One thought on “Stan Lee”

  1. More obviously so in the 1960’s cartoon than in the original comics, but Lee’s “Spider-Man” was a pretty good (if probably unintentional) allegory for those fighting the Viet Nam war.

    Parker was a teenager, with powers thrust upon him but taking the related responsibility. He had really short hair. His fighting outfit distinguished him from the general population. He had specialized weapons and equipment. He tried hard to do the right thing. It wasn’t always clear to him, or anyone else, what the right thing might be. But more often there was clarity — a person hacking up children and old ladies clearly needs to be stopped. Parker always tried.

    The press — in the person of J. Jonah Jameson — hated him. Lied about him. Portrayed the hero as a villain. Even when Parker was directly responsible for protecting JJJ, there was never gratitude. And in his dual role, whenever Parker as journalist-photographer brought the “Truth About Spiderman” into the newsroom, his work was cropped and edited and distorted into the pre-determined narrative. So much for “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” — “Distorted Photos” instead, paid to the man on the spot at the rate of a dime on the dollar. Truth, apparently, didn’t sell newspapers.

    The pretty girls in the civilian world who might have any interest in Parker in mufti believed what the press had taught about Parker-in-costume. Again, even when Parker helped directly, there was generally fear rather than admiration.

    Other aspects of the allegory are left as exercises for the class …

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