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Stan Lee: The Superhero behind comic masks

By Siddharth Gupta
Published on :
Stan Lee: The Superhero behind comic masks
Image Source: Syfy Wire

Stan Lee made the industry of comic book his own, he was that superhero whose power was to create superheroes. If Stan Lee said Spiderman exists, you would look out for him everywhere you go. Had he said, Captain America would protect people from the Axial powers, which he did say, we believed.

Stan Lee: The Superhero behind comic masks
Source: Legion of Leia

Stanley Martin Lieber started the process of revolutionising the superhero industry in his very early days. Born to Jewish immigrant parents, at an age of 17(in 1939) he became an assistant at Timely Comics, where he worked for the most part of his life. Just two years into his job, he was promoted to the post of an interim editor.

In 1961, Stan debuted the partnership with Kirby in creating Fantastic Four. The duo went on to create some of the most sensational superheroes like, Hulk, Iron Man and obviously Marvel’s most successful character, Spider-Man.

The Stan Lee approach to comic character creation:

Stan Lee: The Superhero behind comic masks
Source: NEWSiNi

Lee’s approach to character creation was different to their chief competitor’s, National Periodical Publications(now DC). His creators would be less dark and more entertainment focused. He brought a rather human touch to the superheroes which were considered as perfect beings. The heroes could now have bad tempers, shortage of money or even physical disability. There was another unique approach put in place by Stan. He created a whole community out of the franchise, crediting even the inker and the letterer alongside writers and pencillers. In his goal to create a community where the fans would consider themselves as a part of the writing process, Bullpen Bulletins page was also produced in chatty styles.

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Stan Lee’s last collaboration with the celebrated Jack Kirby, The Silver Surfer: The Ultimate Cosmic Experience came in 1978 in the form of Marvel’s first graphic novel.

The man has done it all!

In 1999, after working for 60 years for Marvel, he formed Stan Lee Media, an internet entertainment company. The company though did well initially, later fell into bankruptcy. The peak of Stan’s career was yet to come. It came in the form of film adaptations. A plethora of films based on the comic stars was released in Hollywood and most of them got highly acclaimed. Lee took cameo roles in almost all those movies.

Besides his career in the comic, internet and the big screen industries, he wrote a few books too(Origins of Marvel Comics (1974), Excelsior!, The Amazing Life of Stan Lee (2002)). In 2008 he won the prestigious National Media of Arts.

Stan, the acclaimed writer, editor and at the most of Marvel’s life, its father, has passed at the age of 95. He was fighting pneumonia for almost a year and succumbed to the disease in Los Angeles on Monday.

Stan Lee is immortal, he will live through the characters in whom he once breathed life.

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