Stan Lee, the mind behind famous characters like Spider-Man and X-Men, dished out a playful question-and-answer session that at times felt more like a comedy show.
The Friday night session at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center was billed as one of the 94-year-old’s last appearances on the East Coast. Nearly 2,000 fans packed the Boston Comic Con session in order to see Lee.
Among his comments were a slam at Marvel’s rival DC Comics and a poke at “Bobbo” (his nickname for actor Robert Downey Jr., who plays Iron Man).
Lee also admitted he could no longer read what was happening in the fictional world he helped create.
“Even though I look to you like a mode of physical perfection, I know that, I can’t see well,” Lee began after an audience member asked his opinion of the current Marvel Universe comic books.
“I can’t read the comics anymore…it’s there, but I don’t know what’s going on…I don’t know what’s happening in the Marvel Universe.”
He added that it makes him “feel terrible,” but he only knows what happens in current comic books if someone tells him.
He told the crowd how he launched into the world of colorful characters, and how he grew up poor in New York, raised by Romanian-immigrant parents.
In his teens, he landed a job as an assistant at Timely Comics, which would later evolve into Marvel Comics.
“Little by little, I got interested in what they were doing, these comics,” Lee said. When editor Joe Simon and artist Jack Kirby left, Lee, a teenager at the time, became an interim editor.
“It’s just fate,” he added.
Lee also delved into his rift with the once-dominant Comics Code Authority, sparked in part by a Spider-Man story about drug abuse. The Comics Code Authority, which has since faded as a censor as comics moved into mainstream culture, was initially created as a way for the comics industry to avoid government oversight.
The Spider-Man storyline had the web-slinger saving a person who was turning to drugs, a topic the…