Comic legend Stan Lee has passed away: The creator of a number of popular cartoon characters, including Thor, Spiderman, the X-Men, and Iron Man, died in a hospital on Monday at the age of 95 in Los Angeles, as the “Hollywood Reporter” and other US media reported. In recent years, Lee was ill again and again. He acted until the end of the blockbuster films to the respective heroes and made very short guest appearances.
The son of Romanian immigrants, born in New York in 1922, was still a teenager when in 1939 he began working as an assistant at the publishing house Timely Comics, which was later to be called Marvel. His Gap Filler lyrics in Issue 3 of the 1941 “Captain America” comic are seen as a debut in a career full of “POW!” and “BANG!”. Shortly after, he created his first comic character which “Destroyed” and stood with stage name Stan Lee in the notebook, which later became his real name.
The other two co-workers quarreled with the publisher, so the Bronx guy threw the shop on his own. With his own comic series, he helped the house survive financially in the 1940’s and 1950’s. His 1961 with draftsman Jack Kirby developed “Fantastic Four” were the counter-design of the “Justice League” by the rival DC Comics, which among other things, “Superman”, “Batman”, “Wonder Woman” and “Green Lantern” counted. The four astronauts, who got supernatural powers after an outer space event, made Marvel a driving force in the growing comic universe. One year later followed the “Spiderman”.
Developed “Marvel Method” is attributed to Lee, with which the booklets could be produced even faster: Instead of the usual script in advance, he gave only rough information on the course of a story so the draftsmen could draw with free Hand. This was only possible thanks to great trust among the colleagues, because time for corrections hardly remained in the end. Overall, Lee created with Kirby, Steve Ditko and other colleagues around 350 cartoon characters. With his likeness – white hair, mustache, aviator sunglasses – he soon became himself a kind of meta- superhero.
Unlike the competition, Lee bet on human, natural sides of the supernatural heroes: “Daredevil” is blind, “Hulk” has uncontrolled outbursts of rage. The “X-Men” figures also have physical, mental or behavioral weaknesses. And nerd Peter Parker, who climbs the walls of skyscrapers as “Spiderman”, a vermin, was to appear as an “average, sloppy boy, “Lee said. “Batman” lives privately as a millionaire Bruce Wayne, “Superman” comes as almighty Adonis flew from the sky.
Over the years, Lee became an ambassador for comics. In almost all Marvel films he had short guest appearances – including as a bus driver in “Avengers: Infinity War”. Often he was also at fan meetings, where some celebrated him as a half-god. “My dad loved all his fans, Lee’s daughter JC told celebrity portal TMZ. “He was the biggest and most decent man.”
Lee’s own weakness, according to him, was that he did not make much money with his inventions, not even as a Marvel publisher and editor-in-chief from 1972 onwards. “I was stupid on business. I should have been more greedy, “he said in 2017 – but his fortune was estimated at around $50 million (€40 million). According to the Hollywood Reporter, Lee’s daughter, JC, fought bitterly with her father over the future of fortune. The speech was of an “increasingly toxic and combative situation”. Lee’s wife Joan died in 2017 at the age of 93.