Yesterday the world lost an icon. It’s a day the Marvel fandom had been dreading for quite some time and one that came all too soon. The beloved real life superhero, Stan Lee, passed away at the age of 95 on Monday November 12th. I’m sure there will be people that find out about the passing of Stan Lee and simply shrug it off because they didn’t know him or they see his work as childish. The truth is, his work and legacy isn’t childish at all.
Stan Lee not only created an entire universe, he created a world where being different is okay. His characters faced real-life problems which gave them a sense of humanity that audiences could relate to. His characters such as Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Doctor Strange, and The Incredible Hulk may seem childish at first; but once you see their character development you realize how real they truly are. His characters started off in comic books but it took them no time to spring off the page. They flowed out of our televisions and eventually would spring to life on the big screen in what would become one of the highest grossing franchises of all time. The secret to the popularity of his characters is that he didn’t just create random superheroes, he created realistic story lines and hope to go along with them.
Everyone can find a piece of themselves in the characters that Stan Lee was able to create. He essentially created the X-Men to show that being marked as different in society isn’t such a bad thing. Black Panther deals with discrimination and how to combat it, while Iron Man shows the danger of weapons making and government control. And although Stan Lee didn’t create Captain America, he stands for patriotism and standing up for the ones who can’t fight for themselves.
The principles that Stan Lee created in his characters were not introduced or created by him. He simply made a way for people to see and understand how certain principles should be applied to someone’s everyday life. He gave us the hope and courage to combat evil and helped to create a hero in us all. His legacy doesn’t live on through cinematic universes or television shows; but rather through the characters he created and the willingness of his fans to do good in the world. Fans who help those who need it and to remember that being a hero to someone doesn’t mean you have to be perfect because most of Stan Lee’s characters were far from that.
It’s hard not to associate Marvel Comics with the name Stan Lee. Stan was the one who created the Marvel brand and the one who brought superheroes to life. Because of this, Stan Lee’s legacy will live on. Fans will remember him as they open his comic books, watch the past 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and as they continue to see his beloved characters come to life on the big screen.
It’s always hard when an actor/actress dies, but I think the passing of Stan Lee is harder to accept than most. He created a universe where if you love a character enough they virtually never die and most fans seemed to apply that to him as well.
Yesterday the world lost an icon, a legend, and a true mastermind. Thank you Stan Lee for my childhood, my adulthood, and for the heroes I’ve fallen in love with.