Stan Lee Legacy

Derrick Voss, A&E Writer

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Very few people can say they created a universe. Let alone a universe that has grossed 10.9 billion dollars since 2008 according to However, Stan Lee’s legacy is not the monetary gain and success he has enabled, but the countless lives he has impacted and the priceless memories he has instilled in comic book readers and movie watchers around the world.

Born Stanley Lieber, he began his career in 1939 as an assistant at Timely Comics, which, by the 1960s, would become Marvel Comics. His duties were trivial at first, such as filling inkwells for artists. When he began working on comics he used the pen name Stan Lee because he thought the low social status of comic book writing would interfere with his dream of novel writing. In 1941 he created his first character, the Destroyer, and later that year he became the interim editor. He eventually worked up to become the main publisher in 1972 and stopped writing monthly stories. He stepped away from his regular duties in the 1990s.

Lee is credited with igniting Marvel’s revolution in the 1960s with the co-creation of the Fantastic Four with fellow Marvel legend Jack Kirby. During this time, he created well-known characters such as Spider-Man, the X-Men, Thor and many others. He also pushed for stories that were more controversial, involving things such as the Vietnam War and elections. Lee may not have created every character in the Marvel comic book universe, but the majority of the characters were of his creation. Spider-Man, The Hulk and Iron Man are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the characters he has created.

Beyond his impact with characters and storylines, Lee is responsible for introducing the practice of a credit panel on the splash page for all who worked on the book. He also worked to connect with the readers by writing his bulletins in a friendly manner; he wanted the readers to think of the editors as friends. As opposed to “Dear Editor,” the letters to Marvel often addressed the creators by their first name. Lee helped reform the Comics Code to allow negative depictions of drugs, while also commenting on racism and discrimination in “Stan’s Soapbox,” his editor column which was included in Marvel’s books while he was a publisher.

Lee has touched the lives of millions of people over his lifetime. “His stories have brought so much joy to my life and helped expand my imagination,” senior Ethan Nasution said. Away from Comics, Lee served in the military, started a charity foundation in 2010 and made beloved cameos in each Marvel Cinematic Universe movie since Iron Man in 2008. Lee passed away on November 12, 2018, at the age of 95 and will be greatly missed.


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