Stan Lee dies, age 95
Stan Lee, the writer, publisher, editor and all round “Generalissimo” of Marvel Comics, has died. The visionary behind so many of Marvel's most famous characters was taken to the Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles yesterday in response to a medical emergency, where he was later pronounced dead. He was 95.
Born Stanley Martin Lieber in New York City's Manhattan district, Lee was just 17 when he landed his first job as an assistant at Timely Comics, graduating quickly to the position of interim editor by the time he was 19. His early career was interrupted by the arrival of WWII, during which Lee served in the Signal Corps of the US Army, but Lee returned to Timely Comics after his service was completed.
It was during 1950s, when Timely rebranded to Atlas Comics, that Lee really began to make his mark. Tasked with coming up with idea for a new superhero team to rival the Justice League of America, Lee worked with artist Jack Kirby to create The Fantastic Four, introducing the more humanistic, flawed and sometimes vulnerable qualities that have since become the template for superhero characters.
Together with Kirby, Lee would co-create a whole string of the comic book world's most famous characters during the 1960s including The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man and the X-Men, later working with other artists such as Bill Everett, with whom Lee co-created Daredevil, and Steve Ditko, forming a partnership that would produce Doctor Strange and perhaps Marvel's most famous creation, Spider-Man.
During this era Lee revolutionised the way comic books were written and published, introducing a practice that would become known as 'the Marvel Method', in which artists essentially became co-plotters in the stories, working from a rough synopsis provided by Lee and working with him to flesh out and finalise storylines, under Lee's scripting and art direction. He also helped build a new kind of relationship between comic books and their community of fans, writing a monthly column called Stan's Soapbox and introducing the practice of crediting artists, colourists and inkers as well as writers for the stories published in his comics.
Lee ceased writing for comic books in 1972 to become a publisher, later becoming a figurehead for the Marvel brand and famously featuring in a series of cameos in Marvel movies and TV shows. His death has sent shockwaves throughout the comic book and movie industries and beyond, with tributes from all walks of life flooding social media in the hours following the announcement of his death.
You can find some of these below, which illustrate just how far-reaching Lee's influence has been not just in the world of comic books and movies, but on pop culture in general.
Rest in Peace, Stan Lee, and thanks for everything.
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) 12 November 2018
Sad, sad day. Rest In Power, Uncle Stan. You have made the world a better place through the power of modern mythology and your love of this messy business of being human... pic.twitter.com/x6yZ6ClNSX— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) 12 November 2018
Thank you Stan Lee for making people who feel different realize they are special.— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) 12 November 2018
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) 12 November 2018
Damn... RIP Stan. Thanks for everything. pic.twitter.com/TMAaDJSOhh— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) 12 November 2018
Thanks for everything Stan Lee! What a life, so well lived. I consider myself extraordinarily lucky to have gotten to meet you and to have played in the world you created.— chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) 12 November 2018
What a man. What a life.— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) 12 November 2018
When I first broke into Hollywood, he welcomed me with open arms and some very sage advice I’ll forever take to heart.
A true icon who impacted generations around the world.
Rest in love, my friend. #imagination #stanlee 💫 pic.twitter.com/dw3FXMgyHp
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Stan Lee and Dr. Seuss and Ray Bradbury. That’s where it begins and ends with me. To those of us who have been so deeply affected by the humanity of his imagination, the understanding of reaching beyond our potential and the necessity of tapping into our immeasurable imaginations, we thank you and are forever indebted. Rest In Peace Dear Stan. You made our time here a better one. #ripstanlee @robliefeld