If you’ve read the comics and have seen the movie adaptations (especially the opening scenes AKA cameos), you’d know who Stan Lee is. He is a creative giant of Marvel Comics and a pioneer in the contemporary comic book world.
Today, comic fans all over the world are mourning Lee’s passing. He was 95. In honor of the legend himself, here’s a look at the legend that is Stan Lee.
He’s a superhero universe creator
Almost every Marvel superhero and villain you’ve loved for most of your life is the brainchild of Stan Lee. Some of his creations from the 1960s revived today in mega blockbuster movies include the Spiderman, The X-Men, Thor, Iron Man, Black Panther, and The Fantastic Four, and the list goes on. While he may not have out-of-this world abilities like the characters he created, his imagination was his super power.
His characters are relatable
Superheroes are called such for a reason. Their capabilities are above average and their charisma is larger than life. Stan Lee, however, knows that nobody is perfect, so he developed heroes with human frailties. The result: characters that readers could identify with. “I tried to make them understandable enough, exciting, or suspenseful or interesting enough for youngsters and to all their interests,” he once said on The Hollywood Reporter, talking about the characters he made.
His storytelling is unlike any other
“I’ve tried to write stories that anybody and everybody will enjoy,” Lee added. He offered the costumes and action that young readers craved for while pursuing sophisticated plots, college-level dialogue, satire, science fiction, and even philosophy. He’s perhaps most famous for writing the Spiderman line, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
He embodies Excelsior
Finally, what does “Excelsior” mean? “Upward and onward to greater glory!” That’s what I wish you whenever I finish tweeting! Excelsior!
— stan lee (@TheRealStanLee) November 9, 2010
A Latin word which means “ever upward,” Excelsior was initially Lee’s clever sign-off to thwart competition during his time. It has somehow become his optimistic mantra throughout his decades-long career, demonstrating an unbelievable work ethic and a life-long dedication to comics. But as the world became witness to his unstoppable positive spirit, the term has inevitably become who he is – a striving yet humble creative who never ceased to bring life to cartoon characters.
He loves the fandom dearly
If there’s anyone who loved giving fan service, it’s Lee. Apart from his New York office and Marvel movie sets, he was often at conventions and comic book events. He loved his fans as much as the characters he created and the stories he told, most likely identifying with the fans’ enthusiasm for comics. “I’m proudest of the fact that maybe some things I’ve done have entertained people,” he said. “And whether that’s Spiderman or Sergeant Fury, I’m happy that some people have enjoyed it.”
What will you remember the most about Stan Lee?
Featured Image by Madel Crudo