3B sent me a text earlier today that said “RIP Stan Lee.” It had just been announced. I stood and stared at the text for many seconds, not believing what I was reading. Yes, he was about a month shy of 96, but I think many comic book fans figured he’d just be around for another 96.
Stan Lee was very important in my life, not only my formative years but after and still to this day.
I was heavily into comics, more specifically, superheroes since I knew how to read. Heck, even before that. I would sit and watch Electric Company every day, just on the chance that I’d get to see the cheesy, silent, lanky, lurky Spider-Man that they sometimes included. The mystery, the magic, the uncanniness (if you will). Superheroes were what turned me on.
Don’t get me wrong, I went through my Star Wars phase, too. And, I’m still in that, kind of, but I am never not nostalgic or interested in comics of today. Even when I wasn’t collecting comics, I was into the aspects of them. I watched The Super Friends reruns every day after school, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends on Saturday, X-Men, and so on. I loved it all. I related more to DC comics, but Spider-Man was always my guy (well as a kid, now, he’s second).
Peter Parker along with Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Matt Murdoch, all the other characters in the Marvel Universe with a name alliteration, as well as Professor X, Jean Gray, Cyclops, Thor, Hulk, Tony Stark, T’Challa, and just about everyone in Marvel Comics in the 60s and 70s, they all lost their real “dad” today. Stan Lee meant so much to me growing up. Hearing his voice on Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends was always cool. Whether you’re a comic book fan or not, you knew who Stan Lee was, or at least what he’d contributed to pop culture from the 60s on.
I once co-owned a comic book store. I was fascinated with these characters as a kid, they made me (very little) money as an adult and after a long break from them — to get the bad taste out of my mouth — I have recently jumped back into the stories. I’ll admit most of what I’m reading now is DC stuff, but I have re-found my love of the characters. As much as I love DC, with the exception of a few, their movies leave a lot to be desired. Marvel’s movies, however, are better-made, better-scripted and are just better translated on the big screen. It doesn’t hurt that Disney helps with that, now.
This post may seem a bit discombobulated but, it’s because I have a lot to say but don’t know where or how to fit it all in. I apologize for that. All I can get out is that I’m sad you’re gone, Stan Lee. You are probably the most important person in comic book history. Thank you immensely for most of my childhood memories. Thank you for the timeless personalities of pop culture that you left us for our lifetime. Sleep well, Mr. Lee and, as always, Excelsior!!!
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“With great power comes great responsibility.” – Uncle Ben