October 16, 2006

Lee Says Comics Characters Tackle Bias

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - If comic book characters like the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man seem a tad different, their creator Stan Lee says that's the point.

"The thing I had in mind was to make it a story against bigotry of all sorts, because here were people who were certainly different than everybody else, but they were good, they were trying to do the right thing," Lee tells the San Francisco Chronicle in Sunday's editions.

"But as so often happens in real life, if you have a different religion, a different country, a different sexual orientation, whatever the difference is, people - not all people, but it happens - are going to dislike you, distrust you, fear you."

Lee, 83, who developed characters for Marvel Comics during the 1960s and now is busy developing projects for film, TV and the Internet, says his heroes have an enduring appeal.

"People enjoy seeing stories of colorful characters who are in situations they can relate to. People have always been fond of stories that were high concept, where the stakes were bigger than anything in real life, the characters were bigger and more exciting."