Power and responsibility

From time to time we receive letters from readers who wonder why there’s so much moralizing in our mags. They take great pains to point out that comics are supposed to be escapist reading, and nothing more. But somehow, I can´t see it that way. It seems to me that a story without a message, however subliminal, is like a man without a soul. In fact, even the most escapist literature of all—old-time fairy tales and heroic legends— contained moral and philosophical points of view. At every college campus where I may speak, there’s as much discussion of war and peace, civil rights, and the so-called youth rebellion as there is of our Marvel mags per se. None of us lives in a vacuum–none of us is untouched by the events about us—events which shape our stories just as they shape our lives. Sure our tales can be called escapist—but just because something’s for fun, doesn´t mean we have to blanket our brains while we read it!


— Stan Lee.