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Sweet Mary Jane

"I never smoked marijuana," Stan Lee -- the creator of such classic Marvel Comics characters as the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, the X-Men, and the Avengers -- recalled of the 1960s. "When I named Spider-Man's girlfriend Mary Jane, it was only after a while that somebody said, 'You're pretty nervy giving her the nickname of marijuana!' I had no idea that's what it was."

[Why did Stanley Lieber adopt the name Stan Lee? "I figured whatever I did, I would do it magnificently, so I'd certainly end up writing the great American novel," he recalled. "That's why I didn't want to waste my real name, which was destined to go up there alongside Shakespeare and Hemingway. So I cut my first name in half: Stan Lee. It was a stupid thing."]

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