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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  ·  314 Ratings  ·  37 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 w ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 28th 2002 by Fireside (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 652)
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Imogen Worrall
May 11, 2013 Imogen Worrall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant book and also very funny
Robert Federline
Jan 13, 2016 Robert Federline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Kevin Ibanez
Sep 18, 2015 Kevin Ibanez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Kris Ashton
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
...more
Tina
Apr 30, 2015 Tina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 Shakes ...more
Matt Cox
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 relationshi ...more
Matthew
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrew
Mar 22, 2016 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Only read if you've loved the really corny humor found in Stan's Soapbox.
Bryan Schuessler
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 importa ...more
Mike Thomas
Jul 04, 2012 Mike Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Patrick
Apr 07, 2010 Patrick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
"
Jan 15, 2012 " rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 l ...more
Jessica Juby
Feb 13, 2015 Jessica Juby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Elizabeth
Nov 27, 2013 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Joe Poduska
Jan 13, 2016 Joe Poduska rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mike Jensen
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
Rylan Perrott
Mar 08, 2014 Rylan Perrott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Win Savage
Jun 21, 2016 Win Savage rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must for every Marvel fan! The story of a legend, told by the man himself.
Tracy Casson
Aug 07, 2015 Tracy Casson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such an interesting peek into the mind and past of such a talented individual
William Quest
Aug 08, 2015 William Quest rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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! ;)
Basoz
guys how do I read it?
Rob
Jan 31, 2009 Rob rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Patrick Nichol
Jul 30, 2011 Patrick Nichol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jana
May 24, 2016 Jana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5*

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.
Luke
Nov 10, 2011 Luke rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
I enjoyed it because I am a big Stan Lee fan and enjoyed his view of how comics were produced and created.
Cheryl Turner
Mar 08, 2013 Cheryl Turner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved it, Stan has a wonderful sense of humor and you can tell he loves his life!
Glenn Stephens
Sep 16, 2012 Glenn Stephens rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By far the best biography I've ever read! A legendary book to match the man himself
Carolyne Sweetie
Oct 13, 2013 Carolyne Sweetie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a really good company throughout 3 long months... Halluva good time reading!
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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,
...more
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