Good day to you ladies and gents, today I am writing a blog post that I hoped I wouldn’t have to write any time soon, but alas, Stan Lee, a legend in the world of comics and entertainment and beloved nerd and creator for many fans across the world unfortunately died yesterday and even now it feels so surreal. So today I just wanted to share my thoughts on what he meant to me and share my respects.
So every once in a while in life, there emerges an individual who goes on to become someone special and Stan’s one of those individuals. To have such an interesting life journey and career from being in the army to writing comic books and then having what you created reach so many people, and have those properties be taken on by new writers and artists for decades to come, and then, of course, have those creations get adapted into various animated and live-action TV shows and films… All that from one guy and his collaborators. It is truly incredible.
Stan Lee is a man who has fascinated me since childhood, and as I’ve gotten older and learnt more about him through research, written and video interviews and so on, I’ve only appreciated him more and more. I’ve always loved hearing the stories about how he created some of his most notable characters like the Fantastic Four or Spider-Man or the X-Men, how he had the knowledge and guts to tell stories about flawed/troubled individuals that made them relatable to the readers. It just shows that this guy was on the ball and perceptive.
But beyond the wonderful characters, stories and worlds he’s given us over the years, he had such a wonderful personality. Stan Lee always looked like he was having the time of his life in a lot of his old photos working at Marvel, he’s always smiling, and through articles and interviews he’s always come across as a sweet, cool and kind man who had time to pass on his knowledge and had great stories to tell. The guy was fantastic and every time I saw him in an interview he’d always make me smile and laugh because he was also quite funny.
But I think where a lot of people have gotten to know Stan from in recent times is through his cameo work in the Marvel Studios films. Now Stan is no stranger to being part of the properties he’s created. He’s narrated for TV shows and video games, made numerous appearances in live-action films going back to the first X-Men film from 2001, he’s made appearances in the cartoons and has been a playable character in games like Amazing Spider-Man 2 or Lego Marvel Superheroes. He’s been all over the place and I’ve always seen him pop up as it always brought joy to my soul.
And now I would like to share some of my favourites that aren’t from the MCU and probably aren’t as well known.
Spider-Man: The Animated Series
This Stan Lee appearance will always hold a special place in my heart. It was probably the first time I sort of got an idea of who Stan was as a kid. I remember being maybe 8, 9 or 10 years old when I first saw this episode and I thought it was hella cool that Stan Lee, the creator of Spider-Man, made an appearance in the 90’s cartoon show. And every time I saw it since it made me so happy. It is a short yet wonderful moment filled with fun, reflection and humour, and seeing Stan get left on the roof without any way to get down and hoping the Fantastic Four would give him a lift, priceless.
This is a small and probably insignificant cameo for most, but I remember watching Spectacular Spider-Man’s second season and just loving this cameo. Here Stan’s just a guy who states the stuff he hates and I think we can relate to that. But it is the line “Are we being punked? I hate that.” Haha. I’ve always loved it.
This one has always stuck out for a number of people and I’d be inclined to agree, it is such a simple yet beautiful bit of dialogue that perfectly sums up Stan’s positivity and then work that Peter had done up to that point. And it is probably the highlight of that entire film really.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
I almost forgot about this cameo until I saw it on my YouTube search. I remember watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. during season 1 and thought this was the greatest cameo just because it came out of nowhere and made me laugh so hard. It wasn’t enough that Simmons was giving Coulson a hard time with this fictional story that everyone on the train cart was paying attention to, but for Stan to step in, sympathise with her and then scold Coulson so hard was an incredible moment in time that I’ll never forget. 😛
But of course there are the Stan Lee cameos from the MCU and there are many to pick from, and while a lot of them were just minor appearances, some of them were quite funny and significant. So here are some my favourites:
- Thor: When he tried to pull Mjolnir out of the ground with his truck and failed.
- Avengers: “Superheroes in New York? Gimme a break.” Love that line.
- Guardians of the Galaxy 2: Seeing him hanging out with the Watchers was one of the best nerdiest things I’ve ever seen. 😀
- Spider-Man: Homecoming: When Spider-Man gets scolded by a bunch of people and Stan shouts at him from a window, great moment! 😀
- Avengers: Infinity War: “What’s the matter with you kids? You never seen a spaceship before?” I frigging loved that line, such a casual thing for an old bus drive to say. 😀 😛
Here’s an epic compilation to check out below:
Anyway, to conclude, Stan Lee, all I can say is thank you for everything that you’ve given me and many fans young and old throughout the many decades that you were with us. And like many I’d like to thank you and Ditko for Spider-Man, he’s one of my favourite characters in fiction and I’ve learnt so much from him and have loved all the heroes, villains and stories that you’ve given Spidey over the years and my life wouldn’t be the same without that character. And also it was an honour to be in your presence in for a moment in time, but meeting you in 2014 was one of my life goals that I never thought I’d get to do and it was one of the best experiences of my life that I will cherish forever.
RIP Stan Lee and thanks for everything. Excelsior!