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Archives On The Air 239: The Marvel Age Of Comics — Stan Lee Papers

By the 1960s, comic books were seen as having no redeeming social value and too simplistic for adults.

That changed in 1961 when writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby created The Fantastic Four for Marvel Comics. Their all-too-human superheroes quarreled, had amusing moments, and showed fear.

The Fantastic Four were an immediate success.

Quickly, Lee and Kirby introduced their next creation, The Incredible Hulk. But the third became best known, when in 1962 Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko created Spider-Man.

Marvel Comics became known for intelligent, thought provoking stories and innovative art.

Companies emulated Marvel to improve sales, resulting in industry-wide change.

The continuing popularity of Marvel's characters is seen in films today.

Learn more in Stan Lee's papers at UW's American Heritage Center.