The Washington Post

THE AMAZING ‘SPIDER-MAN’: Stan Lee’s Top 10 Quotes About his Web-Slinging Co-Creation

IN RECENT YEARS, Comic Riffs has enjoyed a handful of occasions to talk Spider-Man with his co-creator, Marvel mastermind Stan Lee.

(Reed Saxon / AP)

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:

SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF: Stan Lee s suspended in 2009 at the "Scream Awards" in Los Angeles. (Chris Pizzello / AP)



“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

And now...


“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

Writer/artist/visual storyteller Michael Cavna is creator of the "Comic Riffs" column and graphic-novel reviewer for The Post's Book World. He relishes sharp-eyed satire in most any form.


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