I have been reading comics since the 60s. I can honestly say I was there at the rise of Marvel, thanks to men like Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and countless others. I even remember writing a letter to Stan, hoping it would get added to the letters page and collect an infamous “no-prize” for my efforts.
The death of Stan Lee was not a surprise. His health had been failing and it was inevitable after the death of his wife, Joan, last year. But it does sadden me that a man, whom I never met but considered a mentor, is gone from my life.
Stan Lee was one of the reasons I became interested in fantasy, writing, and creating my own characters. My first original superhero was called Vulcan, a boy who found a meteor that imbued him with energy-based powers. Very cool! I even wanted to be a comic book artist, but I went the writing route because I wasn’t the best artist. My skills just never really improved.
I became a writer because of people like Stan Lee. He created some of the most iconic characters that are known around the world. The 60’s Spiderman cartoon theme song can be hummed by anyone who calls themself a nerd. That’s why it pisses me off when asshats like Bill Mahr dis the accomplishments of someone like Stan Lee.
As much as he inspired writers like me, he equally inspired scientists even more. I mean, think about it. Geeks who read comic books studied science and math to be like Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, or in a worse case scenario, Doctor Doom. He inspired the generations of scientists, doctors, physicists, and chemists who will take us to the future.
That’s the importance of someone like Stan Lee. It’s not just about comic books. It’s about the characters, the stories, the magic, and the science behind it. He gave us it all.
I will cry when I see his last cameo in Avengers 4. It will mean the end of an era for many of us who were with Stan from the very beginning. God bless you, Stan Lee, and, always and forever… Excelsior!
Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon from Austin Macauley Publishing.