Stan’s Soapbox – Marvel Age #55 (October 1987)

Hey, waddaya know? Ye elucidating editor, Slim Jim Salicrup, decided to give me two whole pages for the ol’ Soapbox from now on! I don’t know whether to feel flattered, or to figure he’s just trying to work me so hard that I’ll quit!

Anyway, since I’ve got all this space to roam around in, I’d better find something meaningful to say. (Although I’ve never found it before and that never stopped me!)

Tell you what – let’s talk about one of my favorite characters – next to Irving Forbush, of course! He’s a super hero who’s been around for about 25 years and doesn’t even had a gray hair in his head. Of course, in his “super” identity, he doesn’t have any hair at all! How’s that for a clue?

If you haven’t guessed yet, try this on for size…he’s one of the richest heroes extant! Are you zeroing in on him? Okay, this’ll cinch it for you…He’s probably the only Mighty Marvel Misfit who has to worry about getting rusty!

Bingo! You’ve GOT it! I knew you wouldn’t fail me! It’s Shell-Head himself, the Invincible Iron Man!

Let me try to guess what you’re thinking. How come Stan calls him “Invincible” when the poor guy has taken more falls than Humpty Dumpty?

Well, you know me, I’ve always been a sucker for adjectives in front of a hero’s name. That’s what I dubbed ‘em the Mighty Thor, the Incredible Hulk, the Uncanny X-Men, not to mention everybody’s all-time favorite, the Awesome Aunt Petunia!

(Uh oh! It just occurs to me, if any of you don’t know the Thing’s dear old Aunt Petunia, then that witty little bon mot will fall flatter than Willie Lumpkin’s wallet!) (And now I’ve gotta worry about whether you know who the Thing and Willie Lumpkin are! Do you still think it’s easy to write these columns?)

But, back to our gold-plated gladiator. There’s a big reason we’re all excited about Iron Man these days. It’s because we’ve got a brand new career lined up for him! What kind of career? I thought you’d never ask. We’re gonna make a screen star out of him!

Look, you know how mixed-up Marvel always tries to be different. Well, everybody else is doing movies about robots; good robots, bad robots, even robots with identity crises who don’t know if they’re good or bad. But nobody’s yet done an epic about a guy who looks like a robot, who everyone thinks is a robot, but who’s as human as you or I? (Well, as you, anyway!) We figure we can make Tony Stark the biggest screen star since Godzilla! And he’s better-looking, too – except, perhaps, to another monster!

Now let’s move on to the heavy stuff. Our nifty new partners-in-pageantry, those wonderful wizards at New World Pictures, are as excited about the old rust-pot as we are and are anxious to put Shell-Head’s adventures on film! The only problem is, do we produce Iron Man as a feature film or a T.V. series? (See where I’m leading up to in my own sneaky way? It’s letter-writing time!)

Okay! You know we’d never make a move without checking it out with you first. So dust off the ol’ pen, pencil, typewriter, computer or smoke signals and let us know where you want the sensational Mr. Stark to thrill you next – on the giant screen at your local theater, or on your T.V. set at home?

Now here’s where to send your masterful missives:

Iron Man
Department 32
(That’s just to con you into thinking we’ve got lots of departments!)
New World Pictures
1440 Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles
CA 90025

Can’t you just imagine all the big movie and T.V.  execs at New World burning the midnight oil as read your letters and cards, counting the votes and sticking pins in their little Stan Lee effigy for giving them all this extra work?!!

But, speaking of those titanically talented New World film makers, ever since they teamed up with maniacal Marvel they’ve been busier than Wolverine searching for his lost nail file! In fact, here’s a small hint of some of the new projects they’ve cooking up for us in the days to come – if you promise not to go blabbing about it all over town…

  • A spectacular live-action X-MEN feature film!
  • A dazzling DR. STRANGE live-action motion picture!
  • A live-action MARADA, THE SHE-WOLF big-screen thriller!
  • A live-action movie starring BLADE, THE VAMPIRE HUNTER!
  • An animated X-MEN television special!
  • A LIVE-ACTION original Marvel film called DEATH-CATHLON – soon to be a Marvel Graphic Novel, too!
  • And coming up later – DAREDEVIL, live on screen!

Know something? That’s just for starters! With the fabulous creative geniuses of New World beside us, there’s gonna be no stopping Mighty Marvel now! I’ll keep you all on top of things right here in this column, with dates, names of actors and directors, plus all the show biz gossip I can latch onto, just as soon as that info can be released. So stay with us, hero, ‘cause the excitement’s just beginning – and the best lies straight ahead!

And now, until the Mighty Thor decides to pose for a Clairol ad, this is your ol’ buddy, Smilin’ Stan, wishing you health, wealth and happiness – plus one from Column B!

Excelsior!

–Stan