X-Men Origins: Stan Lee (A Business Success Story)

A new Wolverine movie is the next in the legacy of comic-book mastermind Stan Lee.


Stan Lee is known as a great creative mind--he conceived Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Incredible Hulk, the Fantastic Four, and many others as the best-known writer for Marvel Comics. He is also known as a moneymaker--those original comic books became American classics, and more recently have set off a wave of wildly successful film franchises. The newest entry will be X-Men Origins: Wolverine, set to be released in May.

But  Stan Lee is perhaps not quite as well-known as a businessman and entrepreneur in his own right. The Financial Times has a fascinating look into his life with a new venture, Pow Entertainment, a described "intellectual property aggregator."

Lee should know a thing or two about intellectual property.  He actually never had complete control over his creations at Marvel--even though he was president of the company at one point. In 2005 he actually received a settlement of over $10 million from Marvel after he sued the company for unpaid profits from his characters.

Lee's not making the same mistake again with this new venture, which will be based around his imagination as its biggest resource.  He's not done yet, at age 86.

Mr Lee formed Pow with Arthur Lieberman and Mr Champion, who is the financial brains of the operation. In an industry known for its extravagant spending, Mr Champion says Pow has kept its overhead costs down, partly because its most valuable asset is Mr Lee’s imagination. “We’re going to stay small and lean and then outsource production through strategic alliances,” says Mr Champion. “It’s simpler and it’s better on the profit side ... But we have as much production as anyone else in town.”

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