Today, TMZ found what the samples were used for when it reported that copies of Black Panther comics with "Hand-Stamped Signature of Stan Lee Using Stan Lee’s Solvent DNA Ink" were being sold at a Las Vegas store, the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. Blue signature versions were being sold for $250, with gold signature versions at $500.
The source was revealed by a statement from the retailer in response to the article, which said that the comics were purchased from Hands of Respect LLC and DLK Brand Consulting LLC "that appeared certified and obtained with authorization." The retailer said it had removed the books from its shelves. Hands of Respect was recently transferred $300,000 under suspicious circumstances (see "Report: Stan Lee Surrounded by ‘Charlatans and Mountebanks’"), and now it apparently has taken the next step of actually stealing Lee’s blood and profiting off it, another example of what appears to be Lee’s betrayal by those around him.
But there was also some better news Thursday, as Image Comics co-founder and McFarlane Toys mogul Todd McFarlane posted on Instagram that he’d stopped by for a visit with Lee last week. In the post (embedded below), McFarlane reported on his visit with the 95-year-old Lee, and shared details of the conversation. It was great to hear that somebody that cared about Stan got to see him and brighten his day.
MY RECENT VISIT... “Stan Lee. I wonder how he’s doing?” It’s a question, I think, many of us in the comic industry have been asking ourselves recently. With a handful of news articles swirling on the internet about Stan, it has led to lots of questions. Through all of it, I really have focused on just one crucial question… “I wonder how Stan is doing?” With that in mind, I want to post about my recent visit to see my dear friend Stan at his house last week (March 29th). To be clear, what I am writing is strictly about the one hour visit I had with him. What Stan does with all the rest of his personal time was not something we talked about during my visit. When I entered the room where Stan was seated he welcomed me and asked that I sit next to him (since his hearing is far from perfect these days). And…how did Stan look you may ask? Like a 95-year-old man. I think we tend to forget that fact, at times, since he’s become so iconic and seemingly timeless. He’s a man who has been around for nearly a century. For the next 60 minutes, we talked about things like his growing up in New York, his love of comics, his even bigger love of his late wife Joanie and how he was doing health wise. He told me that getting old kind of sucked but said, “what are you going to do?” His stories told me how obvious it was that he missed his wife and, how every day, a pair of ducks come swooping down from the sky to land in his pool and then come up to the glass windows begging for food (which his wife would oblige every time). We talked baseball, movies and he asked what it was it like for me to live next to a giant natural desert preserve in Arizona. Basically, it was every day, normal banter mixed with a few fun stories. But soon it was getting late and I had to get going. As I got up to leave, Stan grabbed my hand and said, “Todd, thanks for coming by. Your visit is much better than any medicine I could take.” So, what did I observe on my visit for that one specific hour? I saw a 95-year-old friend. And for me, at least, that was comforting. TODD