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RIP: Stan Lee

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A testament (I think) to the range of ages he's touched:

 

Quote

Oh he's the one who created that nice Spider-Man superhero. I always liked that one. Never really violent, always funny.

--My 85 year old grandmother, who is about as familiar with these things as your average Amish.

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Be consoled, say the Vishanti: For Eternity has gathered in the great chronicler, and he has become One with the Universe. And even the Dread Dormammu bows his head and whispers, "Excelsior."

 

RIP to the creator of Doctor Strange. I owe him more than I can say.

 

Dean Shomshak

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6 hours ago, Bazza said:

First Ditko, now Lee. Spider-Man really is an orphan. ? 

 

RIP Mr Lee. 

 

My thoughts on Stan Lee:
He taught kids to read, to use their imagination, and what heroism is. 

 

He taught kids the word "excelsior".

 

His most famous line: "with great power comes great responsibility" not only sums up the superhero ideal, and will likely be included in books dedicated to famous quotes. 

 

He took a medium that was for kids and brought realism to it. With this he created (co-created) characters with flaws/weaknesses and put them in a real setting, his hometown--New York City. With this he respected his audience. 

 

He gave America a mythology built around heroism...what you can do for your country (to abridge JFK's famous quote).

 

He became the face of comics in a way that was beneficial to Marvel, and the industry, however this brought friction with his industry peers. 

 

At 77 years young, he started a new career as an actor, having made 40+ cameos in films, over an 18 year period, and became the most successful actor in the world. 

 

He lived to see his creations enjoy the fame they never enjoyed during the 60s as the industry was devalued by society at large. Nowadays, it is the opposite, people all over the world, Africa, China, Korea, India, know who he is, and his creations, and those who followed his example at Marvel. 

 

Stan "the Man" Lee lived a marvellous life. He is one in a Marvel. 

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I don't remember whether Lee himself wrote it, but one Spider-Man story became partly responsible for smashing the authority of the Comics Code. After the comic panic of the 1950s (inspired by the book The Seduction of the Innocents, which in turn was based on fatally flawed research that was eventually thoroughly discredited) comics were bared from covering many real-life phenomena and required to always have endings where "crime does not pay". It was enforced by a self-appointed Authority who acted as censors and barred distribution to the main outlets for comics (mainly drugstores and supermarkets, and later convenience stores) of books that did not meet their standard. Underground comics (by artists like R. Crumb) were underground because they had to be distributed by other means and were thus far less profitable.

 

Then Stan Lee challenged them by writing a classic Spider-Man story in which Peter Parker discovers that one of his friends has become addicted to a drug. Portrayal of drug use was prohibited by the Authority - who wanted to pretend it didn't happen for fear of glamorizing it. (Political and social conservatism was one of the Authority's main drivers, and a partial reason that all cxomic book heroes of the '50s and '60s were still white.) They withdrew their seal from the book, hoping it would dissuade Lee from releasing it.

 

He published it anyway. Having already pioneered realism in character development (Ben Grimm's reactions to becoming the Thing were both rational and heartbreaking, and could not have happened before Lee and Ditko came along.) And despite the hold of the Authority on distribution people bought the book anyway through Marvel's thriving mail-order platform. The story became so famous that it was eventually included in high school textbooks. Rival publisher DC Comics was inspired to one-up Lee by having one of their heroes (Green Arrow's sidekick Speedy) deal with a drug problem. Then there was Tony Stark's hard drinking, which led to very frank stories about alcoholism in the Iron Man series. Comics confronted the real world as opposed to denying it, while still being the escapist entertainment fans craved. It took decades ofr the Comic Code Authority to finally disappear, but as time went on they became less and less relevant -- and the final blow was the advent of specialty comic book retailers.

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