Stan Lee
Stan Lee
Secret Wars #2 cover by Alex Ross
Secret Wars #2 cover by Alex Ross
Credit: Marvel

If indeed the tried, true, and familiar Marvel Universe is going away, the man who helped breathe life into it is…perfectly okay with that.

Stan Lee is the father of the Marvel Universe, the man who co-created the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Hulk, Daredevil, and so many more mainstay Marvel characters. With the news that the mainstream Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe would collide in the upcoming Secret Wars, resulting in the formation of a brand new universe with elements of each, Lee is intrigued by the future a fresh start may bring.

“It’s probably good,” Lee said from his office in Beverly Hills minutes after Marvel’s announcement. “Anything they do that’s unexpected and different usually captures the attention of the fans. People will want to follow it to see what happens and where it will lead. Marvel cannot keep doing the same stories over and over again. You always have to come up with new angles and new approaches to things. I think it’s probably a good idea. It sounds intriguing to me.”

Lee admits that, yes, his heart remains back in 1961 and everything that has followed in the original Marvel U. “Of course I have an emotional attachment to the original Marvel Universe, because I was so involved in it,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean I expect it to be that way forever. It might be better under this new approach. I’m eager to see what might happen.”

A new broom can sweep clean, but upon quick reflection, Lee remains happy with the way he set things up in the Marvel Universe. Given the chance to start over…he’d keep things pretty much the way he did it in the first place.

“At the time, what I did, I thought was the right way to go, and maybe sometimes, even the perfect way to go,” Lee said. “I liked making the Fantastic Four superheroes without a secret identity. I liked the tragedy of Spider-Man’s origin, the ‘with great power, there must also come great responsibility.’ I thought it was the right way of doing things at the time. And I still like what I’ve done. I can’t think, off the top of my head, of anything I’d really want to change.”

But Lee understands that change is part of the natural order of things. “I was once the creative head of the company, but the company was smaller,” he said. “I don’t know what I would do if I was the creative head of the company today. I’d have to ponder that for a bit. I know that you always have to have surprises. You always have to make the reader say, ‘Wow, I never expected this!’ You have to keep doing that. It’s kind of become the Marvel tradition. If this continues that tradition, I’m happy for them all, and I’m happy for the fans.”

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