Stan Lee was a publisher, editor, and the co-creator of several Marvel comics. He helped create our favorite superheroes such as Spider-Man, Iron Man, X-men, Thor, and so many more. On November 12th, his life came to an end in Los Angeles due to heart failure. And as his heroes live on, we remember how he was the true man with powers.
Stan Lee was born on December 28th, 1922 to Celia and Jack Lieber. His birth name was actually Stanley Martin Lieber. As a kid, Stan Lee had a hobby in writing. He was very interested in reading and watching movies and he dreamed of writing the next great American novel. These interests kept him busy during the family struggle in the Great Depression. His father was a dress cutter and since he did not receive much work, they lived in a one-bedroom apartment. As Stan grew older, he started being hired for some small writing positions like press releases at the National Tuberculosis Center. Then in 1939, at the age of 19, he was hired at Timely Comics as an office assistant and then an interim editor. Marvel was created that same year when Timely Comics publisher Martin Goodman released the first Marvel Comics issue, Marvel Comics #1. This would start the journey of Lee’s career and his entrance into the comic world when he released “Captain America Foils the Traitor’s Revenge”. He continued to work there for 31 years as editor-in-chief. Then in 1942, his comic career took a short detour as he joined the army and served in the Signal Corps. But even when he was in the army, he kept the writing and creating some training videos.
He left the army in 1945 and in 1947, he met his future spouse Joan Boocock. Joan was a British hat model and once they met, Lee knew he would marry her. Two weeks later they got married and remained a happy couple for sixty-nine years. Sadly, Joan passed away in July of 2017.
After the army, Lee jumped back on the comic trail and went back to the company in the 1950s. The company renamed themselves Atlas Comics and he continued his Marvel journey. In the late ’50s, his publisher told him to battle DC Comics by creating a team of superheroes. He collaborated with his friend Jack Kirby and created the Fantastic Four, with other famous heroes like Iron Man, Doctor Strange, the Hulk, and my personal favorite, Spider-Man.
Around 1975, he started being labeled as the public face of Marvel. His role in the company continued to grow, and in 1981 and he was given the task of developing Marvel’ television and movie productions. He was then given the role of the president of Marvel but stepped down to be the publisher. He described the job to be “a little bit more technical than he could handle”. Around 2000, he took a stab at DC Comics and recreated many superheroes from the DC universe like Batman and Superman.
In 2006, Lee left Marvel after 65 years of writing, editing, and publishing. Although this was not the end of Lee and his relationship with Marvel. In 2008, Robert Downey Jr. was Iron Man on the big screen and this started his famous movie cameos in the MCU, the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In Iron Man, Tony Stark is walking through a crowd of people at a party when he walks up to a man and states, “You look great Heff,” and this turns out to be Stan Lee portraying a man resembling Hugh Heffner. He continued this tradition for all of the MCU movies. He was Peter Parker’s bus driver in Avengers: Infinity War, and even appeared in the new Playstation Spider-Man game. Sadly, since his recent passing, there are only a very few cameos left for his audience to enjoy. These possible movies are, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Captain Marvel, but it was later confirmed that we will see Lee’s cameo in Avengers: Endgame
On November 12th, 2018, Marvel fans all across the globe mourned Stan Lee’s death. We may have lost the cameos and the comic book convention appearances, but we also lost the spirit of Marvel. Stan Lee gave Spider-Man his spider powers, Tony Stark his super suits, and Thor, his hammer, but Stan himself was given the power of the written word. Stan “The Man” Lee was the real superhero.