The creative genius and the vision of Stan Lee are like stones through many generations of children and adults.
Stan Lee passed away on November 12, at 95, in Los Angeles. The creator of modern comics and the father of superheroes who went through entire generations since the 60s to today is not yet with us. Spider-Man, Iron Man, Black Panther, Hulk, X-Men, Thor, The Fantastic Four are all amazing characters that have stimulated popular imagination around the world.
Stan Lee played a leading role in the creation of those characters and, for many of us, he is the Marvel itself, if not the comics in general. Under his leadership, Marvel radically changed the comics, infusing in his characters the insecurities of ordinary people, the awareness of social issues and, often, the sense of humor. Lee tried to turn his super heroes into “flesh and blood” characters through a sort of humanization thanks to the flaws and insecurities that belied their supernatural strengths.
Born in 1922 in New York from Jewish parents of Romanian origin, Stanley Martin Lieber (his true name) started reading Shakespeare and Doyle at age 10, and he graduated when he was 17 at a high school in the Bronx. His aspiration was to become a novelist. After the uncertain beginnings, he is hired by Timely Publications, a company owned by Martin Goodman, his relative, as gofer with a $ 8-weekly salary. At Timely, Lee worked with Jack Kirby, who had created Captain America, that was already a successful character, and when Kirby switched to the competition, Lee was appointed editor-in-chief.
In the mid-1940s, at the height of the golden age of comics, plots and characters became more and more hard and many people claimed for censorship. A Senate Commission claimed that the comics promoted immorality and delinquency, even claiming that Batman and Robin (of DC) were psychologically homosexual.
While many began to find the comic strips after the censorship “sterilization”, Lee began to get tired by stories with generic humor and without a genuine creative stimulus. Encouraged by his wife to write the comics he wanted, regardless of what was considered marketable, Lee and Kirby produced the first issue of The Fantastic Four, in 1961, a team of superheroes with human traits, without secret identities and internal fights. It was a big success!
The hero of heroes by Stan Lee, introduced in 1962 and created together with Steve Ditko, is and will remain forever Spider-Man. Peter Parker is a shy high school boy, a bit intellectual, who acquired his powers after being bitten by a radioactive spider, which turned him into Spider-Man, a biggest successful superhero ever produced and broadcasted through many different platforms, including a Broadway musical and highly successful films, which began in 2002. In 2009 Disney paid $ 4 billion to buy Marvel!
Energetic, passionate, determined, Stan Lee was an amazing example of #creativity and #vision.
For the creativity, it still makes me surprising watching my son, who is 7 years old, dressing up as Spider-Man and emulating his deeds, shooting spiderwebs to save Mary Jane (the little sister!) from Goblin (me!). He plays with the same energy as I did exactly forty years ago (in my time there was no spider web!). The imagination and enthusiasm of the first cartoons on YouTube are unchanged over time, even watching them today!
For the vision, Stan Lee was an example: he looked beyond, despite everything and everyone. His aspiration was to create superheroes that had superpowers but also the insecurities of every human being. A vision that brought his pencil to write and color Spider-Man, the most famous superhero of all time.
Everybody should be glad to you, Mr. Lee, for having given such powerful and creative ideas that have fostered the imagination of the childhood through many generations.
I should be curious to know what Daily Bugle could publish now!