One of the joys of the universe of Marvel Comics being interpreted in live-action, from films to TV series, is that as much as possible they tried to included little cameo appearances by a remarkably vibrant guy of a very advanced age who was a riot whenever he said something in his scenes. He was born Stanley Martin Lieber, but the world of comic books and superheroes know him as Stan Lee, co-creator of many Marvel characters and one of the greatest visionaries in the industry for so many decades. Despite his advanced age he was always game to be a part of the Marvel audiovisual experience; but everything ends.
And so with a heavy heart it is reported through many media sources including Entertainment Weekly that Stan Lee of Marvel Comics has passed away at the age of 95. Representatives share that “Stan the Man” died in the early hours of Monday, November 12, at the Los Angeles Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was rushed following a health emergency at his home. This was also corroborated by Kirk Schenk who serves as personal attorney for Stan’s daughter and only surviving family, Joan Celia Lee.
The Marvel creative legend’s health has been declining in past years. Just this March, he mentioned in a video that he had come down with pneumonia, which effectively cancelled several of his planned public appearances in 2018. The departure of his wife of some 70 years, Joan Babcock Lee, only last year at the same age of 95 is also believed to have taken a toll on Stan. Also not helping were the recent business and personal problems that have arisen, from allegations of harassment by him and elderly abuse against him, to legal battles with his inner business circle and a media company that he co-founded back in 2001.
Born of Jewish Romanian immigrants in 1922, Stan Lee conceived his famous pen name when he started working on the staff of Timely Comics, which would later become Marvel Comics. In the 1960s he and collaborators such as Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko developed a new, grounded and humanly flawed characterization for comic-book superheroes that led to the creation of Spider-Man, X-Men, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, and more. As he himself was a Marvel employee, Stan’s many marvelous creations remained owned by the company itself, and later by Disney which acquired Marvel in 2009.
Stan the Man’s death has been eulogized and tributes done in his memory, not only by the comic book industry but the general entertainment complex due of course to the MCU film franchise. Stars from Marvel Studios saluted him on social media, as did comic creators like Brian Michael Bendis, who posted a comic-form memoriam in the New York Times.
Image courtesy of Hollywood Reporter