By: Nick Swafford
One of our best has passed on. Stanley Martin Lieber, or Stan Lee, as we more affectionately call him, has died. In the early morning on November 12th, Lee was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, where he later died at the ripe age of 95.
Stan Lee was one of the main founders of the entire Marvel universe, creating many of our beloved comic book characters like Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, Thor, Iron Man, Black Panther, and dozens upon dozens of more characters that we love. Whether you are a day-one fan of his work, or if you’re like me and picked up on his greatness because of his growing fame with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we can all agree that this was a terrible occurrence. His death hit the media hard, but it hit the hearts of his loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and fans much harder.
The “Cameo King,” as he was called because of his vast amounts of background appearances in Marvel movies, has been writing for not only Marvel, but also DC and other comic-creating companies for a good portion of his life. He started creating comics in the 1940s for a small family-run comic book company where he had to work hard to rise through the ranks and grow as an illustrator and writer into the comic giant he has become today. That small, family-run company later became Marvel Comics, and Stan led the charge for the monumental growth that Marvel obtained. For about 70 years, he kept creating more and more comics to entertain us and transfer us into a world of superheroes when the outside life gets a little boring.
Stan Lee meant a lot to me. I’ve been so entranced by how cool it was that Stan Lee was making guest appearances in not only Marvel movies, but also Marvel video games. As I grew up with a Wii and an Xbox, I had plenty of Lego Marvel video games that featured him in cute little cutscenes. As for games a little more recent, the new Spider-Man PS4 game has arguably one of the best cameos in the marvel universe, and has even been compared to some of my favorite cameos from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And while all of them are gold, my favorite is probably the one from Civil War where he plays the part of a mailman and mistakenly calls Robert Downey Junior’s character, Tony Stark, as Tony “Stank,” and I found that 3rd grade humor absolutely hilarious.
As Stan’s physical being has left us, we will always be left with his wonderful works of art and he will forever be remembered as a legend. For those lucky enough to have known Stan personally, my heart goes out to you, and we should all just take a few moments to reflect on how many lives he has influenced and changed. May the Comic King live forever in our minds.