Stan Lee was a titan in the world of comic books. As the man primarily responsible for the rebrand of Timely Magazine into Marvel Comics during the 1950s. With an all-star group of collaborators, including Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and dozens more, he helped to revolutionize the world of comic books. A co-creator of The Fantastic Four, The Hulk, Spider-Man, the X-Men and hundreds of more heroes and villains, Lee became a pop culture icon. Sadly, he has passed away today at the age of 95.
Lee helped to reframe comics as an important medium during the 1950s and 1960s, just as the world began going through radical change. He brought a different kind of heroic influence to his characters, making them relatable and setting them in the real world. New York City became Marvel’s headquarters and the world in which the heroes thrived and fought crime. This made their brand unique and special in ways that other comic books could not become. It also allowed characters like the X-Men, Black Panther, and Sam Wilson (a.k.a. The Falcon), to take on real-world issues regarding race, the Holocaust, and Civil Rights in the 1960s.
His most brilliant work character remains a teenage boy named Peter Parker. Parker would become Spider-Man after his interaction with a radioactive spider and the death of his uncle. “The Amazing Spider-Man” would create a snarky teenager for the youth, yet make him relatable to generations years later. The quotation “with great power there must also come — great responsibility!” became one of the most iconic, if not misquoted, lines in comic book history.
Lee reinvented himself over the past thirty years, becoming an icon for his on-screen appearances as much as his actual creations. From narrating “The Incredible Hulk” television show in 1982 to his recent appearance in “Teen Titans Go! to the Movies” he proved he was in on the joke. Now, Lee’s creation has built an incredible film universe, marking his place in the history of cinema.