Entertainment editor Dan Webb discusses the life career and legacy of Stan Lee, and the impact he has had both on the entertainment industry and society as a whole.
One of my all time favourite multi medial universes is the world of Marvel comics. Marvel boasts one of the strongest collection of fan favourite characters each with their own in depth lore and backgrounds to explore. If you are a fan of Marvel or comic books in any shape or form then you will be fully aware that many of Marvel’s characters came from the creative genius of one man, Stan Lee. Stan was a pioneer in the world of comic books, he gave us classic characters, one being my favourite character from the Marvel universe, Spider-Man. With Stan’s recent passing I wanted to take a moment to pause and reflect on his career and the lasting impact that he has left on the entertainment industry, things will never be the same again.
Many people have their favourite franchises, some like Harry Potter some Lord of The Rings, for me however Marvel has always reigned supreme. Together with artist Steve Ditko who also unfortunately passed away recently the pair created some of the most iconic characters in pop culture history. One of their first creations in 1961 was the Fantastic Four a group who have not yet been given the on screen justice they deserve but still a very important point in comic book history.
However arguably their most important contribution to comic book history came in 1962 when the pair introduced a new character to the world, and what’s more he was a teenage boy. Peter Parker aka Spider-Man was one of the first comic book characters to break the dominant archetype at the time. For many, myself included, Spider-Man was the relatable everyman. He was a regular high school student who experienced the exact same problems everyone goes through. I remember very clearly in 2002 being allowed to stay up late to watch Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man late one night with my dad, the lasting impact of that film and the world the character inhabited has left a lasting effect on my life.
Stan Lee is probably most known to general audience for hilarious cameo appearances in Marvel films since X-Men in 2000 and this has been a highly anticipated tradition every year since. Stan is just full of so much passion and love for these characters he almost serves like the sweet old grandad of the Marvel universe watching over it and only stepping in to check everything is okay from time to time. Of course there has always been the fan theory that Stan is in fact playing the character of the “Watcher” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe this was of course confirmed to be true in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 in 2017. Stan recently had a small cameo in Insomniac’s Spider-Man in what was a stand out sweet little moment in the game for me.
Stan Lee and Marvel have always played a strong part in my life. The films and comic books were there to cheer me up and get me through some of the hardest points in my life, the characters just give me so much joy and I have so much to be thankful for. Stan’s passing not only marks the passing of a great man, it marks the loss of a legend. I want to send out my condolences and best wishes to all of Stan’s family and close friends. To all Marvel fans reading let us never forget what he gave us, and how he shaped our world.