The Marvel Method Archive

How Marvel Comics were created. Overview Jack Kirby as a writer The smoking gun: margin notes Lee's creative input Lee did not write scripts or plots 1958: Monster comics 1961: Fantastic Four 1963: Spider-Man 1963: Thor 1963: Dr Strange 1963: Iron Man 1964: Daredevil 1965: Sgt Fury; Agent of SHIELD The case against Kirby Writing credit post 1970 Stealing writing credit The writers didn't like it Stolen art Stan Lee the man Steve Ditko Eye witnesses who were not there Fandom Kirby's colleagues The business side of Marvel Miscellaneous Kirby Miscellaneous
Overview What was the Marvel Method Follow the money: how the Marvel Method worked A brief history of Stan Lee The Marvel Method According to Jack Kirby. How the Marvel Universe was created Marvel is hiding the evidence against Stan Lee
Jack Kirby as a writer Jack Kirby as a writer Kirby's notes were erased and his inked signature was painted over Kirby brought the human element to the Marvel stories. How Lee got Kirby to do more writing Kirby always said he created the stories Kirby said it clearly back in 1969 Kirby's solo work sold well. Marvel editors undermined Kirby whenever they could
The smoking gun: margin notes Original art shows that artists wrote the stories What do margin notes tell us? Not just Kirby: Wood, Everett, Adkins and Brunner Wally Wood creates a Daredevil plot More original art (from 1963) showing Kirby was writing the story Notes began in 1963. Before that Kirby met personally with Lee. Kirby explained the stories to Lee Who wrote the dialogue? Until 1960, Kirby pencilled in the dialog into word balloons By the 1980s Lee was worried about margin notes making him look bad Lee as vandal
Lee's creative input Lee ruined Kirby's dialog Lee did not know the story or characters Lee weakened Kirby's stories Lee's "heavy work load" Lee's instructions were vague Lee "could hardly spell" Lee's bad dialog Lee's use of superlatives "Excelsior" may have been copied from Wally Wood Wally Wood pokes fun at Lee's Thor dialog Bernie Wrightson's opinion of Lee as editor
Lee did not write scripts or plots Lee's "short plot summaries" were "practically nothing" and after he got ideas from artists Lee admitted that Kirby wrote the story Myth: "Lee had more input at the start" Lee said he began the "Marvel Method" because he was busy Lee wrote nothing between 1955-1957 (when Kirby arrived) Lee could not create a good story on his own Did Lee write any scripts in the 1960s? Lee may NEVER have written full scripts Did Lee get some junior employee to fill in dialogue?
Monster comics How Marvel re-wrote history (who wrote the monster comics?) Credits were changed A detailed look at who wrote Marvel stories between 1958-1963 Lee did not write the monster books that are now credited to him Lee didn't make many changes to the monster books Kirby's monster stories: why does anyone believe Lee?
Fantastic Four Lee's claims regarding the Fantastic Four Evidence that the FF was entirely Kirby's idea Kirby had characters violently disagree before the Fantastic Four Changes to Fantastic Four issue 3 Any synopsis was written AFTER discussing ideas with Kirby "Stretcho" as a dialog term for Reed Richards Lee did not know what was in the comics he claimed to write Lee's claim to have invented Galactus That time Kirby was given writing credit Who plotted the Fantastic Four after Kirby left?
Spider-Man Who plotted the first two Spider-Man stories? Lee contradicted himself over Spider-Man's origin Lee's claim to have read "The Spider" as a kid Ditko's role in creating Spider-Man Lee's involvement in Spider-Man The first appearance of Spider-Man, and behind the scenes in 1963 Which was the first Spider-Man cover? Lee said he suggested a famous scene A page from Spider-Man 22 How Steve Ditko left Why Lee hired John Romita What did Lee do on the Spider-Man newspaper strip?
Thor The fourth time that Kirby created Thor Thor without Lee Thor 101: the difference between Kirby's writing and Lee's writing Kirby provided the ideas for Thor Possible changes to Kirby's Thor story The claim that Thor was a "training ground" for Kirby Kirby and Lee talk Thor Kirby plotted the Ego story Was "Ego the living planet" a parody of Lee?
Dr Strange Stan Lee's story changed after 1978 Who contributed more to Dr Strange dialogue?
Iron Man The pre-Marvel origin of Iron Man (and all the other Marvel characters)
Daredevil Creating Daredevil (part 1) Creating Daredevil (part 2) Creating Daredevil (part 3) Creating Daredevil (part 4) Who wrote the dialog for Daredevil 2-4? Wally Wood plotted Daredevil 4-11 Wally Wood on being denied writing money Denial of credit on Daredevil 7 Daredevil: the origins of the Savage Land Daredeil 11: Lee did not understand Wood's superb plot. But took credit anyway. When Wally Wood left Marvel Did Roy Thomas lie about Wally Wood?
Sgt Fury; Agent of SHIELD Lee's claims about Sgt. Fury Who created Nick Fury, agent of SHIELD? (And why did Marvel erase the evidence?)
The case against Kirby The FF 8 synopsis: Fake? Or Lee putting changes in writing? Did Lee offer Kirby a deal? "Stan has filled entire chapters giving credit."
Writing credit post 1970 The Spider-Man newspaper strip does not mention Jim Shooter as plotter Buscema wrote a training course, then Lee took the credit Moebius said he worked Marvel Method in 1988 Bill Sienkiewicz on not receiving credit for his work The "writer" who really just made minor edits
Stealing writing credit The four stage Marvel Method (based on Lee's claims) Why did people believe Stan Lee? Lee took credit for others' ideas Stan Me (Joe Simon Lampoons Stan Lee) Kick-backs to the editor were very common in the industry When did Lee start taking writing money? Profit sharing (an empty promise)
The writers didn't like it Why top writer-artists left Marvel Why Kirby left Marvel in 1970 (with a timeline) Wally Wood left because he was not paid for his writing More writer-artists left   (and more margin notes) When Dick Ayers asked Lee for writing credit 1966: writers rebelled Neal Adams on who did the writing (when Lee was credited) Lee finally gave some credit, but too little too late Martin Goodman as Colonel Mockingbird
Stolen art Steve Ditko on stolen art Steve Ditko on stolen art, continued Original Daredevil art turns up Original art used to be given away Roy Thomas tried to give the art to the "writers" Theft of original art Art stolen from Kirby Stolen art was already a scandal in 1972 Early Hulk pages for sale Marvel said they could not return Kirby's art. But gave it to other people.
Stan Lee the man Stan Lee's reputation The happy bullpen When Lee misled the press Lee: illusion and reality Lee's personality Touring campuses, promoting comics: DC did it first "Bad memory" as an excuse for lying The "Smilin' Stan" persona may have been invented as late as 1966 How Lee broke Don Heck's spirit Lee said he did nothing wrong (on why Ditko and Kirby quit) Lee took in a lot of money Why Lee is so famous Marvel no longer tip toes around Lee
Steve Ditko Lee admitted that Ditko demanded "more than just artist pay and credit" Ditko opposed Lee and supported Kirby's general position Kirby on Ditko Newspaper article on Steve Ditko A stolen Steve Ditko story
Eye witnesses who were not there Jim Steranko: an "eye witness" who was not there Barry Windsor Smith: another eye witness who was not there Roy Thomas: another eye witness who was not there John Romita: is he reliable? Lee's supporters have creative memories Roy Thomas rewrites history Is Roy Thomas' memory reliable? Roy Thomas called the Torch and Submariner Stan Lee's characters Roy Thomas admitted that Kirby was involved in plotting (and later said the opposite)
Fandom How fans sometimes change when they learn about Lee How Lee's fans shut down debate The media repeats Lee's claims Fans ignoring Ditko and twisting his words Fans don't believe evidence used in court Fans are erratic (Roy Thomas's taste) A straw man argument in defense of Lee Ten signs you may be in a comics cult
Kirby's colleagues Mark Evanier is not a "Kirby partisan" In "Simon and Kirby" work, Simon only did a small amount How reliable was Joe Simon?
The business side of Marvel A history of Marvel in the 1960s Sales figures and dirty tricks in the comics industry Sales declined when the writer-artist creators left Did Lee add any value to Marvel? How Marvel almost put DC out of business This was not "work for hire" The copyright law of 1978 Why Jim Shooter became Editor in Chief in 1978
Miscellaneous Kirby That other time Kirby was given writing credit Interview with Neal Kirby What Kirby thought of Lee's words Sky Masters Kirby's collages Captain Victory What makes a great artist? (Fan criticism of Kirby and Ditko) The long-awaited biography
Miscellaneous (not Kirby) Radioactivity: where did the idea come from? A "Stan Lee - S. Ditko" story about both men contributing to plots Life imitates art (stealing writing credit) A lost 1965 Stan Lee interview A Don Heck page from 1960 Lee did not want fans to know he was called Stanley in 1961 When were speech balloons added? Different approaches Reusing old plots and art Bullpen Bulletins all in one place More about the Marvel Method Facebook group About this archive