Stan Lee, considered a legend and pivotal character in forming the comicbook industry as a whole. Stan has played a major role in developing every mainstream comicbook hero you know now; from the Fantastic Four to X-Men and everything in between. And who could forget his seemingly endless amount of cameos in almost every Marvel film? Unfortunately today, our beloved mentor, writer, and friend Stan Lee has passed away.
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Stan Lee’s own origin story started in Manhattan, New York on December 28th, 1922. As a child growing up in the great New York City during this time, Lee grew up working many different odd jobs. His solace would come in the form of reading many different types of novels and stories about heroes; the young Lee particularly loved those early literary works of Errol Flynn.
In 1939, Lee began his career as an assistant at Timely Comics. This was the company that would eventually become Marvel, however at this time barely anyone was doing super-heroes. As an assistant, Lee did menial tasks, and only began writing in 1941 with his debut text-work on Captain America. However, shortly after this Lee began his service in the U.S. Army Signaling Corps and later the Training Film Division. Here, Stan Lee began his early writing, being considered a playwright among his fellow soldiers.
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After his service and the war ended, Stan Lee continued his early work on comicbooks at his old company, which changed its name to Atlas Comics. It wouldn’t be until the late 1950s that Lee would shine. Due to the success that DC Comics received for reviving the superhero genre, Stan’s boss at the time and head of the company, Martin Goodman, ordered that him and his team begin creating heroes to compete against the new rising genre.
This is where Stan Lee truly began to shine. With his creative spirit, we were given the Fantastic Four. Then BOOM! Shortly after we got a huge range of new and unique characters. The Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and many more joined what we now recognize as the Marvel Universe. And the rest, is pretty much history.
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What distinguishes Stan Lee’s particular creations from everything else, is the amount character development and attention to detail that other writers at the time simply overlooked. Lee made his characters seem truly human, choosing to give them character flaws, raw emotions, and dialogue that made them different in their personalities. Instead of the god-like Superman or the complete badass that is Batman, we instead received real, flawed character like the alcoholic Iron Man or the young Peter Parker who had to balance crime fighting with his very real life.
There is so much that we owe this man and the many people he worked with. Although there were some bad feuds and lawsuits throughout his life from people he once loved and considered family, Stan endured and did his best to remain a dignified and respectable individual. He would often speak out about injustices that occurred in the world, and inspired billions of people. Through his work, that has spanned generations, Lee always spoke to each of his diverse audiences with reason, resonance, and respect.
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Stan Lee has followed his wife of sixty-eight years, Joan Boocock Lee, who passed away last year. Although Lee was reported as arriving at the hospital on Monday, we are still waiting to hear of the official cause of death. But keep in mind, the man was ninety-five when he passed away. No doubt Lee lived a full life, filled to the brim with success and inspiration. Excelsior, friend!
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