Stan Lee: Marvel Comics legend dies aged 95

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After spending more than a decade toiling away in the comics industry following World War II, he was ready to quit. It's a moment that, quite literally changed comics forever. What was he going to do next, and how was he ever going to care again?

Previous year his hand and footprints were immortalized in cement in the forecourt of Hollywood's TCL Chinese Theatre, alongside his fellow entertainment legends. If he was done, why not go out doing his own thing? The result was the Fantastic Four. #5 The printers accidentally turned the Hulk green Speaking of superheroes, Stan Lee initially made the Incredible Hulk gray in colour.

"When the time came to create a teenaged hero for Marvel Comics, I chose to depict him as a bumbling real-life teenager who by some miracle had acquired a super power", Lee wrote in a 1977 column, "How I Invented Spider-Man". "So, he is a lot of things to a lot of people", Marvel fan Jolene Shinabarger said.

With Stan's cameos mostly coming like comic relief, this one stood apart.

That "MC" stood for Marvel Comics.

Spider-Man, in particular, became the imprint's signature character: a neurotic photographer named Peter Parker who, after being bitten by a radioactive spider, develops spider-like powers.

"Stan was always very gracious with all of us at Marvel Studios and very encouraging". The more I got to know Stan, the more I saw how he put a little piece of himself in each and every character he created, and by doing so, he allowed readers to see their own reflection and imagine the possibility that they, too, could transcend their problems and become something wonderful, uncanny, and fantastic.

Lee at the time felt comics were a dead-end career.

CNN, NPR, NBC and The New York Times are calling him a visionary, a "marvel" of a man, the superhero of Marvel comics and frankly the list goes on, as it should.

In his later years, Stan Lee became as famous for his movie cameos as he was for his pioneering work in comic books. He's been the constant.

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"Feige teased: "[I can say] very little when it comes to Eternals, but I will say your reaction about not being familiar with The Eternals is ideal because most people weren't familiar with Guardians and believe it or not there were people who were not familiar with Avengers or with Iron Man. He wasn't just a guy in a suit, he was Stan "The Man" Lee! He was just everywhere.

Chris Evans, who played Captain America, tweeted: "There will never be another Stan Lee".

"I have always included minority characters in my stories, often as heroes".

On the other hand, while the loss of Lee has a great impact on the comics world, Andrew Crombie, founder of crombie.design, does not believe it plays a critical role in Marvel's branding. His legacy is with me, physically, every day.

Last month in Shanghai, at the first Stan Lee Comic Universe event held in China, Marvel unveiled a brand-new Chinese superhero that Lee had modeled on Chinese pop star G.E.M. (Get Everybody Moving). I loved this man & will never stop missing him.

So what's the secret formula for creating a superhero? I didn't recognize Lee by sight, so I only knew of his importance through how the other characters reacted to him, as if he were godlike.

"Stan Lee was a pioneering force in the superhero universe".

"He showed people how to dream how to escape the problems that they have and their current situations", Jordan reflected. It was his idea to turn the Civil Rights movement into the mutant metaphor in X-Men.

It's a model now adopted by the Hollywood producers beyond the Marvel Cinematic Universe - which releases its 21st film, "Captain Marvel", in March next year. This is the legacy he leaves behind - jobs created, myths told and retold, imaginations inspired, childhoods saved, friends made, memories cherished.

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