Stan Lee began his career in comics as a teenager in 1939, and 75 years later, he is regarded as the creative force behind Marvel’s Silver Age, co-creator of beloved characters such as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, and the Hulk, Thor, and the X-Men. But did you know who co-created these famous comic book superheroes with Stan Lee?
Larry Lee, Stan Lee’s younger brother, co-created Thor, Iron Man, and Ant-Man. Today, Larry Lieber is 90 years old. He has recently retired from penciling comics.
Who is Larry Lieber?
Larry Lieber is a comic book or comic strip illustrator and writer. He was born in New York City on October 26, 1931, and grew up in the Bronx and Washington Heights. He is Stan Lee’s (Lieber’s) younger brother, who is popularly known as the publisher, and the creator of many Marvel Comics superheroes.
Larry Lieber attended the Pratt Art Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and the Art Students League in Manhattan. Beginning in 1951, he served in the Air Force for four years during the Korean War, followed by two years in Okinawa before pursuing his chosen field. Lieber wrote and drew stories about monsters, heroes, cowboys, and love while also teaching.
Lieber’s first super-hero work was Thor in Journey into Mystery #83 in 1962, but he also wrote and drew stories for The Human Torch, Tales of the Watch, the Was, Tales to Astonish, Ant-Man, and Giant-Man before moving on to The Rawhide Kid.
Lieber wanted his Western character, The Rawhide Kid, created by Stan Lee, to be serious, even if it had some comedic moments. Lieber was drawn to writers such as Paddy Chayevsky, Rod Serling, and Sterling Siliphant, and he hoped that readers would react to the Rawhide Kid in the same way that they would to the film High Noon. (Source: Askart)
Why Did Larry Lieber Enjoy Working with Western-themed Superheroes?
Lieber preferred working on Westerns to working on superheroes such as Thor and Spider-Man because the Western was more grounded in reality than, as Lieber puts it, a guy who could fly.
Westerns had technical and thus financial disadvantages. Jack Kirby, the Marvel Comics genius for whom Lieber wrote stories based on Stan Lee’s plots, could draw six pencil pages of monster stories a day but only five pages of Westerns due to the complexities of drawing gunbelts. Despite the gunbelt problem, Kirby was a lightning-fast artist who could often draw faster than Lieber could write.
After failing to find enough work at Marvel Comics, Larry Lieber joined Atlas Comics as an editor in the mid-1970s, where he had to adapt to black and white comics after a career in color. Lieber returned to Marvel Comics as an editor after the company went out of business a year or two later.
Lieber would recombine parts of foreign names from the biography section at the back of the dictionary for the terms of some of his characters.
The Incredible Hulk was his first daily newspaper comic. Lieber would later join illustrator Fred Kida in drawing the daily Spider-Man comic strip for King Features, which his older brother wrote. Lieber also wrote and penciled the stories he later inked. Lieber did early inking work on Millie, the Model, and Tessie the Typist before joining the army in 1951, but he only did “serious” inking on the Spider-Man comic strip. (Source: Askart)