News

At 91, Stan Lee continues to expand his ‘Universe’

At 91, Stan Lee continues to expand his ‘Universe’

COMIC CREATOR: Stan Lee, 91, the creator of comic book franchises and box-office behemoths such as Spider-Man, Avengers and X-Men, is focusing on Stan Lee's Kids Universe and publishing new content across books, television and digital platforms for young children. Photo: Reuters

By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Marvel Entertainment’s chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn’t stopped him from adding outposts to his creative empire as he hopes to interest a new generation of children in super heroes of all shapes and sizes.

Lee, 91, the creator of comic book franchises and box-office behemoths such as Spider-Man, Avengers and X-Men, is focusing on Stan Lee’s Kids Universe and publishing new content across books, television and digital platforms for young children.

The latest character to join the Kids Universe roster is Dex T-Rex, a cheeky little blue dinosaur who likes to wreak havoc but learns a serious lesson when his actions become harmful to others. He appears in a book titled “Dex T-Rex: The Mischievous Little Dinosaur” written and illustrated by first-time illustrator Katya Bowser and aimed at children under 10.

“Children that age enjoy any story with interesting things happening, but if you can insert morals into the stories, how much better that is,” said Lee at a signing for the book in Los Angeles over the weekend. “You try to do it in an amusing way and not in a lecturing way.”

More than a hundred people, both old and young, lined up among narrow bookshelves to see Lee. New fans have been won over by Disney-owned Marvel’s films such as “Captain America,” “Thor” and most recently, “Guardians of the Galaxy,” in which he has cameo roles.

“Because of the success of those movies, a lot of people know me, so if I do books like these, they’re willing to give them a try,” Lee said.

Many of the Marvel films are male dominated, and both critics and fans have been pushing for more female characters to be included from the Marvel Universe. While Lee’s books for children often use animals, he said, “We will of course have representatives of every different type” of person.

In October, Marvel will introduce a female Thor to its stable of characters in an effort to bring new readers and appeal to women and girls.

Lee’s company POW (Purveyors of Wonder) Entertainment partnered with newcomer artists and illustrators for his Kids Universe, producing books such as “Monsters vs. Kittens,” “Hero Petz” and the upcoming “Rockstar Super Diva,” aimed at girls.

Lee believes the characters can be transitioned to film and TV, and he has a live-action project in the works for next year.

“The stories that I’ve always tried to do have been interesting, provocative and exciting enough to hold someone’s interest,” he said.

As for the upcoming Marvel movies, slated by Disney through 2019, Lee said he is excited to see more characters from the Marvel Universe appear on the big screen, such as Doctor Strange, Black Panther and Ant-Man.

(Editing by Eric Kelsey and Cynthia Osterman)

Recent Headlines

in Local Sports

Bells Never Find Footing Against Falcons

bellingham bells pcl logo generic 3

After jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the 1st inning, the Kelowna Falcons never looked back and beat the Bellingham Bells 8-1 Saturday night.

in Local Sports

Kah scores 2 goals to lead Vancouver past Seattle, 3-0 

seattle sounders fc logo on ball

Pa-Modou Kah surpassed his MLS career goal total by scoring twice

in Local Sports

Suzuki’s RBI single in 9th lifts Twins past Mariners, 3-2

minnesota twins logo

Kurt Suzuki hit the winning RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning

in Sports

Kershaw extends scoreless streak to 37 innings

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw sits in the dugout before a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday, July 29, 2014, in Los Angeles.

Kershaw (9-6) struck out seven, walked none and retired his last 15 batters while working on eight days' rest.

in Sports

NBA’s current, former stars put on show in Africa exhibition

NBA Africa 1

The game got serious in the second half: Chris Paul's Team World rallied to beat Luol Deng's Team Africa 101-97.