Stan Lee, Cultural Icon and Comics Creator, Passes Away The creator of characters such as Spider-Man and X-Men was 95 years old

By Pete Tubbs, Arts and Entertainment Editor

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Excelsior no more.
Stan Lee, the celebrated
comics icon has passed
away at the age of 95.
Born Stanley Martin
Lieber on Dec. 28, 1922
in New York City, Lee
began his career in
comics as an assisant at
the new Timely Comics
division of Martin
Goodman’s company
in 1939. This division,
of course, went on
to become Marvel
Comics.
Throughout his
legendary career, Lee
worked hand in hand
with other artists to
create characters such
as Spider-Man, Doctor
Strange, Black Panther,
the X-Men, AntMan,
Thor, Iron Man,
Daredevil, and the
Fantastic Four.
Recipient of the
National Medal of
Arts and inductee
into the Will Eisner
Hall of Fame and the
Jack Kirby Hall of
Fame, Lee was one of
the most influential
comics contributers of
all time. In his monthy
columns entitled “Stan’s
Lee would sign off with
the motto “Excelsior!”,
a word which became
synonymous for
the man himself.
Although certainly an
artist that dealt with
fun and pulpy stories,
Lee was no stranger
to social commentary,
with stories such as the
X-Men and some issues
of Spider-Man dealing
with themes such as
cultural exclusion and
even drug abuse.
As comic books
eventually led to
film adaptations, Lee
was heavily involved
with those as well. In
addition to cameoing
in each of the Marvel
Cinematic Universe
films leading to
Avengers 4 in 2019,
Lee can also be seen in
“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,”
the original “SpiderMan”
Trilogy, and films
such as Kevin Smith’s
“Mallrats,” and “Big
Hero 6.”
Randy Duncan,
Director of the Comics
Studies Minor at
HSU and also the
Co-Curator of the
Marvel: Universeof
Super Heroes Exhibit,
which is currently at
the Museum of Popular
Culture in Seattle, had
the following to say
about Stan Lee:

“When I was nine
Stan Lee was my
buddy. Stan (Marvel
fans didn’t think of
him as Mr. Lee) talked
directly to comic
book readers in the
humorous credits, on
the Bullpen Bulletins
page, and sometimes
in captions. Many of
the characters and big
concepts came from the
minds of other creators
(particularly Jack
Kirby), but it was Stan
Lee who gave Marvel
the company and much
of the Marvel universe
its personality. I think
that will be true for
decades to come. A
friend told me about
taking his eight yearold
son to see a Marvel
movie.
When Stan appeared
on the screen for his
cameo the little boy
stood up, pointed at the
screen, and said “That’s
my friend Stan Lee.”
Another prominent
figure in both the
comics industry and
at HSU is Travis
Langley, for whom Lee
contributed forwards
for two of his books.
Langley was similarly
effected by Lee’s death:
“Stan gets criticized
for drawing so much
attention to himself
and for calling himself
creator without always
calling a character’s
artist the co-creator.
People need to
remember that Stan
tried to make sure
everybody was a star.
He credited others –
for example, naming
the inkers, colorists,
and letterers at a time
when other comic
publications didn’t
mention them at all.
And he gave them all
nicknames to try to
shine a light on each
and every one.
One reason the
Marvel Cinematic
Universe works so well
is that Marvel stories
in the early 1960s had
Stan’s guiding vision
and preferences make
things fit together in
a way that DC wasn’t
doing with their stories.
Stan’s idea that even
magic should feel like it
follows the same rules
of nature as the science
back then made it easier
for their movies to go
together now.
It was an honor to
know Stan and to have
him write the forewords
for two of my books
(Captain America vs.
Iron Man and Daredevil
Psychology: The Devil
You Know). Even if I’d
never met him, though,
this would be a sad
day nonetheless. But
you know what? Stan
would want us to share
some laughs today. He’d
rather be remembered
with a smile.”

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Stan Lee, Cultural Icon and Comics Creator, Passes Away The creator of characters such as Spider-Man and X-Men was 95 years old