Stan Lee – How Marvel Changed the World written by Adrian MacKinder published by White Owl Books – £19.99 – Hardback – Pages 192

Stan Lee is not just another biography. It is a journey through twentieth century American history, seen through the life of a man who personifies the American Dream.

This book shows how Stan’s life reflects the evolution of American entertainment, society and popular culture throughout the 1900s and beyond. Along the way, bold questions will be asked. Was Stan Lee himself a superhuman creation, just a mask to protect his true, more complicated secret identity? Just like the vibrant panels of the comics he wrote, Stan’s life, it seems, is never black and white.

Sourced from Stan’s own words, this book also includes brand new and exclusive interviews with Marvel comic book creators, for whom Stan’s work proved an invaluable inspiration. Upbeat, accessible and fun, this book is told with a glint in the eye and a flair for the theatrical that would make Stan proud.

I came to this book not really knowing a lot about Stan Lee or the Marvel franchise, but I have watched many of the films as I have two sons who are mad Marvel fans. Rather than the films, the book tends to be about Stan Lee, his life, character, and influences throughout his life. It also looks strongly at the growth of the Marvel franchise from the early comic books all the way up to the films. He seemed to me to be a remarkable man who has worked hard to get where he did with a bit of good luck along the way. But we all need luck and make our own luck in life too. Along with working hard, what the book showed was that you need to be your own champion or self-publicist and this is where I would say he created a lot of own luck, in a very harsh or competitive business especially when you think they are going up against the DC world too. A really good book, well written, and credit to the author Adrian Mackinder. A man I’ve enjoyed reading about, and an enjoyment to learn about the life he led. A certain recommendation from myself.

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