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Happy 85th birthday, Stan Lee!

by Matthew Price Modified: April 22, 2013 at 2:06 pm •  Published: December 28, 2007

In honor of Stan Lee’s 85th birthday, here are my 85 favorite comic books by “The Man.”

1. Avengers No. 4 — My favorite for sentimental reasons, as Captain America is revived by the Avengers. Historically, this issue is important as Lee directly tied the Marvel of the 1960s to the Timely heroes of the 1940s, making Marvel continuity all the more intriguing.

2. Fantastic Four No. 48 — Stan Lee kicks off the “Galactus trilogy” with the introduction of the mysterious Silver Surfer.

3. Fantastic Four No. 1 — Stan Lee introduces a new kind of superteam in the first issue of “Fantastic Four.”

4. Amazing Fantasy No. 15 — Stan introduces the everyman hero of Peter Parker, who becomes Spider-Man.

5. Fantastic Four No. 5 — The Fantastic Four’s nemesis, and one of the greatest villains in comics, Doctor Doom, is introduced.

6. Captain America No. 100 — Captain America leaps into his first solo series since the 1940s in No. 100, spinning out of “Tales of Suspense,” which featured both Iron Man and Captain America in half-issue stories.

7. Amazing Spider-Man No. 5 — Spidey faces off against Doctor Doom, and Flash Thompson is mistaken for Spidey.

8. Fantastic Four No. 50 — The conclusion of the Galactus trilogy.

9. Amazing Spider-Man No. 50 — Peter Parker quits being Spider-Man (he later reconsiders). First appearance of the Kingpin.

10. Amazing Spider-Man No. 33 — Trapped beneath rubble in an underwater tunnel, Spider-Man must summon all his strength to escape.

11. Fantastic Four No. 49 — The first full appearance of Galactus has the Fantastic Four scrambling like never before.

12. Fantastic Four Annual No. 1 — Namor invades the surface world in this classic battle.

13. Amazing Spider-Man No. 3 — The first appearance of Doctor Octopus.

14. X-Men No. 1 — Stan introduces the X-Men: Cyclops, Iceman, Beast, Marvel Girl and Angel — and the villainous Magneto.

15. Amazing Spider-Man No. 1 — Spider-Man graduates into his own
series, and faces off against the Fantastic Four

16. Silver Surfer No. 1 — The first series featuring the sentinel of
the spaceways.

17. X-Men No. 14 — The Sentinels, mutant-hunting robots, are introduced.

18. Fantastic Four No. 4 — Namor the Sub-Mariner is discovered
amnesiac and homeless by Johnny Storm. This revived the popular 1940s
character into a longtime Fantastic Four foil, sometimes as an ally
and sometimes as a nemesis.

19. Tales of Suspense No. 39 — Tony Stark, arms dealer, becomes Iron
Man to save his life.

20. Hulk No. 1 — The man-monster Hulk is introduced.

21. Fantastic Four Annual No. 3 — Reed Richards and Sue Storm become
one of the first married superhero couples (second only to Aquaman and

22. Amazing Spider-Man No. 14 — First appearance of the Green Goblin.

23. Journey into Mystery No. 83 — Stan reworks Norse mythology to
create Marvel’s version of Thor, God of Thunder.
24. Fantastic Four #52 — First appearance of the Black Panther, Marvel’s first black superhero.

25. Fantastic Four 51 – “This Man, This Monster” features a criminal trying to take the place of The Thing in one of Stan’s most memorable stories.

26. Captain America No. 109 — The origin of Captain America.

27. Daredevil No.1 -- The blind lawyer Matt Murdock is secretly the adventurer Daredevil.

28. Silver Surfer No. 4 – Silver Surfer faces off against Thor.

29. Fantastic Four No. 44 – First appearance of the Inhumans.

30. Tales of Suspense No. 39 — The amazing archer Hawkeye is introduced.

31. Fantastic Four No. 12 — the first battle between the Thing and the Hulk.

32. Fantastic Four No. 67 — “Him,” the character who would become Adam Warlock, is hatched from his cocoon.

33. Avengers No. 1 — Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, the Wasp and Ant-Man join forces to face off against Loki, Thor’s evil brother.
34. Tales of Suspense #58 – Captain America battles Iron Man before co-starring in the series.

35. X-Men No. 12 -- First appearance of the Juggernaut.

36. Amazing Spider-Man No. 6 –first appearance of the Lizard

37. Captain America No. 117 — First appearance of Captain America’s sidekick the Falcon

38. Daredevil No. 7 — With artwork by Wally Wood, Daredevil’s red costume is unveiled as he battles Namor the Sub-Mariner.

39. Silver Surfer Graphic Novel – Stan Lee and Jack Kirby team up on the Silver Surfer for the final time.

40. Strange Tales 114 — The Human Torch battles a character calling
himself Captain America in this tryout for the revival of the 1940s
41. Amazing Spider-Man 96 - Marvel defies comics code with anti-drug message

42. . Strange Tales No. 110 — Dr. Strange first casts his spell, with art by Steve Ditko.

43. Captain America No. 113 – The so-called ‘death’ of Captain America, with outstanding art by Steranko.

44. X-Men No. 3 -- The first appearance of the Blob.

45. Amazing Spider-Man 12- Peter Parker is unmasked by Doctor Octopus.

46. Strange Tales No. 151 – Jim Steranko’s art enhances Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD.

47. Tales of Suspense No. 59 — Captain America’s solo tales begin.

48. Amazing Spider-Man 9 – First appearance of the villain Electro.

49. Iron Man No. 1 – Tony Stark gets his own series.

50. Captain America No. 110 – Another Steranko issue, as Captain America faces the Hulk.

51. Amazing Spider-Man 2 – First appearance of the Vulture.

52. Avengers No. 16 – Captain America leads a new Avengers lineup.

53. Amazing Spider-Man 13 – First appearance of the special effects master, Mysterio.

54. Fantastic Four 45 – The Inhumans storyline continues.

55. X-Men No. 4 — The introduction of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

56. Amazing Spider-Man 97 — The antidrug storyline continues.

57. Amazing Spider-Man 4 - First Sandman.

58. Avengers 9 — Wonder Man introduced.

59. Fantastic Four 46 – Black Bolt and the Inhumans appear.

60. Amazing Spider-Man 15 – first Kraven, the Hunter

61. Fantastic Four 57 — Silver Surfer and Doctor Doom face off, with the Fantastic Four in the middle.
62. Hulk 102 — Hulk again gets own series.

63. Fantastic Four 47 – Inhumans storyline conclusion.

64. Amazing Spider-Man 10 – Spider-Man vs the Enforcers

65. Strange Tales 107 - Human Torch vs Namor

66. Amazing Spider-Man 39 – Spider-Man vs Goblin; first John Romita art.

67. Silver Surfer Parable No. 1 – Lee teams with classic European artist Moebius for an innovative series.

68. Amazing Spider-Man 98 — Antidrug story concludes

69. Fantastic Four 100 — The Fantastic Four against all of their villains.

70. Amazing Spider-Man 8 — faces off against Human Torch, battles
living robot inside high school

71. Tales to Astonish No. 27 — First Ant-Man issue

72. Journey into Mystery 85 - First appearance of Loki

73. Thor 126 — First of his own title, vs Hercules.

74. Hulk 115 – Hulk vs the Leader

75. Journey into Mystery 112 –Thor vs Hulk

76. Daredevil 16 — Daredevil vs Spider-Man with art by John Romita.
77. Amazing Spider-Man 20 – 1st scorpion

78. X-Men #2 — first appearance of the Vanisher

79. Strange Tales 101 – Human Torch solo series begins.

80. Tales to Astonish 100 – Namor vs Hulk

81. Amazing Spider-Man 40 - Unmasked by the Green Goblin.

82. Strange Tales 159 - Fury vs Cap

83. Amazing Spider-Man 41 – first Rhino

84. Sub-Mariner 1 - Namor gets his own solo series.

85. Amazing Spider-Man 16 – Spider-Man faces off against Daredevil.

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by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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