So, Folks, Stan Lee died on November 12, 2018, at the age of 95. Damn! That was exactly a year ago. What is left of his work and what is left of him in our thoughts? Let’s find out and enjoy a journey that started in 1922 in New York!
His long time friend Danny Fingeroth wrote a biography about him that came out on November 5, 2019, in commemoration of the first anniversary of his death. It is called ‘A Marvelous Life : The Amazing Story of Stan Lee‘.
I have gathered the facts that are of more interest to me about Stan Lee, I hope you will find them interesting too. Let’s start! And do not forget that he also created lesser-known superheroes than the ones I will mention here!
Stan Lee’s Creations
In this latter work, Wonder Woman is in fact Maria Mendoza, and she is just a mortal. Batman is Wayne Williams, an African-American character who never shows his real face to the public.
Finally, Superman is a member of the Kryptonian Police Force and will assume on Earth the identity of Superman to fight crime.
Stan Lee’s MCU Cameos
For me, it is always nice to see good old Alfred Hitchcock appearing in his movies. I find each of his appearances hilarious! Ditto in relation to Barry Sonnenfeld’s cult movie called ‘Get Shorty‘, starring John Travolta, Rene Russo, Danny de Vito and Gene Hackman.
Well, Stan Lee also had his share of cameos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Stan Lee last cameo was in Avengers: Endgame, a movie he unfortunately never got to see.
In 2003’s Hulk, Stan Lee appeared to the side of a security guard played by Lou Ferrigno, the actor who used to impersonate the Hulk in the TV series of the seventies.
In 2007, he appeared in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. He is being rejected from attending Reed Richard’s and Susan Storm’s wedding.
The same year, he appeared in Spider-man 3, where he was talking to Peter Parker, telling him that ‘one man can make a difference‘.
In 2008, Iron Man lead character Robert Downey Jr. confused Stan Lee with Playboy founder Hugh Hefner.
In the Avengers, Stan Lee is seen in a news report after the superhero team saved the day.
We can then see Stan Lee jamming out to music while Spider-Man and Lizard are fighting behind him, in the 2012’s movie The Amazing Spider-Man.
He acts again as a security guard in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014).
For the first time in the history of Stan Lee’s MCU Cameos, he got to talk to a superhero, namely Thor, in Avengers: The Age of Ultron.
Back in 2017, he appeared telling a joke about having been a Federal Express man in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
In 1971, while writing issues 96 and 98 of the adventures of Spider-Man, Stan Lee defied the Comics Code Authority that prevented the mention of drugs in comic books.
In doing so, he delivered a subtle message against the use of drugs. Which is why it is hilarious to see his cameo, in Ant-Man and The Wasp, implying that he was using drugs in the sixties and that the years 2000 were payback time.
Stan Lee’s Excelsior
Stan Lee’s Excelsior is his famous catch phrase. But what does it mean? It is a Latin word that signifying ‘ever upward‘ or ‘still higher‘.
Here is Stan Lee’s explanation of his life motto: ‘I used to have a lot of expressions that I would end my comic book columns with: Hang Loose, Face Front, ‘Nuff Said, and I found that the competition was always imitating them and using them. So, I said I’m going to get one expression that they’re not going to know what it means, and they won’t know how to spell it. And that’s where excelsior came from, and they never did take up on it, thank goodness’.
As a matter of fact, Excelsior is the official motto of the town of New York, where Stan Lee was born, in 1922. It means for every human being to tend to achieve greater glory.
The Sony/Marvel issue about Spider-Man
You surely remember the crisis old Spider-Man went through last summer, when Marvel decided to remove him from upcoming movies in the MCU.
Stan Lee’s daughter was quite shocked about this whole shenanigan, as well as by the lack of consideration from Marvel when her dad passed away.
In her point of view, which I completely agree with, the adventures of Spider-Man deserve to be told through various points of view.
This situation was stressful enough, as not only did she have the feeling that her dad was treated like a commodity, but she also had to find the strength to sue Stan Lee’s former manager for alleged elder abuse. The end of Stan Lee was not quite serene, unfortunately.
Stan Lee’s Anecdotes
Stan Lee’s mother used to think that everything he did was brilliant, which surely must have given him great confidence in himself.
He never went to the barber, as his wife used to deal with his hairy parts. We know him as the genius he is in terms of writing comic books, but he started his writing career with obituaries.
His first big break in the comics’ industry was with Captain America and during WWII, he was a playwright for the Training Film Division of the US Army, where he met Dr. Seuss.
Originally, the Hulk was supposed to be grey, but an issue at the printers resulted in him turning into green, a color Lee kept, for our greatest pleasure. Isn’t green the color of hope?
RIP Stan Lee. EXCELSIOR!