As much as Comic Con has become a mecca for all things geek culture related, if it weren't for the comic books, there wouldn't be a Comic Con. And who better to talk about that than the legendary mastermind behind Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, and the Avengers, the incomparable Stan Lee?
Show producer Dan Farr had tried for over a month to get Lee to join Salt Lake's inaugural Comic Con, even though he doesn't show up to many cons of this nature. In fact, Lee had actually cancelled his appearance at the Amazing Arizona Comic Con due to illness earlier this year. However, after inducting his friend Lou Ferrigno, the original Incredible Hulk on TV, into the Muscle Beach Hall of Fame, Ferrigno told Lee about Comic Con in Salt Lake, how big it was getting, the stars that would be appearing, and how fun it would be, Lee agreed to make a last-minute appearance.
The 90-year old bigwig of Mavel Comics sat down to a packed house at the Salt Lake Comic Con to crack jokes and talk shop.
“I have to answer questions?" Lee sardonically spat at the beginning of the panel. "This is going to be work? I thought we were here to have fun.”
Lee definitely had fun, whether it was at the audience's expense or at his rivals at DC Comics.
At the beginning of the panel, Lee assessed the audience, smiled, and said, “Look at all of you with nothing better to do." Then, when answering a question about who is the sexiest character he's written (which he answered "Mary Jane", by the way), he explained a massive spoiler: “I’m going to tell you something but I don’t want it to leave this room," Lee began, almost whispering into the mic. "These are fictitious characters. We write about them, but — I don’t want to disillusion you.”
In regards to DC, Lee had a lot to say. First, he expounded on how Marvel is far more scientifically accurate when it comes to their characters:
"Superman...he flies. He just goes like this," Lee said, gesturing how Superman would fly, "and he just takes off. No device. No explanation on how he flies. Now, with Thor. He has a hammer. When he wants to fly, he swings his hammer, releases it, and, with the strap around his wrist, takes off. See? Scientifically sound!"
One of the last stories Stan Lee shared is about one of his favorite villains: the sinister Doctor Doom.
"There's something interesting about Doctor Doom, actually," Lee said slyly. "Doctor Doom owns his own country, and so, if he ever committed a crime, he could never be sent to jail because he has diplomatic immunity. Doctor Doom...really only wants to rule the world. If you or I went up to a police officer and said we wanted to rule the world, nothing would happen to us. We wouldn't go to jail. So, if you think about it, Doctor Doom is the one villain that could never go to jail. DC has never dreamed a villain like that!"
Will Stan Lee come back for 2014's SLCC? With over 70,000 attendees crowding the Salt Palace Convention Center on Saturday, a good portion just to see the godfather of comics, the odds may be looking reasonable.