I know this might sound out place here at the Brickshow blog, but such a person whose life’s work has touched so many deserves to be mentioned, much more when he passes away and leaves a legacy of comic book-inspired LEGO sets that we now enjoy. Stanley Martin Lieber, or better known to the world as Stan Lee passes away at the age of 95 earlier today at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
The death of the iconic nonagenarian was confirmed by Atty. Kirk Schenk who represents Lee’s daughter, J.C. Lee. The Marvel comic book icon may perhaps be the single most important person in the history of comics and entertainment, where he is credited for the creation and development of characters that we are all so fond of today. Stan Lee began his career in 1939 as a humble gofer, from Timely Comics a predecessor of what is now known as Marvel Comics. At a time where comic book heroes are sketched as the epitome of success and adulation of the crowd, Stan Lee introduced us to superhero characters struggling with life issues that are relatable and so real to us. We have a queasy, nerdy Peter Parker, trying hard to keep up his superhero alter ego under wraps while dating his sweetheart (the first of many actually); a modern-day (and green all over) Jekyll and Hyde with anger management issues; and a person with disability whose blindness never stopped him from fighting crime in the thick darkness of the night. In a time where superheroes were portrayed as the perfect, well-adjusted protagonists, Lee introduced us to characters who rose up and took the superhero mantle in spite of their pretty messed up shortcomings and flaws.
When Disney bought Marvel Entertainment in 2009, Stan Lee’s comic book characters were given a boost and media exposure in ways that Lee could have never imagined. The rebranding of his Marvel characters for the big screen eventually resulted in the birth of the MCU or Marvel Cinematic Universe and will later find their way in LEGO sets, rendered as minifigures.
From Spider-Man to the X-Men, and Avengers and Incredible Hulk, the list of Marvel superheroes seems to be endless and we owe all of them to Stan Lee. Indeed, the LEGO and comic book landscape will not be the same without the brilliant, creative mind behind these comic book pages.
Like his superhero personas, Lee also had his own share of ups and downs like anyone else and his life may not always be as rosy and lovely as compared to some of us. But he led a life fulfilling what he really wants to do, inspiring us to do the same. Like what he said to Peter Parker (played by Tobey Maguire) in 2007’s Spider-Man 3, “You know, I guess one person can make a difference … ’nuff said.” And Stan Lee really made his mark and made a difference in this world.