I’ve been a comic book fan for over 21 years, yet I’ve have never been face to face with the famous Stan ‘The Man’ Lee. Certainly I’ve heard stories of fans meeting him, I’ve seen interviews and cameos and pictures, but I’ve never laid eyes on the man himself, which naturally leads me to wonder whether or not he actually exists.

Think about it. Stan Lee is universally regarded as a comic book legend and the existence of most legends, such as Odysseus, Big Foot, Atlantis, or Missingno, is debatable at best. Videos, interviews, etc., can all be easily forged with the aid of CGI. Is it a stretch to assume that if the same computers that created the fight scene between The Hulk and The Abomination in the middle of Harlem could drop Stan Lee anywhere they want in the middle of a Marvel movie?

And there are other hints. For instance, the No-Prize, an award that doesn’t exist, created by Stan Lee. Who better to award an imaginary prize than an imaginary person? And why would he refer to his fans as True Believers? Well, how can you be a fan of someone who isn’t real unless you Truly Believe? How indeed.

And certainly people have stories of meeting Stan Lee, but who’s to know if they met who they thought they met? Is anyone really who they say they are? And how would one know if they met “The Man” or just “A Man?”

With all that being said, I really hope I meet him at NYCC next year!

—JD