When you think of Marvel superheroes, the company’s most prolific voice comes to mind and now Stan Lee is sharing what superhero first inspired him. As Lee was at the forefront of the creation of modern superheroes, he had to dig back pretty far into the iconic hero whose traits you can see in many of Lee’s creations. That hero? Sir Percy Blakeney who is better known as The Scarlet Pimpernel.

You can watch the explanation in the following video and I’ll go into it below that.

According to Lee in the video above:

“The Scarlet Pimpernel was the first superhero I had read about. The first character who could be called a superhero. He was a man who — yes, he wore a disguise, but it wasn’t a mask or anything like that. He just didn’t let people know who he really was.”

Baroness Emma Orczy wrote the original novel in 1905 and a series of sequels that expanded upon the character who would eventually be portrayed in a 1934 live-action film by Leslie Harold. Much like a future Batman or even Iron Man, this hero is wealthy and uses that for good. Here, we see a skilled swordsman and master of disguise. When he would stop the villains of his time, he would leave behind a card which had an image of a scarlet pimpernel flower to take credit for his work.

Flash forward to Spider-man, and you have to remember that while we still see the Wallcrawler always in costume, in his youth, he also left behind notes to the police about the criminals he would capture and sign them “your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.” It is pretty clear where that inspiration came from. In a more fundamental idea, the theme of a secret identity which was used here was followed up by almost every hero that Marvel would end up creating.

Do you love the fact that Stan Lee also had a superhero who inspired him after his creations and co-creations have inspired so many? Which superhero has inspired you over the years? Share your thoughts below, True Believers!

Source: Comic Book.