Details from Audible:

Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir

Publisher’s Summary

Stan Lee – comic book legend and cocreator of Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Avengers, the Incredible Hulk, and a legion of other Marvel superheroes – shares his iconic legacy and the story of how modern comics came to be.

Stan Lee is a man who needs no introduction. The most legendary name in the history of comic books, he has been the leading creative force behind Marvel Comics and has brought to life – and into the mainstream – some of the world’s best-known heroes and most infamous villains throughout his career. His stories – filled with superheroes struggling with personal hang-ups and bad guys who possess previously unseen psychological complexity – have added wit and subtlety to a field previously locked into flat portrayals of good versus evil. Lee put the human in superhuman and in doing so created a new mythology for the 20th century.

Stan Lee tells the story of his life with the same inimitable wit, energy, and offbeat spirit that he brought to the world of comics. Moving from his impoverished childhood in Manhattan to his early days writing comics, through his military training films during World War II and the rise of the Marvel empire in the 1960s to the current resurgence in movies, Amazing Fantastic Incredible documents the life of a man and the legacy of an industry and career.

Funny, moving, and incredibly honest, this beautiful memoir is a must-have for collectors and fans of comic books and graphic novels of every age.

©2015 Stan Lee (P)2015 Simon & Schuster

Initial Thoughts:

I love Stan Lee and I love Marvel Comics (more so these days than DC). I have been reading comics for over 30 years and I plan to do so for the rest of my life. So of course I know who Stan Lee is, in fact I was lucky enough to meet him and get his autograph at a convention in Florida a while back. So when I found this on Audible I knew I had to listen to it. I also have read lots of books by Peter David and was glad to see he co-wrote it.

Main Points:

There is no one more iconic in comic books than Stan Lee, he co-created so many characters I love like The Hulk and Spider-man that I felt certain this would be an interesting and entertaining listen. It was both those things, excellent narration by Peter Riegert and I enjoyed the introduction by Stan himself along with an old recording played from the Marvel fan club later in the book.

As for the content, it does have some interesting tidbits, things I didn’t know about Stan’s life and it certainly touches on the important things he’s done with Marvel and how comics have changed. I enjoyed learning how a lot of the most famous characters he co-created (I think he gives Jack Kirby and others their due here) were last ditch efforts, silly characters never meant to succeed (like Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos) and others who only appeared because the titles were supposed to be cancelled (Spider-man).

We hear about the hard times (growing up in the depression, almost quitting comics, losing a child just days after she was born) and of course all the good times. When this was written Stan’s wife, Joan, was still alive. It’s tragic she since passed away. I was also surprised to learn there are some Marvel movies Stan doesn’t like (not including the awful ones from the 90’s and before) and that he worked with his brother for together at Marvel.

As other people have commented the biggest issue with this book is the length, it’s far too short! Where are Stan’s comments on digital comics vs paper? What does he think of the Marvel app? What are his thoughts on the Marvel Netflix shows along with all the other Marvel ones? How does he feel about conventions? He barely mentions his daughter, what are his thoughts on family and marriage? He never discusses religion either, surely as a Jewish man he must have some thoughts on it. He has plenty to say about his former boss, what about the government or politics? The closest he comes to anything political is the whole fiasco with the comics code authority years ago. I just found that while he touches on a lot of interesting parts of his long and colorful life, we never get many juicy details. At 92 (when he did this book) surely he must have some contemplation on life and words of wisdom for the human race but they are barely mentioned.

Final Thoughts:

I thoroughly enjoyed it but I just wish there was more, a lot more. This is very strange for me as I don’t like long books but at under 2 hours this book feels more like an outline than a biography, it should have been 3 times the length at least. All that said I still give it a solid 8 out of 10. Any Marvel fan will enjoy this and I certainly recommend it. There is very little adult material, not even any swearing. So I would say ages 12+. It is a good way to pass the time for two or drive or a long walk, Stan will always be the man for me, here’s hoping he makes it to 100.