Stan Lee, the Marvel Comics legend responsible for the creation of characters such as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, X-Men and near countless others, has passed away at the age of 95. The news broke earlier today and it has left a tremendous impact, as few figures in pop culture have made such a profound impression as Lee managed to do. As such, social media has erupted with tributes to the late, great writer, editor, publisher and comic book titan.
Early on, Stan Lee hoped to be a great American author, with designs on writing novels. Lee never intended to get into the world of comic books, but starting in 1939, that's exactly what he did at Timely Comics, which would eventually become Marvel Comics. As the story goes, Lee was nearly ready to quit and then, at the behest of his late wife Joan Lee, he decided to write the kind of story he wanted to write for once, which went on to become Amazing Fantasy #15 in 1962, which is where Spider-Man was birthed. It's a moment that, quite literally changed comics forever. The rest is history. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige had this to say on Twitter about Stan Lee's passing.
"No one has had more of an impact on my career and everything we do at Marvel Studios than Stan Lee. Stan leaves an extraordinary legacy that will outlive us all. Our thoughts are with his daughter, his family, and his millions of fans. #ThankYouStan #Excelsior!"
In an age where superheroes dominate the landscape on both the big and small screen, it's hard to accurately convey the lasting impact that Lee had. While he is mostly associated with Marvel Comics, Lee did do work with DC over the years. At the time of this writing, Marvel had yet to release a statement on Stan Lee's passing. The official DC Twitter account paid tribute to Lee after the news broke. Here's what the publisher had to say.
"He changed the way we look at heroes, and modern comics will always bear his indelible mark. His infectious enthusiasm reminded us why we all fell in love with these stories in the first place. Excelsior, Stan."
With legends such as Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, Stan Lee created some of the most enduring figures in comic book history including The Incredible Hulk, Daredevil, Iron Man, Thor, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, The Avengers and many more. Actor Logan Marshall-Green, who starred in Spider-Man: Homecoming as Shocker, took to Twitter to share his thoughts and that the government should create a holiday for Lee.
"Government needs to enact a Stan Lee Day ASAP. Who has reached further and impacted deeper, our story telling and dreams than Stan Lee?"
Other notable tributes came from Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson, who posted a photo of himself with Stan Lee simply saying, "Goodnight, Stan." The official account for the Merriam-Webster dictionary also paid a fitting tribute by sharing the definition of the world Excelsior, which has been Lee's calling card and catchphrase over the years.
Given the popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the last decade, as well as the X-Men movies and other Marvel movie adaptations, the lasting legacy of Stan Lee simply cannot be overstated. His presence is going to be felt for years and years to come. Be sure to check out other tributes to the late Marvel legend below. RIP, Stan Lee. The news of Lee's passing was first reported by TMZ.
“No one has had more of an impact on my career and everything we do at Marvel Studios than Stan Lee. Stan leaves an extraordinary legacy that will outlive us all. Our thoughts are with his daughter, his family, and his millions of fans. #ThankYouStan#Excelsior!”— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) November 12, 2018
No one has had more of an impact on my career and everything we do at Marvel Studios than Stan Lee. Stan leaves an extraordinary legacy that will outlive us all. Our thoughts are with his daughter, his family, and his millions of fans. #ThankYouStan#Excelsior!— Kevin Feige (@Kevfeige) November 12, 2018
Thank you for filling our childhoods with such joy. You will be dearly, dearly missed... pic.twitter.com/Qt2sZqaNlc— Russo Brothers (@Russo_Brothers) November 12, 2018
RIP Stan— Louis D'Esposito (@louisde2) November 12, 2018
There will never be another Stan Lee. For decades he provided both young and old with adventure, escape, comfort, confidence, inspiration, strength, friendship and joy. He exuded love and kindness and will leave an indelible mark on so, so, so many lives. Excelsior!!— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) November 12, 2018
We’ve lost a creative genius. Stan Lee was a pioneering force in the superhero universe. I’m proud to have been a small part of his legacy and .... to have helped bring one of his characters to life. #StanLee#Wolverinepic.twitter.com/iOdefi7iYz— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) November 12, 2018
We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Stan Lee, a legend in our industry.— San Diego Comic-Con (@Comic_Con) November 12, 2018
Our thoughts go out to his many fans, his friends, and family. Excelsior. pic.twitter.com/WU1s2RR6Mb
Stan...more than a master of stories, you always seemed like a master of living. I will look to you for inspiration for the rest of my life. You live on. xoxo Your Wasp— Evangeline Lilly (@EvangelineLilly) November 12, 2018
His contribution to Pop Culture was revolutionary & cannot be overstated. He was everything you hoped he would be & MORE. I loved this man & will never stop missing him. They say you should never meet a childhood idol. They are wrong. #RIPStanTheManpic.twitter.com/6OKH07ahJg— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) November 12, 2018
Rest in Peace Stan Lee— Letitia Wright (@letitiawright) November 12, 2018
Devastated by my pal Stan's passing. He was a childhood inspiration, an instructor to me when I was just getting started and a genuinely sweet man. Will miss him terribly.— Frank Miller (@FrankMillerInk) November 12, 2018
THANK YOU, @TheRealStanLee. You gave us characters that continue to stand the test of time and evolve with our consciousness. You taught us that there are no limits to our future as long as we have access to our imagination. Rest in power! #EXCELSIOR#StanLee#rippic.twitter.com/hnSmnHIDln— Winston Duke (@Winston_Duke) November 12, 2018
RIP Stan Lee. You created a MARVELous universe of characters for us. And stood up for your fellow cartoonist rights. pic.twitter.com/6q8nIzBNDk— Robert B. Englund (@RobertBEnglund) November 12, 2018
Government needs to enact a— Logan Marshall-Green (@TheRealElemgy) November 12, 2018
Stan Lee Day ASAP. Who has reached further and impacted deeper, our story telling and dreams than Stan Lee?
Goodnight Stan pic.twitter.com/XQzNnUtAeM— Scott Derrickson (@scottderrickson) November 12, 2018
He changed the way we look at heroes, and modern comics will always bear his indelible mark. His infectious enthusiasm reminded us why we all fell in love with these stories in the first place. Excelsior, Stan.— DC (@DCComics) November 12, 2018
Damn... RIP Stan. Thanks for everything. pic.twitter.com/TMAaDJSOhh— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) November 12, 2018
stan lee created an entire universe for us before leaving this one. rip to a legend— MAJOR LAZER (@MAJORLAZER) November 12, 2018
To Stan Lee: Thank you for making my childhood so much more exciting with your astonishing superhero characters. Thank you for inspiring me to think and dream big. Thank you for the Hulk, Thor, Fantastic Four and many others. You will be sadly missed. RIP.— Gene Simmons (@genesimmons) November 12, 2018
Stan Lee, RIP. Thanks for inspiring so many of us to pick up a pen or pencil and put your dreams onto paper. Excelsior! pic.twitter.com/L33eTjUQdI— edgarwright (@edgarwright) November 12, 2018
The Man was everything to comics.— Patch Zircher (@PatrickZircher) November 12, 2018
Rest in peace, Stan Lee. pic.twitter.com/eqB2veFurO
Thanks for being our hero, Stan. pic.twitter.com/HZlUeZW87s— Netflix US (@netflix) November 12, 2018
R.I.P. Stan Lee. We have lost a Titan of Creativity and Industry. These are my last photos with Stan, taken in August. I was summoned by The Man, he wanted a friendly face, a change of… https://t.co/R97cWaFjD7— robertliefeld (@robertliefeld) November 12, 2018
R.I.P. Stan Lee.— robertliefeld (@robertliefeld) November 12, 2018
Awww man, heartbreaking. R.I.P. to a true pioneer and legend. My youth wouldn’t have been the same without him. So grateful to have met the guy, and told him how thankful I was for his work. #stanleehttps://t.co/UiYscXKoLQ— James Wan (@creepypuppet) November 12, 2018
It breaks our hearts to inform you that the absolutely legendary Marvel creator Stan Lee has passed away. RIP and Excelsior to a true hero! pic.twitter.com/SKSBUvTXQI— Rotten Tomatoes (@RottenTomatoes) November 12, 2018
Thank you Stan Lee for making people who feel different realize they are special.— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) November 12, 2018
About 2003, at MTV, I looked up from my desk & saw STAN “THE MAN” LEE strolling past my first office window. I instinctively rushed outside, caught him as he waited to cross the street (presumably to MGM) & simply said, “Mr Lee. Thank you.” He smiled. Nodded. He knew. #Excelsiorpic.twitter.com/uESlAfUuV0— Ryan J. Downey (@ryandowney) November 12, 2018
Rest well, Stan.https://t.co/2DaNhQ2hBa— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) November 12, 2018
We met Stan when were were scrubs who snuck in to a party at comicon. He was as kind and encouraging then as he was when we met professionally years later. Thank you Stan for making us True Believers as kids and over and over again as adults.— philip lord (@philiplord) November 12, 2018
Rest in peace, Stan Lee. The many worlds of imagination & delight you created for humanity will last forever.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 12, 2018
I have just learned of Stan Lee’s passing.— Billy Dee Williams (@realbdw) November 12, 2018
I had the honor of knowing this true Superhero whose talents transcend and whose work impacted generations.
Rest easy my friend....You made this world so much more interesting and colorful.
Stan Lee created a universe where, if a character was beloved enough, they could never really die.— Joss Whedon (@joss) November 12, 2018
Now THAT’S thinking ahead.
Thanks for so much of my life. You’ll never not be in it.
This is my favorite Stan Lee Cameo.— Jimmy Folino (@MrNiceGuy18_58) November 12, 2018
R.I.P. Stan. pic.twitter.com/YBh1A6oTlV