The king of comics, Stan Lee passed away on November 12 at the age of 95, leaving behind a legacy that, like his characters, leaps off the page
When we think of superpowers, comic book heroes, and brightly coloured, larger-than-life characters, we think of Marvel Comics. Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Iron Man; the list goes on. For those who abide by ‘nerd culture’, the man behind the capes and cowls is perhaps bigger than the heroes themselves. That man, the man who put the spark and spectacle into comic book lore, was Stan Lee.
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Lee was the driving force behind Marvel Comics for decades. In a career that spanned 70 plus years, Lee was responsible in co-creating characters that have become the stuff of pop culture, that have transcended the pages of comics. He helped grow Marvel from a small division of a modest publishing house to a multimedia empire, which today, has raked in billions of dollars in toys, video games, movies, and of course, comic books.
But Stan Lee leaves behind a legacy that is much more than dollars and cents, more than spiking approval ratings or box office run sheets. No, Lee inspired legions of creative minds, decades worth of dreamers and free thinkers.
Ever quotable, Lee was modest of his fame and even his age He was famously quoted in saying, “Most people say, ‘I can’t wait to retire so I can play golf,’ or go yachting or whatever they do. Well, if I was playing golf, I would want that to finish so I could go and dream up a new TV show.”
Lee defied his own mortality to the end, becoming a household name to an entirely new world of consumers thanks to his wacky cameos in the billion dollar Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise.
In a famous interview with The Washington Post, Lee addressed his role as a creator, and moreover, an entertainer.
“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.”