The First Time Stan Lee Used His Pen Name

It involved Captain America and a "traitor."

StanLeeBioCoverHeading into another Thanksgiving, we are thankful once again for the indomitable spirit of Stan Lee. To put it in holiday terms, imagine a 92-year-old relative across the table Thursday who has recently:

a) Published a memoir, in comic book form;

b) Hosted another edition of Stan Lee Comikaze in Los Angeles, which he now calls home;

c) Pacted with Sky TV for a ten-part series anchored to a superpower he feels has been unfairly overlooked – luck.

These are just some of the prenatural powers of Stanley Martin Lieber, born in New York Dec. 28, 1922. From an interview piece in The Guardian by Andy Meek:

One of Lee’s first assignments [at New York’s Timely Comics] was a two-page story that carried a typically breathless title for comics of the period, Captain America Foils the Traitor’s Revenge.

It was the first time Lee used his pen name (later his legal name) and marked a jumping-off point for his career as a purveyor of pop culture which has earned him millions of dollars and throngs of fans who swarm him at conventions. He can’t help but get recognized thanks in part to the trademark glasses, familiar moustache and impish yet avuncular grin. His many cameos in Marvel blockbusters also keep him in front of fans.

Lee went to De Witt Clinton High School in the Bronx. Also a part of the Class of 1939: writer Paddy Chayeksy and one-time CBS-TV CEO Laurence Tisch. For more on why Lee eventually legally adopted his pen name, click here.

[Jacket cover courtesy: Touchstone]