IN RECENT YEARS, Comic Riffs has enjoyed a handful of occasions to talk Spider-Man with his co-creator, Marvel mastermind Stan Lee.
As Spidey has turned 50 this year, Lee — who created the webslinger with the great Steve Ditko — has reflected on what it means to have a character remain so popular in the public consciousness. Lee has also commented on casting decisions, directors’ choices — and the paternal feeling he has for Peter Parker.
So today, as Marc Webb’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” swings into theaters, Comic Riffs collects — from our interviews — our 10 Favorite Spider-Man Quotes as Shared by Stan Lee Himself:
“I never realized that Spider-Man would be around for a half-century. I didn’t think he would till I started getting invited to lecture at colleges, and interviewers asked me about Spider-Man. And once he began to appear on radio and on television, I didn’t need a house to fall on me.”
— LEE, on the character’s burgeoning popularity in the ‘60s
“The one thing I liked about Peter’s [mechanized] web-shooters was the fact that they made him more vulnerable. At any crucial moment he could run out of web fluid and be forced to rely on his wits.”
— On why he co-created Spidey with limited monofilament (the new film is true to that choice)
On the other hand...
“The organic webs which Sam Raimi gave him — and which Jim Cameron also would have given him had he directed the first Spidey film — certainly worked beautifully in the movie, and perhaps allowed for better special effects than my idea of limited webbing might have done.”
“Does the sun set in the West?”
— LEE (in early 2009), on whether we would ever finally see that fourth Spider-Man film
“Tobey Maguire was wonderful. The minute I heard he was in it [during casting], I thought it was a wonderful choice — he wasn't the obvious choice, and that's what made it so good.”
— On the casting for the first three “Spider-Man” films
“I’ve met [Andrew Garfield] and I think he is terrific. Whoever cast him should get a medal. The funny thing is, he and Tobey are totally different and yet both were perfect for Peter Parker. They have that Everyguy quality.”
— On Maguire’s cinematic successor
“They’d better get it right!”
— LEE’s sort-of-mock threat (in late 2010) to the producers of the then-troubled Broadway musical, “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.”
“The idea I had, the underlying theme, was that just because somebody is different doesn’t make them better. ... That seems to be the worst thing in human nature: We tend to dislike people who are different than we are.”
— On creating Peter Parker/Spider-Man as an troubled Outsider.
“For a long time, there was no personal involvement with some of the superheroes. I’d read books and Dickens always had interesting characters. Mark Twain had interesting characters — so did Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Arthur Conan Doyle, who created the greatest fictional character of all in Sherlock Holmes. I wanted to write the kind of dialogue that would give the character personality.”
— On creating Peter Parker with depth
“Me, with a bigger cameo.”
— LEE, on what he would like to see next in the "Spider-Man" films