Earlier tonight ABC aired Celebrating Stan Lee, a special commemorating the life and legacy of the Marvel Comics legend who tragically passed away just over a year ago. In the special, Lee's contributions to popular culture were marked and spotlighted, with some fans taking issue with how the special perhaps gave too much credit to Lee and not his artistic collaborators like Jack Kirby & Steve Ditko.
Kirby was a key part of the creation of the Marvel Universe and was responsible, either wholly or in part, for the creations of hundreds of comic book characters including The Avengers, Captain America, Black Panther, The Eternals, Fantastic Four, Ant-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, The Inhumans, Thor, and the X-Men. The famed artist also created a number of high profile characters for Marvel's distinguished competition, DC Comics.
Ditko was in a similar position albeit with not as many high-profile characters to his name as Kirby. What he lacked in quantity he made up for it in quality, co-creating the iconic Spider-Man with Lee and later Doctor Strange. The artist was also partially responsible for many supporting characters for both heroes including The Ancient One, Dormammu, J. Jonah Jameson, The Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Chameleon, Kraven the Hunter, The Lizard, plus Aunt May, Gwen Stacy, and Mary Jane Watson.
Though the special made a note of their involvement in some aspects of many of the character's creation, some fans took to Twitter to voice their displeasure with how the special framed much of the character's creation as primarily Lee's. Read on to see how people reacted!
Creator's deserve credit
@JoeQuesada you really are downplaying the role #JackKirby had in this whole thing. #JackKirby co-created the marvel universe along with #Dikto. I understand it's Stan's celebration but it's like i'm watching a re-imagining of history and it's not right. Creators deserve credit!— JTMarino9 (@jtmarino9) December 21, 2019
Some acknowledged it though!
The Stan Lee tribute on ABC was sweet. It was also nice to see many of the interviewees mention Jack Kirby and Stan's other collaborators. I think he'd be pleased. pic.twitter.com/bJkwa3TNoK— Erik Swann (@SwannErik) December 21, 2019
Big things were skipped
This Stan Lee ABC special is reeeeeeeally not good so far. Completely skipped over his cool World War II experience and has barely made a whisper of Jack Kirby or Steve Ditko (or any other artist) so far.— John Friscia (@JohnFriscia) December 21, 2019
Some called it disrespectful
@ChrisConnelly I have no idea who is producing this #Stanlee celebration but the fact they would let you say "Stan created..." is so disrespectful to #JackKirby & #SteveDitko. And its NOT just a simple mistake. It's an insanely major problem as they deserve CREDIT!— JTMarino9 (@jtmarino9) December 21, 2019
No Kirby? No comics.
So, there's a special celebrating Stan Lee. Don't get me wrong, Stan Lee was very influential in comics, but without Jack Kirby, we wouldn't have shit. I feel many people today don't acknowledge what Jack Kirby did for comics because he died such a long time ago.— J-Rock @ Frosty Faustings XII (@jrock0923) December 21, 2019
Kirby would have cameos
If Joe Simon and Jack Kirby were alive for any of the MCU's popularity I think they'd have cameos too and then maybe people wouldn't think one person made every single marvel character. Not to devalue Stan Lee just to devalue people discrediting people who did just as much— Alex ❄️ (@TheTasteOfALiar) December 21, 2019
Don't forget the artists
So far a few celebs have said on the celebrating Stan Lee special that they’re amazed that Stan Lee came up with all these ideas himself. Let’s not forget Kirby, Ditko and all the other artists, people!— Pat Brosseau (@droog811) December 21, 2019
Ditko should have a special too
This is nice. Would've loved to see one about Ditko. https://t.co/ndrNZP7C1A— Norraj (@BatsGeek) December 21, 2019
Jack and Steve!!
Jack Kirby & Steve Ditko > Stan Lee— Rick (@MrRickJones) December 21, 2019