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Stan Lee was one of, if not the most influential individual in the comic community. Bringing us countless characters and stories that we all know in love. Which has inspired hundreds if not thousands of comic writers and creators, including myself. The news of his passing has saddened us all. We have truly lost a pioneer of literature and fandom. So, I thought it would be really awesome to take a look back at some of his great work.


Dubbed the “First Family of Comics”, Stan Lee along with artist Jack Kirby created this team in 1961. Comprised of Mr. Fantastic; The Human Torch; The Thing and Invisible Woman. Stan Lee wanted to create a team that was unique and that felt like a real family. Stan Lee’s writing of these characters, though campy at times, actually felt like they were experiencing things that people of the times were actually going through. Which set a new standard in graphic literature. This team was the foundation for future installments of super hero team-ups like the Avengers. So, without the success and well told stories of the Fantastic Four, we might not have the juggernauts that we have today. Unfortunately, in recent years this team has not been represented properly in the media. With three films that have had terrible storytelling and character developments. Let us remember the fine writing that Stan Lee had written not the flops of those awful films.


The man without fear. Created by Stan Lee in 1964, this character was a game changer on so many levels. We are all familiar with Daredevil and his abilities. But, that’s not what made this character unique. As we all know, the character is a blind man. To say the least, up to this point there was not a truly in-firmed super hero. Stan Lee thought of a way to teach his readers how to turn a weakness into a strength. He was able to show through his writing that we could overcome any obstacle. We might not be blind, but there are things in our life that drag us down; hold us back and makes us want to quit. This character has been an inspiration for countless people dealing with ailments. Charlie Cox’s portrayal of this character has pushed Stan Lee’s vision even further. With his accurate representation of the blind and showing how functional these exceptional individuals are. We would not have any of this positivism and up-building without the great writing of Stan Lee.


This is a character that needs no introduction. Created by Stan Lee in 1962, the Hulk is one of the most popular and instantly recognizable characters of all time. Stan Lee himself has said that the Hulk is one of his favorite creations. And who can blame him! This character has the perfect balance of destructive insanity that we all know and love. Also, has the sophistication of a character study. Inspired by the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story, Stan Lee saw an opportunity to retell the story and did it masterfully. His writing on this character made us ask ourselves some hard questions. Such as; “Is the Hulk really a monster, or a victim of circumstances?” Or, “Do I have an inner struggle, that I can’t contain?”. Stan Lee went above and beyond with concept of the Hulk.


By far the X-Men are my favorite creation of Stan Lee. This is a group that has resonated with me my entire life. Inspired by the civil rights movement, the X-Men were created in 1963. The series focused on a group of individuals called mutants that are being oppressed my non-mutant persons. They of course are being oppressed because of their difference in physiology, skin color and inert abilities. These stories were written to bring attention to what was going on in the world at that time, specifically in the USA. The leader of the X-Men, Charles Xavier, was based directly on Martin Luther King. Charles, like Dr. King, believed in non-violent actions to achieve equal rights for mutant kind. Stan Lee took the time to give special attention to detail and make accurate representations of these communities. As a black male in the USA, these stories have a special place in my heart. I am very thankful that Stan Lee took the time to look at what was going on around the world and make it his business to represent it.


Arguably the most popular comic character of all time. The red and blue web slinger has been Stan Lee’s crowning achievement. He is instantly recognized by anybody and yes, I mean anybody. Created by Stan Lee in 1962, the world was blown away by this character. Up to this point there had not been a teenage super hero that was not a side-kick. So, to see a young man fighting crime without the assistance of an older mentor was mind-blowing. This character instantly resonated with a young and old alike. I know that when I was a kid, I was trying to climb up walls and shoot webbing from my hands. This character inspired kids to be independent and showed them that they could make a difference in their communities. This a lesson that we can all appreciate. Let nobody look down upon your youth, you’re special and you can accomplish great things.

Stan Lee was a pioneer and a trailblazer. I never had the opportunity to meet him, which is a huge regret that I have. But even though he’s gone, his legacy will live on. Thank you, Stan Lee, and may you rest in peace.

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