In 1941, a young storytelling artist made his debut in the comic book world with his contribution to “Captain America Foils the Traitor's Revenge”, fulfilling his childhood dream. He would then go on to create dozens of new characters, new groups, storylines, and oversee what is probably the biggest revolution Hollywood has ever seen. He went from a guy working behind the desk, to someone whose appearance was greeted with louder cheer than the protagonist of the movie. And when he left the world on 12th November 2018, he had changed the world in a way very few people ever will.
Stan Lee was more than just an artist or a writer – he was a dreamer. “I used to think what I did was not very important,” Lee said in 2014. “People are building bridges and engaging in medical research, and here I was doing stories about fictional people who do extraordinary, crazy things and wear costumes.” But the legacy he leaves behind is nothing short of breathtaking, having created characters such as Iron Man, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and many others. From watching Marvel on the verge of bankruptcy to witnessing Avengers: Infinity War cross the 2 billion mark, Lee has seen it all. And he has been the center of it all as well.
Before Lee, superheroes were shown to be perfect beings, fighting the evil and maintaining justice in the society. Lee “humanized” them, and showed us that superpowers are not the only thing that makes a hero. Stan Lee’s heroes were often broken, defeated, angry and sad, but what made them heroes was that they refused to stay down in the face of adversity. While characters such as Superman and Green Lantern have almost a god-like status, Marvel’s Tony Stark, Steve Rodgers, and other people were normal beings like us, who faced the same emotional and mental trauma we do, just with the added burden of saving the world.
Stan Lee used his writings to defeat evil not only in the fictional world but in the real world as well. He pioneered representation of the African American community by creating the Black Panther and Falcon, and also showed women in prominent roles, such as Black Widow, Susan Storm, and Scarlet Witch. In fact, the very reason he co-created the X-Men was to send a message: That just because someone is different, does not mean that they are bad. While his characters defeated the bad guys in the comics, Lee himself fought racial and sexual discrimination with his writings.
It is hard to imagine where Marvel would be today. By creating Spider-Man and Fantastic Four, Stan Lee was directly responsible for starting the age of superheroes in Hollywood, and by creating Iron Man, Lee had, inadvertently, laid the seeds for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the highest grossing movie series ever. Not only that, but it was Marvel’s competition that made DC work even harder, and in a way, even DC characters owe their movies to the man some people rightfully call the King of Comic Books.
In every movie after Avengers 4, the audience will miss something, which we have now developed a habit of waiting for. We all wish we had the time stone with us, so we could bring him back, but alas, it just isn’t that timeline. And while Lee may be gone, his legacy will live on forever, in movies, TV shows, comic books, and in all our hearts. There will be many after him, but there will be none like him.
Every Marvel fan knows who is Stan Lee. The king of Cameos showed up in more than 30 movies and we want to show you every scene where Stan Lee appeared. Click here to watch Every Stan Lee Cameo Ever.
The superheroes Stan Lee created were a huge part of many peoples' childhoods and even though he passed away, a warm memory of him and his kindness will forever stay with us. Fans all over the world are already sharing tribute art in honor of this legendary man, see the best tribute art in honor of Stan Lee by clicking here.
Rest In Peace, Stanley Martin Lieber (December 28, 1922 – November 12, 2018)
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