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Excelsior! The Stan ‘Man’ Lee

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A legend
A Marvel of Man
An Icon that Revolutionised Comic Books
The King of Pop Culture Realm

The pop culture world has lost a legend. The man who started it all and bought our favourite superheroes to life with his outstanding writing. He revolutionized the comic book world in 1960 and left a big mark on the pop culture world today. Widely celebrated as the primary architect of Marvel Comics, Lee’s true legacy is the deep inspiration he provided for generations of creators that followed. His enthusiasm for the adventurous was contagious. A writer, editor, publisher, Hollywood executive and tireless promoter, he played a critical role in what comics fans call the medium’s silver age.

Stanley Martin Lieber born on December 28, 1922, was an American comic book writer, editor, and publisher who was active from the 1940s to the 2010s. Along with artists Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko—he co-created numerous popular fictional characters, including superheroes Spider-Man, the X-Men, Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Black Panther, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, and Ant-Man. He was inducted into the comic book industry’s Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1995. He received the NEA’s National Medal of Arts in 2008. He introduced the practice of regularly including a credit panel on the splash page of each story, naming not just the writer and pen-ciller but also the inker and letterer. He extended beyond the characters and storylines to the way in which comic books engaged the readership and built a sense of community between fans and creators.

Lee’s Marvel movie cameos began in 2000 with “X-Men,” more than a decade ago and today they are the regular behemoth cultural that people eagerly wait for. He even appeared on Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, an animated DC film which is Marvel’s Distinguished Competition. In one scene, Lee’s voice plays in the background until he approaches the viewer. “Hey everybody, look at me, doing my subtle cameo,” he declares, while music plays, he dances and strikes action poses, and “Stan Lee” logos appear on the screen. He returns later and says, “I don’t care if it is a DC movie — I love cameos!” It was a sign of his modest demeanour: poking fun of himself in a rival’s movie. Through his writing, Lee introduced a new level of complexity and sophistication to comic book characters. It was also the way he infused the human element into their super-human personas. Thanks largely to Lee and what he created, superhero films now dominate the landscape, for good.

In 2015, around the time of Marvel’s 75th anniversary, Lee had the idea to reflect on his own life, as he said, “in the one form it has never been depicted, as a comic book … or if you prefer, a graphic memoir.” Stan Lee leaves a rich legacy and indelible imprint on the industry and on our lives. Thanks for creating so many wonderful characters and inspiring us all to be a little more heroic. Every time you open a Marvel comic, Stan will be there.

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