Stan Lee‘s recent passing led to an outpouring of fans of his work from across the world. One of those outpourings was our own Editor-in-Cape, David Molofsky, who recently wrote his tribute to the Marvel legend. Following on from his own article, more of A Place To Hang Your Cape’s editors and writers gave their thoughts on the passing of a giant of modern popular culture.
“I can’t pretend that I was ever heavily a Marvel fan, nor have I been able to get my hands on any Just Imagine book. I have grown up in this golden era of superhero movies and all the cameos that come with it. My favourite Stan cameo will forever be from Teen Titans Go! To the Movies. It was surprising and refreshing to see Stan be above all of the petty rivalries and stupid fandom wars, and it was hilarious to hear him be in on the ‘too many Stan Lee cameos’ joke. His relentless positivism is something that I try to take with me when I write any review. It’s important to criticise things we love to make them better, but in a world littered with endless negativity, it’s important to talk about the positives and let joy into your life. Stan was the embodiment of that.”
– Alex Mirabal, Contributing Writer
“When I first became a part of geek culture, I had never heard the name Stan Lee. My second Comic Con was LFCC 2014, where Stan Lee attended and I couldn’t fathom all of the fuss. It was only through discovering Marvel movies that I truly began to discover his legacy. I can’t claim to be a comic reader, and I certainly don’t claim to be an expert on his work, but I can state with absolute certainty that the characters and universes he created changed my life. I learned from Thor and Loki that there was more than simply good and bad, morality was a grey scale with characters placed throughout it. From Guardians of the Galaxy, I learned that friendship with a bunch of misfits could become a family. In Jessica Jones, I saw the first representation of PTSD that was relatable and that I understood, and she was a superhero!
I saw characters grow and develop in ways I didn’t expect, sometimes negatively, and I still cared for them. I made some of my best friends thanks to a love of Marvel, and I believe in my heart that I have become a more confident person because of it. I have learned to enjoy what I love and to be proud of it, no matter what anyone thinks. Most of all, his work continues to inspire me to create characters of my own. Stan Lee changed me as a person and my view of the world around me, and for that I will always be grateful.”
– Kit Horlsey, Cosplay Hero
“The man, the myth, the legend. The greatest contributor to comic books in history, revolutionising the whole medium, and then, to an extent, the film industry as well. Though I never had the pleasure of meeting him, I am a huge fan and love his creations, and his sheer energy and enthusiasm of life. Stan’s life is one of those great stories of hard work and triumph – becoming editor aged 19, took a risk to career he was growing bored in and made a pantheon of great superheroes and characters, threw Spider-Man into a dying comic and made a living legend, defied the Comics Code Authority to make a story about the dangers of drugs, and introduced many prominent ethnic heroes like Falcon and Black Panther. His warmth and charm made him always a pleasure to watch and listen too. My favourite memories have to be his familiar tale of how he created Spider-Man, and his intro on the 1990s Fantastic Four cartoon Volume I have on DVD. Although he is now gone, his legacy remains, and Stan Lee will be a part of our hearts for infinity. Thank you, Mr. Lee. Excelsior!”
– Mark Russell, Senior Writer
“When I think about it, the biggest impact Stan Lee had on me was in 1971, 20 odd years before I was even born.
In that year, Stan and Marvel wanted to include a substance abuse storyline in Amazing Spider-Man. But the Comics Code Authority, essentially the governing body of what was “good” and “proper” in comics, said no. It was an important story about a relevant issue that needed to be told. Stan, and Marvel weren’t looking to shock people or exploit a serious topic to sell comics. They were taking it seriously. But the CCA wasn’t having it.
Stan’s response? Do the story anyway. without the CCA. And that storyline sent a ripple effect throughout comics forever. Comics, which was still seen as solely children’s entertainment, could tackle more serious subject matters free from censorship and suppression. The way was open for mature, thought provoking, contemporary storytelling. And decades later, when I read those comics and heard about the story that inspired them, I vowed never to let small mindedness, apathy, and ignorance stop me from telling stories I feel need to be told. All because Stan Lee stood up for what he felt was right.
I guess one person can make a difference. ‘Nuff Said.”
– Scott Meridew, PodCapers Host
“When the news broke about Stan Lee passing, it hit me harder than I thought it would. Here was a man that I didn’t know personally, a man that I knew was elderly and had been sick for the last year, and it still felt like a hard blow. However, I understand that, in a way, I did know Stan Lee well through the characters (especially one in particular) and world he created. The characters he created with Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko all those years ago when Marvel wasn’t the big name had been with me my entire life.
I mean, how many of us grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons? When I was just little girl in the early 1990s, I watched X-Men: The Animated Series and Spider-Man: The Animated Series. They were some of my favourites and still are. At the time, I liked the X-Men more than Spider-Man.
Then one day when I was ten, my dad came home from work with a large tub of comics he found in the back of a junk car. They were Spider-Man team-up comics, reprints of the Marvel Team-Up series from 1972-1985.
The characters were instantly recognisable to ten-year-old me, so I began reading my way through the comics. It was the first time I realised that Spider-Man knew the X-Men and a whole bunch of heroes. My world expanded, introducing me to the Fantastic Four (mostly The Human Torch), Daredevil, Thor, Captain America, and all the other Marvel heroes, big and small (no pun intended, because you know, Ant-Man and the Wasp). After reading through the tub, Spider-Man was my favourite. And I never really stopped loving Spider-Man as a character that I could identify with (like I think most everyone can) and as a hero.
When the very first Spider-Man movie came out, my dad pointed out Stan Lee’s cameo appearance and told me that was the guy that created Spider-Man. I was aware of him ever since then.
As a writer I admired him greatly, but as a fan, I adored him and will continue to do so through the characters he gave us all.”
– Dara Berkey, Social Media Hero
“I must confess to not being as familiar with Marvel’s comic book output as I ought to be, yet in the case of a giant of popular culture like Stan Lee, his influence transcends a single medium. Stan created characters who’s heroic actions and morally grounded personalities resonate with readers as vibrantly now as they did when these characters were created decades ago.
Were it not for Stan’s feverish capabilities in bringing these timeless characters to life, who knows what we at A Place To Hang Your Cape would be doing with our time*. Beyond his strengths in character creation and story-telling, the warmth he showed for his fans was always a joy to behold.”
– Fred McNamara, Official Sidekick
What did Stan Lee mean to you? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.
*In our recent musical podcast “Scottpoint“, the PodCapers team imagined what the world would be like without Stan Lee creating his beloved Marvel characters – and what the AP2HYC team would be like without him.