Stan Lee puts himself into his latest comic book

Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:21pm EDT
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Stan Lee is barging into the pages of his own comic book as a character based on himself who rubs elbows with superheroes - call it a cameo for the reality TV age.

His new series "Stan Lee's Mighty 7", which hit stores this week, is inspired by reality television and throws into the mix real-life characters - like Lee himself, the creator of such Marvel Comics icons as Spider-Man and The X-Men.

Those creations have made the 89-year-old Lee a legend in the comic industry, but since leaving Marvel and starting his own company POW! Entertainment in 2001 his latest projects have met with more limited success. That does not phase Lee.

"Somehow I think the only thing that could tarnish my legacy would be ... in fact I can't think of anything that could tarnish it, because those things have already been done, and nobody can take them back," Lee told Reuters in a phone interview.

"Everything I'm doing I'm trying to do in the same way, because when I did Spider-Man and Iron Man and all the others, I was trying to do something different," he said. "There had never been a teenaged superhero like Spider-Man."

The real-life, Los Angeles-based Lee describes his creative process in a note inside the pages of "Mighty 7." He writes, "Reality TV is a big deal today, so why not do a reality comic book? (See why I get the big bucks?)"

"Mighty 7" features superheroes with names such as Strongarm, Laser Lord, High Rise and others who have powers ranging from super strength to shrinking ability.

The superheroes are on a ship hurtling through space that lands on Earth in a desert just steps from the character representing Lee himself. In the following issues, Lee's character will guide the superheroes.   Continued...

Comic book creator Stan Lee poses after his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was unveiled in Hollywood, California, January 4, 2011. It was the 2,428th star on the Walk of Fame. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok