Stan Lee, the legendary writer, editor and publisher of Marvel Comics whose creations made him a real-life superhero to comic book lovers, is no more. He died at the age of 95 on November 12, 2018 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Lee received a National Medal of Arts in 2008, from the President George W. Bush.
Lee, began his business in 1939 and co-created Black Panther, Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Mighty Thor, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, Daredevil and Ant-Man, among countless other characters.
Through his work with artist-writer collaborators Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and others, Lee catapulted Marvel from a tiny venture into the world’s No. 1 publisher of comic books and, later, a multimedia giant.
In 2009, The Walt Disney Co. bought 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 has featured Marvel characters.
As a writer and editor charged with keeping multiple stories going at the same time, Lee wove them together into a seamless fictional world where Iron Man could join forces with the Fantastic Four, and Captain America could find himself a wedding guest alongside Doctor Strange. The Marvel Universe he created crossed from page to screen in a series of TV and movie adaptations and changed the face of popular culture.
Childhood And Early Life¬†
Lee‚Äôs childhood was marked by the Great Depression. In his 2002 autobiography Excelsior!, Lee described how his father‚Äôs struggle to find a steady job had forever affected him: ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a feeling that the most important thing for a man to do is to have work to do, to be busy, to be needed,‚Äù he wrote.
At 17, Lee landed a job at a publishing company owned by his relative Martin Goodman, and began writing scripts for superhero and mystery comics. When Goodman fell out with his editor in 1941, Lee found himself editor-in-chief at just 19.
Marvel-the Fantastic Four launched comics into new territory. Readers bought editions in droves, and over the following years Marvel published hundreds of characters co-created by Lee, including Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange and the Silver Surfer. With so many stories running at the same time, Lee began letting the characters from one title crop up in others, creating a fictional universe for readers to explore ‚Äì and one that made readers buy multiple series to get the whole story.
After spending more than three decades writing scripts every day, Lee took on a new role as publisher of Marvel Comics in 1972. Setting his sights on the wider world, he took Marvel characters into newspaper strips, published a series of books recounting his version of Marvel‚Äôs early years and teamed up with Kirby for the last time in 1978 to produce a graphic novel featuring the Silver Surfer. Lee relished his role as the company‚Äôs public face, becoming a fixture on the convention scene as the wisecracking, grand old man of the comics industry.
Template of Success
In 1990 adaptation of Captain America went straight to video, while a low-budget 1994 version of the Fantastic Four was never released. But in 2000 Bryan Singer‚Äôs blockbuster version of X-Men, starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and Halle Berry, set the template for success, complete with a cameo for Lee and the Marvel Universe became a summer fixture in multiplexes across the world. Films from Iron Man (2008) to Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) have made a combined $17.6 billion at the box office
After the death of his wife Joan in 2017, Lee‚Äôs personal life and business affairs became the subject of widespread speculation. This year only he filed a $billion lawsuit against his former company Pow! Entertainment for damages over what he called a ‚Äúsham deal‚Äù with a Chinese company. two months later he dropped the lawsuit, and called it ‚Äúconfusing to everyone‚Äù. Police had also investigated allegations of elder abuse, with Lee filing a restraining order against a former business manager, Keya Morgan. Morgan was later accused by Lee‚Äôs attorney of taking advantage of Lee‚Äôs age to influence and control him.
Lee was every bit as complicated as the characters he created‚Äîor co-created, or present at the creation of. His creativity and ideas cast a mystical field over the popular culture of the 20th and 21st centuries, and taught generations of nerds of every flavor and stripe about responsibility, morality, and love. And in a sense, his death can’t be any more permanent than one he might have written for a comic-book character, because the stories he began are all to be continued, forever.