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Stan Lee Says Marvel Trolled DC Back In The Day

The rivalry between Marvel and DC Comics isn't something that only exists between fans.

In a recently unearthed interview from 1977 (via The Hollywood Reporter), Stan Lee said he and the team at Marvel routinely trolled DC and tried to stay one step ahead once his company started outselling their rivals in the mid-'60s. Back then, he said that DC was "miserable" and that "they've been trying to catch up."

He revealed that he and his staff had friends who worked at DC, and they would tell the gang at Marvel how the DC staff would have meetings to try and figure out why Marvel was doing better at the newsstand.

"They studied our books, and they'd say, 'You know, I noticed they use a lot of red on their covers. Maybe that's it,'" Lee said. "And they would start putting a lot of red on their covers. The minute we would learn of that, we would take all the red off our covers. And our books still sold better, and that would drive them crazy." 

Lee said that, after that, DC figured Marvel's success was probably because of all the dialogue bubbles on the covers, so Marvel got rid of those, too. 

"It never occurred to them that we take the work a little more seriously and maybe we have a little bit more of a sense of humor," he said in the vintage interview. "And maybe people don't like things that are a little bit stuffy. They like things that are whimsical or humorous." 

Of course, Lee ended the interview by jokingly telling the writer not to convey any of what he said to DC. "That's just between us," he said.

Since then, Lee has gone on to become a legitimate pop culture icon, making a cameo appearance in just about every Marvel movie to date. We'll see him next in Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is expected to dominate the box office this weekend. He also popped up during a recent prank to promote the movie.

In the meantime, check out the untold truth of Stan Lee and a few times he was a total boss.