Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pow! Stan Lee Hit by Lawsuit

Stan Lee's Posse

An amusing lawsuit -- at least to outsiders -- was filed in California Superior Court the other day.  The plaintiff is a 29-year-old guy.  The defendants are Stan Lee, perhaps the most legendary comic book artist of all time; Lee's wife, and their daughter.
Stan Lee

The aggrieved complainant worked as an executive assistant to Lee for less than a year, and it appears he was not treated well.  According to him, the Lees "constantly reminded (him) how lucky he was to work for the most powerful people in the industry." The Lees, he claims, advised him to "'suck it up' and be thankful for the abuse."

The plaintiff claims further that he was told he had done a "shitty job" on a project that was "fucking embarrassing."  He was called "fucking stupid" and referred to as a "fucking idiot," a "fucking asshole," and a "retarded asshole" by the three Lees.  His 40-hour workweek actually required him to be on call 24-7-365. His hourly compensation was dropped from $40 to $25 after several months on the job. He was fired after driving Lee's pot-smoking daughter to San Francisco --  "Get out of my fucking car. You are done. You are done." -- and left to find his way home with no money or transportation.

The former assistant says he was diagnosed with psychiatric and internal injuries related to his work, leading him to file a claim for the injuries.  After he did so, he says the Lees "embarked on a further course of disparaging plaintiff and accused him of criminal conduct," according to the complaint.  The man wants punitive damages on nine counts.

Everyone in the superhero comic world respects Stan Lee, but many people over the years have described him as an SOB.  Still, It is not surprising that an ambitious young person would jump at the opportunity to work for Lee.   

Some people can put up with a lot of abuse and trauma in their work, but most cannot. We'll see if the plaintiff gets peace of mind and financial satisfaction after his day in court. 

Stan Lee 

Stan Lee, 92, is a big, big, big deal in the world of comics, a field he entered when he was a teenager.  Over a career at DC Comics and, later, Marvel Comics, he created and popularized characters that have been loved for generations.  

Many of Lee's most popular characters were developed during the 1960s when he led Marvel and, facing a bleak market, began to release a new style of comic book series based on superheroes with actual personalities.   Films based on those characters have netted billions of dollars for Marvel Studios, now a part of Disney.  

Lee is not on staff at Marvel these days, but he draws a large sum annually from the company and appears in cameos in Marvel movies -- this summer as a military veteran and bartender in "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and "Ant-Man," respectively.

He also keeps busy with other projects.

This year, Lego included Lee in a superheroes product introduction.  Here's a promo:

In 2010, Lee co-created and narrated a three-year History Channel series called "Stan Lee's Superhumans."  According to the History site: "In each episode, Stan Lee explores a single theme that inspired his comic book creations–including fear, super-strength, genetic mutation and immunity to pain. To investigate each theme, Stan sends rubber-boy Daniel Browning-Smith (the World’s Most Flexible Man) on a global search to test the claims of four individuals–all rumored to have these real-life comic-book powers–to find out if they really are…Superhuman." 

In 2002, Lee appeared as himself in a "Simpsons" episode to encourage Bart in his efforts to create comic books.  The result was a series called Angry Dad, based of course on Homer, who became enraged and fell into a Bart-sprung trap, a large vat of green paint.  Homer emerges from the dunking looking like a Lee character, the Incredible Hulk.

Stan Lee met and shared stories with the Simpsons creative team, and from all reports they they got along well.  

Afterward, the show's executive producer took Lee to lunch.  The producer called Lee "one of the nicest and most unassuming guys you could hope to meet."

You never know.


Finally, here is a perhaps incomplete list of all the comic characters created in whole or part by Stan Lee, as posted online by one of his many fans.  Pretty good body of work.  

Abomination, Absorbing Man, Annihilus, Ant-Man, Ares, Awesome Android, Beast, Beetle, Black Bolt, Black Knight, Black Panther, Black Widow, Blob, Boomerang, Captain Marvel, Chameleon, Crimson Dynamo, Crystal, Cyclops, Daredevil, Death-Stalker, Destroyer, Doctor Doom, Dormammu, Dragon Man, Dum Dum Dugan, Ego the Living Planet, Electro, Enchantress, Executioner, Falcon, Fin Fang Foom, The Fixer, Nick Fury, Galactus, Gargoyle, Gladiator, Gorgon, Grey Gargoyle, Jean Grey, Groot, H.E.R.B.I.E., Hate-Monger, Hawkeye, Heimdall, Hela, Hera, Hercules, The High Evolutionary, Hulk, Human Torch, Iceman, Immortus, Invisible Woman, Iron Man, Jackal, John Jameson, J. Jonah Jameson, Jarvis, Juggernaut, Kang the Conqueror, Karnak, Kingpin, Klaw, Kraven the Hunter, The Kree, Laufey, Leader, Lizard, Loki, Mad Thinker, Madame Masque, Magneto, Mandarin, Mastermind, Alicia Masters, Maximus, Aunt May, Medusa, Mephisto, Mindless Ones, Mister Fantastic, MODOK, Mole Man, Baron Mordo, Mysterio, Norman Osborn, Doctor Octopus, Odin, Harry Osborn, Richard and Mary Parker, Pepper Potts, Puppet Master, Quicksilver, Rhino, Franklin Richards, Robbie Robertson, Betty Ross, Thunderbolt Ross, S.H.I.E.L.D., Sandman, Scarlet Witch, Scorpion, Sentinel, Sentry, Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos, Shalla-Bal, She-Hulk, Shocker, Sif, Silver Surfer, Silvermane, The Sinister Six, The Skrulls, Spider-Man, Spider-Slayer, George Stacy, Gwen Stacy, Doctor Strange, Stripperella, Mendel Stromm, Baron Strucker, Super-Skrull, Swordsman, Thing, Flash Thompson, Thor, Tigra, Tinkerer, Titanium Man, Toad, Trapster, Bolivar Trask, Uncle Ben, Vulture, Adam Warlock, Wasp, Watcher, Mary Jane Watson(Parker), Whiplash, Whirlwind, Wizard, Wonder Man, Warren Worthington III (Angel/Archangel), Wrecker, Professor Xavier and Baron Zemo.

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