At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to expand his Universe

Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:59pm EDT
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding outposts to his creative empire as he hopes to interest a new generation of children in super heroes of all shapes and sizes.

Lee, 91, the creator of comic book franchises and box-office behemoths such as Spider-Man, Avengers and X-Men, is focusing on Stan Lee's Kids Universe and publishing new content across books, television and digital platforms for young children.

The latest character to join the Kids Universe roster is Dex T-Rex, a cheeky little blue dinosaur who likes to wreak havoc but learns a serious lesson when his actions become harmful to others. He appears in a book titled "Dex T-Rex: The Mischievous Little Dinosaur" written and illustrated by first-time illustrator Katya Bowser and aimed at children under 10.

"Children that age enjoy any story with interesting things happening, but if you can insert morals into the stories, how much better that is," said Lee at a signing for the book in Los Angeles over the weekend. "You try to do it in an amusing way and not in a lecturing way."

More than a hundred people, both old and young, lined up among narrow bookshelves to see Lee. New fans have been won over by Disney-owned Marvel's films such as "Captain America," "Thor" and most recently, "Guardians of the Galaxy," in which he has cameo roles.

"Because of the success of those movies, a lot of people know me, so if I do books like these, they're willing to give them a try," Lee said.

Many of the Marvel films are male dominated, and both critics and fans have been pushing for more female characters to be included from the Marvel Universe. While Lee's books for children often use animals, he said, "We will of course have representatives of every different type" of person.

In October, Marvel will introduce a female Thor to its stable of characters in an effort to bring new readers and appeal to women and girls.   Continued...

Comic book creator and executive producer Stan Lee poses on a motorcycle at the world premiere of the film "Marvel's The Avengers" in Hollywood, California, in this April 11, 2012, file photo.  REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/Files