Before Stan Lee, comic books had a very distinct tone. Superheroes were faultless, righteous and generally more like untouchable Gods than actual humans. But with his influence starting in the 1960s, superheroes became more human than ever before, while still maintaining superhuman abilities. His characters were notable for facing every day life as well as world threatening villains, and an instant resonation was seen with fan bases.
So successful was his approach that he became one of Marvel’s primary creators for two whole decades, quickly resulting in him being a world recognised comic book face. Readers went out of their way to buy comics with his name on the cover, and it wasn’t long before Stan Lee and Marvel became synonymous.
Stan Lee passed away on November 12th 2018. But it will likely be a very long time that Marvel fans still love his creations.
Stan Lee Heroes
The number of successful heroes that Stan Lee created is long, almost of all of which have enormous loyal fan bases. The most widely loved is perhaps Spider-Man, a wisecracking high school teenager who is known for his personal life and superhero life often colliding in hilarious, engaging ways.
Billionaire Tony Stark, otherwise known as Iron Man, is a much darker character, struggling with alcoholism, and the burden of having once run an enormous corporation responsible for horrific wartime tragedies. His film adaptation is notably more family friendly than the comic book version.
The X-Men blossomed into an enormous universe with hundreds of characters, the vast majority of which Stan Lee had no hand in creating at all. His core concept though, mutants in an unsympathetic, often racist world, resonated so strongly that they were imitated multiple times by competing comic book companies.
Hulk is another creation that was much darker in the comics than in film adaptations, telling story of scientist who suffers deep psychological issues, often manifesting as a transformation into a green, savage monster that causes massive destruction.
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Larger Than Life
Stan Lee is certainly deserving of his recognition, since he all but altered the style of comics on a broad scale, right up until his retirement in the 1990s. Though it is often overlooked that he did not create many of his characters single handedly. Which is to say; comic book fans can often overlook that Lee did not do the visual designs of many of the characters he is famous for.
Artists and writers Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko are perhaps as responsible for many of the above-mentioned characters, although rarely held in as much regard, are given as much credit. There names are rarely seen alongside that of Stan Lee, though the visual design of Iron Man, for example, can all but entirely be attributed to them, and not Stan Lee.
A Legend Forever
Up until his final years on earth, Stan Lee continued to give to the creations he loved, appearing in virtually ever Marvel film made with one of his designs. He spoke at comic conventions, signed merchandise, and met fans, all while maintaining a remarkably humble attitude.
Fans will miss him, but he will surely live on forever.