Stan Lee Doesn’t Think A Man Can Fly, Calls Superman Frustrating

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Posted by drgnx (3548 posts) - - Show Bio

Here is an Interesting article i posted a while ago before I learned how to associate blogs with forums: I found myself agreeing with the Author on Stan Lee's comments about his "use of science". Figured someone might get a laugh out of this.

Stan “The Man” Lee was recently interviewed by TVKids.ws, covering the usual things you talk about with a living legend (not to mention him being a playable character in the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man video game.) When he was asked about his methodology about creating superheroes, he pulled no punches.

Stan Lee

“Basically, if you’ve read my stories you know I’m very scientific minded. For example, I didn’t just have Spider-Man gain a spider power miraculously, I did it as scientifically as possible—he was bitten by a radioactive spider. It could have happened to anybody. When the Hulk became the Hulk, it just didn’t happen casually—there was a gamma-ray bomb that exploded. If you ask me what a gamma ray is, I would have no idea at all, but it sounds very scientific, I think. The Fantastic Four, they gained their powers from cosmic rays, of which I know as little as I do gamma rays, but they sound impressive. At that point I ran out of rays, so when I had to do the X-Men, I took the cowardly way out, I said, well they’re just born that way, that’s all. They’re mutants. That got me off the hook there.”

Stan Lee

“You’ve seen Superman flying on the screen, haven’t you? What is his means of propulsion? What makes him fly? He doesn’t have a jet engine, there’s nothing pushing him, he just sort of assumes a horizontal position, lies on the air and off he goes. When I wanted a character to fly, such as the Silver Surfer, I gave him a flying surfboard—perfectly scientific, perfectly understandable, and not the least bit as frustrating as wondering how Superman does it. So as you can see, science is really something I’m very much into and every factor of our stories is as scientifically accurate as I can make them.”

Check out the full article and commentaries, the author points out that Stan is not as scientific as he thinks he is.

Posted by Jeremy R! Hudson

http://nerdbastards.com/2012/03/15/stan-lee-doesnt-believe-a-man-can-fly-calls-superman-frustrating/

Here is an article for the full interview

http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/GraphicCity/news/?a=56348

#1 Posted by sinestro_GL (3050 posts) - - Show Bio

On this other forum I'm on...we have an emoticon that looks like this:

I certainly think that it would be used here very effectively.

#2 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio

"I don't know what Gamma Rays are, but they sound scientific, which makes the story scientifically accurate."  
 
Seems legit. 

#3 Posted by drgnx (3548 posts) - - Show Bio
#4 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio
@drgnx: I'm not doubting you, just the opinion of an out of touch old man. 
#5 Posted by drgnx (3548 posts) - - Show Bio

@FadeToBlackBolt: Ah, sorry. :)

#6 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio
@drgnx: No worries, I ought to have been clearer.
#7 Posted by ssejllenrad (12847 posts) - - Show Bio

Stan Lee's just so damn crazy...

#8 Posted by drgnx (3548 posts) - - Show Bio

@ssejllenrad: LOL. I like Stan, don't get me wrong, (okay, well technically don't really know him, but like his work) just found this funny :)

#9 Posted by GrandSymbiote94 (11520 posts) - - Show Bio

Stan Lee sounds like a fool.  You're saying that It doesn't make any sense if Superman flies. But you're trying to say a silver alien on a surfboard makes more sense? GTFO

#10 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio
^Yups what you said.
#11 Posted by Nudeviking (479 posts) - - Show Bio

@GrandSymbiote94 said:

Stan Lee sounds like a fool. You're saying that It doesn't make any sense if Superman flies. But you're trying to say a silver alien on a surfboard makes more sense? GTFO

What? You ever see a dude fly around through the air? Didn't think so. Ever see a dude surf? Stan Lee/Science prevail once more...

#12 Posted by Kallarkz (3303 posts) - - Show Bio

He's what 90? He can say whatever the he** he wants.

#13 Posted by GrandSymbiote94 (11520 posts) - - Show Bio
@Nudeviking said:

@GrandSymbiote94 said:

Stan Lee sounds like a fool. You're saying that It doesn't make any sense if Superman flies. But you're trying to say a silver alien on a surfboard makes more sense? GTFO

What? You ever see a dude fly around through the air? Didn't think so. Ever see a dude surf? Stan Lee/Science prevail once more...

A Silver Alien riding on a Surfboard through space and searching for planets so his skyscraper sized master can eat.... 
 
They both sound ridiculous to me.
#14 Posted by vicioushero (163 posts) - - Show Bio

@Kallarkz said:

He's what 90? He can say whatever the he** he wants.

This, also it seemed he was just messing around in the article

#15 Posted by redbird3rdboywonder (3848 posts) - - Show Bio

@GrandSymbiote94 said:

Stan Lee sounds like a fool. You're saying that It doesn't make any sense if Superman flies. But you're trying to say a silver alien on a surfboard makes more sense? GTFO

^This

#16 Posted by joshmightbe (24598 posts) - - Show Bio

I love Stan but he is really not the right guy to be discussing scientific accuracy, for instance Gamma radiation doesn't give you super powers it gives you cancer in small doses in high doses like what Bruce Banner got it would completely vaporize a human body, Cosmic Radiation pretty much the same.

#17 Posted by RyuHayabusa (2019 posts) - - Show Bio

If you ask me what a gamma ray is, I would have no idea at all, but it sounds very scientific.

#18 Posted by BiteMe-Fanboy (7535 posts) - - Show Bio

"I did it as scientifically as possible--he was bitten by a radioactive spider. It could have happened to anyone"

Thats the smartest thing I ever heard anyone say ever.

#19 Posted by tensor (3861 posts) - - Show Bio

I smell a superman Hater in stan lee

#20 Posted by ReVamp (22863 posts) - - Show Bio

So wait, how is the surfer any different from Superman?

#21 Posted by drgnx (3548 posts) - - Show Bio

@ReVamp: I guess he rides on a flying board :)

#22 Posted by ReVamp (22863 posts) - - Show Bio

@drgnx said:

@ReVamp: I guess he rides on a flying board :)

Yeah, and obviously the flying board theory makes much more sense than Superman flying. I mean, its impossible for an organic body of mass to float inexplicably in the air, but if a shiny chunk of sparkly metal is allowed to fly in the air then it makes sense.

*Rolls eyes*

#23 Posted by Joygirl (18453 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh Stan Lee. You am soooo sirry. But he is old as **** so he's allowed to go insane... and remember, back in his day, science didn't exist. :P He invented gamma rays! "Hey... what if I take a greek letter... and add "ray" on the end! That will sound like SCIENCE!" And thus the gamma ray was born.

#24 Posted by drgnx (3548 posts) - - Show Bio

@ReVamp: @Joygirl: :)

#25 Posted by tonis (6202 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't get the somewhat negative reaction to his comments on here. I think the man was just trying to explain how he preferred his character to have some kind of scientific explanation behind their existence and powers and not just leave it too much to 'magic'.

Of course there's no validity to something like a gamma or cosmic ray in the real world but the purpose of science fiction and comics in general is to make something unbelievable seem believable. Stan accomplished that in many ways over the years and there's no doubt that the majority of comic readers have always felt Marvel was more grounded in the real world than DC was. A lot of that had to do with the mentality that Stan mentions in this interview.

Although it's cool to be scientifically accurate when writing it's not a necessity, nor is it always feasible for producing a good believable story. If you manage to make the reader believe a man can fly you did your job, but that in no way means you have to actually believe he can to write about it.

That's the beauty and freedom of fiction :)

#26 Edited by drgnx (3548 posts) - - Show Bio

@tonis: I thought Thor's hammer was magical, so lets not pretend he didn't use magic to explain stuff. =P

I think the issue is that, no matter how you look at it, his explanations are not that well thought out vs Superman's flying. Surfer flying because of his board is no better than Superman flying because of his alien genealogy which may use some form of T.K. Stan could have been joking though, but since this is a written interview, it is hard to tell so people will take it at face value.

I posted this for laughs, not really to bash Stan, at the end of the day, most people here like his work as they seem to know a bit about his characters in the battle forums.

#27 Posted by tonis (6202 posts) - - Show Bio

oh I'm not saying using magic is wrong either or that Marvel didn't use it, it's just the other end of the coin comparison when your talking about science.

The key for good fiction writing, at least with comics, is balancing all that. If you create dozens of characters you'll dabble with magic as much as science to pull it off. The same guy who thinks up the Hulk can also think up Dr Strange.

Of course there's a little joking when discussing these matters, they are comic books, and any of these writers and creators can't take themselves so seriously that they forget that. There will always be a fan out there who over thinks a concept and can't just enjoy it for what it is, fiction.

Stans point with the board was that he felt human flight was more believable if you anchored it to a concept or object that makes it seem possible, Like a human in a plane. So Surfer couldn't fly, but his board could, just like Thor with his hammer, or Stark with his armor.

A flying cosmic surfboard is as implausible as a yellow sun allowing a krytonian to do so, but they have both made for interesting characters and comics regardless. It hasn't been necessary for an exact explanation of how they work for fans to enjoy the comics.

#28 Posted by WildStyle (331 posts) - - Show Bio

Nah, can't agree with that Stan. However, you can tell some people in here are salty over this man's comments. It's really not that serious.

#29 Posted by joshmightbe (24598 posts) - - Show Bio

@tonis: Gamma Radiation actually does exist as does Cosmic radiation( Though that's more of a blanket term for various types of radiation floating around in space)

#30 Posted by EdBlank (492 posts) - - Show Bio

I wish comic writers would be even more meticulous when developing their pseudo science. I actually agree that Marvel's characters are more associated with scientific principles than DC's. Super, Flash, Bats, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, GL all just sort of do what they do for no real reason. Sure GL has the ring, MM is a martian etc, but if you think about it, GL's power is to just do absolutely anything he can imagine. Why is Flash so fast? Speed Force. Huh? Don't worry about it, just go with it. Why is it that every alien in DC can fly and is strong enough to push the Earth? Hey they're aliens. Go with it. I wish they would even have a better explaination for magic besides: It's magic, go with it.

#31 Posted by Fuchsia_Nightingale (10180 posts) - - Show Bio

Yet man can swing on webs.....nods

Either Stan didn't say this or he's losing it in his old age

anywhozzie, dum thread is dum, so bye.

#32 Posted by The Stegman (23008 posts) - - Show Bio

Normally, I'd flip out at anyone hating on Superman...but this is Stan Lee...so, I can't stay mad at him.

#33 Posted by tonis (6202 posts) - - Show Bio

@joshmightbe said:

@tonis: Gamma Radiation actually does exist as does Cosmic radiation( Though that's more of a blanket term for various types of radiation floating around in space)

hehe, I'm surprised there hasn't ever been a news story about a fanboy scientist who tried to douse himself in them and turn into the Hulk :D

I figured there'd be some form of real world equivalent to those, especially cosmic radiation. It's generic enough that it's bound to be out there.

#34 Posted by Lvenger (18226 posts) - - Show Bio

@tonis said:

I don't get the somewhat negative reaction to his comments on here. I think the man was just trying to explain how he preferred his character to have some kind of scientific explanation behind their existence and powers and not just leave it too much to 'magic'.

Of course there's no validity to something like a gamma or cosmic ray in the real world but the purpose of science fiction and comics in general is to make something unbelievable seem believable. Stan accomplished that in many ways over the years and there's no doubt that the majority of comic readers have always felt Marvel was more grounded in the real world than DC was. A lot of that had to do with the mentality that Stan mentions in this interview.

Although it's cool to be scientifically accurate when writing it's not a necessity, nor is it always feasible for producing a good believable story. If you manage to make the reader believe a man can fly you did your job, but that in no way means you have to actually believe he can to write about it.

That's the beauty and freedom of fiction :)

Beautifully sums up my view on this thread.

@The Stegman said:

Normally, I'd flip out at anyone hating on Superman...but this is Stan Lee...so, I can't stay mad at him.

This too.

#35 Posted by joshmightbe (24598 posts) - - Show Bio

@tonis: Any actual scientist would know that Gamma radiation only has one effect on organic tissue, it destroys it.

#36 Posted by FinnVarra (226 posts) - - Show Bio

Ya gotta love Stan! Maybe someone will tell him Superman's means of propulsion if he explains where the extra matter comes from when Banner turns into the Hulk, lol.

#37 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio

@joshmightbe said:

I love Stan but he is really not the right guy to be discussing scientific accuracy, for instance Gamma radiation doesn't give you super powers it gives you cancer in small doses in high doses like what Bruce Banner got it would completely vaporize a human body, Cosmic Radiation pretty much the same.

If you are exposed to cosmic radiation, pretty sure you end up more like Hank Henshaw than Human Torch. So does this mean DC is actually more scientific?

#38 Posted by joshmightbe (24598 posts) - - Show Bio

@sethysquare: No because Hank was still alive after exposure, in real life it would instantly kill you

#39 Posted by joshmightbe (24598 posts) - - Show Bio

@EdBlank: I think it's more fun to read comics without worrying about the explanations, If it's a good story I don't care how a character does the things he or she does. I only care that they have a good reason for doing it and that it's well written with good art.

#40 Posted by tonis (6202 posts) - - Show Bio

@FinnVarra said:

Ya gotta love Stan! Maybe someone will tell him Superman's means of propulsion if he explains where the extra matter comes from when Banner turns into the Hulk, lol.

haha, now that would be a fair trade that I'd like to see :D

@joshmightbe said:

@tonis: Any actual scientist would know that Gamma radiation only has one effect on organic tissue, it destroys it.

yes, but if you kill your character you don't have much to work with then for a story, unless of course your writing for Deadman or something like that. :)

#41 Posted by FearTheLiving (2492 posts) - - Show Bio

He could have said gravity doesn't make sense I don't care still love Stan he's just getting up there in age.

#42 Posted by joshmightbe (24598 posts) - - Show Bio

@tonis: I never said there was anything wrong with Stan using it for Hulk's origin just that it shouldn't be considered anymore scientifically accurate than a dude who can fly and shoot lasers from his eyes. Because you actually have about the same statistical probability of unaided flight and eye lasers is actually slightly higher than surviving an intense blast of gamma radiation like Bruce took (Though to be fair the odds of both are close to infinity to 1 against)

#43 Posted by tonis (6202 posts) - - Show Bio

@FearTheLiving said:

He could have said gravity doesn't make sense I don't care still love Stan he's just getting up there in age.

hehe, actually gravity doesn't totally make sense :D

There are those who argue we are being pushed down, not pulled down. Course the end effect seems the same to me.

I agree though, you can't help but love the mans contributions to imagination.

@joshmightbe: I don't think any intelligent comic fan is going to argue that scientific accuracy is going on in comics for the most part or get too caught up in the statistical probabilities of gaining super powers for real. That kind of takes the fun out of them if you do.

I'd say that comics best tool for fiction is that in general they tended to be targeted to kids, and when your young everything seems more possible, which allows more imaginative freedom. It's harder as you get older and learn more.

When I was young, I thought maybe some of this stuff was possible and it made for exciting reading :)

I still enjoy the same stories and ideas now, but it's not the same. In some regards with comics, ignorance is bliss.

#44 Posted by mewmdude77 (993 posts) - - Show Bio

Stan Lee has never been good with his science, but give him a break. He gave of the Marvel Age of Comics, and so many wonderful characters, and gave superheroes actual emotions. He can be wrong about science all he wants, as long as he doesn't try to use it in real life, and kills someone.

#45 Posted by joshmightbe (24598 posts) - - Show Bio

Stan deserves a lot of respect for saving superhero comics from obscurity but not because of his writing, it's his ability to sell ideas. That man is the greatest salesman that has ever lived, he could sell you a snow cone in a blizzard, if he had decided to be a car salesman instead of getting into comics there'd be no such thing as pedestrians. That being said he doesn't really have much room to talk concerning characters being scientifically unlikely.

#46 Posted by Deranged Midget (17599 posts) - - Show Bio

Stan Lee... I respect you man, but you're characters make no more sense than DC's, so it shouldn't be fair to bash either one.

Moderator
#47 Posted by Or35ti (1101 posts) - - Show Bio

@Kallarkz said:

He's what 90? He can say whatever the he** he wants.

This article made me laugh, but Stan is still the Man

#48 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (32636 posts) - - Show Bio

People are taking this to seriously, he was clearly being sarcastic 

#49 Posted by Primmaster64 (21138 posts) - - Show Bio
@GrandSymbiote94 said:
Stan Lee sounds like a fool.  You're saying that It doesn't make any sense if Superman flies. But you're trying to say a silver alien on a surfboard makes more sense? GTFO
yep
#50 Posted by Dernman (14720 posts) - - Show Bio

I still like you Stan. Even when you say dumb sh!t like that.

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