A Marvel Nerd’s Farewell To Stan Lee

I walk into my college apartment bedroom and the walls are covered with Marvel posters. My sheets, some of my shirts, my socks, my screen saver - everything is Marvel. My favorite movies, obviously, are Marvel movies.

I discovered comic books from my older brother who was a huge X-Men and Spider-Man fan. He had the comic books and video games and let me use them sometimes (other times, I would just steal them, but I’ll never tell him that.) When my brother and I would play together outside, we'd often pretend to be superheroes. I always wanted to be Storm and he always wanted to Magneto or Jean Grey. We'd have so much fun in our make-believe world; it’s one of the highlights of my childhood.

As I got older, I branched out into my own comic book fandom - the Avengers. Even if you’ve lived under a rock for the past 10 years, you know who the Avengers are (I’m a huge Captain America and Hulk fan, specifically.)

Going through high school and my current college years, I’m known as the Marvel nerd who will go in costume to watch the next blockbuster Marvel movie or have a screaming match with a DC Comics fan on why the Hulk would destroy Superman (I said what I said. Don’t @ me.)

To the average person, Marvel superheroes are just characters for entertainment. To those who are true fans and look into the depth and truth behind the characters’ back stories, there's so much more to them. They stand for so many things - justice, equality and perseverance, to name a few.

The man, the myth, the legend, Stan Lee, who was Marvel’s creative director and the writer responsible for some of the biggest names in comics like Spider-Man, Black Panther, Thor and The Incredible Hulk, died on November 12 at the age of 95.

To someone like me, who's gone through life with the influence of Stan Lee’s characters and ideas, this is truly devastating. What can you possibly say about a man who’s responsible for so many of the things that you love and identify with?

To Stan Lee, I'd say thank you for your creativity and your ideas. Thank you for the characters and the storylines you created. Thank you for the many people you’ve inspired to create great things. Last but not least, thank you for your hilarious cameos in Marvel movies. You'll truly be missed.

To comic book fans everywhere I'd say, celebrate Stan Lee’s life by continuing to have a passion for comics and remember that your creativity is key. Never let anyone tell you that comic books are for children and are meaningless. Continue being a comic book nerd to excelsior and beyond!

“Some people will say, ‘Why read a comic book? It stifles the imagination. If you read a novel you imagine what people are like. If you read a comic, it’s showing you.’ The only answer I can give is, ‘You can read a Shakespeare play, but does that mean you wouldn’t want to see it on the stage’?” - Stan Lee