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Welcome to Stockton, Home of Invisible Woman, Human Torch

January 25, 1986|CHARLES HILLINGER | Times Staff Writer

Marvel Comics announced Friday that from now on Stockton will be identified as the home of the Invisible Woman, the Human Torch, The Thing and Mr. Fantastic.

For 25 years the Fantastic Four comic book placed the comic-book quartet in mythical Central City, Calif.

But Stockton's City Council recently passed a resolution signed by the mayor and city manager requesting Marvel Comics to substitute Stockton for Central City.

Giving Stockton that distinction meant changing a tentative plot line for the magazine's upcoming 25th anniversary edition, which called for Central City to be removed from the face of the earth.

"We've coped with the destruction of universes. We can handle this," said Stan Lee, the Los Angeles-based co-creator and publisher of the comic book.

"The least we could do is give a break to a decent, respectable city like Stockton. We're not going to destroy Central City. We're going to rename it."

It was Joe Field, 29, ad salesman for Stockton radio station KJOY and a comic book aficionado who originally suggested renaming Central City to give Stockton a better image.

Stockton has been beset in recent months with problems that tarnished its reputation. Last August, for example, then-Mayor Randall Ronk was impeached.

The current mayor, Barbara Fass, Friday invited Lee to come to Stockton to receive a key to the city. In accepting the invitation, Lee said he plans to make a special appearance at Al Greco's comic book store there.

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