A tribute to Stan Lee


Kernel Opinion SIG

Dalton Stokes

A void was created in the word of creativity and imagination by the death of comic book legend and face of Marvel comics Stan Lee on Monday. He passed in the hospital of pneumonia. 

In the age of blockbuster superhero films, especially the Marvel films that all feature short cameos of Lee, he became a superstar in the eyes of all superhero lovers.

Fans took to social media the day of his death creating memes, cartoons and tender-hearted posts paying their respects and honoring his legacy. I can only hope that wherever he may be now he knows how universally adored he was.

Because I was a superhero nerd at a young age, he was always one of my heroes. His exuberance and infectious enthusiasm were nothing short of inspiring. He was the face of Marvel comics for many decades and he created so many characters and stories that people hold dear.

Probably his biggest success, Spider-Man, was speculated to be a reflection of himself. He felt like an outsider so he devoted his life to creating stories that showed people that they were not that different from everyone else. 

He created X-Men as a firm stance against bigotry, and many people would say that it flipped the script by making it OK, and even heroic, to be different and to stand out. He also created the first black superhero, Black Panther, in 1966 which was a time when African-Americans were forced to fight for their rights to be equal. 

He never hesitated to take a stance against bigotry and intolerance despite the chance of damaging his career. 

In a soap box column from 1968, only two years after creating Black Panther, he said, “Bigotry and racism are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today.”  In such divisive times, he unapologetically took a stance while also being constructive and creating characters and stories that brought people from a range of diverse backgrounds together. 

I can only hope that the creative teams at Marvel find a way to keep the tradition of Lee’s cameos alive with the technology they have at hand. This way, Lee can be forever immortalized in the amazing stories that he devoted his life to creating.