Stan Lee documentary slammed by Jack Kirby’s son in scathing post

Daisy Phillipson
Stan Lee speaking at the 2014 Phoenix Comicon at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

A new documentary about the life of the late Marvel head Stan Lee has generated an angry reaction from the son of comic book artist Jack Kirby, who’s written an angry post about the new release. 

Stan Lee is widely regarded to be the godfather of Marvel Comics, having been the primary creative leader for two decades and overseen its expansion into the superhero juggernaut it is today. 

And let’s not forget his famous cameos, with Lee appearing in countless MCU shows and movies up until his passing in 2018. 

Fans are learning more about his life and legacy in a new documentary out on Disney+, simply titled Stan Lee – however, one person who isn’t too happy about its contents is Jack Kirby’s son, Neal Kirby.

Jack Kirby’s son slams Stan Lee documentary in scathing post

Neal Kirby shared a lengthy statement in which he slammed the documentary for giving Stan Lee a majority of the credit in the creation of Marvel’s characters while downplaying his father Jack Kirby’s involvement. 

For those not in the know, in the ‘60s, Kirby created many of Marvel’s famous characters, including the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Ant-Man, Thor, Iron Man, the Avengers, the X-Men, and the Black Panther

However, he ultimately left the company, feeling he had been treated unfairly in regard to authorship credit and creators’ rights, and joined rival DC Comics

In his statement, shared by his daughter Jillian Kirby’s Twitter account, Neal said: “It’s not any big secret that there has always been controversy over the parts that were played in the creation and success of Marvel’s characters. 

“Stan Lee had the fortunate circumstance to have access to the corporate megaphone and media, and he used these to create his own mythos as the creation of the Marvel character pantheon. He made himself the voice of Marvel.”

He added: “It should be noted and is generally accepted that Stan Lee had a limited knowledge of history, mythology, or science. On the other hand, my father’s knowledge of these subjects, to which I and many others can personally attest, was extensive. 

“Einstein summed it up better; ‘More the knowledge, lesser the ego. Lesser the knowledge, more the ego.’”

Neal pointed out that “you will see Lee’s name as a co-creator on” a majority of the major Marvel characters, “with the exception of the Silver Surfer, solely created by my father.” 

“Are we to assume Lee had a hand in creating every Marvel character?” he asked. “Are we to assume that it was never the other co-creator that walked into Lee’s office and said, ‘Stan, I have a great idea for a character!’ According to Lee, it was always his idea.” 

Neal then goes into detail about how Lee took a significant share of the credit for the creation of the Fantastic Four, “with only one fleeting reference” to his dad, despite his claim that Jack Kirby created the superhero team for DC in the Challengers of the Unknown comic. 

Hundreds of people have commented on the statement, with one writing: “I’ve always said Jack Kirby deserved the same amount of praise Stan got. But to go after a dead man’s ‘ego’ now that he’s not here is not a good look. Had a problem? Should’ve done it when he was alive. (In my opinion.)”

“Jack Kirby certainly doesn’t get enough credit,” said another, while a third added, “Does Kirby even get mentioned in the documentary? Lee does get a lot more credit than he deserves.”

The creators of the Stan Lee documentary and Marvel are yet to comment on the situation. 

Stan Lee is available stream on Disney+ now. You can check out some of our other TV and Movie hubs below:

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About The Author

Daisy is a Senior TV and Movies Writer at Dexerto. She's a lover of all things macabre, whether that be horror, crime, psychological thrillers or all of the above. After graduating with a Masters in Magazine Journalism, she's gone on to write for Digital Spy, LADbible and Little White Lies. You can contact her on