It’s been just over two hours since we learned about the passing of Stan Lee, just shy of his 96th birthday. I have to admit, I’m still at a loss for words. There was something about Stan Lee that seemed to make him resistant to the passage of time. We all watched him age on the outside – though even that seemed to happen at a glacial pace – but he never lost his boyish charm or that sense of wonder.
Stan Lee also remained active until the very end. It’s always been my dream to find a passion in life that will keep me going well into old age. In this sense, Stan was a a personal inspiration, and someone I’ve often brought up when speaking to my still-working parents about the topic of their own “non-retirement.”
What an amazing privilege it is to be able to find new outlets for your creative talents for so many decades. And, how fortunate we have been as the beneficiaries of Stan’s unique drive and imagination.
Others will have more insightful things to say about Stan Lee’s impact on popular culture in general, and the comic book industry in particular. There will also be a time for discussing the entirety of his life work, which is not devoid of controversy.
For me, today, and as much as I am struggling to find the words, I just feel a sense of gratitude for all of the characters that Stan created, together with the many talented artists at Marvel who worked alongside him.
Daredevil will always be special to me, but there are so many other Marvel heroes that, in their own ways, have helped highlight different aspects of what it means to be human. What it means to be a hero, even when you are flawed and there are obstacles placed in your path.
Stan has left our world, but has in turn left behind an entire universe.
Featured photo by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0