Stan Lee, former president of Marvel Comics and the co-creator of a number of the most popular superheroes in the world, has died aged 95.
Lee, whose creations included Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk, died at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to a family lawyer.
Lee is credited with ushering in what comic book fans refer to as the “Silver Age” of comics, a feat he achieved by humanising his characters to help readers associate with them.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Lee “transformed the comic book world by imbuing its characters with the self-doubts and neuroses of average people, as well an awareness of trends and social causes and, often, a sense of humour”, the New York Times says.
Tributes to Lee, who also created The Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Iron Man and racial barrier-breaking Black Panther, the first comic to feature a black superhero, have poured in from around the globe.
Hugh Jackman, who played Wolverine in a number of Marvel adaptions, said Lee “was a pioneering force in the superhero universe. I’m proud to have been a small part of his legacy”.
The BBC says that Lee “decided to give up on comics” at age 40 while working as comics editor at Timely Publications, the company that would become Marvel Comics.
However, encouraged by his wife Joan to continue, Lee – along with artist Jack Kirby – created The Fantastic Four, beginning a pop culture phenomenon that has grown into a multi-billion dollar film and merchandise juggernaut.
Lee is survived by his daughter JC Lee, who described her father as “the greatest, most decent man”.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.