The Legacy of Stan Lee

On November 12 Marvel fans everywhere grieved  the news that Stan Lee (Stanley Martin Lieber) had died. He was 95.

Kirk Schneck, an attorney for Lee’s daughter, told  CNN Stan Lee was taken by ambulance from his Los Angeles home on Monday morning to Cedar’s Sinai Medical Center, where he later died. The cause of death is not yet known, according to Schneck.

Stan Lees’ name became synonymous with Marvel Comic books and movies for decades. Characters like Black Panther, Spider-Man, the X-Men, Iron Man, the Hulk, Daredevil and Ant-Man among countless others shaped the comic book and superhero industry. And yet, Lees’ history was much more than comics.

At only the age of 18, Stan Lee was hired as an office assistant at Timely Comics and eventually became editor for the company in the early 1940s. In the early ’60s, Lee was told  by his boss to create a series for Marvel Comics(Timely’s new name) that could compete with DC Comics’ Justice League of America. Following the encouragement of his wife, Joan, Lee did away with with the usual clean-cut superheroes and created the Fantastic Four with help from artist and co-creator Jack Kirby.

Following the success of Fantastic Four, a collection of new characters arose from Stan Lee including the Hulk, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Daredevil and the X-Men. Marvel Comics continued to grow, and Lee was promoted to editorial director/publisher in 1972.

Stan Lee went on the create an  intellectual-property company known as POW! Entertainment in 2001, and the following year published his autobiography, Excelsior! The Amazing Life of Stan Lee.

Film adaptations based on the series that Stan Lee co-created were highly successful. X-Men (2000) and Spider-Man (2002) launched blockbuster franchises that earned billions of dollars in box-office revenue worldwide.

In November of  2002 Lee filed a $10 million lawsuit against Marvel after failing to receive any profits from the first Spider-Man movie, and in 2005 the court ruled in favor of Lee.

Other Stan Lee creations to receive the Hollywood treatment included Daredevil (2003), Hulk (2003), and Iron Man (2008). Lee was featured in cameo roles for  each film, a tradition that continued after Disney purchased Marvel in 2009. A flood of Marvel films followed the purchase, including the Avengers (2012), and Ant-Man(2015).

Chris Evans paid tribute to Stan Lee on Twitter, saying: “There will never be another Stan Lee. For decades he provided both young and old with adventure, escape, comfort, confidence, inspiration, strength, friendship and joy. He exuded love and kindness and will leave an indelible mark on so, so, so many lives. Excelsior!!”


Story by: Cassidy Jasperson

Photo by: Worldstarhiphop