Written by Lahiru Fernando
13 Nov, 2018 | 12:03 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st): The Father of Marvel Comics, creative genius and great Stan Lee has passed away at 95 years of age. Lee helped bring in the golden era of superhero comics and movies – and saw his work influence the world and the film industry as a whole.
Stan Lee took his last breath on Monday (November 12) at the Cedar’s Sinai Medical Center, to which he was taken via ambulance from his home in LA. The cause of his death is not yet known.
Lee began his career in 1939 at Timely Comics, which was founded by his cousin-in-law Martin Goodman. While he started off as an office assistant, he progressed as a writer, then stepped in as interim editor in 1941.
Two decades later in 1961, Timely Comics transformed into Marvel Comics and the Fantastic Four were the first to be brought to life. Around the same period, Stan Lee began to work with Jack Kirby, the man who co-created Captain America in the 1940s. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby worked together to create some of the most loved and popular characters in Marvel Comics; From Fantastic Four, X-Men, Spider-Man and Hulk.
What separated Lee’s Marvel with DC (then National), who dominated the comic book business at the time, was that Lee, and Marvel as a whole, identified their characters as ‘fundamentally human’ with the same flaws and fears as a regular human being.
However, Lee was not all-too-happy with his products and was planning his exit from Marvel Comics. But in a strange twist, things took a sudden turn.
DC was the giant of comics at the time with a hugely popular roster with the likes of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Green Lantern. Then in the 1950s, DC kicked off the ‘silver age’ of comics after reimagining its superheroes. However, they were still somewhat disconnected from the real-world, living in made-up cities.
When Lee took up the task of coming up with a team of heroes to compete against DC’s giant Justice League, with the help of the likes of Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, Lee created a revolution.
Stan Lee and Marvel with him revitalized the comics business with a series of flawed, more human superheroes. Its heroes lived in the real world, a few based in New York City, with all its dirt and clamour, and struggled with everyday challenges from paying the rent or wondering about their purposes in life.
Lee became Marvel’s editorial director and publisher in 1972. He eventually immersed himself in spreading the Marvel gospel (often with the exclamation, “Excelsior!”) He’s had cameos in most of the films featuring the company’s characters. Today, Marvel’s superheroes are known and loved all around the world.
“I used to be embarrassed because I was just a comic-book writer while other people were building bridges or going on to medical careers,” he told the Washington Post. “And then I began to realize: entertainment is one of the most important things in people’s lives. Without it, they might go off the deep end. I feel that if you’re able to entertain people, you’re doing a good thing.”
Stan Lee stayed loyal and passionate to the art he helped create and evolve, and would not stand to any lack of respect or insult to the industry as a whole.
“Comic book should be written as one word. So from now on, I want you to remember that,” he said in a 2012 YouTube video. “They are not funny books. They are not comic books, they are comicbooks! Remember that, or incur my wrath.”
Marvel actors, writers, fans and even rival DC Comics flooded social media tributes, shortly after his death was announced.
He changed the way we look at heroes, and modern comics will always bear his indelible mark. His infectious enthusiasm reminded us why we all fell in love with these stories in the first place. Excelsior, Stan.
— DC (@DCComics) November 12, 2018
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) November 12, 2018
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!!
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) November 12, 2018
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A post shared by Robert Downey Jr. (@robertdowneyjr) on
We’ve lost a creative genius. Stan Lee was a pioneering force in the superhero universe. I’m proud to have been a small part of his legacy and …. to have helped bring one of his characters to life. #StanLee #Wolverine pic.twitter.com/iOdefi7iYz
— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) November 12, 2018
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How many millions of us are indebted to this guy, none more so than me. The father of Marvel has made so many people so incredibly happy. What a life and what a thing to have achieved. Rest in peace Stan
A post shared by ✌️ (@tomholland2013) on
Damn… RIP Stan. Thanks for everything. pic.twitter.com/TMAaDJSOhh
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) November 12, 2018
Rest in Peace Stan ‘the man’ Lee, the world will miss you. Excelsior!
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