Stan Lee was the recipient of a much-deserved Jules Verne Lifetime Achievement Award this week, presented to him by Doug Jones (who played the Silver Surfer onscreen in the recent Fantastic Four sequel) and by Heroes creator Tim Kring and co-executive producer Jeph Loeb. It might have been a lifetime achievement award, but he certainly doesn't show any signs of slowing down at this point. The creator of The Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Iron Man, and a host of other costume-wearing comic book characters told us about his upcoming cameos in Marvel movies, and the origin of his catch phrase.
We were wondering if you watch Heroes, and what you thought about it.
I love it. LOVE it! I haven't watched all of them because I don't have a lot of time with all the writing I'm doing, but I love it. I even did a cameo in the first season.
That's right, you were a bus driver who picks up Hiro. Would you come back if they asked you?
Of course! I'd be angry if they didn't. I just love doing those.
Well that brings up a good point. Watching the Marvel movies now has become a game of "spot Stan Lee." Will we see you in Iron Man?
Oh yeah, I've already done that role, and it's a very funny cameo. I'll give you just a hint of what it is: I'm dressed like Hugh Hefner, and I've got my arms around three beautiful blonde women who are as close to me as you can get without being on the other side. Plus, I'm smoking a pipe like Hugh Hefner. So when you see it, remember that you heard it here first!
If the Thor film keeps going forward and they want me in it, then they'll probably have me swing a hammer. I'd don fur and leather or do anything they wanted me to do in order to get back on the screen.
In Heroes, the people get their powers through genetics, it isn't supernatural in origin or from cosmic rays or anything. In all of the characters you've created, do you have a favorite origin story?
Well, I think they're all great. I mean... probably Spider-Man being bitten by the radioactive spider. It's so simple, and he was the first teenaged superhero, in my recollection. Plus he faced all the problems that a teenager would encounter; girls, schoolwork, friends. He was the most realistic to me and will probably always be my favorite.
Where did your catch phrase "Excelsior!" come from?
I used to have a lot of expressions that I would end my comic book columns with: Hang Loose, Face Front, 'Nuff Said, and I found that the competition was always imitating them and using them. So, I said I'm going to get one expression that they're not going to know what it means, and they won't know how to spell it. And that's where excelsior came from, and they never did take up on it, thank goodness.
Well, that's good because now it's your unofficial slogan. Thank you for your time.
It was my pleasure. Excelsior!