Little is certain in the file business these days, thanks to piracy and the recession. But here is a fairly safe prediction. Next year on of the ten bestselling films at the American box office will be based on a comic-book superhero created by Stan Lee. there will be another one, perhaps two, the following year. Another prediction: not one of them will win, or even be nominated for, an Academy Award for best film.
Mr. Lee largely created the modern cartoon superhero, and by extension, the modern blockbuster film.During a three-decade spell as editor-in-chief od Marvel Comics he worked with artists such as Steve Ditkp and Jack Kirby to invent a pantheon of heroic duced Spider Man, the Incredible Hulk, the Fantastic Four,X-Men, Thor and Iron Man.Mr. lee and his collaborators departed from previous comic-book convention by endowing their heroes with human flaw and setting the stories in real places.
For many years his creations languished. Children gradually lost the habit of reading comics and the market fragmented into increasingly obscure and often disturbing niches. Several attempts to create films or television series failed, in part because the comic-book companies were worried about tainting their property. Screenwriters spent fully 15 years worrying away at a Spider Man storyline. In the mid-1990s Marvel declared bankruptcy. Then the special-effects engineers finally caught up woth the cartoonists’ vision. As Mr. Lee puts it, “there is now nothing you can imagine that cannot be shown”.