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.

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"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.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott