Stan Lee, was born as Stanley Martin Lieber on December 28th, 1922 was the editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics.
Stanley Lieber started off as an assistant in 1939 at the new Timely Comics division of Pulp Magazine and comic-book publisher Martin Goodman. Timely Comics, byt the 1960s, evolved into Marvel Comics.
Stanley Lieber made his comic book debut in 1941 with filler “Captain America Foils the Traitor’s Revenge” in Captain America Comics #3, using the pseudonym Stan Lee. This initial story also introduced Captain America’s trademark ricocheting shield-toss.
When Joe Simon and his creative partner Jack Kirby left in 1941, Martin Goodman appointed Stan Lee, just under 19 years old, as interim editor. Stan Lee remained as the division’s editor-in-chief, as well as art director until 1972, when he would succeed Goodman as publisher.
In the late 1950s, DC Comics revived the superhero archetype and became successful with the updated versions. Publisher, Martin Goodman assigned Stan Lee to come up with a new superhero team.
The first superhero group Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created together was the Fantastic Four.
The Fantastic Four skyrocketed and team grew in popularity! Stan Lee collaborated with Jack Kirby many times on the following titles and created heroes such as, The Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, and the X-Men.
Stan Lee also collaborated with Bill Everett to create Daredevil and with Steve Ditko, Doctor Strange.
Stan Lee also created Marvel’s most beloved character Spider-Man, all of whom lived in a shared universe.
As these characters took off and these comics flew off the shelves, Stan Lee made sure to engage the reader and create a community between fans and creators. He built a credit panel on one of the pages of the comic and would incorporate upcoming news and stories from Marvel and its staff members.
Throughout the 1960s, Lee scripted, art-directed and edited most of Marvel’s series, moderated the letters pages and wrote a monthly column called “Stan’s Soapbox”, often signing off with his trademark motto, “Excelsior”
Later on in his career, Stan Lee became the figurehead and public face for Marvel Comics. He had created an empire and continued to create more stories.
The Marvel characters that Stan created had naturalistic, human qualities, while having superhuman powers. He created a domesticated hero who could possibly have trouble getting through school, bad tempers, worried about paying their bills, suffer from a mental illness or ptsd or even falling pysically ill. All of this was realistic and audiences could identify with any one of these characters.
There are children that look up to Hawkeye because he’s a deaf supehero, Daredevil because he’s a blind superhero and Wade Wilson who battled with cancer. It’s so incredibly important to have this representation and Stan wanted these stories to be told.
In August 1996, Marvel created Marvel Studios. They had arranged a seven year deal with 20th Century Fox to cover markets in the United States and internationally. The first film to be released worldwide was Blade, based on the vampire hunter. The film made $70 million in North America.
Following the success of Blade, Bryan Singer tackled the X-Men in the early 2000s and the first Marvel franchise was born at 20th Century Fox.
The X-Men resonated deep with audiences because of how different each of them are. Each character have such beautiful human qualities and their mutations make them different, but some of them learn to embrace their differences and that’s what makes the X-Men so important!
Stan Lee began his famous cameos in the first X-Men as a hotdog stand vendor on the beach.
In 2002, Columbia Pictures along with Marvel Studios adapted Spider-Man, thus creating one of the best superhero triologies of all time. Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man captured the original comic hero in such a natural way and made his spidey powers something all children would hope for. Since Spidey is Stan Lee’s most cherished character, so it makes sense as to why there have been three different versions of Peter Parker.
In 2008, Kevin Feige was named President of Productions at Marvel Studios as Iron Man began filming. The Marvel Cinematic Universe was born and Stan Lee got to see his characters come to life. Stan Lee has always credited his wonderful staff of artists and writers who plan to continue his legacy by creating more characters that fit in with the universe.
Stan Lee has impacted so many lives with his characters and he loved what he did. Stan Lee was a trailblazer and opened so many doors for many comic book artists today. Without Stan Lee we wouldn’t have had the incredible universe we have today.
Most of us grew up on Marvel films and branched out into the comics because we loved the universe so much. Every single Marvel film has had a Stan Lee cameo and every audience that I’ve been apart of would always start cheering when he appeared on screen. Stan Lee was just a special human being and he brought so much joy and laughter to so many people.
He created a universe that has so many characters people can identify with and just appreciate their stories. We have actors who are so incredibly dedicated to these characters and the stories because they want to honour what Stan created.
It’s a very sad day today because a legend has left us. Stan Lee will live on forever in the comic pages and the on screen cameos. He has made a huge impact on pop culture and he will be dearly missed.
Excelsior Stan Lee