“Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir” by Stan Lee and Peter David and Colleen Doran


I’m going to come right out and say it: I have no idea how to review this book graphic novel. This is the first one that I have ever read and as such, I am woefully under qualified for the task. So, instead of reviewing this, I’m just going to give my impressions. That way, no one can get mad at me for not understanding what the hell I’m talking about.

First of all, I loved the way that the story jumped around a little. Nothing like the jumping in Neil Patrick Harris’ autobiography, but this still wasn’t a linear story. Lee would be talking about his childhood, then jump forward a few decades, only to jump back to what he was originally talking about. I felt like this spoke to the excitable character  that Lee created for himself in this memoir. The Stan Lee presented in this book is enthusiastic and excited about everything and will talk and talk and talk to his co-conspirators, only to realise (too late) that he’s lost them and has to go back and explain himself again. Lee reflects this in his stream-of-consciousness structure, while never actually losing his audience. I liked it.

Secondly, I felt like this story had been cleaned up so that anyone of any age could read this. Specifically, kids who are interested in the creator of their favourite comic books. I’m not saying this is necessarily a bad thing. I still found out some cool stuff about Stan Lee and Marvel and how some of my favourite Marvel characters came into being (for instance, Iron Man’s origins? So cool!), but I felt like there was a little more to the story than what Lee was saying. Of course, it’s his memoir so he can choose what he puts in and leaves out, but I’d be reading a part of the story and then the story would move on before I felt like Lee was done explaining himself. Does that make sense?

Finally, I definitely feel like I need to branch out into graphic novels/comics now. This was an interesting experience for me as a reader, considering very few of the books I read have pictures in them, and if they do these pictures are somehow connected to a message the author is trying to convey, rather than as a story aid. But I am totally infatuated with the MCU and this graphic novel has really inspired me to actually go out and buy some of Marvel’s comics. I really want to start with Sandman (Neil Gaiman? Um, yes please!), but I am also starting to become incredibly intrigued by Deadpool. Mostly because of how intricate and brilliant the advertising campaign has been for the movie, but also because of the bits and pieces I see of the character himself on the internet. I mean, have you guys seen this yet?!

I don’t know, what do you guys think? Deadpool or Sandman? Sound off in the comments!

And…that’s it. Those are my impressions of Stan Lee’s memoir. It was enjoyable, interesting, and suitably G rated for all of the younger fans (I really would have liked a little more grit, but I understand why it wasn’t there).
I don’t want to give a star rating, because I have nothing to compare this book to.

About Bec Graham

Bec Graham, 24, was born on the wrong continent. Everything from her burns-like-paper skin tone to her inability to cope with the slightest hint of a hot day suggests she should have been born under the gloomy skies and mild sun of the UK. She hopes writing will get her to her rightful home one day. Failing that, she scans the skies for a spinning blue police box, hoping to catch a lift back to the motherland.
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2 Responses to “Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir” by Stan Lee and Peter David and Colleen Doran

  1. xmenxpert says:

    Quick correction: Sandman was published by DC, specifically their Vertigo imprint. Also, while I haven’t read Sandman, yes, definitely read that. Though if you don’t have much experience with comics, I’d suggest you start with “Understanding Comics,” by Scott McCloud. I’d also recommend Maus, by Art Spiegelman, considered to be one of the greatest comics ever, and the only comic to ever win a Pulitzer. You might also consider the first trade paperback of the new Archie series, written by Mark Waid – not just because it’s good, but because Archie is really easy. Archie is always a good way to ease into comics, with the new series being a contemporary take on the character.

    Basically, I’d suggest easing into comics initially, before diving into the complexities of Sandman.

    As for Deadpool, honestly, I’d say skip his book. He’s had some great comics, but he’s also had some awful ones, and there are so many comics out there that are so much better. If you want to read something from Marvel, then my suggestion would be Marvels, by Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross, because damn it’s good, and it serves as a really good introduction to the Marvel Universe as a whole, through the eyes of a photo-journalist seeing the rise of superheroes. That outsider’s perspective works well as an audience surrogate.

    • Bec Graham says:

      Oh wow! I did not know that! I will fix that up, pronto! Thank you for letting me know 🙂
      I like the idea of a book about understanding comics. I will definitely look that up. And as for Deadpool, thanks for the warning!
      I’ve heard Archie is a decent place to start so maybe I will give that a go before Gaiman’s work. Given the complexities of his prose, maybe I’m not ready for his comics!
      Thanks again!! I appreciate all of your advice 😄

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