Superheroes of A Thousand Faces: The Irresistible Stan Lee

Forthcoming, Los Angeles Review of Books

6 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2020

See all articles by Cass R. Sunstein

Cass R. Sunstein

Harvard Law School; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: August 2, 2020

Abstract

One of the most influential storytellers of the last sixty years was the exuberant Stan Lee, who helped create Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Daredevil, Iron Man, the Black Panther, and the X-Men. In a short burst of creativity in the early 1960s, Lee created most of his iconic characters, and changed popular culture in the process. This essay, a review of Liel Leibovitz’s Stan Lee: A Life in Comics (2020), explores Lee’s astonishing creativity and distinctiveness, which can be found in a combination of joyful ebullience, capacity to wink, delight in human diversity, wit, commitment to human rights, and understanding of the essentials of the hero’s journey, or the monomyth, as described by Joseph Campbell.

Suggested Citation

Sunstein, Cass R., Superheroes of A Thousand Faces: The Irresistible Stan Lee (August 2, 2020). Forthcoming, Los Angeles Review of Books, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3666105 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3666105

Cass R. Sunstein (Contact Author)

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Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

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