15. The Hulk
We may not be able to accredit Captain America to Stan Lee, but there are plenty of other Avengers who can be. The Hulk is the first, who is also known as Bruce Banner depending on the version of the character you want to talk about.
You’ll be forgiven if you see other pop culture references within the character. Stan Lee, along with Steve Ditko, created the Hulk to be based on two fictional inspirations: “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and “Frankenstein.” Both feature brilliant scientists and monsters. In a way, the green of the Hulk is Frankenstein’s monster, but he’s an alter-ego of Bruce from a science experiment gone wrong, bringing the element of Jekyll and Hyde.
There are many other similarities between the characters, too. One of the most notable is how the Hulk will never let Bruce Banner die, knowing that it would mean his death, too. This has been proven over and over again, with Bruce putting him to the test in some of the most intense situations.
Unfortunately, The Incredible Hulk comics that were created in 1962, didn’t last for too long. After six episodes, they were canceled, and Lee had to push the character into Tales of Astonish. That was eventually changed to The Incredible Hulk, bringing the series back to life. Sneaky, Mr. Lee. Very sneaky indeed.
In the end, the new series ran for five seasons and has become one of the most popular characters in the franchise. Despite success within the Avengers franchise, the standalone movies haven’t been a huge success for various reasons. However, he remains a pop culture icon and almost everyone knows who he is and his catchphrase “Hulk, smash.”