Real Name: Florence "Flo" Steinberg
Group Membership: The Marvel Bullpen (including, but not necessarily limited to, Dick Ayers, Sol Brodsky, Gene Colan, Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, John Romita Sr., Marie Severin)
Affiliations: Human Torch (Johnny Storm), J. Jonah Jameson, Spider-Man (Peter Parker)
Enemies: Whirlwind (Dave Cannon)
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "Fabulous Flo", "Gal Friday" (nicknames
used by Stan Lee)
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
formerly New York City, New York
First Appearance: (BTS) Marvel Illustrated: The Swimsuit Issue 1991 (1991); (seen) Amazing Spider-Man Annual I#37
Powers/Abilities: Flo Steinberg possesses no known
superhuman abilities. She is a capable secretary, a skilled editor and
an avid lover of the arts.
Height: 5'6" (by approximation)
Weight: 120 lbs. (by approximation)
(Marvel Comics: History of the Marvels (fb) ) -
Florence "Flo" Steinberg applied for a job at Timely Comics, a small New
York City publishing company. She was hired as secretary and personal
assistant to Stanley Lieber, editor in chief of the periodicals. She
worked at a desk right outside his office when Lee and his artists
gradually moved the focus of their output from westerns, romance and
monster comics to superheroes. The Fantastic Four were the first heroes
to officially license Stan Lee to turn their adventures into comics.
Along with artist Jack Kirby, Lee would take the heroes' accounts of
their experiences and craft a tale to fit the events.
(Marvel Comics: History of the Marvels (fb) - BTS) - When the Fantastic Four comic became a hit, Stan Lee changed the name of the company to Marvel, to mirror what Daily Bugle photographer Phil Sheldon had come to call these new, colorful superheroes.
(Marvel Comics: History of the Marvels (fb) ) -
Various Fantastic Four members would stop by the Marvel offices to meet
with Stan Lee and recount their latest adventures. According to Flo,
Stan would act like the ringmaster during these meetings, jumping on top
of his desk like a big kid to act out the way he wanted the heroes to
look in the comics. Whenever the Human Torch showed up, Stan Lee had Flo
follow him around with an ashtray so he wouldn't burn holes in the
carpet. She described interacting with the heroes "marvelous insanity".
(Marvel Comics: History of the Marvels (fb) - BTS) -
With the Fantastic Four's approval providing an in, Stan Lee reached
deals to publish more official comics with other new heroes like Iron
Man and the Avengers' original lineup. However, the Avengers themselves
never visited the Bullpen, their exploits were provided by the Maria
Stark Foundation, causing Stan Lee to claim they were "only 69 percent
(Marvel Comics: History of the Marvels (fb) ) - Flo watched as Stan tried to expand Marvel's line to include the more unofficial New York City heroes like Daredevil and Spider-Man.
(Amazing Spider-Man Annual I#37) - Flo met Spider-Man after a chance encounter with Stan Lee lured the webslinger to the Marvel offices to discuss possibilities of him starring in Marvel's latest magazine. Stan, ever the promotional genius, had widely announced Marvel would be publishing a Spider-Man series, which led to criticism from Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson, among others. Moments after Flo and the other Bullpen members were introduced to Spidey, Lee took him to his office for an interview to get the preliminaries for the new book down. Moments after the interview had begun, the Human Top (David Cannon) flew into Stan's office looking for revenge on Spider-Man. It was all that Flo could do to yank her boss away from the ferocious, close quarters combat going on in his office. After he had defeated the Human Top, and looking at the devastation that fight had caused to Marvel's Bullpen, Spider-Man realized he couldn't risk the lives of Stan, Flo and the others by regularly visiting with them. He told Stan and Flo he no longer wished to pursue he idea of a monthly series and left. Though Flo wasn't sure what to do next, Lee simply announced he'd be using newspaper stories as the basis for the already announced Spider-Man series, including those of the Daily Bugle.
(Marvel Comics: History of the Marvels (fb) ) - Flo
recounted that Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson was furious when
Marvel started to use his likeness and his paper's stories for the
monthly Amazing Spider-Man comic. Jonah sued, even though Flo noted that
Lee and Jameson were more alike than they'd like to admit. In the end,
an agreement was reached that made sure the Daily Bugle wouldn't be
mentioned in any future Marvel publications. Instead, the paper would
now be referred to as "The Daily Clarion" while the character of J.
Jonah Jameson was replaced with the fictional "T.T. Thomas."
(Marvel Illustrated: The Swimsuit Issue 1991 – BTS) – Flo served as one of Marvel Comics’ editors for Earth-616’s Marvel Illustrated: The Swimsuit Issue magazine.
Comments: Adapted to comics by Kurt Busiek (writer), Patrick Oliffe (pencils & inks).
Of course, Flo Steinberg is quite real and yes, she was
Stan Lee's corresponding secretary and assistant during the early years
of Marvel. A gracious and kind lady, Flo has given numerous interviews
over the years in which she revisited her halcyon days at the House of
Ideas... As one might expect, working for Stan Lee didn't simply mean
answering phones and taking short hand.
From writing up the fashion pages (filled with kids' drawings of dresses) of the Millie the Model magazines to taking care of distribution to actually physically preventing eager, young fans from storming into the Bullpen to meet the artists... Flo did it all with a smile. Stan Lee even made her a bit of a star when he started mentioning her in his famous Bullpen Bulletins, giving her unforgettable monickers like Fabulous Flo. She even participated in the classic Voices of Marvel Comics 1965 recording, that was sent to new members of the Merry Marvel Marching Society.
The real Flo Steinberg quit the day to day grind of Marvel
Comics in 1968, moving to San Francisco for a while where she ironically
found herself at a comics store once again. In the 80s, she reinvented
herself as the editor of a "serious" New York City art magazine called
Eclipse, where she spent most her time making sure the often abstract
pictures were printed with the right side up. During the 1990s, she
briefly returned to the Marvel roost, serving as proof reader among
other things, before moving on to greener pastures.
To the best of my knowledge, Flo Steinberg is still a proofreader at Marvel to this day.
Profile by Norvo.
Flo Steinberg should not be confused with
images: (without ads)
Amazing Spider-Man Annual I#37, p34, pan1 (main image)
Amazing Spider-Man Annual I#37, p39, pan1 (closeup)
Comics Magazine I#34, p56, pan3 (San Francisco, Spring 1972, in front of Gary Arlington's comics shop)
Marvel Illustrated: The Swimsuit Issue (1991) – Gary Barnum, Tom Daning, JackMorelli, Fabian Nicieza, Michael Rockwitz, “Tony Stark,” Rob Tokar, “Ben Urich,” “Janet Van Dyne,” Max Fleischer (writers), Donald Hudson,Joe Jusko, June Brigman, Al Milgrom, Jon Bogdanove, Stan Drake, Jim Lee, Steve Leialoha, Kevin Nowlan, Rob Liefeld, Michael Golden, Jackson Guice, George Perez, Whilce Portacio, Scott Williams, Marc Silvestri, Terry Austin, Ron Frenz, Joe Sinnot, Steve Geiger, John Romita, Jr.,Rick Leonardi, Al Williamson, Walt Simonson, Paul Ryan, Joe Rubenstein, Bret Blevins, Mike Mignola (pencils), Bobbie Chase, Flo Steinberg (editors)
Marvel Comics: History of the Marvels (July, 2000) - Tom Brevoort (writer)
Amazing Spider-Man Annual I#37 (May, 2010) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Patrick Oliffe (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Last updated: 08/01/15
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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