Marvel Comics creator and editor Stan Lee has passed away at the age of 95. As per TMZ, an ambulance was reportedly called to his Hollywood Hills home on Monday morning (November 12) and he was rushed to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he succumbed.
The nonagenarian had been active in the comic book world since the 1940s and was responsible for the turning around of Marvel Comics in the 60s. He, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko created a number of iconic comic book characters, notably superheroes and supervillains, that are all the rage today. Starting with the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Ant-Man, the Avengers, Namor, Loki, the X-Men and others, the Marvel Universe expanded to enormous size and influence, culminating in its domination of the superhero movie space over the last decade. Stan Lee is perhaps the only person to have made appearances in all the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies till now, starting with Iron Man (2008) and, most recently, Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018). He will also be appearing in the series' final films (in its current iteration), Captain Marvel (March 2019) and the finale Avengers 4.
Born Stanley Martin Leiber on December 28, 1922, Stan Lee grew up in New York's Manhattan borough. After graduating high school, he worked in a number of odd jobs in and around the print and theatre industries, before comic books. While he was working on comic books as early as 1942, he also drafted in the US Army during World War 2, reiterating, in his final tweet, that his official title then was 'Playwright'.
Interestingly, Stan Lee was purportedly said to be on the verge of quitting the industry after an unsuccessful 50s, until his wife Joan Boocock Lee (they were married from 1947 till she passed away in 2017) egged him to give it one last go, culminating in the creation of the Fantastic Four. Other superheroes followed soon after, some in anthology comic books like Tales of Suspense. The prolific run of creating comic books continued for over a decade, accompanied with character development, occasionally merging plotlines, longer and longer story-arcs, and an overall expansion of the universe, including into cosmic and alien beings.
As the 70s progressed, and for a long time since then, even as his comic book writing took a backseat, he equally became more and more a face for his creations, and a frequenter of conventions, helping create a thriving ecosystem across media. He is still almost always credited as Executive Producer in all Marvel films and animation, apart from cameo appearance, one in which he reveals himself to be a space journeyman and storyteller, and one, in which he signs off with his trademark "Excelsior!"
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