Bill Maher Faces Backlash For Attacking Comic Book Culture After Stan Lee’s Death

Iron Man 3, Marvel Studios, Bill Maher

In his Real Time with Bill Maher blog, HBO host Bill Maher appeared to mock the strong reaction to Marvel Comics hero Stan Lee's death.

In a blog post called "Adulting," Bill Maher claimed to have nothing against comic books, since he read them as a kid, but he questioned the current comic book culture for adults. Here's how Maher began his post:

The guy who created Spider-Man and the Hulk has died, and America is in mourning. Deep, deep mourning for a man who inspired millions to, I don't know, watch a movie, I guess. Someone on Reddit posted, "I'm so incredibly grateful I lived in a world that included Stan Lee." Personally, I'm grateful I lived in a world that included oxygen and trees, but to each his own.

And here's the end line:

I don't think it's a huge stretch to suggest that Donald Trump could only get elected in a country that thinks comic books are important.

There's more in the middle, but not even too much more. Just a little something about how, about 20 years ago, adults who refused to give up kid stuff started pretending comic books were actually sophisticated literature. His take. The post itself is brief, but it currently has nearly 300 comments -- and they are not supportive. There's also outrage on social media. At least Bill Maher seems to have brought many people together after Stan Lee's death, since there's a lot of agreement in the responses.

And, as several fans noted, the outspoken host did appear as himself in a Marvel Studios film in 2013. As one wrote: "Bill Maher sure didn't mind taking that check to appear in Iron Man 3 tho." Here's guessing he won't be brought back for a cameo in the MCU's Phase 4.

Armie Hammer recently apologized after his own comments on the reaction to Stan Lee's death. The actor mocked the many celebrities posting photos of themselves with Lee. The snarky tone of Hammer's now-deleted tweet earned some snark in return, especially from The Walking Dead star Jeffrey Dean Morgan. At least Hammer's argument was in defense of Stan Lee, in his own way, and against the It's All About Me culture of selfies. That's not quite what Bill Maher was doing.

Stan Lee tributes have been pouring in from Marvel to Netflix and beyond, honoring the comic book leader who helped make so many Marvel-based films and TV shows happen. It seemed like Lee's death at age 95 on Monday, Nov. 12 brought out the warmth and love in a lot of fans. But it's naive to think we can all get along for long.

At least we can still look forward to seeing Stan Lee again in his Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse cameo, when that film hits theaters on December 14. Here are more upcoming releases to watch.

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.