Sitting at his dimly lit desk in a rainy and dreary New York City, a young Stan Lee writes away at a wrinkled sheet of paper. The wrinkled, yellow sheet had countless things scratched out while other were written out and circled. Lee was creating the first comic book which would define Marvel Comics, the Fantastic Four.
Stan Lee revolutionized the comic book world forever in the 1960’s when he and artist Jack Kirby created the Fantastic Four. They were the first superheroes who would make up the foundation of Marvel Comics. The heroes Lee created were flawed and had human-like faults, making them relatable to everyday people, unlike the two-dimensional heroes of DC Comics. He humanized the normally other-worldly fictional people into characters with personality and believable, tangible motives and ideas.
He breathed in a breath of inspiration and new ideas into the comic book world, changing the landscape of the entertainment industry. He helped to create the ‘Silver Age’ of the comic industry, a period of artistic advancement and commercial success for the industry of comic books.
Under Lee’s guidance, Marvel Comics which had formerly been branded as Atlas Comics, became a comic icon in a society dominated by the comic supergiant, DC Comics.
Lee has inspired hundreds upon thousands of people with his uniquely designed and flawed characters, from Spiderman to Silver Surfer, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Wolverine, and Daredevil. All of these characters spoke volumes to different people; Daredevil is a blind anti-hero who fights crime, Spiderman is a teenager who’s life was turned upside down by being getting spider-like powers, and Wolverine who is cursed with powers he never wanted and he is forced to live long after his loved-ones have died.
Comics were being prevented from talking about social issues after the passing of the Comics Code Authority, a law which was enacted to prevent juvenile delinquency, it censored what could and what could not be told after World War II. In response to this, Lee blended social issues and complex ideas into his comic characters to tell the people of America the stories that couldn’t be told.
Within the last decade, the comic industry has exploded in popularity. The superhero genre of movies have brought in thousands of new fans to the hidden world of comic books. The incredible fandom that Lee has created over the past fifty years has remained behind him every step of the way. Nobody can deny that Lee is the visionary behind the creation of Marvel Comics and Marvel Studios. He had been the most integral character to shaping both the comic book world; impacting the youth of over many generations. He wrote and created the superheroes of Marvel, and his legacy will never be forgotten. He is a real life superhero. Excelsior!