It’s trivia time! How stumped will you ‘B’ by this question: Which of these four characters did Stan write?
A. Breeze Barton
C. Beta Ray Bill
D. Betty Ross
And the answers are…
B and D! The odd guys out are Breeze Barton and Beta Ray Bill. We tried to slide the first one past you (again) with the alliterative name, but Breeze is actually a Jack Binder creation who first appeared in Timely Comics’ Daring Mystery Comics #3 back in 1940. As for Beta Ray Bill, he was conceived by Walt Simonson in 1983, making his debut in The Mighty Thor #337. Fun fact: As some of you may know, Beta Ray Bill is an alien who holds the distinction of being the first individual to brandish Thor’s hammer. He was eventually given one of his own that you may be familiar with: Stormbreaker.
Now let’s dive into the Stan-related characters, shall we?
Balder the Brave was brought to life by the team of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1962’s Journey into Mystery #85. Balder is actually the half-brother of Thor and fought alongside him during several battles; at one point in the 1970s, he even temporarily was appointed ruler of Asgard while Odin went missing. Though Balder has appeared on TV, in video games, and even as a toy, he’s yet to enter the MCU. (He was, however, seen in the animated movie Hulk vs. Thor.)
Lee and Kirby struck again with Betty Ross, who debuted as a love interest for the Hulk in Incredible Hulk #1 in 1962 and holds the honor of being Hulk’s longest-running love interest in the comics. Stan wrote Betty as a determined, well-mannered woman, but later writers took her in new directions, and she’s appeared in subsequent Hulk titles as Harpy and the antiheroine Red She-Hulk.
Every couple of weeks, we’ll spotlight some of Stan’s lesser known co-creations through trivia, starting with A and ending with Z! Stay tuned for ‘C,’ coming soon.