Stan Lee, the comic-book pioneer who had become a household name, passed away today at 95.
He was most known for his innumerable contributions to the comic-book world, including some of its best known denizens like Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four and the X-Men, to name a few. His popularity saw a surge with the creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in which he used his humor to create imaginative and unforgettable cameos.
His shadow looms large over all types of modern media–movies are currently barraged by his created characters, video games utilize his imagined worlds for players to explore, television is beginning to pick up the less popular iterations of some of his works and the comics industry has never been the same since he started writing in the 1940’s. Superheroes, before Stan Lee came on the scene, were considered perfect. They had no faults, and there was nothing to connect them to the reader emotionally, besides a small thrill. Stan Lee changed that with his characters, focusing on their quirks, relationships and problems, shifting the heroes into a much more relatable territory.
It’s hard to imagine another man having the kind of impact Stan Lee did on pop culture. There is no other individual who can claim to have single-handedly created so many enduring icons that are instantly recognizable. The world of comics has sadly lost it’s All-Father today, but his vestigial spirit and influence will be evident in comic panels for decades to come.