The comic book world lost one of its most monumental figures Monday when Stan Lee, the influential writer, editor, and longtime Marvel chief, died at age 95. With a career spanning decades, Lee helped bring comics from humble pulp origins to the fore of American pop culture. Along the way, he helped create scores of memorable heroes, including Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four — heroes who had godlike powers but were still devastatingly human.
As news of Lee’s passing spread, tributes began pouring in from fellow comics creators, big-screen superhero stars, and famous fans — including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Hugh Jackman, Winston Duke, and more.
“How many millions of us are indebted to this guy, none more so than me,” Spider-Man’s Tom Holland wrote.
Many paid special tribute to Lee’s tradition of on-screen cameos, including Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds. Lee first popped up in the 1989 TV movie The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, and over the years, he appeared in more than 50 Marvel-based TV shows and movies.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, who helped shape the Marvel Cinematic Universe and brought some of Lee’s most iconic creations to the big screen, thanked Lee for his “extraordinary legacy.”
Marvel and Disney also released a lengthy statement honoring Lee’s influence both on screen and on the page, chronicling his rise from comic book assistant to publishing titan. “Every time you open a Marvel comic, Stan will be there,” the statement concludes.
And although Lee may be best known for his work with Marvel, he also collaborated with his company’s longtime rival DC Comics starting in the 2000s. DC also honored Lee by thanking him for his “infectious enthusiasm” and for changing “the way we look at heroes.”
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