In a season’s worth of bizarre news on the fringes of what Marvel legend Stan Lee’s known for — creating an entire universe’s worth of killer comics — a new report is claiming the 95 year-old’s genetic material may have been used as a selling point for a small number of Marvel comic books at a Las Vegas store — until the staff learned of the allegation and said they pulled the books from store shelves.
In a story reported by TMZ, a line of comic books at the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. store in Las Vegas was removed from retail after the staff learned that the items, which arrived at the store as apparently “certified and obtained with authorization,” according to the store’s legal representative, were being marketed to buyers as bearing the “Hand-Stamped Signature of STAN LEE using Stan Lee's Solvent DNA Ink.”
The items appear to have been available for sale since at least early February, as one fan’s message board posting from that time suggests.
TMZ’s report draws a possible connection between the appearance of the “DNA Ink” comics and an earlier incident in which Lee’s blood was allegedly taken by a nurse deceived into believing the blood draw was credibly authorized. By publication time, Lee's attorney had not responded to SYFY WIRE's requests for comment.
The store’s legal representative said the store received the comics via “Hands of Respect LLC and DLK Brand Consulting LLC” and that the items “appeared certified and obtained with authorization.”
In a lengthy feature at The Daily Beast last month surveying Lee's extensive troubles with allegedly unscrupulous business associates and others in his orbit, Hands of Respect is described as an "ersatz charity" that had, according to published reports, received an "unauthorized check for $300,000 written from Lee’s business account without his knowledge." According to that report, one of Lee's self-described confidants said Lee had seen the check himself, and had identified his signature on it as a forgery.
According to the Nevada Secretary of State’s Office, DLK Brand Consulting is a Las Vegas-registered company established in 2015. Launched in 2016, Lee's Hands of Respect is a self-described “foundation” that sells $10 lapel pins “to promote a culture of respect among all communities across the nation.” Hands of Respect’s website does not declare the entity to be operating as a nonprofit organization.