Stan Lee, writer, director, and modern comic book pioneer passed away in Los Angeles on the 12th of November 2018 aged 95.
His work with Marvel brought us iconic characters such as Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor, and Black Panther, and thanks to his innovative style of character development and storylines, he helped change the face of comic books in the 1960s onwards.
He wrote his characters with a persistent humanity, with flaws and quirks that his readers could see mirrored in themselves. When previously superheroes were depicted as unattainable perfection, Stan Lee’s stories showed powerful heroes who share daily struggles similar to our own. Stories to make any child believe that they too could be extraordinary.
Tolerance seemed to be Stan Lee’s driving force behind his stories and characters and throughout the 1960s he and his team worked at creating a more inclusive Marvel Universe. The stories became more topical, focussed on social justice and politics, while African-American characters were being brought to the fore. The first African-American character to play a serious supporting role- Robbie Robinson- was created in 1967, and Black Panther, the comic’s first Black superhero, was introduced soon after. Stan believed comic books are the perfect way to spread messages of tolerance and hope alongside a fantastic adventure with complex and meaningful characters… I cannot think of a better legacy than that.