Spider-Man, the Hulk, The Fantastic Four, Iron-Man, Captain America, Black Panther, Nick Fury, Silver Surfer, and countless more Marvel creations helped bring a new dimension into comics.
Be sure to check out the graphic novels collection on the third floor. it features many collections of classic comics as well as collectors’ editions of artist editions of many Marvel comics.
The quintessential Lee hero, introduced in 1962 and created with the artist Steve Ditko (1927-2018), was Spider-Man.
A timid high school intellectual who gained his powers when bitten by a radioactive spider, Spider-Man was prone to soul-searching, leavened with wisecracks — a key to the character’s lasting popularity across multiple entertainment platforms, including movies and a Broadway musical.
Mr. Lee’s dialogue encompassed Catskills shtick, like Spider-Man’s patter in battle; Elizabethan idioms, like Thor’s; and working-class Lower East Side swagger, like the Thing’s. It could also include dime-store poetry, as in this eco-oratory about humans, uttered by the Silver Surfer, a space alien:
“And yet — in their uncontrollable insanity — in their unforgivable blindness — they seek to destroy this shining jewel — this softly spinning gem — this tiny blessed sphere — which men call Earth!”
Mr. Lee practiced what he called the Marvel method: Instead of handing artists scripts to illustrate, he summarized stories and let the artists draw them and fill in plot details as they chose. He then added sound effects and dialogue.