later.

  • The Incredible Hulk

    The Hulk first appeared in 'The Incredible Hulk' #1 issue in 1962, written by Stan Lee and imagined by co-plotter Jack Kirby. Lee was has cited Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde as the Hulk's inspirations.

  • The Fantastic Four

    The Fantastic Four -- consisting of Mister Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, and The Thing -- was the first superhero team created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1961.

  • BONUS #1: Strange Tales

    Though it wasn't created by Stan Lee, 'Strange Tales' spawned one of the comic writer's most acclaimed original characters -- Doctor Strange. He appeared Strange Tales issue #110 in 1963.

  • BONUS #2: Ant-Man

    So he didn't have Spidey strength, but Ant-Man deserves credit, guys. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1962, the character used shrinking technology to become an insect-sized super-detective.

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