Welcome to a very somber Breaking Geek, a column where uber-geek Nick Doll offers commentary and reactions to the most interesting news of the week (or whatever he feels like), using his expansive knowledge of all things geek! Today I am joined by fellow LRM writers Kyle Malone of The Cantina and LRM Ranks, news writer Cam Clark, Stephon White of I’d Buy That For A Dollar, and our Editor-In-Chief Joseph “Jammer” Medina! Today’s topic: RIP STAN LEE!
Hello, True Believers.
This week has been a rough one for everyone at LRM, as I’m sure it has been for most of our readers. You would have to be living under a very large rock to not know that Stan Lee, the Father of modern comics and the man behind Marvel, died Monday, November 12th at the age of 95. So, without further ado, I’ve assembled a team of LRM writers to share their Stan Lee story and pay their respects. Because even a younger child watching Avengers: Infinity War and not recognizing the King of Cameos has been touched by the legacy of perhaps the greatest man in the history of comics.
Without further ado, I’ll hand it off to the regular LRM crew:
Cam: Stan “the man” Lee, well, I’ll keep it fairly brief here. I’m a writer, stories are my addiction and therefore I am most impressed professionally by writers on the whole. I get that all characters, comics, movies are collaborative efforts by various passionate artists of different fields. But for me, without a good story you don’t have anything.
Kids make up their own superheroes every day. It’s not that hard, is it? And no matter how good the art is or the production design depending on the medium, without a story you have nothing.
Stan Lee wrote stories that engaged me as a child. And he never sat back and took his foot off the gas, he always had a new idea and a new story. Even though DC were out first and had a shared universe earlier, I never felt that universe gelled together in the way Marvel’s did. For me, that was Stan.
Since I was a child I wanted to see someone take those comic books and just film them. Shared universe and all, and since the Marvel Cinematic Universe began I am seeing that dream made a reality. Sure it’s mostly down to Marvel studios and primarily Kevin Feige. But, without the source, without Stan’s stories, we’d have nothing.
RIP Stan Lee. Excelsior!!
Kyle: What can I say? Stan Lee is one of the 3 most influential people of my life, outside of my DNA. I say “is” because no matter where he is, his creations live on. Like many of you, and those in this article, I cannot remember a time that I was not actively engaged by something Stan had a hand in. From video games and cartoons to the modern MCU, Stan Lee’s influence has always been there.
I have made friendships because of a shared interest in Marvel Comics. I have etched Marvel permanently upon my skin. I own long boxes filled with comic books with characters Stan Lee created. And while he may not have done much creating recently, his lasting impression will always be “with great power, comes great responsibility.”
Stan took his power seriously. He gave us social commentary and people to aspire to be like. Stan stood on a soapbox and told me to not only strive to be better, but to see the world in all its diverse splendor. Than you Stan, for the friends and the good times.
Jammer: Strangely enough, I don’t even know where to begin on this one. Stan Lee is one of those guys who you knew was nearing the end, but you still kinda felt deep down would be around forever. In all honesty, I’m not entirely sure I’ve fully processed this passing yet because I still don’t feel it as much as I thought I would. But perhaps that may also have to do with his body of work.
I personally can’t remember a time when I didn’t know who he was. Sure, I fell in and out of comics throughout my life, but I always knew that Stan was the man, and that the man had concocted some of the world’s greatest characters out there. Perhaps it’s because of the sheer amount of work out there that I still don’t feel his passing just yet. His work lives on through the comics, TV shows, and films that continue to this very day.
Of course, Stan Lee was a man, a man we’ll miss very much, but it almost doesn’t feel like he was a mere mortal. He was more a being who played god in these worlds we’ve grown up with and learned to love, and perhaps that’s why I’m not as sad as I thought I’d be. It’s a great loss, don’t get me wrong, and my condolences go out to his family and fans whose lives were shaped by him, but in my mind, so long as future writers and artists continue telling stories about these characters, and so long as people like us continue to talk about them as if they were our own friends, Stan Lee will never truly die.
Stephon: On December 28, 1922, a legend was born into this world. On November 12, 2018, a legend left this world. His legacy will be felt forever. His legacy will be felt all around the world. Stan Lee’s passing really hit home for me. I never met him. Heck, I never even spoke to him. But his thumbprint on my life is undeniable just as I am sure he has affected you all. Stan Lee was like the uncle we never had, but always wanted. Stan Lee’s creations were guiding me through life teaching me valuable lessons. With great power comes great responsibility. Let that line sink in a bit. Without Stan Lee’s contributions to the world of comics our imaginations would be poorer. No X-Men. No Fantastic Four. No Hulk. No Daredevil. No Thor. You get the point, right?
The legacy of Stan Lee is undeniable. His passing is tragic. I am glad that he could cameo in the live action adaptations of the very characters he created. Countless geeks have fallen in love with his characters, and countless geeks yet to be born will too. What started out in one man’s imagination will live on through the imaginations of every person who wears a tee shirt emblazoned with their favorite Marvel characters logo, sips from an X-Men coffee mug, or enjoys a Marvel film.
Stan Lee might be gone from this world, but only in the physical form. The creations sprung from the well of his imagination will continue to live on forever. So next time you’re reading Spider-Man remember than Stan Lee is right there swinging alongside Peter Parker. He will live on through the pages of your favorite X-Men books. He will be there winking at you from the big screen when you watch Avengers 4. Stan Lee you will always be missed and never forgotten. Thanks for the great stories.
Doll: My turn, I guess, if I can write it through tears after reading what Cam, Kyle, Jammer, and Stephon all had to say about this beloved icon.
Stan Lee was a legend. He was a teacher. An inspiration. He absolutely shaped my taste in movies through his stories and creations, later leading me to comics. He shaped my moral code through his messages and his characters’ heroics. He is an ongoing influence, with plenty more stories to be told on the screen and through panels using his incredible characters that will outlive us all.
Stan Lee expanded the universe before we landed on the moon. Hell, God may be jealous of the worlds and universe Stan Lee created, and I hope that Stan Lee gets more than just a cameo in heaven, I’m sure God would give him a feature!
I write this in Black Panther shirt, not far from my Spider-Man cutout from the Spider-Man: Homecoming standee and a poster for Avengers: Infinity War and Captain Marvel. On the shelf I can see all my Marvel Funko Pops!, and my film collection, containing more movies with producer Stan Lee than any other filmmaker. As far as actors (counting his cameos), he may also be the most represented in my collection. I see my Mallrats poster and think of the influence he’s had on others like Kevin Smith, who are also important inspirations in my life. Then of course I have my own 6 long-boxes, four of which are dedicated to Marvel.
No celebrity loss has hit me quite like this, because even though Stan Lee was rich and powerful, he always seemed like one of us. He spoke to us like equals. I really am at a loss for words, and I don’t know if I can express the pain and sadness I feel. I certainly can’t express the full level of gratitude I have for this man. I do have a favorite quote from his large collections of cameos, though it does come from Spider-Man 3, when Lee tells Peter Parker:
“You know, I guess one person can make a difference.”
Well, my keyboard is literally wet from my tears, so…
We’ll always love you, Stan. You’ve changed all of our lives, even being partially responsible for bringing us all together at LRM.