Stan Lee's Heroic Wartime Effort

Most people have at least heard of Stan Lee, but those in nerd circles know him as the man who completely changed the face of Marvel comics. Before he brought some of our favorite comic book heroes to life, he lent his pen to a far nobler cause: World War II.

Anyone who has seen a Marvel movie has likely seen Stan Lee. He's been known to make a cameo appearance or two. He's earned the right, seeing as Lee was the first writer at Marvel to introduce a more human element to his superheroes.

Stan Lee

He did so by portraying their struggles with daily life. Let's just say these heroes weren’t so superhuman that they couldn’t squabble over who should take out the garbage. Marvel characters are all over movies and television shows today, and it is precisely because of their human side that so many people can relate to their stories.

Before Stan Lee completely revolutionized the world of comics, he brought his pen to paper for a far nobler cause: protecting our nation’s troops from the evils of venereal disease. Lee joined the United States Army in 1942 and was put to work repairing communications equipment. Later, he would move to the Training Film division. Part of his job was to draw propaganda posters warning soldiers against the dangers of unprotected sex.

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Venereal disease was a huge concern during WWI and II, and a lot of soldiers took sick days or early retirement because of the problem. While these diseases were not as life threatening after the advent of antibiotics, they still posed a huge threat to the troops and anyone back home.

That's why there was such an effort to encourage people to be cautious. There are tons of, often hilarious, advertisements warning men and women to use prophylactics. Here are a few, just to make you giggle.

Also, the next time you think about having unprotected sex, just remember: Stan Lee wants YOU to wear a prophylactic.

Otherwise, you might find yourself with a lead role in this movie ("Attack of the Cursed Syphilis").

If you want to see the posters Stan Lee actually designed, check out  Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir; written by Stan Lee, Peter David, and Colleen Duran.

Cursed Syphilis
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