Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee passed away yesterday at the age of 95. There’s no word on a cause of death.
He started Marvel in 1961 with Jack Kirby…and they co-created the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Black Panther, The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, Iron Man, and The Avengers.
Stan revolutionized comics by creating superheroes that had human flaws and mundane problems that adult readers could relate to. The “superheroes” before that were typically flawless, god-like figures.
After Stan retired as a comic writer, he remained at Marvel as an editor and publisher, and throughout the ’80s and ’90s he became a cult figure in the comic book world.
He had a rocky relationship with Marvel over the past 15 years or so, but he still made cameo appearances in 26 Marvel movies, beginning with the TV movie “The Trial of the Incredible Hulk” in 1989.
And it sounds like he’d already shot his cameo for the upcoming “Avengers 4”. There’s no word whether or not he’ll appear in “Captain Marvel”. By the way, he does have a cameo in “Ralph Breaks the Internet”, which will be out next week.
The cameos started as a joke in the comics. Stan once said, “The artists back then would draw me in as a joke or just to have fun. And I’d put some dialogue balloons there and it looked as if I intended it. I didn’t try to do cameos in those days.”
Regardless of any issues he had with Marvel, Stan lived to see his characters become even bigger than anyone could imagine over the past decade, with the massive mainstream success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Not surprisingly, a ton of Marvel actors are paying tribute to Stan, including:
Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool),
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Plus we also heard from:
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige said, “No one has had more of an impact on my career and everything we do at Marvel Studios than Stan Lee. Stan leaves an extraordinary legacy that will outlive us all.”
Disney CEO Bob Iger said, “Stan Lee was as extraordinary as the characters he created. A super hero in his own right to Marvel fans around the world, Stan had the power to inspire, to entertain, and to connect. The scale of his imagination was only exceeded by the size of his heart.”
And even DC Comics showered him with love on Twitter.
“He changed the way we look at heroes, and modern comics will always bear his indelible mark. His infectious enthusiasm reminded us why we all fell in love with these stories in the first place. Excelsior, Stan.”
(And here’s a cool video with every cameo Stan made since 1989.)