Yesterday, the comic book world suffered a great loss. Stan Lee, one of the icons, a prolific writer and man who created most of the characters that bring glory to Marvel even today, has passed away. He was taken to the Cedar Sinai Medical Center by an ambulance from his home where he died. The cause of death is yet to be released as stated by his daughter’s attorney Kirk Schneck.
This beloved comic book figure started his career in the 1940s and together with late Jack Kirby he redefined the superhero genre in the 1960s with helping brand Marvel as a publisher. He worked as a writer and editor, although he was known to be an occasional illustrator as well. He joined the Marvel team in order to create superheroes that will be worthy to compete against DC’s Superman, Batman and other characters which dominated the market. Together with artists Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby he started a completely different and lighter approach to the superhero genre which kicked off with the audience right away.
“If my publisher hadn’t said ‘let’s do superhero stories,’ I’d probably still be doing ‘A Kid Called Outlaw,’ ‘The Two-Gun Kid’ or ‘Millie the Model’ or whatever I was doing at the time,” said late Stan Lee in an interview for CNN back in 2013.
Fantastic Four characters were first, but others followed pretty fast as well like Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Daredevil and X-Men. Thanks to their remarkable popularity between 1961 and 1964, Marvel beat its competition DC in revenue and popularity.
In the 1970s, Lee didn’t write as much as he used to and was more of an editorial director for Marvel whose popularity help spread the company’s fame. This is the time that he started using the famous catchphrase “Excelsior” we all got used to hearing from him.
“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,” said Lee in an interview for the Washington Post. “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.”
Even in his 90s, Stan Lee still stayed close to the characters he co-created with other artists and appeared in movies and TV shows which even became the MCU’s trademark. He attended conventions, talked to the fans and gave interviews without showing any signs of intending to stop supporting his heroes and villains. Our thoughts and well wishes go to his family, friends, and fans all over the world.
Rest in peace Stan and thank you for making our lives richer for so many astonishing comic books.