On Monday, it was announced that Stan Lee had passed away at the age of 95. TMZ broke the news first, with The Hollywood Reporter following up with a detailed obituary. Considering his age and the health and care concerns that had plagued him over the past years, his passing should not come as a surprise, but that doesn’t mean I had to accept the news just yet. I fully expected Lee to make a cameo in his own obituary. But finally, when his family confirmed the news, I had to come to terms with the loss and spent the rest of the day doing my best to hold it together at the office.
Whether we’ve been a fan of the Stan Lee brand since opening a comic in our youth, or have just met him through The Big Bang Theory or in his MCU cameos, he’s played an instrumental role in creating and sharing the superheroes and stories we’ve come to love. For many of us, his legacy has helped shape the comics we read, and even who we are, helping us to find our place in this big, messy world.
Accepting his loss is hard, but knowing that his legacy permeates so much of the industry we love means that we still get to keep him around, even as we say goodbye.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for my childhood. — Amanda Hardebeck
Thank you for helping create so many characters who changed our lives. — Louis Skye
Stan, you helped forge an industry, creating characters and universes that have brought a lot of joy into the world. Thank you for helping to pave the way for so many of us to new worlds we never thought possible. — Laura Stump
Stan, you had a hand in forging one of my favorite comic characters ever, and for that I will be forever grateful for your existence. In the last year of your life you struggled, but always had such wonderful words of wisdom for the universe on Twitter and at conventions. Thank you for being you, and for giving us a beautiful bright universe that means so much to so many of us. — Lisa Fernandes
Stan, I am deeply saddened that I will never be able to tell you personally how much you meant to me and how I wouldn’t be the geek I am today without the work you helped to create. You opened the world to me and others like me who saw ourselves in so many of the characters. The work you and others did at Marvel made me feel seen and important, and for that, you have my eternal love and gratitude. — Tiara Walker
Thank you, Stan, for telling stories that changed the world. You made superheroes who inspire not because of their abilities, but because of their personal struggles. I am who I am today because of the stories, characters, and community you created. Pax et Justitia, and Excelsior. — Kate Tanski
The end of an era. For millions of people, rightly or wrongly, Stan Lee was the face of an entire medium, and to say that the characters he co-created—Spider-Man, the X-Men, to name a small handful—had a major influence on my life is an understatement. I’ll most remember Stan Lee for the way he merged the mythic and the mundane (and there’s a bit of Lee-inspired alliteration for you). The mere fact that countless comic book fans can recite lines that Lee wrote 50 years ago (“With great power there must also come—great responsibility!” “Face it Tiger … you just hit the jackpot!”) is a testament to his power as a creator. There will never be another like him. — Kayleigh Hearn
Thank you for reminding us that superheroes are humans too. Your focus on the human condition, in matters both large and small, ensures your legacy from generation to generation. Excelsior and Godspeed. — Kate Kosturski