Contact Us

Unearthed Vintage Stan Lee Interview Reveals Marvel Trolled DC Back in the ‘70s

Stan Lee
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Entertainment

The Hollywood Reporter recently unearthed a vintage interview with comics giant Stan Lee from back in 1977, and on the occasion of Spider-Man: Homecoming’s release, they’ve decided to share some of its contents with the public. And if I may editorialize for a moment, it’s the single most relatable, humanizing media appearance the famously camera-friendly Lee has ever done. Because the unearthed truth of this Q&A is that Stan Lee did exactly what I would do — what any of us would do, really — if I was the head of Marvel Comics during the ‘70s: mess with DC all the time.

Lee puts on a little ‘tude in the interview, baldly dissing his main competitor, saying, “They’ve been trying to catch up. They’re doing the best they can, bless their innocent little hearts. We used to have a lot of fun with them when we started outselling them.” When pressed on what that might mean, Lee happily tells the interviewer that he used to make key editorial and design decisions just to confuse and frustrate DC executives. He relates an instance in which he caught wind that DC planned on adding more of the color red to their covers, under the impression that that was the secret key to Marvel’s success. Right on cue, Lee struck the color red from Marvel’s covers, and continued outselling DC. When Lee heard DC wanted to add more dialogue bubbles to their covers in an effort to ape Marvel and goose sales, Lee did the same thing, presumably while chuckling to himself in an office wallpapered with money.

The secret, of course, is that there was no secret; good writing, beautiful art, and memorable characters made Marvel the industry leader. As Lee said, “It never occurred to them that we take the work a little more seriously and maybe we have a little bit more of a sense of humor. And maybe people don’t like things that are a little bit stuffy. They like things that are whimsical or humorous.” You hear that, Zack Snyder?

Subscribe to The Basin’s Real Rock 99.9 K-Bat on

Did You Know Stan Lee Is A Watcher?

Best of KBAT

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for KBAT 99.9 FM quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive KBAT 99.9 FM contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.