Marvel co-creator, legendary writer, editor and publisher of Marvel Comics, Stan Lee has passed away on 12 November at the age of 95.
According to TMZ, Lee was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from his Hollywood Hills home and died there. The news was confirmed by Kirk Schenck, an attorney for Lee’s daughter, J.C. Lee.
Born as Stanley Martin Lieber on 28 December, 1922, he grew up poor in Washington Heights, where his father, a Romanian immigrant, was a dress-cutter. A lover of adventure books and Errol Flynn movies, Lee graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School and joined the WPA Federal Theatre Project, where he appeared in a few stage shows, and wrote obituaries.
In 1939, Lee got a job as a gofer at Marvel predecessor Timely Comics. Two years later, he wrote a two-page story titled The Traitor’s Revenge! for Jack Kirby and Joe Simon’s Captain America (No. 3), that was used as text filler where he used the pen name Stan Lee.
Lee created some fabulous but flawed creations that made him a real-life superhero to comic book lovers everywhere. Lee started Marvel with Kirby in 1961 with The Fantastic Four and went on to create some larger-than-life and memorable characters that has become an inseparable part of his legacy.
He also made cameo appearances in many of the Marvel movies. Lee catapulted Marvel from a tiny venture into the world’s number one publisher of comic books and later, a multimedia giant.
“I used to think what I did was not very important. 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 I suppose I have come to realize that entertainment is not easily dismissed,” Lee told the Chicago Tribune in April 2014.
In 2009, Walt Disney took over Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion, and most of the top-grossing superhero films of all time — led by Avengers: Infinity War‘s $2.05 billion worldwide take earlier this year, have featured Marvel characters.
Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said, “Stan Lee was as extraordinary as the characters he created. A superhero in his own right to Marvel fans around the world, Stan had the power to inspire, to entertain and to connect. The scale of his imagination was only exceeded by the size of his heart.”
Lee’s fame and influence as the face and figurehead of Marvel, even in his nonagenarian years has remained truly commendable. “No one has had more of an impact on my career and everything we do at Marvel Studios than Stan Lee,” Feige said. “Stan leaves an extraordinary legacy that will outlive us all. Our thoughts are with his daughter, his family and the millions of fans who have been forever touched by Stan’s genius, charisma and heart,” commented Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige paying a tribute to the legend.
His way of doing things at Marvel was to brainstorm a story with an artist, then write a synopsis. After the artist drew the story panels, Lee filled in the word balloons and captions. The process became known as ‘The Marvel Method’.
Besides The Fantastic Four, Lee collaborated with artist-writer Kirby on The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, the mighty Thor, Silver Surfer, Black Panther, X-Men and The Avengers. With artist-writer Ditko he created Spider-Man and the surgeon Doctor Strange, and with artist Bill Everett came up with the blind superhero Daredevil.
It’s certain that without the legend, Marvel won’t be the same!