And his life was a big deal.
Now, let me state this at the start. Stan Lee couldn’t have done anything that he is famous for without the help of a lot of other people. Jack Kirby deserves at least as much credit for more characters than I can lift offhand and Steve Ditko was crucial to Spider-Man existing (Okay, and Doctor Strange). And I do believe his skill at self-promotion had as much to do with his success as his skill at writing.
Okay. Disclaimer done. Because I don’t think Kirby and Ditko and everyone else could have created the Marvel Universe without Stan Lee. He may not have created it all by himself but Stan Lee was a key part of the puzzle. Stan Lee had the help of the right people at the right time but he was the right person too. If you took Stan Lee out of the equation, comic books and super heroes wouldn’t be remotely what they are today.
Stan Lee didn’t invent continuity or interconnected stories or flawed heroes or heroes who had normal people problems but he definitely did a lot to help refine them and make them part of our comic book/ super hero language.
And, with the pretty much unbelievable success of the Marvel Ciniverse, as well as success of some of the X-Men movies and Spider-Man movies, the influence and the importance of Stan Lee’s work is actually growing. He is a bigger thing than he was a decade ago.
And when just about anyone you’d ask in the world can tell you who Spider-Man or Iron Man or the Hulk or the Black Panther are. That’s pretty amazing. Stan Lee has had cultural impact that is growing and growing.
95 is an amazing run but, darn, I’m going to miss him.