Stan Lee’s ‘Strange’ con­fes­sion

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FEATURES - By Bob Strauss South­ern Cal­i­for­nia News Group

Stan Lee has been to a screen­ing of the “Doc­tor Strange” movie.

The 93-year-old writer/ ed­i­tor/in­ven­tor of much of the Marvel comic uni­verse would like to tell you what he thought of it, but he can’t.

“I’m go­ing to make a con­fes­sion to you,” Lee said dur­ing a re­cent phone in­ter­view for the L.A. Comic Con that bears his name. “I don’t see very well, and I don’t hear very well. I saw the screen, and I could make out, vaguely, what was go­ing on, but I’m not sure. And I couldn’t un­der­stand a word that was said!

“So I can’t wait un­til it comes out on a disc, to get it home and ad­just ev­ery­thing to just the level that I can get. But what I saw looked pretty good to me, what­ever the hell it was.”

While Lee wrote most of the early, sur­real comics, which be­gan ap­pear­ing in Strange Tales #110 in the sum­mer of 1963, much of the credit for cre­at­ing the Sorcerer Supreme is gen­er­ally given to its orig­i­nal artist, Steve Ditko. Wor­shipped by fans to al­most the same ex­tent as Lee’s other key Marvel col­lab­o­ra­tor, Jack Kirby, Ditko had brought his boss’s most pop­u­lar cre­ation, Spi­der-Man, to vis­ual life a year ear­lier.

Don’t ex­pect to hear the artist’s opin­ion of the “Doc­tor Strange” movie ei­ther, though. Ditko stopped mak­ing pub­lic state­ments and ap­pear­ances decades ago, and fans and jour­nal­ists who have come to the steel door of his New York stu­dio have been po­litely but quickly turned away. In 2012, he did tell the New York Post that he hadn’t made any money from the suc­cess­ful “Spi­der-Man” movies.

“I’ve never spo­ken to Ditko,” says Marvel Studios Pres­i­dent Kevin Feige. “I’ve spo­ken to peo­ple who’ve spo­ken to Ditko, but I’ve not knocked on his door, which I think is what you have to do.

“I hope he sees it,” Feige says of the “Strange” film. “I don’t know if he’ll ever see the movies or read any of this stuff, but it cer­tainly is an at­tempt to be a love let­ter to his ge­nius. I’d love to think he would see it some­time.”

PHOTO BY JOHN MCCOY — LOS AN­GE­LES DAILY NEWS (SCNG)

Stan Lee at­tends Los An­ge­les’s Comic Con at the Los An­ge­les Con­ven­tion Cen­ter.

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