A tribute to Stan Lee: the comic legend


Alexandra Puga

Stanley Martin Lieber, also known as Stan Lee, passed away on Nov. 12 in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California after being rushed to the hospital from his home. The comic legend died at the age of 95 due to heart failure, according to USA Today.

Lee was born in New York City. He was an American comic book writer, editor, and publisher, and he was beloved by comic book fans, superhero movie buffs, and lovers of entertainment in general.

Aside from his comics, Lee was known for his cameo appearances in Marvel Studios films. During his famous “Spider-Man” appearance, he said, “I guess one person can make a difference.” This seems to be precisely what Stan Lee did in the comic book community, as his ambition and creativity brought to life a whole colorful universe of fascinating heroes and villains and changed the landscape of entertainment forever.

Stan Lee was primarily active in the comic community from the 1940s to the early 2000s, and he returned to the industry recently to start in those cameo appearances that became signature of Marvel films.

The word ‘Excelsior’ is the recognizable signature of Stan Lee in his superhero comics, as it is stamped onto the end of each story. Lee said in a Playboy interview in 2014: “You know, my motto is ‘Excelsior.’ That’s an old word that means ‘upward and onward to greater glory.’ It’s on the seal of the state of New York. Keep moving forward, and if it’s time to go, it’s time. Nothing lasts forever.”

Lee started at Timely Comics, Marvel’s predecessor, in 1939. The first heroes he developed, with the help of Jack Kirby, was a group known as the Fantastic Four. The Fantastic Four are now a Marvel classic, and the superhero Marvel company began to align its branding with the superheroes that are flawed and human and based in real life cities like New York. Some other notable characters Lee and Kirby co-created for Marvel are Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and many more.

Stars such as Chris Evans (“Captain America”) and Tom Holland (“Spider-Man”) shared their condolences on social media after Lee’s passing.

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I owe it all to you,,, Rest In Peace Stan… #MCU #Excelsior #legend #rip #stanlee #TeamStark

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Evans took to Twitter to share: “There will never be another Stan Lee. For decades he provided both young and old with adventure, escape, comfort, confidence, inspiration, strength, friendship and joy. He exuded love and kindness and will leave an indelible mark on so, so, so many lives. Excelsior!!”

DC Comics, Marvel’s largest competitor, shared their condolences 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.”

Holland shared to Instagram: “How many millions of us are indebted to this guy, none more so than me. The father of Marvel has made so many people so incredibly happy. What a life and what a thing to have achieved. Rest in peace Stan” [sic].

The impact Lee made on the comic community was immense, and students at the University certainly had things to say about it as well.

“Lee’s impact was that he inspired creativity not only in the comic community but in the media industry. He pushed the limits and that’s his biggest contribution to the community,” said University sophomore Emma Note.

When asked about the future of the superhero entertainment industry, Note said that Lee “will never truly be replaceable.” She continued, “I think he was able to create something so unique. Others might be able to come close [to Lee’s success] if creators continue to think out of the box.”

Stan Lee will be missed but never forgotten, thanks to his impactful and celebrated lifelong comics.