Classic Comics in a Cube: Unboxing the Stan Lee Box

Marvel Comics existed before the MCU. It even existed before the 90s X-Men and Spider-Man cartoons. It’s been around for a long time, making comics since the Golden Age. For most of that time, the face of Marvel has been Stan Lee. And if all of that was blindingly obvious to you, you should check out this box!

Stan Lee’s Pow! Entertainment offers the Stan Lee Box, a bimonthly subscription box (similar to CultureFly, ThinkGeek Capsule, and of course Loot Crate) centered around the career and work of Stan The Man himself. And they sent us a box to unbox, and show you all the comic treats inside.

The Stan Lee Box follows the Culturefly model of offering few, but larger, boxes. Instead of a monthly $20-30 box, it’s $49.99 every two months (or $44.99 if you buy a year at a time). Each box is loaded with comic book paraphernalia work, according to Pow! Entertainment, at least $100. You can also order Stan Lee’s Comic Book Box for $19.95 monthly. It’s a separate subscription that includes four comics with Stan Lee variant covers every month.

For comic book historians, the Stan Lee Box starts off strong with two trade paperbacks. One is a Marvel Masterworks volume covering the Silver Age adventures of the Avengers, Iron Man, Human Torch, or Spider-Man. We got an Avengers book spanning The Avengers #41-50 and The Avengers Annual #1.

The other book is also a TPB, but it isn’t really a collection of comic book issues. It’s Stan’s Soapbox: The Collection, a compilation of 14 years’ worth of “Stan’s Soapbox” columns from Marvel comics between 1967 and 1980. It’s a pretty interesting collection that gives a very good look at some of Marvel’s goings-on behind the scenes and reactions to social issues more than the development of comics lore.

Speaking of behind the scenes, two additional comics and a print in the box offer another look at comic book production. The box includes Inhumans: Once & Future Kings #1 and #2 with Stan Lee Box variant covers, along with a print of the cover by Joe Jusko. #1 shows the completed cover and #2 shows a partially pencil cover, and the print shows the color and ink getting filled in through the pencils. It’s a neat little comic cover triptych.

Of course, there’s a t-shirt. This is a Harley Davidson-style logo with Stan Lee as a rad-looking skull with reflective metallic patches for his sunglasses.

Besides the comic books and t-shirt, the Stan Lee Box includes two other collectibles. The first is a Q-Fig figurine from Quantum Mechanix. The Iron Man Q-Fix we got has a lighted base, and it looks pretty nice. Q-Figs aren’t exactly on-model and have slightly bobble-headed proportions, but they’re much more detailed and visually interesting than, say, Funko Pops.

On the opposite end of the ornateness spectrum is the Stan Lee Wham Blox. It’s a foam rubber cube about the size of a tissue box, with a cloth cover that looks like Stan. Fun, kind of weird, nice to toss around. It’s like a big block-shaped stress toy.

That’s a lot of readable material, interesting art, and fun collectibles for $50 per box. Like with all subscription services your mileage may vary, but if you’re a die-hard fan of silver age Marvel comics and Stan Lee’s legacy. I don’t really get the weird foam block, but two interesting TPBs, a pretty nice light-up figurine, and a handful of comics that show the construction of a cover is pretty neat to see.

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