A true legend has passed. Stan Lee, on the great pioneers of the comic book industry, has passed away today at the age of 95.
Lee started his career at in 1939 at the New York-based Timely Comics which would, by the 1960s, evolve into Marvel Comics. He made his writing debut in May 1941 with a Captain America comic book. It was in this story that the Captain first used his signature shield toss.
Over the course of his career he went from contributor to creator and co-creator. Along with such legendary artists as Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby he ushered in a new era of superheroes. The list is long but Stan Lee helped to bring to life Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, The Hulk, Iron Man, Sub-Mariner and a new incarnation of Captain America. If you like comic books at all, you owe a debt to Stan Lee.
It was Lee that realized that superheroes, while capable of dazzling feats, were also full of drama. In the late 1960s Stan Lee helped to change the perception of superheroes by making them more grounded and realistic.
Over the years Lee became more of a public figure, making the rounds at comic book conventions and cameos in Marvel movies. Many of his fans, myself included, got the chance to know him personally because of that. He may have been the creator of an empire, but he always took the time to speak to an eager fan. Even in his old age he would stop in the middle of a convention to greet a happy admirer.
This truly is an end of an era for the comic book industry. There is no denying just how much Lee pioneered that world and how much the current generation owes to his vision. His legacy will live on in every Marvel movie and comic book released until the end of time. Excelsior!