NEW YORK • Fans of Stan Lee, who created comic-book legends from Spider-Man to X-Men to Black Panther, feel he can do with some kind of "superhero" help amid reports of family strife.
A story in the Hollywood Reporter said the 95-year-old, whose wife died last year, had signed off on a Feb 13 document drafted by his lawyer, stating that his 67-year-old daughter had trouble supporting herself and often overspent.
The document also gave the names of three men with "bad intentions", who Lee said had improperly influenced his daughter with the motive to eventually "gain control over my assets, property and money".
Lee's estate is estimated to be worth between US$50 million (S$65 million) and US$70 million.
But fans were surprised when he changed his tune a few days after the document was notarised, leading some to wonder if darker forces were at play and if Lee himself was totally aware of what he was doing.
Fans, playing amateur sleuths, dug up evidence such as reports of the housekeeper and gardener, who had been working with Lee for decades, being let go.
To muddy the waters even further, Lee also showed up in a video released a few days after the Hollywood Reporter story came out, describing the document he signed as "totally incorrect, inaccurate, misleading and insulting" and that "my relationship with my daughter has never been better".
Over the weekend, he turned up at the Silicon Valley Comic Con to sign autographs, despite not appearing to have fully recovered from a recent pneumonia attack, prompting fans to blast his handlers for negligence.