Jonathan Weaver – Asst. A&E Editor
The world lost one of its creative greats this past week.
Stan Lee, the creator and mind behind many timeless and beloved properties in comics and pop culture at large, has left us. At 95 years of age, Lee spent the better part of a century sculpting the landscape of pop culture into what we know and love today. This man’s continuous contributions and presence within the comic community cannot be overstated. From every Marvel movie cameo to every con appearance, Stan Lee was a man who loved what he did and did it for people he loved in turn.
Lee spent his life cultivating the culture he loves, with his initial creation of “The Fantastic Four” in the 1950’s, to massive properties like “Spiderman” or “The X-Men.” Lee has built a fervent following of adoring fans who saw him as a god among comic-nerds, going so far as to apply his own comic lore to his own role in the stories: Lee became the “Watcher” of humanity, a god-like being who chronicles the lives and trials of heroes for others.
Not every aspect of a hero’s story is positive, however. In April of this year it became public knowledge that Lee was a victim of elder abuse at the hands of a couple of his “caretakers” including his business manager at the time. From marketing his time, and cutting his interaction with the masses and friends, this abuse reached a stranglehold after the death of Stan’s beloved wife, Joan, in July of 2017. While, his business manager was issued a restraining order before his death, it should be noted the effect this had not only on public opportunities for Mr. Lee, but also for his health in general.
Stan Lee gave many beautiful things to this world, he changed the lives of countless people who felt like outcasts in their own shoes, and he forever altered the world of pop culture both within comics and far beyond. He was also a human, who was doing what he loved. He was a man who lost his love and underwent some awful abuse at the hands of those who did not deserve his acquaintance. He persevered and nevertheless was there for his audience, and for that there is nothing we can say that will express our eternal love and gratitude beyond the simple term: excelsior.