Comic book legend Stan Lee has died at the age of 95.
The prolific comic book author and ex-president of Marvel Comics defined the Marvel Universe as we know it. Among the much-loved characters he created are Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, the Silver Surfer and Doctor Strange. Lee was renowned for making a cameo in every film featuring a Marvel character.
Tributes to Lee have poured in from Hollywood royalty. Hugh Jackman, who played Wolverine, tweeted: “We’ve lost a creative genius. Stan Lee was a pioneering force in the superhero universe.” Producer Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, tweeted: “No one has had more of an impact on my career and everything we do at Marvel Studios than Stan Lee. Stan leaves an extraordinary legacy that will outlive us all.” Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr wrote on Instagram: “I owe it all to you,,, Rest In Peace Stan…” And Scarlett Johansson chipped in with: “Rest in Peace Stan Lee: writer, editor and publisher of Marvel Comics and so much more. Thank you for all you did.”
Born Stanley Lieber in 1922, the son of Romanian immigrants, Lee joined Timely Comics in 1939, before serving in World War II from 1942, where he earned the nickname “Playwright”. In the 1950s, Timely Comics became Atlas Comics, and Lee wrote a number of comics in various (non-superhero) genres. But his career really went stellar in 1961 when, with artist Jack Kirby, he created The Fantastic Four, and Atlas Comics mutated into Marvel Comics.
Since then, Lee has towered over the comic-book world like a colossus. To get a flavour of the scale of the tributes that continue to pour in, you might want to check out the Marvel website.