Excelsior, Stan, Excelsior…
Pop-culture icon and creative powerhouse Stan Lee passed away today, Monday November 12th. The cause of death has yet to be released to the public and fans are beginning to gather and mourn for what, to many, was an old and familiar friend in the comic world. While his life was not without it’s rising and falling action, missteps and mistakes, he was always regarded as one of the lights of the industry. He helped usher in a new era of comics, with his work on titles such as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men.
His charismatic and friendly nature lent him an easy grace with people from all walks of life. He connected with fans and audiences, as well as with the actors and industry people he worked with. Variety reports that Lee “was taken to Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Monday after suffering a medical emergency, and was declared dead shortly afterwards” and this has been confirmed by Lee’s daughter’s attorney.
Working alongside others, Lee authored dozens of top-tier titles that have since become major movie franchises. He worked with Marvel directly, during it’s silver age in the 1960’s, before parting ways with them in the ’70s. He was known for his bright, over-sized personality and has been known to make cameos and appearances beyond the comic industry’s ventures. One of his more influential (socially speaking) acts came in the form of his ambassadorial role for the comic book industry, reaching out to universities and the wider community to draw in and support new talent.
Success and Struggle
While his creative content dominated in films and T.V., the last years of Lee’s life had a few hurdles. His final months saw him struggling against claims of elder abuse against his daughter and a former business manager, and financial difficulties caused by disagreement over his late wife Joan’s estate following her death last year. He had this to say about the topic in his last interview, in October. “When I wrote all those characters, and I wrote the Hulk — I handled everything. I paid all the bills, I did all the bookkeeping, I handled everything. But then, a little money started coming in, and I realized I needed help. And I needed people I could trust. And I had made some big mistakes, and my first bunch of people were people that I shouldn’t have trusted.”
DC had this to say about Lee’s death 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.”
Stan Lee is survived by his daughter Joan Celia “J. C.” Lee; his wife of almost 70 years died of complications from a stroke in 2017.
There is a lot more to be said about this cultural icon; share your memories of him and/or his work, condolences and thoughts below!