‘Heroes made human’: Entertainment Weekly celebrates Marvel legend Stan Lee

Marvel mastermind Stan Lee inspired generations with the superheroes whose fate he crafted from his trusty typewriter. His fascinating story – from his humble beginnings in New York City to his reign at Marvel and numerous television and film cameos – is captured in a special commemorative edition by the bestselling American magazine, Entertainment Weekly.

For all of us on the other side of the pond, here’s their take on the man who changed the comic book industry forever.

A superhero story

Rich Sands takes readers on a fascinating journey through Stan Lee’s life.

Born Stanley Martin Lieber in 1922, Stan began his career at Timely Comics in 1939, earning $8 a week to help Captain America creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby with a variety of office and production tasks. It wasn’t long before he was given the editor’s reins (at the age of just 18), but with the United States increasing their involvement in World War II, the need for real-life superheroes was paramount and Stan enlisted.

After returning to New York and taking up his comic book stories once again, Stan became a father to his daughter J.C. (Joan Celia). Disillusioned with the industry, he was encouraged by his wife to create a superhero squad to rival that of the popular DC Comics’ Justice League of America – and with that the Fantastic Four was born, along with the Marvel title.

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The inspirational Spider-Man

With creations like Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Black Widow, Groot, Black Panther and (deep breath) Daredevil on his résumé, it’s hard to believe that Stan could pick a favourite.

But in an interview, Stan revealed his Spider-Sense was tingling, adding: “In a way Spider-Man is more special than the others. Nothing ever goes right for Peter. I think for most people in the world, nothing ever goes right.”

Just like the down-on-his-luck Peter Parker, Stan fought for good over evil through his characters. Along with superheroes who save the day, he challenged important issues like racism and inequality to create a happy ending for all.

Touching the hearts of the A-list

 Along with speaking to millions of readers around the world, Stan’s characters made him a firm favourite in Hollywood. He made several guest appearances in films and television shows like The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory, even joking: “I wish there was a cameo category in the Academy Awards.”

Following his passing in November 2018, stars rallied together to honour his legend – including those who portrayed his creations on-screen.

"Stan Lee was a pioneering force in the superhero universe. I'm proud to have been a small part of his legacy and to have helped bring one of his characters to life" - Hugh Jackman (Wolverine)

"You made so many believe in the good, the heroic, the villainous, the exciting, most of all, you were giving and gracious to us all" - Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury)

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The Marvel legacy: 95s

Our own tribute to Stan Lee saw the release of a special commemorative edition of Marvel Superheroes. Making the 80th anniversary of Marvel Comics and the first year without Stan as its helm, this seleciton of hand-signed front covers is a touching tribute to th eman who became a hero in his own right. 

Upon its launch, Stan's daughter, J.C. said: "I wanted the work that my father started to continue, that's what he would want and that is what I want to carry forward."

Find out more here.

"I believe we never lose our love for those tales of people who are bigger than life"

Stan Lee

Featured Artist

From the blog

Remembering Marvel's Stan Lee

13/11/2018

We pay tribute to the legendary comic book writer and editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, who inspired a generation with superheroes like Spider-Man and the Hulk.

AVAILABLE NOW: Marvel 95 editions 2019

25/01/2019

From Wolverine to The Amazing Spider-Man and Captain America, our new hand-signed Marvel release honours the late Stan Lee.

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