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In the hours following Stan Lee's death, and likely for days and weeks to come, there has been a tremendous outpouring of love and remembrance for the comic book and entertainment icon. From actors and Hollywood's most powerful players, to comic book writers and fans, seemingly everyone has taken time to offer up their thoughts, memories and photographs of Stan Lee as a way to share our collective heartbreak and celebrate his life. Marvel also created a sweet tribute to the man whose life will have an ever-lasting impact. Take a look.
I'm not crying; like the Stan Lee-created Matt Murdock, I've just got something in my eye. Marvel created a beautiful tribute here that honors Stan Lee's legacy through the words of those at the company that he helped build. Instead of focusing on his cameos or the success his characters have gone on to on the big screen, Marvel's tribute video remembers the man himself and the impact of his work.
Many who have never read his comics probably know Stan Lee for his brilliant cameos in Marvel films, but this tribute video shows old photos of him in his youth creating the Marvel that became a worldwide brand, and they're really cool to see. From his presence at Comic-Cons and on red carpets, the video shows Stan Lee has always had an infectious smile on his face and unbridled enthusiasm for storytelling.
This video from Marvel Entertainment's Twitter account touches on so much of what made Stan "The Man" the star he was and why the worlds and characters he created have been so enduring. As Tom Brevoort says in the video, Stan Lee's best creation was himself, with a larger than life personality that endeared him to comic book fans and eventually the public at large.
Marvel highlights Stan Lee's creative genius, which saw him imbue his superheroes with humanity and flaws, long cited as one of the distinctions that set Marvel superheroes apart. That humanity existed throughout his work, with his allegorical stories speaking to the real-world issues of the day.
That fearlessness extended beyond the panels as well, as Stan Lee spoke directly to the readers through his soapbox, espousing the importance of diversity and equality. These ideals are symbolized by his co-creations of the X-Men and Black Panther, and part of what makes them still so relevant today.
In the tribute video, Marvel's Sana Amanat says, "There will never be a world without Stan Lee" and she couldn't be more right. Stan Lee's characters and stories built a company into an empire and are now permanent staples in pop culture. The closest analog is Walt Disney, with whose company Marvel now walks hand in hand.
Stan Lee's cameos in movies reminded us of his constant presence, one that will not fade with his passing, with his eternal creations constant reminders of him. Thanks to his own efforts and the success of those that followed him, Stan Lee was made myth while living and tributes like these further add to his legend now that he is gone.
I think Jason Lee's Brody said it best in Kevin Smith's Mallrats when, upon meeting Stan Lee, he exclaimed "Shit man, you are a god." Indeed. Godspeed and Excelsior!