EXCELSIOR!: How Stan Lee revolutionized entertainment

David Eckstein

Stan Lee has died this past Monday, aged 95. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Stan Lee, the creator of Marvel comics, passed away Monday. This news comes as a shock to millions of people all over the world. Through his characters, so many of which leapt off the comic panels and into our hearts, this man has given so much to so many–joy, laughter, confidence, and the strength to strive to be better, to name a few.

To generations of children and adults looking for archetypes and role models, Lee offered many. Following the advice of his wife, Joan Lee, he decided to create heroes and write stories that he wanted to write. Together with comic artist Jack Kirby, he created a team that eventually became known as the Fantastic Four. The team’s immediate success was the result of Lee’s introduction a family like dynamic. These heroes would not only have to worry about saving the world but also domestic problems that confront us every day.

Scoring big with the Fantastic Four, Lee and Steve Ditko created their next big hit with readers, Spiderman. Much like with Fantastic Four, this was a gamble–the concept of a teenage superhero was unheard of at the time. But by combining endearing writing with the character’s most iconic quote, “With great power comes great responsibility,” Lee and Ditko created a character who became an idol to both children and adults alike.

Lee continued the Marvel’s winning streak, creating more characters–each one confronting moral issues still relevant today. From mutants facing discrimination in X-Men to the dangers of science tampering with nature in the Hulk, Stan Lee offered his vision to the world. His characters resonate with us because we can see ourselves in these heroes. This includes our flaws, such as losing a loved one because of our inactions, and traits that make us proud to be human, such as helping someone in need instead of being a bystander. These characters may seem cartoony and over the top to some people, but they hold up and continue to evolve to this day because they have a humanity to them that will always remain relevant.

Stan Lee’s work has influenced all of us to face our hardest trials and come out of as both stronger and better people.

To me he will always be the heart of Marvel, the king of cameos, and the truest of believers.

Excelsior!, Stan Lee.


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