As you may be aware, an ex-assistant of Stan Lee has recently launched a lawsuit against Lee, his wife Joan Lee, their daughter Joan Celia Lee, and two of their companies, “alleging multiple labor code violations, wrongful firing and intentional infliction of emotional distress.” A more detailed report of the charges paints a pretty harsh picture of Lee, but it seems he has a lot of comic book pros in his corner.
One of the latest to come to Lee’s defense was Neal Adams; not just a comic legend but an advocator for comic book creator rights. He wrote:
While I have nothing to say about the lawsuit against Stan Lee and family and its validity, because I simply don’t know, I do feel compelled to say this. I have known Stan Lee for decades, and that is simply not the Stan Lee that I know.
Marv Wolfman then hopped on board:
What Neal said. That is not even remotely the Stan I’ve known since 1972. Even when there’s been problems I have never witnessed him to be anything less than understanding, kind and totally professional, and even when we’ve disagreed I’ve never heard him use that kind of language.
Scott Lobdell also chimed in:
I’ve been friends with Stan Lee for over 20 years now. I’ve never known him to be anything but a perfect gentleman even during the times I disappointed him with one blown deadline or another. I imagine things for a living but even I can’t imagine a reality in which Stan is anything other than the caring and supportive guy that I’ve always known him to be.
Finally, Nick Burracci stated:
I cannot imagine what is said about Stan or Joan is true. Simply put, I’ve known Stan for a few decades, and I’m going to oversimplify this. I can remember one time there was a mistake that I made, and he looked at me and said “Nick, everyone makes mistakes. Let’s be careful not to do that again.” He smiled and patted me on the back, and we continued on.
It would be easy to say that obviously, both the accusations being made by Shawn Lukaszewicz, (the ex-assistant), and these character statements can’t both be true. Someone has to be lying. But maybe it’s a little more complicated than that. Hopefully these comic legends are speaking about a Stan Lee they’re still close and chummy with, not just a friendship from a long time ago. That would leave more of a chance that maybe Lee has changed since then. Or perhaps Lukaszewicz is simply bitter about getting fired and fabricating stories for 15 minutes of fame. No one except those directly involved will ever truly know.
What a sweet sight, these comic book heavy hitters going to bat for each other, though. It must be hard not to take things personally when someone you admire so much is attacked in such a way. Who else do you think will step out and speak up in support of Lee?