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Excelsior!: The Amazing Life of Stan Lee
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Excelsior!: The Amazing Life of Stan Lee

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  329 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews

The man behind Spider-Man, The X-Men, The Incredible Hulk, and a legion of other superheroes tells his own amazing story in a book packed with punch, humor, anecdotes, and a gallery of never-before-seen photographs.

Stan Lee is the most legendary name in the history of comicbooks. The leading creative force behind the rise of Marvel Comics, he brought to life some of the

Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 7th 2002 by Touchstone (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

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Imogen Worrall
May 11, 2013 Imogen Worrall rated it it was amazing
Brilliant book and also very funny
Mar 22, 2016 Andrew rated it it was amazing
Only read if you've loved the really corny humor found in Stan's Soapbox.
Oct 20, 2016 Emmannuel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Probably the most recent biography I finished in a while of someone I was genuinely interested in learning about. Stan Lee has managed to live the rockstar life without the sex, drugs, alcohol and partying that you'd expect from someone of his caliber.

I mean, the worst thing I read in there was the stuff with Peter Paul and that one guy he knew in the Military that became a big deal in the Philippines.

The guy's a national treasure and even in the final chapter he's just so darned humble that you
Nov 26, 2016 Josep rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is a book that is going to delight any Marvel fan. It is write with the energy and hyperbole of a comic book so it is fast and easy to read. I liked to follow the history of Stan as comic book creator and by extension that of Marvel. The book ends at around year 2000 before Sam Raimi finished his movie about Spider-Man. Probably there are better and more detailed accounts of Marvel and Stan Lee, but this one has the unique characteristic of being wrote, in part, by Stan himself.
Kris Ashton
Jan 16, 2014 Kris Ashton rated it liked it
When I think about my influences as a writer/journalist, the names that come to mind include Stephen King, John O'Grady, James Herriot, John Wyndham and Hunter S. Thompson. But about halfway through Excelsior!, I realised there was another man who shaped the way I wrote - and the course I took in life - as much as any of those aforementioned. His name was Stan Lee, and Excelsior! is his autobiography (or "bio-autography" as he calls it, which we'll get to in due course).

One of my earliest memori
Jul 26, 2016 Charles rated it it was amazing
As the superhero genre is now a dominant theme of the movies for the big screen, it is time to give the credit where it is due. In the late fifties and very early sixties, comic books were popular, yet so much of what appeared was repeated and recycled with only slight alterations. It was time for a change and Stan Lee was the driving force behind a large set of new characters that are the subject of many popular and profitable movies.
Decades after the time of their creation, there is still s
Kevin Ibanez
Sep 18, 2015 Kevin Ibanez rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Personally, the man is one of my heros. What impressed me was his undying work ethic. The man never stopped working. Apparently he would write for hours on end, and to improve his writing, he would act it out to make it more natural. He carried this over into his chief editing days and I believe it is what helped create marvel as a success.

I also loved seeing where all of the heroes came from. I didn't know that Stan Lee didn't create Captain America, that the Fantastic Four c
Robert Federline
Jan 13, 2016 Robert Federline rated it really liked it
Anyone who ever read Spiderman, Fantastic Four, the Avengers, X-Men, or numerous other Marvel comic books is familiar with the name of Stan Lee. He made comic books acceptable and not shameful. He took them to a level where their artists and authors are deemed worthy of respect. They are the hottest items in Hollywood currently (although this was still building at the time this book was written).

This is a fun read about an iconic figure in entertainment. He is, to most fans, the actual heart of
Apr 07, 2010 Patrick rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010
Written with the same corny humor and hyperbolic style as he used to do "Stan's Soapbox" in the old comics, Lee's autobiography is a fun look at his poor youth in New York, his time in the army writing training manuals for things he'd never done, working as a go-for at the publishing company that would become Marvel, becoming the "editor by default," and then the golden age of comics and everything after.

The best parts are the middle chapters dealing with the inspirations/origins for all the cha
Apr 30, 2015 Tina rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, favorites
I'm a big Marvel fan so naturally I had to pick this up. Very fun read, I love Stan Lee's style. Reading the book is just like listening to him speak. Love this guy. He's brilliant. There were a lot of interesting tidbits in here that I didn't know before, like Hulk originally was grey but the printers had trouble getting the color consistent on paper so they switched to green because it was easier to get consistent each printing. Also, apparently Lee got the idea for thought bubbles from ...more
Jan 15, 2012 " rated it liked it
Stan Lee was the creator of Spider-Man, The x-Men and incredible Hulk. This book was an incredible read, i's funny and light and full of good humour and just made me feel happy in a sort of hyperrealist way, like a breadth of fresh air. Life is so boring and serious, it is nice to read something cheerfully positive once and a while. It is great for adults as well as teenagers, it has a very accessible language. I particularly like the chapter where he introduces his wife. I have been reading a ...more
Mike Thomas
Jul 04, 2012 Mike Thomas rated it it was amazing
This is a very interesting book, well written, Stan writes as he speaks, making it very funny and always entertaining. Its great to see the evolution of Marvel comics, from Timely comics during the Second World War, then Atlas comics soon after the war, then Marvel from the 60's to present. Stan created some of the worlds best known, ( and greatest ) superheroes, like the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Thor, the Hulk, Iron Man, the Avengers, Dr Strange, just to name a few, he gives an insight into ...more
Nov 27, 2013 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Stan Lee calls this his bio-autography. Not an autobiography, because he got George Mair to write it with him - he didn't want to write it all by himself. So Mair writers a paragraph or two of intro in each section, and Stan Lee continues with voluble memories, anecdotes, humour and reflections on the various facets of his life - his work, his family, his thoughts on writing, on comics and movies, and on those he has known.

Stan Lee is so much himself - writing in his own inimitable style that w
Matt Cox
Jan 04, 2015 Matt Cox rated it liked it
I went in very apprehensive about this book. Stan Lee's credibility as a contributor to Marvel's successful properties has always seemed to be a controversial topic and it always seems to drag out a dispute. This book will not answer your questions concerning the issue but it is an enjoyable read. Stan "The Man" is a fantastic showman and his style comes out through this "bio autobiography". This book is an enlightening window to Lee's life despite the skimming of his Ditko and Kirby ...more
Mike Jensen
Jun 20, 2012 Mike Jensen rated it liked it
Stan Lee’s autobiography, which wisely concentrates on his career, is immense fun. It is hampered, however, by Lee’s notoriously bad memory. There is so much his fans want to know that he could not include. Another flaw is how self-serving it is. His well-known feuds with Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko are barely mentioned, but Lee still takes most of the credit for the creation of Marvel’s characters and for its success. This is not to say he is lying, exactly. I do not know if he is or if it is a ...more
Jan 27, 2014 Bryan rated it it was ok
A very arrogant and self-serving account of most of the glory of Stan Lee's life, barely touching upon any of the negative portions and "downside" that one who lives a long life generally has come one's way. The portions involving Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko were extremely biased and one-sided (based on other books I have read on the subject matter) and reading the rinky-dink book co-authored with another writer (which in Stan Lee's mind means he gets all the credit, fame, glory, and most ...more
Jan 20, 2016 Matthew rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
William Quest
Aug 08, 2015 William Quest rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Stan Lee is an amazing person who lived in an era that being at the right place at the right time meant a world of difference. When a boy could become an editor by default. We are all lucky in that respect, or there WOULD be no Marvel and comics would probably still be seen as disposable entertainment. It was a fascinating look at a man who we all love to watch for in the Marvel movies. Stan the Man.

Hey Stan, if you see this, I am waiting for the sequel you promised! ;)
Jessica Juby
Feb 13, 2015 Jessica Juby rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-read-books
Found this book to be a really interesting read into the life of Marvel. Learned a lot that I didn't know, especially since I thought that Stan created Marvel; this isn't the case. I do feel that some of the stories may have been told with bias so I'm keeping an open mind. The reader really gets Stan's voice come through and it's told in a unique tone, really as if he's talking direct to the reader. As I mentioned in one of my updates, I do think it's a little sexist in places.
Patrick Nichol
Aug 05, 2011 Patrick Nichol rated it really liked it
This is Stan The Man's terrific tale of his fantastic life at Marvel Comics.

They're all here in this punchy memoir - Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, John Romita, Jr. and the mighty Marvel bullpen.

A must read for any comics fan, even if he only slightly addresses charges of being a credit-hog.
Jan 31, 2009 Rob rated it it was ok
I love Stan, but this really is a popcorn biography that sweeps over the turmoil and tension between him and the artists with whom he collaborated, as I'm sure Steve Ditko & Jack Kirby would have a thing or three to say about that. Excelsior is still chock full of good stories and reminiscing. Stan has lived the life that any of us fanboys would love to call our own.
Joe Poduska
Jan 13, 2016 Joe Poduska rated it really liked it
An illustrated autobiography by Stan Lee, this book tells the history of Marvel Comics with some bonus tips on how to write a good script for comics, TV or film. It goes into the triumphs, disappointments and personal landmarks of a storied career in entertainment. The illustrations are first rate.
Lisa Kuhn
May 28, 2014 Lisa Kuhn rated it really liked it
Shelves: bios
Grandpa Stan. What a great guy, and just as fun as I thought. I would love so much to meet this living legend. It was really cool learning about the history of Marvel. If you like anything Marvel, read this book.
May 24, 2016 Jana rated it liked it

I found this really interesting, I liked finding out about Stan Lee's time at Marvel and how lovingly he talks about his family. I did, however, feel that it wasn't particularly engagingly written, so it was sometimes hard to stay interested.
Rylan Perrott
Mar 08, 2014 Rylan Perrott rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favourites
Loved the book couldn't put it down. Stan writes as he speaks I felt like I was sitting with Stan and he was telling me his amazing life story. As a huge marvel fan I loved finding out the back story of how it all began and the behinds the scenes

Great stuff! What a Legend.
Jan 19, 2012 Luke rated it liked it
This book was informative funny and lots of fun. I have never learned more about my idole in one inning. This book would even be interesting for non comic book lovers
Frank Taranto
Sep 28, 2009 Frank Taranto rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
I enjoyed it because I am a big Stan Lee fan and enjoyed his view of how comics were produced and created.
Rick rated it liked it
Jan 17, 2009
Peyton Alexie
Peyton Alexie rated it really liked it
Feb 23, 2015
Martha Redpath
Martha Redpath rated it it was amazing
Dec 27, 2013
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Stan Lee (born Stanley Martin Lieber) is an American writer, editor, creator of comic book superheroes, and the former president and chairman of Marvel Comics.

With several artist co-creators, most notably Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, he co-created Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Iron Man, the Hulk, Daredevil, the Silver Surfer, Dr. Strange, and many other characters, introducing complex,
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