Trivia time! The jury’s out on how many characters Stan Lee wrote, but we’ll ballpark it in the billions to cover all our bases. Which one of these ‘A’ characters is NOT a Stan Lee co-creation?
A. Asbestos Man
B. Awesome Annie
The answer is…
B. Awesome Annie! Though surely someone, somewhere has named a character Awesome Annie, we completely made the moniker up for the purposes of this quiz. Stan was so well-known for using alliteration, we figured ole’ Annie would blend right in. (Stan did in fact author a character named Awesome Android, just one word off, who appeared in The Fantastic Four #15 in June 1963.)
To learn more about the three other obscure characters, read on!
To read your mind, yes, Asbestos Man is a real character. Stan is credited as “editor-plotter” for the chemist creation, who first appeared in Strange Tales #111 in August 1963, with Ernest Hayes listed as writer and Dick Ayers as artist. If you’re wondering how a character with ‘asbestos’ in the name could ever be produced, well, we’ll just say that the toxic dangers of this menace weren’t as well-known to the public during the 1960s. Unsurprisingly, Asbestos Man, who battles the Human Torch with the help of a “super-asbestos” suit that was impervious to flames, didn’t last long in the comics, and when he returned in the 2011 Fear Itself comicbook crossover, it was revealed that he had cancer… as asbestos is now known to cause.
Princess Anelle, a member of the Skrull race, was brought to life in the pages of Fantastic Four #37 in April 1965 by the famous team of Stan and Jack Kirby. Though a shy and friendlier member of the Skrull empire (and heiress to the throne) she actually plotted with Captain Marvel at one point to overthrow her father… in an attempt to bring a peaceful ending to the Kree/Skrull War.
Aireo also sprang from the minds of Stan and Jack Kirby, the criminal Inhuman first appearing in Fantastic Four #47 in February 1966. Aireo eventually took the alias Skybreaker and, you guessed it, he possesses the ability to fly, manipulate air and create insanely strong winds. One of his more nefarious skills? That would be the capability to expel the air from one’s lungs. How truly evil is that?
Every couple of weeks, we’ll spotlight more of Stan’s most obscure co-creations from A to Z through trivia. Stay tuned for the Bombastic B’s, coming soon!