×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Stan Lee on Releasing More Superheroes From Vault: ‘Someday I Will’

Hollywood celebrated and honored a living legend Tuesday morning when Marvel Comics mastermind Stan Lee added his handprints and footprints to the forecourt at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

The celebration honored the man behind some of the most well-known complex characters and superheroes of our time — both heroes and villains — including Spiderman, The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Thor, Daredevil, Dr. Strange, The Avengers, Loki, Dr. Doom and Black Panther. Presented by Legion M, a fan-owned entertainment company, on the eve of San Diego Comic-Con, the event was the first handprints-footprints ceremony in the tradition’s 90-year history to be organized and hosted by fans.

Kevin Smith served as emcee for the ceremony and shared anecdotes from his mutual past with Lee. “I knew him from a young age,” he stated. “He didn’t teach me to read, but he taught me to enjoy reading. He did not teach me to dream, but he gave me so many things to dream about. He taught me to be proud of what you make and stand up for it as well. It’s not enough to just be the artist that makes it — go out and champion it as well. ‘Who will love it if not you first?’”

“If I had known I was so good,” Lee quipped, “I would ask for a raise.” Lee said in a heartfelt thanks to the speakers and fans, ending his speech with his signature, “Excelsior!”

With such a storied career, Lee chatted with Variety about what keeps the 94-year-old creator so motivated and active in Hollywood. “It’s so interesting to be interested because the work — comic books and movies — are so exciting to me, that even if I weren’t connected with the business, I’d still be reading about it, wanting to know about it; I love entertainment,” he explained.

While the industry he loves is garnering much success from adapting his stories to the big screen, he admitted to having a cache of characters in a vault.

“I have about 50 [characters] that I’ve already developed that I haven’t shown to anybody,” he said. “And someday I will. But, there’s no need for me, really, to do anymore now.” Making one more confession, he said, “One of them [the characters] has a superpower that you’ve never seen before. They all have new superpowers, but I can’t tell you. I’m sorry!”

Attending the ceremony, were some of Marvel’s finest: president of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige, “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” actor Clark Gregg, and star of the upcoming “Black Panther” film, Chadwick Boseman  who referred to an earlier part of Lee’s career, the 1960s, reminding the crowd of the socio-political climate of the times.

Todd McFarlane, Marvel president Kevin Feige, Stan Lee, Kevin Smith, Chadwick Boseman and Clark Gregg at the ceremony in Hollywood. Cook/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Comic book creator Todd McFarlane contributed to the presentation of memories. “The only thing that would make [today] better is if Joanie was here.” Joan Lee, Stan’s wife of almost 70 years, passed away almost two weeks ago, subsequent to suffering a stroke.

Marvel superhero fans and passersby alike, children and adults, gathered to catch a glimpse of the action on Hollywood Boulevard. One of the biggest Stan Lee fans in attendance — even proudly boasting a tattoo on her arm of his autograph — Melissa Valeriano, of Minneapolis, Minn., donned a USO dress, a costume tribute to the characters in “Captain America.” “This is literally a once in a lifetime opportunity, and there’s no way I would miss it,” she said. “This has taken 75 years. 75 years in the making and this day will never happen again.”

Stan Lee superfan Melissa Valeriano. Cook/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • Gaby Hoffmann, Albert Cheng, Alexandra Billings,

    'Transparent' Team Reflects on Series Finale Without Jeffrey Tambor

    Friday night’s premiere of the series finale of “Transparent” at L.A. Live’s Regal theater felt like a family reunion for the Pfefferman clan. Matriarch Judith Light embraced each one of her TV children (Gaby Hoffman, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass) and guest stars from previous seasons (Cherry Jones, Melora Hardin, Bradley Whitford) who also turned [...]

  • Game of Thrones Season 8

    'Game of Thrones,' 'Avengers' Win Big at 45th Annual Saturn Awards

    As Jamie Lee Curtis picked up her first trophy ever at the 45th Annual Saturn Awards Friday night, she had a good luck charm on her arm: former manager Chuck Binder, whom she said was the reason she became an actor. “I was in college and had no thought of being an actor,” Curtis told [...]

  • Pom Klementieff poses at the launch

    Marvel Cinematic Universe Star Pom Klementieff Talks Disney-Fox Merger, X-Men Dreams

    Pom Klementieff may have entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe playing Mantis in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” followed by appearances in the last two “Avengers” movies, but that wasn’t her original superhero plan. “My dream was to be in X-Men,” she told Variety on Thursday at the Chanel dinner for its new fragrance Gabrielle [...]

  • Gwyneth Paltrow

    Gwyneth Paltrow to Be Honored at amfAR Gala Los Angeles

    Gwyneth Paltrow and art dealer Larry Gagosian are set to be honored at the 2019 amfAR Gala Los Angeles. The American Foundation for AIDS Research announced that the two honorees will receive the Award of Courage for their commitment in the fight against HIV and AIDS as well as for their other humanitarian efforts. Christina [...]

  • David Mandel Sam Richardson

    'The Handmaid's Tale,' 'Veep,' 'When They See Us' Writers Honored at Emmy Nominees Reception

    Ava DuVernay (“When They See Us”), David Mandel (“Veep”) and Bruce Miller and Kira Snyder (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) were among those honored at the Television Academy’s Emmy nominees writers reception on Tuesday night in North Hollywood. There, ceremony hosts, “Escape at Dannemora” star Eric Lange and “Veep’s” Sam Richardson, kept the show moving by tossing in [...]

  • Jon Stewart and Bruce Springsteen

    Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart Return for 13th Annual Stand Up for Heroes

    Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart, John Oliver and Hasan Minhaj will again Stand Up for Heroes. Comedian Ronny Chieng will join the multi-talented group on stage for a night of music and comedy in honor of military veterans and their families at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 4. The 13th annual event [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content