A Marvelous Life by Danny Fingeroth

A Marvelous Life

by Danny Fingeroth

Stan Lee invented SPIDER-MAN! And IRON MAN! And the HULK! And the X-MEN! And more than 500 other iconic characters! His name has appeared on more than a billion comic books, in 75 countries, in 25 languages. His creations have starred in multibillion-dollar grossing movies and TV series. This is his story.

Danny Fingeroth writes a comprehensive biography of this powerhouse of ideas who changed the world's understanding of what a hero is and how a story should be told, while exploring Lee's unique path to becoming the face of comics.

With behind-the-scenes stories and interviews with Stan's brother Larry Lieber and other industry legends, The Marvelous Life has insights that only an insider like Fingeroth can offer.

Fingeroth, himself a longtime writer and editor at Marvel Comics and now a lauded pop culture critic and historian, knew and worked with Stan Lee for over three decades. Due to this connection, Fingeroth is able to put Lee's life and work in a context that makes events and actions come to life as no other writer could.

Reviewed by Quirky Cat on

4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of A Marvelous Life through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

A Marvelous Life by Danny Fingeroth is a full biography of the much beloved Stan Lee. Naturally, this read is going to be a bit emotional for fans, thanks to the fairly recent loss of Stan Lee. But it's still well worth the read.
This biography is perfect for any fans looking to know more about the comic book idol, and his life – both inside and out of the industry. And trust me, there is a lot to learn about this man. Danny Fingeroth is in a good position to tell this story, since he was a college of Stan Lee. And that's always a relief, of course.

“But for all of this enthusiasm, even Lee couldn't know that Spider-Man would become the poster child for every kid who ever felt like he didn't belong – just as the X-Men would make every alienated adolescent feel like there was a family of freaks he or she could fit into.”

A Marvelous Life is a brilliant read, both for fans of Stan Lee, and fans of comic books as a whole. This novel contains a rich and extensive amount of detail, both about the life of Stan Lee, and of Marvel Comics itself. This makes so much sense, given the role that Lee played in Marvel's early years in particular.
I will say that I found this to be an emotional read, despite all the facts within. But that probably had more to do with the timing of the novel's release than anything else. And I'm sure I won't be the only one who feels that way. But I still wholeheartedly believe that this is a book worth reading!

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Reading updates

  • Started reading
  • 20 October, 2019: Finished reading
  • 20 October, 2019: Reviewed