Stan Lee's Best Non-Marvel Projects: From 'Just Imagine' to 'Ultimo'

Though he’s known as one of the Marvel Universe’s most influential creators, Stan Lee has plenty of stories outside the House of Ideas.

Stan Lee helped erect one of the pillars of current pop culture as the co-author of the Marvel Universe. Alongside artists along with Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, Lee helped convey iconic characters together with Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Avengers to life. But over the path of 8 a long time, he had a hand in different tasks from anime to other comic e-book universes. Here’s a set of the projects that Lee helped co-create following his tenure at Marvel.

Just Imagine (DC Comics)

For years, fans questioned what would have happened if Lee implemented his capabilities closer to creating the iconic characters of DC. They were given their desire whilst Lee became approached through the “Distinguished Competition” for the Just Imagine… Series. Just Imagine… Changed into a sequence of 1-photographs offering Lee teaming up with artists together with Watchmen co-creator Dave Gibbons and future DC writer/leader creative officer Jim Lee to reinterpret DC’s icons for a brand new universe. And the consequences had been radically exceptional: Batman is African American and wears a more demonic costume, Superman is a member of the Kryptonian police, and Wonder Woman is an activist empowered by way of an Incan solar god. It’s one of the more thrilling Elseworlds in DC’s records, and the characters are set to reappear in a brand new anthology this December.

Mighty 7

Lee might finally begin creating his very own heroes. Among them have been the Mighty 7, a collection of aliens who crash-landed on Earth. In a meta plot twist, Lee himself might stumble upon the extraterrestrial beings and offer them sanctuary at the same time as drawing notion for a brand new comic collection. There have been plans to turn Mighty 7 into a first-rate multimedia franchise, which include an lively series and an ongoing comic. However, it ran into multiple roadblocks, which include a lawsuit while Lee launched the original pitch because the “Super 7.” Eventually, 3 issues of a comedian and an lively film starring Christian Slater and Sean Astin were released.

The Traveler/Soldier Zero/Starborn (BOOM! Studios)

Perhaps Lee’s maximum successful post-Marvel comics got here from the partnership among BOOM! Studios and his POW! Entertainment logo. The partnership yielded three titles: The Traveler, Soldier Zero, and Starborn. Soldier Zero, written by means of Paul Cornell and illustrated via Javier Pina, finds a paraplegic struggle veteran bonding with an alien soldier. The Traveler, written with the aid of Mark Waid and illustrated via Chad Hardin, has its hero visiting thru time and struggling with a collection of villains known as the Split-Second Men. Unlike other time travelers, he is not above messing with the gap-time continuum to acquire victory. And eventually, Starborn from creator Chris Roberson and artist Khary Randolph inverts the space saga method as a struggling writer unearths out that his father is properly-famend inside the galaxy – however as a tyrant, no longer a hero. All three of these comics characteristic the identical high standards and incorrect characters that Lee helped to pioneer over at Marvel.


Lee failed to simply prevent at Western comics. He teamed up with Shaman King creator Hiroyuki Takei to create Ultimo. The manga features dual mechanical boys, Ultimo and Vice, who were intended to be the last representations of right and evil respectively. Ultimo ends up meeting a teenager named Yamato Agari, and together the two war other mechanical beings. The collection, at the same time as proposing a plot that would not be out of area in a regular shonen story, chose to discover the nature of correct and evil which makes it a compelling read. And yet again, Lee cameos inside the manga as Dr. Dunstan bears a striking resemblance to him.

Lee’s other essential anime/manga collection is Heroman, which he co-created with anime studio Bones. Teenager Joey seeks to shop for his very own non-public robot referred to as the Heybo, however is brief on coins. He in the end discovers a broken down Heybo, and is amazed while a bolt of lightning makes it grow to skyscraper size. Joey and the Heybo – which he names “Heroman” – conflict the invading alien pressure known as the Skrugg. Bones’ work on the anime series served as a precursor to the movement sequences that got here to outline My Hero Academia and Super Crooks, and Lee proved to be extraordinarily adept at developing with a premise this is ideal for an anime collection.


Though Lee is widely known for his successes, he is additionally been concerned in a number of projects that did not click with fans. One of these initiatives turned into the fast-lived animated series Stripperella, starring Pamela Anderson as the titular heroine. The whole concept feels like the backside of the barrel for Lee’s creative endeavors: Strpperella’s adjust ego is known as Erotica Jones (yes, honestly), she has a number of outlandish powers inclusive of “breast improvements” (sure truely) and she is outwardly appealing enough that guys literally seize on hearth while watching her (sure virtually). Eventually, Striperella become reduce short due to Lee and a former stripper who simply went by using Stripperella filing proceedings towards Spike TV.

The Condor and Mosaic

A better example of Lee dipping his toe into animation got here within the shape of  direct-to-DVD lively movies in 2007, titled The Condor and Mosaic respectively. Mosaic centers on college student Maggie Nelson (Anna Paquin) who profits form-transferring powers after a freak hurricane. The Condor has skateboarder Tony Valdez (Wilmer Valderrama) struggling an twist of fate that leaves him paralyzed, till his pals create an armored suit for him. Once once more, a couple of comic creators helped deliver Lee’s vision to lifestyles as Scott Lobdell and Marv Wolfman scripted Mosaic and The Condor respectively. And both films have ties to his Marvel legacy as Steven E. Gordon – the individual dressmaker at the back of X-Men: Evolution – directed The Condor. Not to say Paquin’s function as Rogue inside the X-Men collection.

The Reflection

Lee had one greater anime collection up his sleeve: the restrained collection The Reflection. It takes location in a global in which a mysterious occasion has granted superhuman abilities to a pick out few, named the “Reflected”. Studio Deen, the animators at the back of anime classics such as Ramna 1/2 and Fruits Basket, deliver a stylized fashion that looks as if it turned into actually ripped from the pages of a comedian book. And director Hiroshi Nagahama performs with colorings to create a wealthy and vibrant world. Lee another time makes an look in the collection – even though this time, he’s playing the primary villain of the collection!

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Written by Abu Bakar

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