The world has lost yet another legend today. I don’t use the term lightly; I reserve it for very special people who have had a great impact on society and people’s lives. Stan Lee was certainly a man of that magnitude and he will be sorely missed by comic book lovers, super hero lovers and movie goers alike. It is a very sad day today and I am sure my dad and I will raise a glass to Stan during our weekly Monday night at the pub. This will be a short tribute to Stan, with my own thoughts and opinions on his life and achievements.
Stan had a genuine passion for comic books. I have watched many interviews with the man and seen monologues from him that reflect the passion for his trade. He lovingly created characters like Spider-Man and Iron Man, as well as many, many others in the Marvel Universe. If it wasn’t for Stan Lee, there would be no Marvel Comics in this world. It was Lee’s love for comic books himself that allowed him to stay current and relevant throughout his career. He created characters and wrote stories that he wanted to see, first and foremost. As he himself was so passionate about the genre, he could quite confidently put out content that he loved and know that it would ring true with others.
An advocate of “action” over “violence”, Stan Lee would often be quoted as saying that he would not allow violence in his comic books or stories. He regarded action and violence to be 2 completely separate phenomena. Action was something that was exciting, like explosions, fist fights, epic battles, etc. He saw violence as something that would make one cringe or recoil in disgust, such as gore for the sake of gore, rape, etc. I think that this is something which allowed him to stand out from other comic book producers. Other producers were going down the graphic novel niche market, which was becoming quite popular but Stan kept producing his action-based stories, confident that people still wanted to read them. It is also something that has continued through the Marvel film franchise, as each film arguably contains action, rather than violence of the nature which Stan Lee condemned.
You might say that the comic book has become quite a niche media outlet in recent years. That may be true, as I understand less and less people are reading comic books each year. One thing that I will say, however, is that Marvel has been thriving despite this fact. They have taken Lee’s beloved Marvel characters, which he created decades ago, and brought them to life beyond anything that Lee could have fathomed when he initially created them. I feel that Lee is very grateful for this, as it has allowed him to see his characters live on in this new Marvel Universe in TV and film. It is clear that he supports each of the films, as he has made cameo appearances in almost every single Marvel Movie, if not every single one. His cameo appearances have always been a highlight of Marvel films for me and I am sure for many others like me. It will be sad to see the day when he no longer appears in a movie; however, I believe he has filmed several in advance so we could be a while away from that yet.
To me, Stan Lee was a living super hero. He was somebody to whom I could look up as a role model. Somebody who followed his passion. Somebody who was kind, respectful and a cheerful guy. He was larger than life, in more ways than one. Stand Lee was an example of what we should all strive to be in our lives. I hope that I may one day be able to look back on my life and say that I followed my passions. I imagine that Stan Lee was very happy with his life choices and will have died with very little regrets. That exactly how I want to see my life when I reach the age of 95. Having such a shining example as Stan Lee is a huge inspiration for me at this time and I hope that I continue to follow his example.
Rest in Peace, dear Stan Lee.