Who Is Stan Lee
Stan Lee was one of the creative geniuses behind the phenomenal success of Marvel Comics and the movie-based Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). He created a long list of superheroes that have populated Marvel comics and the MCU since the 1960s.
Stan was born in 1922 to Romanian immigrant parents in New York. His parents struggled financially, but Stan showed initiative in his teenage years and worked at several different jobs to earn money. In 1939 he joined Timely Comics and began to show his ability as a writer and creator of characters. The 1950s saw DC Comics bring back superheroes, and Timely Comics had to respond. They changed their name to Marvel Comics and Stan was given the job of creating new superhero characters. His first superheroes were The Fantastic Four and they were an immediate success. Many other superheroes followed, and Marvel were soon enjoying considerable success.
Why is he so famous?
Stan Lee’s role as a writer at Marvel Comics gave him the opportunity to let his imagination loose. He knew that the comic readership was looking for more than two-dimensional characters. Stan imbued his new characters with both humanity and vulnerability. At the same time, they had to be larger than life and believable. Stan Lee’s approach created a community of comic book characters that the fans could relate to and feel involved with. This new approach changed comic book story-telling, and the impact on the fans was immense. Stan introduced the crediting of writers, illustrators and others who were involved in the creation of the comic strips. Fans began to find they had favorites and would seek out a particular artists work.
Stan brought new characters to life regularly, and these included some who have been popular for decades, such as Hulk, Thor, Daredevil, the X-Men and, of course, Iron Man. However, one superhero proved to be more popular than any of the others, with a large fan-base. This was Spiderman.
In 1981 Stan moved from New York to California, where he took charge of the growing number of Marvel’s TV and movie interests. Stan’s creative brilliance led to some of the most successful and eagerly awaited movies of recent years. The films produced include those featuring individual superheroes, and some that are ensemble pieces starring various members of The Avengers. The colossal success of these movies is in no small way down to Stan Lee’s vision in creating the characters originally, and overseeing their translation to the big screen.
Stan also appeared in cameo roles in every MCU movie up to the time of his death. In some he had very brief speaking parts, while in others he did not speak at all. Fans of the marvel movies would wait eagerly to spot the Stan Lee cameo in each film, and would talk about it afterwards.
How much did Stan Lee earn in his career?
At the time of his death, Stan Lee was estimated to have a personal fortune of $50 million dollars. Most of this came from his earnings as a comic-book writer and publisher. In his last years he was earning $1 million a year as Executive Chairman of Marvel. He earned huge sums in royalties during his career from comic-books, graphic novels and film scripts.
What makes him so successful?
Stan Lee was certainly talented as a writer, and his creative abilities were such that new ideas poured from him. He was an innovator in the comic book industry. He created new characters and also made sure that established characters continued to have appeal for fans once they had become popular. Stan believed in spontaneity. Every project he tackled he would begin by letting his ideas flow, and from this creativity would come new and bold concepts. He knew that new ideas were the lifeblood of the comic book world, and he encouraged others to do as he did. New writers were given chances to prove themselves, as were new artists and illustrators.
Stan Lee’s energy and enthusiasm pushed Marvel along at a fast pace, with films and TV shows joining the comic book division of Marvel. He added graphic novels to the publications that issued forth from Marvel. His first graphic novel was The Silver Surfer: The Ultimate Cosmic Experience in 1978. The movies are well known and the Marvel characters are household names. There are few people who have not heard of Stan Lee and the Marvel superheroes.
Stan Lee was a remarkable man. He was full of energy and was confident that he was making the right decisions for Marvel. He continued to work until late in his life, which shows that he was bursting with creative enthusiasm right up to his death in 2018. Perhaps he should be added to the roster of Marvel superheroes!