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Stan Lee’s American pantheon

Why Stan Lee's comic creations are more than just men in tights

© Evans / Alamy Stock Photo

There’s a paragraph, early on in Liel Leibovitz’s life of Stan Lee, that pretty much causes the jaw to hit the floor and the eyeballs to pop out. It was late 1961 and comics were in the doldrums: the psychiatrist Fredric Wertham’s attack on the industry as damaging to children had led it to adopt a prudish Comics Code to avoid government regulation. Seriously considering quitting Atlas Comics (later called Marvel)…

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