It’s with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Stan Lee, who has died at the age of 95. The comics legend had undergone some health issues over the past few years, and he is survived by his daughter J.C. His wife of 69 years, Joan, passed away in 2017.
It’s no exaggeration to say that the current Hollywood landscape, not to mention fandom at large, would be unrecognizable today if it weren’t for Lee. He was born in 1922 in Manhattan, New York City, and at the age of 17 became an assistant at Timely Comics, which would eventually evolve into Marvel Comics. Lee’s first superhero co-creation was the Destroyer in Mystic Comics, but it wasn’t the last. Together with a Murderer’s Row of talented writers and artists, Lee revolutionized the world of comics with characters like Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Hulk, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, and oh so many more.
Lee’s co-creations would find new audiences and renewed interest throughout the 1990s and especially the 2000s as advances in visual effects spurred Hollywood to craft blockbuster adaptations of these colorful comics characters. Indeed, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man is largely credited as one of the godfathers of the modern superhero movie, and of course Lee’s lesser-known creations gained greater acclaim with the arrival of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with 2008’s Iron Man.
Few people’s contributions to pop culture have been as significant and long-lasting as Lee’s, and that longevity is a testament to the foundation of the characters he initially created. Characters like Peter Parker and Tony Stark are just as compelling and relatable today as they were decades ago when Lee first co-created them.
The great Stan Lee will be sorely missed, as he was truly one of a kind. But his legacy will live on forever. Excelsior.