INTERVIEW: Stan Lee explains why he hasn't created a gay superhero
At 92 years young, iconic comic writer, Stan Lee, is still working (and playing) hard every day and he's livelier than ever when you can finally nail him down for an interview.
At the tail end of our time with Lee last week, we found ourselves in the curious position of having more time left after we got through our most pressing questions. Going out on a limb, we asked the renowned comic creator if he ever considered creating a gay superhero. His answer surprised us.
"No, I really have not," Lee shared. "I don't think it's necessary to have every type of person in the world in the stories."
Before you grab the torches, it's important to consider the rest of his reasoning.
"That's something that I can't write about that much because I don't know that much about it," Lee explained. "You know what I mean? I can write about things I know about."
That's an entirely valid point. Do you want your favorite writer grasping at straws in an effort to fill the social void? A lesson writers are often told is to "write what you know." A floundering attempt to understand a lifestyle he's not part of could ultimately land Lee in more trouble than just creating straight characters and, of course, sticking to what he knows. Much like men are often terrible at creating relatable female characters (manic pixie dream girls, anyone?), could a straight man really do a fair job of creating a homosexual character?
Of course, Lee hasn't completely written off the idea, either. Lee loves his fans and admitted that if they really wanted to see him have a go, he'd consider it.
"It never occurred to me, frankly," Lee admitted. "If there's suddenly an overwhelming desire on the part of public to have a gay hero, then I would probably try to write one. But, until you mentioned it now, it never occurred to me."
Our opinion? Let's let Lee stick to what he knows. Plus, it could give everyone an chance to get to know the gay superheroes who are already out there, representing. One of the best examples is Northstar. He debuted in 1979 and was always intended to be gay, but never officially "came out" on the pages until the early '90s in an attempt to bring about AIDS awareness. Then, of course, there is always the updated Batwoman. While the original Batwoman was actually used as a way to prove Batman wasn't gay, the new Batwoman has a fiancée.