(RNN) – Stan Lee, who was the genius creator or co-creator of Spiderman, The Hulk, Black Panther and many more Marvel superheros, has died at age 95.
Lee has dealt with some illness over the past year, including pneumonia and some vision issues. He was declared dead at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, an attorney for Lee’s daughter, J.C. Lee, told the Associated Press.
Born Stanley Lieber on Dec. 28, 1922, in New York City, Lee served as the head of Marvel Comics, and helped create most of the company’s famous characters, including the X-Men, Iron Man, Thor, Deadpool and the third highest grossing moving of all time – “Black Panther.”
He started working while still in high school, taking jobs as an office assistant, an usher, and as a writer of celebrity obituaries.
Lee hoped to make a career as a full-time writer, and decided to save his real name for more serious work. He adopted a pseudonym after he took a job as an editorial assistant for Timely Comics, which later became Marvel.
He became an editor for the company in the early ’40s before becoming art director and later publisher by the 1970s. He began to conceive characters shortly thereafter. One of his first creations was the character “The Destroyer.”
After his work became famous and he advanced through the ranks, he legally changed his name to his pseudonym to capitalize on his fame.
But first, he took a hiatus from the comics industry to join the U.S. Army during World War II. He served from 1942 to 1945, writing manuals and scripts for training films, and achieving the rank of sergeant.
After the war, in the 1950s, Marvel found itself losing to rival DC Comics and its popular characters Superman, Batman and the Flash, members of the Justice League of America.
Lee was assigned to create a similar team of characters to rival them. In direct contrast to DC’s morally superior characters, Lee – along with a team of collaborators – introduced figures with more human characteristics and sometimes glaring character flaws. The result was the Fantastic Four, who were instantly popular with readers in the early ’60s.
That success was followed by the creation of Marvel’s more famous characters, who were grouped together to form the X-Men and The Avengers, using the latter to re-launch the popularity of Captain America, who had been scrapped as a regular character a decade before due to several failed attempts to develop a fan base. Lee and his creative team accomplished this in part by giving him a more relatable and conflicted persona.
Prior to creating the Fantastic Four, Lee was disillusioned by typical comic book storylines, and considered changing careers. He revealed to Playboy in its April 2014 issue that he wasn’t proud of his work for most of his life, calling his career an embarrassment due to the relatively low prestige of comic books.
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Article Courtesy of WOIO Cleveland 19 News
First Picture Courtesy of Dave Bedrosian/Future Image and WENN
Second Picture Courtesy of Apega and WENN