The End of an Era
It’s a sad day, dear reader.
Legendary comic-book writer and figurehead of Marvel comics and its film-studio, Stan Lee, has died at the age of 95.
This occurs after his wife of 69 years, Joan Boocock Lee, died of complications following a stroke in July of last year.
Though much of the news surrounding Lee of late has centered on a confusing string of legal troubles surrounding his estate and family, his devotion to the Marvel fandom never waned.
Appearing at conventions and in cameos in nearly every major Marvel film, Stan Lee was considered a timeless, grandfatherly figure to the new wave of fans following Marvel Studios uptick in production after Spider-Man (2002) and X-Men (2000) both laid the groundwork for the modern superhero blockbuster.
For old time’s sake, here’s a compilation of nearly every Stan Lee cameo in a major Marvel Studios film release.
As if the upcoming Avengers 4 wasn’t already a conclusion to the narrative born in Iron Man (2008) – the very beginning of the current Marvel Cinematic Universe – it will now likely be Lee’s final on-screen cameo. Assuming the Russo brothers deliver on the massive hype surrounding their Thanos-busting sequel, it may well be a fitting send off to one of the key players in the contemporary pop-culture landscape.
Stan Lee was born Stanley Martin Lieber on December 28, 1922 in Manhattan, New York City. A gifted and hungry writer at a young age, he became an assistant at Timely Comics in 1939. Two years later he would debut under the pseudonym Stan Lee, with the May 1941 issue Captain America #3. In 1942 he joined the Army Signal Corps, repairing telegraph poles and communication equipment.
Through the superhero boom of the 1950s, Lee was assigned by publisher Martin Goodman to create a superhero team to match DC Comics’ Justice League of America. Lee’s response was to create the opposite of the idyllic, infallible, god-like characters of DC Comics, and instead introduced characters of considerable complexity and the all-too-human susceptibility to failure, anger, love, and, yes, paying bills.
Along with long-time collaborators Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Bill Everett, and others, Lee co-created a pantheon of iconic characters: The Fantastic Four, Doctor Strange, Hunk, Thor, Iron-Man, Black Panther, Daredevil, and Spider-Man – with their forces joined, they were called The Avengers.
Lee eventually stopped writing to focus on publishing in 1972. Years later he would become the public face of Marvel Comics, well up to and throughout its transition to film.
He was inducted into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1995. He was the recipient of an Inkpot Award, a Saturn Life Career Award, a Scream Award, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a Visual Effects Society Lifetime Achievement Award, the Producers Guild of America’s Vanguard Award, a Best Supporting Performance in a Comedy award from the National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers, and the Independent Publisher Book Award’s 2017 Independent Voice Award for his final graphic novel, God Woke.
As gregarious, lively, and iconic as they come. He will be missed the world over.