The world of comic books lost a legend this year with the passing of Stan Lee, co-creator of many of the most famous superheroes of Marvel Comics. To celebrate his life, Screen Rant Docs takes a look back at the true story of Stan Lee - from his early days writing instructional videos for the army during World War II, to his cameos in dozens of Marvel movies.
Born in 1922, Stan Lee would have turned 96 this month, and lived a rich and hard-working life long past the age when most people would have retired. He loved interacting with fans of the comics, first in the letters pages at the end of each issue, and later in-person at comic book conventions. He continued to attend signings and meet-and-greets until as recently as April 2018, despite having recently suffered from a serious bout of pneumonia.
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Lee sadly lost his wife of 69 years, Joan Lee, in summer 2017, and his final year was plagued with ill health and concerning rumors that those close to him were taking advantage of his trusting nature and reliance on daily care. Nonetheless, Lee never lost his dedication to the Marvel brand, continuing to film cameos for movies (including next year's Avengers: Endgame) and record special messages for fans that he shared on social media. Check out our documentary exploring the amazing life of Stan Lee below.
We haven't seen the last of Stan Lee, since he would usually film several Marvel Cinematic Universe cameos at a time. Lee's most recent movie appearance was in animated form in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, offering words of wisdom to young Miles Morales as he takes his first steps towards becoming Spider-Man. The movie also includes a title card dedicated to Lee and Marvel Comics artist Steve Ditko, who also passed away this year. Included in the tribute is one of Lee's most famous quotes: "That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero."
Stan Lee's life and legacy are not without their controversies, as this short documentary details, but there's no denying his contributions to the world of pop culture, his rigorous work ethic, and his dedication to building his own brand and becoming the friendly and approachable face of Marvel Comics.