You could plainly see in those pages that he was leaving notes for the editor on exactly what was going on and roughly what needed to be placed in captions and word balloons. This was not the actions of just a pencil artist, but an artist/writer. In fact, in the case of Jack Kirby, a creator/artist/writer. He didn't need any help writing or creating. He was just putting up with the reality of having an editor.
One thing that Lee did so early on (that kept him from backtracking) was admit to others that he had nothing at all to do with the creation of Steve Ditko's major character for Marvel, Dr. Strange. So, having once admitted that the creature was Ditko's own, he couldn't realistically claim otherwise. Of course that has not stopped Marvel over the years listing Lee as "co-creator" of Dr. Strange. Even though that isn't true.
One of the curious things about this resulted, I think, in the fact that Dr. Strange never once appeared on the cover of the anthology title in which his adventures were featured. STRANGE TALES, like all of Marvel's other early titles, had been a comic that contained monster and science-fiction stories, most of them done by Kirby, Heck, and Ditko. When Ditko premiered a new superhero in Strange Tales, he named that character "Dr. Strange". It would seem only natural that Dr. Strange should be cover-featured on the comic that bore his name, right?
Not once during the run of the comic under the pencil and brush of its creator, Steve Ditko, did Dr. Strange get the lion's share of the cover! I've always suspected that it was because Lee had coughed up the fact that he hadn't had a hand in creating Dr. Strange. Added to this was that I think relatively soon after this Ditko and Lee began to butt heads. I think it was probably just spite that kept Ditko's creation off the cover of Strange Tales in a major way. Instead, Nick Fury (Kirby's creation) got the limelight while Strange was relegated to inset panels or lower border panel appearances on the covers. It was only after Ditko left Marvel that Dr. Strange was featured in a full cover display on STRANGE TALES.
|Ditko's creation was always relegated to second-class status on the cover.|