The comic book industry has lost a legend. Famed Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee passed away today at the age of 95. Lee was the visionary behind some of Marvel’s most important projects, and easily one of the company’s most important assets. A veteran of the US Army, Lee bounced around frequently, doing several odd jobs before finally finding his calling at Marvel. Ironically enough, before landing at Marvel, Lee had become jaded with the industry and almost left it entirely.
Frequently partnering with legendary artists Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, Stan Lee pushed Marvel and the entire comic book industry into a bold new direction. Stan Lee wanted to create superheroes that weren’t always seen as perfect, but rather wanted to portray them as flawed, more natural characters. As a result of his story-telling, Lee created several Marvel powerhouses including Spider Man, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, and the X-Men. In addition to a massive array of characters, Lee is also known for pioneering a highly effective way of producing content that would become known as “The Marvel Method.” The Marvel Method would see Lee partnering with an artist to create a short story synopsis, that the artist would use in place of a full script to create key art and storyboards for upcoming issues. From there, the artist would create panel to panel illustrations and then return them to Lee. Lee would then fill in the dialogue and action bubbles, and oversee the coloring and lettering on the final pages.
Stan Lee became a figurehead and later, an official spokesperson for the Marvel brand. As the Marvel cinematic universe took off, Lee also became known for his consistent cameos in the movies. Often playing a bumbling senior citizen, Lee’s cameos quickly became as legendary as he’d become within the company. They were staples in the films and are still occurring with each new Marvel film.
Later in life, Lee became the subject of an interesting investigation, as The Hollywood Reporter published a piece alleging that Lee was the victim of elder abuse. Sounding like something straight from a Marvel movie, Lee’s own daughter was said to be involved in a scheme to gain control over his estate with memorabilia collector Keya Morgan.
Stan Lee passed away in Los Angeles, California. His wife of 69 years, Joan Lee passed away last year, also aged 95.