Jack Kirby + Stan Lee 1961

Above all others, Marvel Comics in their Sixties iterations, seemed to punctuate the extraordinary cultural developments in the West with entirely apposite and appropriate versions of old mythologies and their own brand of new myths. From Thor, Asgard and the Rainbow Bridge, to The Silver Surfer – that icon of the late Sixties – Stan Lee (working with a number of artists, but predominately with veteran Jack Kirby) repeatedly found the perfect combination of myth, fantasy and graphic style  to generate a series of highly successful commercial products that transformed popular culture.

For instance, my favourite reading in the late Sixties and early Seventies included Marvel comics alongside Michael Moorcock’s New Worlds Science Fiction, Theo Crosby’s Architectural Design, New Scientist, OZ magazine, Rolling Stone,  Peace News, and the International Times. But generally, the character development of Marvel – chiefly the work of Stan Lee, collaborating with artists like Jack Kirby, Jim Steranko, Steve Ditko (etc) – was brilliant – both in the sense or being very finely pitched to the developing tastes of Western youth, and in modern myth-making.

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