By Elizabeth Padilla
Stan Lee, the legendary writer, editor and publisher of Marvel Comics whose classic creations made him a real-life superhero to comic book lovers everywhere, passed away on Monday, November 12, at the age of 95.
Lee revolutionized the comic book industry at a young age with his unique approach to characters like Spider-Man, the X-Men, Hulk and the Fantastic Four. The fictional crimefighters were seen as flawless individuals, however Lee gave his characters relatable struggles and moral conflicts. The Fantastic Four, for example, weren’t necessarily happy with their abilities and often saw them as curses. Spider-Man had to balance paying his rent, keeping his Aunt May healthy and protecting New York all at the same time.
Today, many people are prone to devalue Lee’s role, but frankly the sheer volume and flexibility of his characters make it clear that there was a common factor. Artists like Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Jim Steranko, Bill Everett, John Romita Sr., and many others share credit for coming up with the characters and stories from the “Marvel Age”. They all brought something new, and they would continue to produce amazing work even apart from Stan Lee or Marvel. But, Stan worked with all of them, and he was the one who established comic artists front-and-center.
Stan Lee’s writing still hold up to this day. He delivered heartfelt stories that celebrated the excitement of a superhero’s life. His approach to crimefighters had a major impact in the comic book industry, which genetically helped shape what Marvel Comics is today.