It’s been a year since Marvel Comics writer and creator Stan Lee died, but his legacy is still ringing strong through current comics, films and video games.
Lee, who created iconic characters such as Iron Man, the X-men, the Hulk and Spider-Man, died at 95 last year. The WWII veteran used to send the stories he wrote to the editors of Timely Comics, which is now Marvel Comics. His editors would send him letters in return.
Lee continued to write comics after the war, but he didn’t like doing it. He thought the stories of romance and science fiction were bland and had run their course. He wanted to create something different.
He almost stopped writing, but his wife of 70 years, Joan, who died a year before Lee, convinced him to write the stories that he wanted to see. So he created the Fantastic Four.
Many considered Lee a rebel; he wrote what he wanted to despite criticism from his editors. At first, his editor hated the idea of Spider-Man. However, because Lee was determined to get the story out, he snuck the script into his editor’s office and got it published.
He published the early Spider-Man comics (“The Amazing Spider-Man” Issues #96-98) without the Comics Code Authority badge on the top. The storyline in those issues involved drug addiction, so the Comics Code thought the material would be too heavy for children to read.
These early “The Amazing Spider-Man” issues are the only comics in history to be published without that badge.
Lee was known as the “King of Cameos” because of his many appearances in Marvel films. His last cameo appearance was in “Avengers: Endgame,” the blockbuster finale released in April to what Marvel Studios called the “Infinity Saga,” which comprises 23 films.
Stan Lee’s influence and his impact can be compared to that of Disney, which owns Marvel Studios. Lee created an entirely new world of superheroes that many people look up to. His older comics and stories are still being discussed among fans today.
He created a universe that allows people to be free from reality and escape into a world full of superheroes and villains. Many children look up to characters like Spider-Man and emulate his actions.
Lee meant so much to so many people. Filmmaker Kevin Smith called Stan Lee his best friend. Comic artist Todd McFarlane adored Lee. But as long as people keep the stories Lee gave the world alive, he’ll never truly die.