STAN LEE aka Stanley Lieber: Marvel's Greatest Legend!!!
“I used to be embarrassed because I was just a comic-book writer while other people were building bridges or going on to medical careers. And then I began to realize: entertainment is one of the most important things in people’s lives. Without it they might go off the deep end. I feel that if you’re able to entertain people, you’re doing a good thing.” - Stan Lee
Stanley Lieber died today. For those people that don't know that name, he went by another for much of his life. He went by Stan Lee.
The thing is, Stanley Lieber was a man. Flesh, blood, impressive mustache, he was a human being who walked this Earth. He was a loving husband and father, soldier, and comic creator. He began working for Timely Comics in the late 30’s and essentially never left. He helped create, mold, and guide Timely, soon to become Marvel Comics, into the juggernaut that grossed almost 3 BILLION dollars this year. He wore many hats in those decades, but none more important than that of “Stan Lee”.
Stanley Lieber's greatest character wasn't the Fantastic Four, Thor, or Spider-Man. It was Stan Lee.
Stanley Lieber was a man, Stan Lee was a legend. Stanley Lieber helped create some of Marvel’s foundational characters. Stan Lee birthed characters that have changed and affected the world for the better. Stanley Lieber helped write manuals and training pieces for the military. Stan Lee wrote works that fought anti-semitism, homophobia, racism, and sexism. Stanley Lieber, an impressive marketer, used his skills to better the business while taking credit for the works of others. Stan Lee loved his creations so much that even FAR into retirement his world revolved around them. Stanley Lieber loved his fans. Stan Lee loved his fans. Stanley Lieber loved Marvel Comics. Stan Lee loved Marvel Comics. Stanley Lieber has passed away. Stan Lee will live on forever.
Stan Lee inspired millions, some of which followed in his footsteps. They took his characters, his ideas, and his archetypes, and created their own versions, expanding the art of comic creation into what it is today. Some took them into other mediums like books, television, music, and movies. Some became artists, writers, filmmakers, musicians, cosplayers, soldiers, nurses, scientists, and business people. You can find his inspiration in nearly every profession if you just look.
Stanley Lieber could never have done all of this because he was just a man, so he built Stan Lee into a legend. He created a man who was as much a father, soldier, and creator, as he was a superhero. But there is one thing that Stanley Lieber did that Stan Lee could not. Stanley Lieber created a God, then strove to live up to him. No one can be as amazing as Stan Lee, but Stanley Lieber sure as hell tried.
His name was on the first comic I ever read. He created characters that I connected with when I was young and impressionable. I could look up to them and know that, even at my lowest, there was a hero in me that I just had to find. He created villains that felt impossible yet all too real, allowing me to put a face to REAL evil. Then he showed me that those heroes, even when dealing with unimaginable odds, could stand above that hate and venom and uphold justice and what was right. He showed me that with ‘Great Power Comes Great Responsibility’. I am a better man because of him.
I will never shirk from responsibility because Peter Parker taught me not to. I will love my family, like the Fantastic Four. I will control my anger, like Bruce Banner. I will always try to be worthy, like Thor. I will always love my country, for all it's flaws, like Steve Rodgers. I will never judge those who are different than me because we all have gifts, like the X-Men, that make us special. I will always believe in my friends, like the Avengers. And if I fail at these, if I fail myself, I know there is redemption… just like Flash Thompson. Most importantly, I will create the best version of myself and strive to live up to him, just like Stan Lee.
Thank you Stan. You did an Excellent Job. EXCELSIOR!!!