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Spider-Man's 'dad,' Stan Lee, to get his Hollywood star

By Alan Duke, CNN
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Stan Lee to get star on Walk of Fame
  • Stan Lee created Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, X-Men, Iron Man
  • Lee began his comic book career more than 70 years ago
  • Lee, 88, is still writing new stories; he says Spider-Man is his favorite creation
  • The Stan Lee Foundation focuses on youth education projects

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Superhero creator Stan Lee finally gets a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame on Tuesday, a week after his 88th birthday.

Lee jokingly asked why he had to wait 50 years after the first star was awarded and 70 years after his comic book career began.

"I'll talk to somebody about that," Lee told CNN.

Lee's characters include Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Daredevil, The Avengers, Silver Surfer and Dr. Strange.

"I'm pretty proud of the fact that some of the stories I wrote so many years ago are still being read and hopefully enjoyed by the public and people are making motion pictures based on them, and television series and even a Broadway show," Lee said.

Lee pays attention to everything, he said, including last month's accident that injured an actor in the Spider-Man Broadway show. "Not a sparrow falls but that I notice," he said.

His favorite creation is Spider-Man "because he's the most popular and he's known and loved worldwide," he said. "But I really loved them all and whichever one I was writing at the moment, that was my favorite."

As for his characters, he said he "just dreamed them up," and they don't have roots in his childhood.

"As a child, I didn't really know anybody who shot webs or crawled on buildings or wore suits of armor and flew or anything like that," he said. "I just imagined, and there they were."

The long life and broad success of his comic book characters were unexpected, he said. "We just hoped that the books would sell and we would continue to get our salary and be able to pay our rent."

How much longer they live depends on how producers and writers treat them in the future, he said.

"If people take the care with them that they have taken up to now, there's no reason why these things couldn't last as long as any legendary fictional characters," Lee said.

The movies based on Lee's comic books "have done so much for the characters" by giving them glamour and prestige, he said.

"When they were in comic books, they were still read all over the world and pretty well-known all over the world, but they didn't have, you might say, the respect that they have now because of movies," he said.

Lee spends time these days also working on the Stan Lee Foundation, a nonprofit group that concentrates on educating children, he said.

"To me, education is one of the most important things in the world," Lee said. "Somebody who isn't educated, it's like running in a race with one leg tied behind them."

He's still writing new stories for his POW! Entertainment company.

"To me, the most important thing in the world is to keep busy, and I'm happy to say I'm lucky enough to still be busy," he said.

Lee's Hollywood star, to be dedicated Tuesday morning, will be the 2,428th on the Walk of Fame.