Remembering the Marvel-ous Stan Lee

On November 12, 2018 the world received the unfortunate news that the man responsible for the beloved Marvel comics had died at the ripe age of 95.

Stanley Martin Lieber, more commonly known as “Stan Lee”, was born in New York in 1922. He was a comic book writer, editor and publisher since the 1940’s and continued to create until the day he died.

Lee is credited for his contribution to the creation of Marvel Comics’ superhero characters such as Spider-Man, the X-Men, Iron Man, Thor, the Incredible Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Black Panther, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Ant-Man… the list goes on and on.

The Marvel Universe consists of over 8,000 unique characters with diverse teams, universes and storylines.

Lee’s naturalistic approach in creating these characters is really what defined their success. He would make his characters relatable to human beings by giving them vulnerabilities. They would not at all be perfect; many characters having personality flaws, relationship issues and/or past struggles. All of which the audience can connect with on a personal level. He would make people who feel different realize they were special.

Like many of the superheroes Lee helped create, he had his own catchphrase as well. “Excelsior!” During an interview with Playboy in 2014, Lee explained, "That's an old word that means 'upward and onward to greater glory.' It's on the seal of the state of New York. Keep moving forward, and if it's time to go, it's time. Nothing lasts forever."

After the news of Lee’s passing, Chris Evans of Captain America tweeted, “There will never be another Stan Lee. For decades he provided both young and old with adventure, escape, comfort, confidence, inspiration, strength, friendship and joy. He exuded love and kindness and will leave an indelible mark on so, so, so many lives. Excelsior!!”

Hugh Jackman, star of X-Men as Wolverine, also expressed on Twitter, “We’ve lost a creative genius. Stan Lee was a pioneering force in the superhero universe. I’m proud to have been a small part of his legacy and … to have helped bring one of his characters to life. #StanLee #Wolverine”

In 2011, Lee received a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, forever leaving a mark on entertainment history. Stan Lee passed on, though his impact on the millions of lives he touched will never fade away.

Along with the legacy of his illustrious career, Lee also voiced insightful thoughts that encourage us all: 

"I used to be embarrassed because I was just a comic-book writer while other people were building bridges or going on to medical careers. And then I began to realize: entertainment is one of the most important things in people's lives. Without it they might go off the deep end. I feel that if you're able to entertain people, you're doing a good thing." -Stan Lee

"Another definition of a hero is someone who is concerned about other people’s well-being and will go out of his or her way to help them — even if there is no chance of a reward. That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero." -Stan Lee

Lee left a powerful legacy that will continue to inspire others for generations to come.

RIP Stan Lee.