Stan Lee passed at the age of 95 and has shaken the core resistance of the comic book and film industry.
In the early 1960’s, Stan was almost close to quitting due to the lack of success he was getting from a company called Timely Comics.
His wife, Joan, was the one who kept him writing and in 1961 he and Jack Kirby co created a team of super heroes know to us as The Fantastic Four.
60 years later, The Marvel Cinematic Universe had made over $15 billion worldwide.
In 2018, Lee was inducted into the Science-fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame at MoPOP (museum of pop culture. He is the only comic book figure to make such a huge impact in the world.
Stan Lee’s work could never be matched; his world building and imagination is untouchable.
As one of the most prolific writers of our time and in history he was very committed to his craft, he has created thousands of characters and had even created his own was of approaching to write comics known as the Marvel Method.
between 1961 and 64 he created numerous characters such as – the Fantastic Four, spiderman, Hulk Iron man, Doctor strange, ant man and the wasp, x-men, daredevils, hulk, and the Inhumans.
Lee’s countless superheroes have lived on because he has insisted on them being treated as characters of their own right, never acting away from how they were.
He has built in many layers of personal matters in these characters with personal struggles reflecting so beautifully that the readers can relate and/or sympathise with them.
He has made characters go through their own moral journeys such as Tony stark as Iron man and Peter Park as Spider man.
While society tried to dismiss comic books as a way to talk about important matters, Lee explained:
“It seems to me that a story without a message, however sublime, is like a man without a soul”
He didn’t ignore important social matters such as the Vietnam war, the civil rights movement or the women’s rights campaigns but instead weaved them into his stories.
For example, by creating Black panther he gave the young people the representation they needed.
It’s impossible to overlook how amazing of a hero Stan Lee was himself.
Comics at the time Lee was blooming were on its ever high, with beauty and true passion showed on every page It captivated its readers emotionally.
Lee was a unique personality and an A+ celebrity. Back in the 60’s Lee knew what was important, and what personal engagement with the readers was at the top.
He became known as a friendly man with an authoritative voice. He also became famous with the many catchphrases he made- “Face Front, true believers” and “excelsior!” although this was a small thing this created a bond between Lee and his fans like no other.
As Cultural Historian Bob Batchelor wrote in his – Stan Lee: The Man Behind Marvel:
“If a generation of teen and college-aged readers hoped to shape him into their leader, Lee would gladly accept the mantle and be their gonzo king. Fashioning this image in a lecture circuit that took him around the nation, as well as within the pages of marvels books, Lee created a persona larger than his publisher or employer”
Its weird to think about what kind of time it was before Lee came into focus, to think that now there’s a scholar who turned into a green huge man when angered or that there’s a spider infused man swinging from building to building, a man wearing the American flag throwing around a shield or a man in full iron Armor flying everywhere.
Lee has spent decades making these heroes come to life.
But at the end of the 90’s it seemed like the comic book industry was coming to an end and Marvel was almost bankruptcy.
During this time marvel was forced to sell its film right for their characters and this led to a bunch of studios trying to take the risk of making marvel like films.
In 1998 New Line’s Blade made Hollywood shake up which was followed by X-men and spider man in 2000 and 2002.
The success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe shows that Stan Lee was right, he believed in his characters and had this immense power to change Hollywood and how we see and view movies forever.
MCU is now one of the most widely recognized brands with Lee characters as the fore front. Names like Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and spider man are now household names with A-list actors playing them.
The passing of Stan Lee was a turning point in pop culture history and is very cherished in everybody’s hearts.