With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story (2010) is a documentary co-written and co-directed by Nikki Frakes and Will Hess about Stan Lee, the co-creator, along with Jack Kirby, of a number of comic book heroes including the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, the X-Men and Iron Man, and with Steve Ditko, Spider-Man.
“I faced it all, and I stood tall, and did it my way.”
Stan Lee: “Doing comics was like, you were on the bottom rung of the creative totem pole, so to speak. Here I am, a grown man. I was in my 30s, and I’m doing juvenile things. Most of my neighbors: they were stockbrokers, they were bankers, they were businessmen, they were doctors, they were lawyers. They didn’t take me seriously. What kind of reference was the fact that you had been writing comics? So I kept staying there, because I had a wife and a baby, a child. I didn’t know where else to go. But finally, I was ready to quit by about 1960 or ’61. I had been doing it for 20 years. And I said to my wife, ‘look, I’m sure there’s something I can do. I’ll try to write a novel or something.’ And she said, ‘Stan, if you want to quit, why don’t you first do one comic book the way you’d like to do it for a slightly older audience? Write it the way you feel like writing it. Get it out of your system. The worst that can happen is you’ll be fired, but you want to quit anyway.’ When Joan finally said, ‘why don’t you do one book the way you’d like to do it?’ It was like a lightbulb exploded over my head.”
- With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story debuts on DVD (redeyechicago.com)