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The Life of a Comic Book Legend: Stan Lee

posted Dec 3, 2018, 4:45 AM by Jeffrey Wolf   [ updated Dec 4, 2018, 4:51 AM ]

By: Eddie Inchaurregui, Staff Writer

Posted December 3rd, 2018

On November 12 2018, Stan Lee was pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Hospital in LA, California.  He had been battling Pneumonia since February. For those who didn’t know, Stan Lee was an American comic book writer, publisher, and creative leader for Marvel.  He was a public figure head for marvel and credited for co-creating some of the well known superheroes known today.

It was 1939 when Stan first began working on comics.  Through time, Lee rose the ranks from assistant, to intern, to editor in chief and art director. After working for the US Army under the official title of playwright, Lee moved on to better things. Under DC Comics, Stan Lee changed the components of superheroes so that they began to share more characteristics than their current ideal state and grandeur.  He gave them instances of flawed humanity ranging from paying bills to having illnesses. As time incremented, so did the number of heros brought into reality by Stan Lee and others. It was in the 60’s that Stan scripted, edited, and art-directed the primary pieces of Marvel’s series. Because of Lee’s varying active roles in the comic world, he became a public figurehead for Marvel Comics.  He toured around the US, appearing at conventions for signing and participating in colleges and panel discussions. In the early 1980s, Stan would help to produce Marvel’s assets on film through film production. It was during that time that he began what we now know to be his signature role, his cameos. At one point, Lee turned down an offer to be the president of Marvel, citing the organizations lack of focus on creativity in the process.  Eventually, he stopped participating in Marvel’s production, but still received an annual salary of $1 million. By the dawn of 2000, illegal stock manipulation was being conducted by Marvel. Lee was found to have no hand in the dealing. Later in 2002, Stan Lee sued Marvel for not legally providing his share of profits for his efforts in production. 3 years later, Stan Lee and Marvel settled for a undisclosed seven figure amount. Of course more legal action followed between Marvel, Stan Lee, and Lee’s subsidiaries. It was in the late 2000s that Lee would begin to create his very own media via Filmmaking and Youtube.

If you’ve ever Heard Stan Lee’s closing statement, you’d realize a certain pattern: He ALWAYS SAYS “Excelsior!”  He adopted this as a way to pay homage to his home city, New York (it use to be their motto). Excelsior simply means “onward and upward to greater glory”.

Stan Lee was a great man. Throughout all his struggles, he managed to focus on making a hero for every American in any situation.  He thought of others and had fun doing so. He had created so many memories and lifted the hopes of millions of Americans. He masterfully crafted a universe for the enjoyment of all.  I thank him for that.