Stan Lee created Spider-Man in 1962, possibly his most famous creation on top of The Hulk, Fantastic Four, Iron Man and The X-Men. In comic books, movies and animated television Spidey continues to sling his webs. The latest incarnation is Disney XD’s Ultimate Spider-Man, which Lee proudly supports.
“Whatever comes along, Spider-Man should be part of it because he has become possibly one of, if not the most popular characters in the world,” Lee said. “They know him in the orient, they know him in Africa, they know him in the mideast. They know him all over. And more than know him, they seem to love him. That doesn’t displease me. It’s a great feeling to feel that something that people like that much, something that brings people so much enjoyment, somehow I’m linked to it as well as all the other people who were involved.”
Ultimate Spider-Man is based on a Marvel comic reboot updating their classic characters for modern day audiences. However the animated series still captures what Lee feels is important about Spider-Man.
“Oh, I think it’s so hip. He has his little wisecracks to the audience. It’s today. Everything about it is today. It’s well written, it’s beautifully drawn and it’s cool. In fact, all of the Spider-Man cartoons were emblematic, they represented the time they were done and I think that this Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon could only have been done in this period of time.”
Those wisecracks are an important part of Spider-Man’s character. Peter Parker is a high school student who acts like a teenager as he fights crime. “I think people like humor. I think people like wisecracks if you will. Now that doesn’t mean the whole story is funny but I feel if you can get a character who occasionally is a wisecracker, who has the same problems you and I have, who tries to forget those problems by kidding around a little bit, I want to humanize the character and all of us, all of us have a sense of humor and all of us respond to a sense of humor and I think that’s one of the things that has made Spider-Man so popular for so many years, the fact that we try to put some type of humor in the stories and the more humor the better as far as I’m concerned.”
As he appears in cameos in the live-action superhero films, Lee also gets to play a role in the animated series. “If you can live with the fact that I play the janitor in it, I think they could’ve given me something more glamorous but hey, beggars can’t be choosers,” he joked.
Ultimate Spider-Man premieres at 11 a.m. April 1 on Disney XD.