When people think of Stan Lee, they think of Marvel. Thanks to his cameos in many of the biggest movie blockbusters of all time, they likely always will. But there was a time when Stan the Man didn’t work for Marvel, and created his own projects hoping to replicate his success. The most shocking one was, undoubtedly, when Lee collaborated with DC Comics—Marvel’s eternal rival—to reinterpret DC’s biggest superheroes through his own lens. The result was a series called “Just Imagine,” and now DC’s bringing it back for the late Lee’s upcoming 100th birthday.
Unless you were there back in 2001, you probably don’t know how shocking it was to hear that Stan Lee, the face of Marvel, would be working with DC. It was a bit like learning Mitch McConnell would be campaigning for a liberal Democrat. But it was even more shocking to discover Lee’s versions of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, et alia, because they were all super, super weird. Batman was a luchador who looked almost exactly like Man-Bat. Aquaman was made of water. The Flash got her powers from a scientifically altered hummingbird. The Sandman was an astronaut. These characters were weird, man.
But it’s still cool to see DC honor a man who helped create the entire modern comics industry... especially when Marvel hasn’t announced a thing. Tales from Earth-6: A Celebration of Stan Lee will be a 96-page prestige comic with new tales of Lee’s heroes as told by folks like Mark Waid, Jerry Ordway, Stephanie Williams, and more. The one-shot will also have eight variant covers, each one picturing one of Lee’s reimagined heroes. As mentioned before, they’re quite weird! Click through to see them all.