The Hero of the Heroes: Stan Lee
Stan Lee, the legendary writer, editor, and publisher of Marvel Comics, has died. He was 95.
Lee’s contributions to the comic industry cannot be understated. He is the mastermind behind a fictional world of colorful, larger-than-life, heroes such as Spider-Man, the Hulk, Doctor Strange, Daredevil, Black Panther, the X-Men, and countless others.
This hits a little closer to home than other recent celebrity deaths have. I am a tremendous fan of Lee’s work and the world he created.
His stories taught me that even superheroes like Spider-Man and the Hulk have ego issues and girl problems; he taught me about the shades of gray in human nature, and that even the worst of us have hearts, souls, and struggles of their own.
Lee taught me that family will hurt you first and often in the most painful way possible, but despite this family is everything. He taught me that power is not just manifested in physical strength, but character, will, and love. Lee taught me that people often fear what they don’t understand.
In his fanciful way, Lee showed me what being a human actually means.
Stan Lee’s characters often failed in their personal lives, but never stopped trying to win at life and protect the ones they loved. It’s from these characters that I learned one of the most important lessons of life: you have an obligation as a human being to be the instrument of change you want in the world. You should believe in others, but believe in yourself first.
One of my favorite moments: Lee is making one of his infamous cameos chatting with Peter Parker (Spider-Man) as they read a news article that the web-slinger will soon receive the key to the city. “You know, “ Lee says, “I guess one person can make a difference . . . ‘nuff said.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Here are some other key Lee quotes:
“With great power come great responsibility.”
“There is only one who is all powerful, and his greatest weapon is love.”
“For men must never feel a cause is hopeless - men must never feel an enemy cannot be beaten!”
“Comic books to me are fairy tales for grown-ups.”
“There must always be those with the fire of rebellion in their blood! There must always be those who will dare to fight an unbeatable enemy! Only thus can the race of man remain strong and fearless!”"
“Life is never completely without its challenges.”
“These stories of people with unusual powers and unusual appearances, who do unusual things, people are always fascinated by them.”
“Singing a song, playing sports – anything that entertains, that takes people away from their own problems, is good.”
“I see myself in everything I write. All the good guys are me.”
I could go on, but you get my point. Stan Lee was brilliant. He was not perfect, but he was brilliant and this world is a little dimmer without him in it.
Stan Lee is survived by his daughter, J.C. who stated today: “My father loved all his fans. He was the greatest, most decent man.”
Nothing is more true than that, J.C.
Thank you Lee for inspiring me, motivating me, and giving me a life filled with laughs, curiosity, and joy. May you rest in peace.