“Heartbroken. Thank you for making me believe in heroes,” tweeted rocker Corey Taylor on Monday, following news of the death of Stan Lee. It was a sentiment echoed in all forms of media after the announcement that the legendary comic book writer, editor, producer, and publisher had died just over a month shy of his 96th birthday.
If social media was bereft, mainstream media was poetic, with the New York Times leading the way with a beautiful sendoff published not long after the announcement was made.
If Stan Lee revolutionized the comic book world in the 1960s, which he did, he left as big a stamp — maybe bigger — on the even wider pop culture landscape of today.
Think of “Spider-Man,” the blockbuster movie franchise and Broadway spectacle. Think of “Iron Man,” another Hollywood gold-mine series personified by its star, Robert Downey Jr. Think of “Black Panther,” the box-office superhero smash that shattered big screen racial barriers in the process.
And that is to say nothing of the Hulk, the X-Men, Thor and other film and television juggernauts that have stirred the popular imagination and made many people very rich.
If all that entertainment product can be traced to one person, it would be Stan Lee, who died in Los Angeles on Monday at 95. From a cluttered office on Madison Avenue in Manhattan in the 1960s, he helped conjure a lineup of pulp-fiction heroes that has come to define much of popular culture in the early 21st century.
Kirk Schneck, attorney of daughter J.C. Lee, told CNN that “the comic giant was taken by ambulance from his Los Angeles home on Monday morning to Cedar’s Sinai Medical Center, where he later died.” Schneck told CNN that the cause of death is not yet known.
Lee’s wife, the model and voice actor Joan Boocock Lee, died last year in the couple’s 70th year of marriage. They are survived by one daughter, Joan Celia (J.C.) Lee.
Here Marvel and Disney remember the legend. ◊