There are legends, and then there is Stan Lee. When he died in 2018, he didn't just leave a mark, he left a legacy that has changed cinema in terms of scope and scale of what is achievable. He also left a massive void in the hearts of millions of Marvel fans, movie lovers, comic book fans in general - heck there were people who had never seen a Marvel movie in their lives who knew who Stan Lee was. Yesterday he became part of life in a different way, buy having a street in the Bronx, New York, co-named after him as Stan Lee Way.
Stan Lee Way was officially revealed yesterday and it can be found on University Avenue, between West 176th st and Brandt Place in The Bronx, which was where he grew up. Although born in Manhattan, Lee and his family moved to 1720 University Avenue when he was a teenager, and he attended DeWitt Clinton High School, who honored him in their own way by having its fine art students go to the unveiling. One of those students commented about Lee's influence on those attending the school now, telling Bronx News 12 that the school is full of his portraits and how "it's inspiration like you never know what could come out of the Bronx."
While studying at DeWitt, Lee became a fan of creative writing, and at the age of 15, according Lee himself in the book The Man Behind Marvel, he entered an essay contest with the New York Herald Tribune, and supposedly won it three times in a row before being asked by the paper to let someone else win and try and get a job in professional writing. It seems the comment was taken literally as it was only a year later that Lee graduated at the age of 16 and joined the WPA Federal Theatre Project. From that point, the rest is the stuff that dreams are made of.
Despite his death on November 12th, 2018, he was able to take part in almost every Marvel Cinematic Universe movie up to the end of Phase 3; as producer on many, as cameo appearances in just as many, and in spirit in all of them. His final cameos, were recorded in advance of the movies, which meant that even though he never lived to the climax of the Infinity Saga he helped bring to the world, he was still there on screen just like always. While working in the comic and movie industry meant Lee spent many years living in Los Angeles, where he died, the establishment of Stan Lee Way in The Bronx, is a way of making sure that his story's origins are always remembered just like his characters.
As Marvel are once again preparing to take over the box office with Phase 4 of the MCU, the creations of Lee have a lot more to over the coming years and who knows, possibly even for many more generations to come. Excelsior indeed.