Yesterday, when news broke that the world had lost Stan Lee, our own Tony Artiga wrote a tribute to the man who created so many myths and legends. But he wasn’t the only member of the Revenge of The Fans family that wanted to share their thoughts on his passing.
Matt Vernier (@Iceman525):
“He is responsible for more joys in my life than anyone else. He ran Marvel for a short time, but he should be credited for discovering the fountain of youth.
Walking into those Marvel movies is a shot of nostalgia directly into the bloodstream. The kid who used to play as superheroes on the playground, instead of basketball – and get made fun of for it, felt vindicated every time the credits would role. Lee is responsible for some of the most famous superheroes in existence. They are cool now, and that’s because of him.
Lee wanted to write the next All-American novel. He was bored at Marvel and wanted to quit. His wife encouraged him to do what he wanted there, and that’s when he created the Fantastic Four. After that he never stopped. Ironically, he created the next iteration of the great American novel. Superhero stories in comic books were some of the most read literature by children ever. Now days, superhero movies are currency. Comics went from quirky fringe art to mainstream pop culture, to BILLION dollar franchises. Lee paved the way.
So, Spider-Friends, raise a glass to the master tonight. The world just got a little bit darker. His presence will never be matched.
Thank you, Mr. Lee, for everything. You and George Lucas are the reason I am the person that I am today. You will live on in your work, and the millions of people who love you and the characters you created.
Rest in peace, sir. Excelsior.”
Jonathan Brady (@VirgilTHeart1):
“In the wake of Stan Lee’s passing, I find myself thinking not about his multitude of cameos in the many different Marvel films out there, but instead of a different part of my childhood. I remember typing in “eelnats” into the “Codes” section of my PS1 and PS2 Spider-Man games, with Mr. Lee’s voice proudly ringing “Excelsior!” to the not-so-secret cheat code of his name backwards unlocking all of my games’ secrets and bonuses.
I remember spending Summer Breaks from 2002, 2003 and 2004 at the Greensboro Barnes & Noble, where the store published multiple volume reprints of Lee’s original runs of The Amazing Spider-Man and The Silver Surfer and bringing them back home. While I always preferred Spidey, I recall that there was a thoughtfulness to Lee’s Surfer stories that typically didn’t quite show up in his stories with Peter Parker. I will always love those stories and Stan Lee will always be a cornerstone in the pop culture and lore that has defined so much of my life.”
Brandon Alvarado (@LexanAlvarado):
“There are very few people in the entertainment industry that whenever I think of them, I smile. Stan Lee was one of those guys. Brilliant, funny, generous, prolific and an impressive talent; the wonders that he helped shape, the creators that he has mentored or inspired have resulted in some of the greatest characters and stories that have ever been written in the last century. But what gets me is how he gave his all to fandom till the end. He is the personification of true fandom. He saw this community and gave all he had without becoming possessive or competitive. He relished in other people’s works and let other talented people play with the box of toys he helped create just so that the joy and community could go on for years to come. We lost one of the great beacons of true fandom and I will live on trying to honor his legacy as a true believer. When he wrote that with great power comes great responsibility, he was simply teaching Spidey and all of us something he did the best to practice till his last days.
Thanks for everything, Mr. Lee. We will continue to carry the torch for you.”
Chris Lisanti (@RealCLMighty):
“Stan Lee is the definition of a cultural icon. If you’ve never read a comic or watched a superhero movie, you know Stan Lee. What I will always remember about him was his incredible love and enthusiasm of comic books and superheroes. He was an unapologetic promoter who was just as likely to show up on a DC Comics documentary talking enthusiastically about characters that he had nothing to do with, as he was talking about the iconic characters that he created for Marvel. There is a lesson to be learned from how unconditionally Stan Lee loved the entire medium of comic books and superheroes regardless of publisher or studio. He was a fan as much as he was a creator. His resume speaks for itself, but his passion, enthusiasm and love of this medium that we all love and share is what I will never forget.
Excelsior, sir, and thank you.”
Aaron Virola (@StartingSith):
“It’s kind of hard for me to pinpoint the exact moment I was introduced to Stan Lee. I know it was WAY before his multiple cameos in Marvel films like Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man and Bryan Singer’s X-Men, or maybe even before the introductions he’d give for every episode of The Marvel Action Hour TV show. For me, having Stan Lee ‘around’ was like having a parent – I didn’t ask how they got here they were just there.
In many ways, Stan Lee was a parent to me. Not in the literal sense, but a parent to my imagination. I would spend hours playing with Marvel action figures, or months learning how to draw ‘The Marvel Way’ and in those moments I’d be immersing myself in the stories and lore that he created. See for me, I connected with his stories on a very deep and personal level. I saw myself in the outsiders that were the X-Men, the nerd that was Peter Parker or the misunderstood that was the Hulk. Those stories taught me valuable lessons in life, lessons I carry with me as an adult and am passing on to my children, because ‘with great power come great responsibility.’
And while I still can’t remember exactly how I learned about Stan Lee, I know exactly when I had the chance to meet him. It was 2013 at New York Comic-Con and Stan graciously signed my Marvel Encyclopedia. I stood there nervously, shook his hand and blurted out ‘Thank You’ he looked up and said ‘My pleasure,’ with the warmest of grins.
It wasn’t a ‘Thank You’ for signing my book. but a Thank You for everything he created, everything he shared and everything he meant to me.
Jonathan Crabtree (@NiceRevenger):
“I remember when my parents bought me my first subscription to Amazing Spider-Man. That was long after Stan Lee left Marvel, but I still remember clear as day. I would talk about Spider-Man with anybody who’d listen. I did NOT show my mom the pages with Black Cat on them.
I didn’t get to read any Spider-Man stories written by Stan Lee himself until the day I lucked into finding a Spider-Man collection at the school library. Somehow I convinced Ms. Thomas that comic books count as reading.
Tonight, I get home and my daughter can’t wait to show me a perler-bead Spider-Man she put together. My sons who, despite their father, have never seen a Marvel movie dressed up as Spider-Man and Iron Man for Halloween.
What I marvel at with Stan Lee is that he was able to create something larger than himself that captures people’s imaginations. People before me connected with his stories and there’s no reason to think that the children of my children won’t be wearing Spider-Man PJs.
I’m not into hero worship, but I love a great story. Stan Lee got to live long enough to see his stories enthrall the last 10 years of global cinema. Can you imagine writing something so influential that people who don’t even speak the same language as you are captivated by something that came out of your brain?
Stan Lee wasn’t a perfect man, but maybe that’s what allowed him to make such relatable characters. I see a lot of myself in Peter Parker. Not the world-saving part, but the lost person who sees that they could do better. Peter struggles every day to do the right thing. Sometimes he saves the day. Sometimes he makes things worse. (Just like Peter Parker, my wife is also way out of my league). Almost every Stan Lee character is like that. People who are trying to make up for the mistakes of their past and be a better person.
So I leave you with a question. If great power comes with great responsibility, take a look at yourself and ask: are you doing whatever you Spider-can?
Mario-Francisco Robles (@I_AM_MFR):
“Mr. Lee was more than a creator; More than a really cool dude who popped up in inventive ways in various Marvel movies; and more than just a pop culture mascot for the comic book genre. He was an Ambassador to a culture, and a community, that is now a way of life for so many around the world.
Long before anyone thought it’d be cool to wear their fandom on their sleeves past the age of 12, Lee was out there making it acceptable for grown men and women to keep the spark of imagination alive within them.
He made it cool to associate with superheroes and their larger than life mythologies; He turned being a ‘true believer’ into a badge of honor for those of us unwilling to let go of the wonder and magic that comes from following these fantastical tales of good versus evil.
What made him so remarkable is that he didn’t carry himself with the self-importance of being one of the most influential creators of all time. No, he made you feel like he was a fan, too, just like you and I.
Stan Lee was the first fanboy.
Because of him, I’ll always be a true believer, and I’ll forever share my love of the world he helped create with pride and dignity.
May we all be lucky enough to exude the childlike enthusiasm and love he did with the world right up until our final days.
Thank you, Mr. Lee.”