Almost as famous as his Marvel superheroes, Lee was known for bringing complex emotional life to cartoon characters.
As the top writer at Marvel Comics and later as its publisher, Lee was widely considered the architect of the contemporary comic book. He revived the industry in the 1960s by offering the costumes and action craved by younger readers while insisting on sophisticated plots, college-level dialogue, satire, science fiction, even philosophy.
The comic writer Stan Lee, co-creator of iconic characters including Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Daredevil and the X-Men, has died aged 95.
As a writer and editor charged with keeping multiple stories going at the same time, Lee wove them together into a seamless fictional world where Iron Man could join forces with the Fantastic Four, and Captain America could find himself a wedding guest alongside Doctor Strange. The Marvel Universe he created crossed from page to screen in a series of TV and movie adaptations and changed the face of popular culture.
Stan Lee passed away at the age of 95. It was he who has created most of the Marvel universe we know today, and many memorable quotes we heard there were his as well. Here are some of them.
Born Stanley Martin Lieber on Manhattan’s Upper West Side in 1922, Lee’s childhood was marked by the Great Depression. In his 2002 autobiography Excelsior!, Lee described how his father’s struggle to find a steady job had forever affected him: “It’s a feeling that the most important thing for a man to do is to have work to do, to be busy, to be needed,” he wrote.
At 17, Lee landed a job at a publishing company owned by his relative Martin Goodman, and began writing scripts for superhero and mystery comics. When Goodman fell out with his editor in 1941, Lee found himself editor-in-chief at just 19.
In 1980, he moved to Los Angeles, hoping to launch his creations into TV and film. Over the next two decades, while Lee struggled to get projects off the ground, cinematic superheroes remained in thrall to rival comics powerhouse DC, with a string of adaptations featuring Superman and Batman finding favour at the box office.
A 1990 adaptation of Captain America went straight to video, while a low-budget 1994 version of the Fantastic Four was never released. But in 2000 Bryan Singer’s blockbuster version of X-Men, starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and Halle Berry, set the template for success – complete with a cameo for Lee as a hot-dog salesman – and the Marvel Universe became a summer fixture in multiplexes across the world. These films – from Iron Man (2008) to Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) – have made a combined $17.6bn (£13.6bn) at the box office.
#. Speaking to the Guardian in 2000, Lee said that coming up with ideas was the easiest part.
“The hardest part is getting enough people to draw ’em all,” he said. “You know what it’s like? I can’t play a musical instrument to save my life. I’ll ask, say, a guitarist friend how he plays a melody with one hand and chords with the other when he’s only got one brain. He’ll say: ‘Stan, I don’t even think about it, I’ve done it all my life, it’s what I do.’ Well, it’s the same with me. Writing stories is what I do. I think about it, but it’s no problem. I’ve just gotta get the time to do it.”