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Stan “The Man” Lee was the face of Marvel Comics for many decades. He was the co-creator of Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, the Black Panther, the original Avengers and X-Men teams, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Doctor Doom, Electro, the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Magneto and many other well-known Marvel heroes and villains.
Lee started out at Marvel when it was known as Timely Comics in 1939 as an assistant. He quickly became a writer as the company continued to produce comic magazines during the 1940’s and 50’s, undergoing several changes and evolutions in the process. Lee worked with Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko John Romita Sr. and many other noteworthy artists during the superhero revolution of the 1960’s. Lee continued to write stories for Marvel Comics regularly until he was promoted to publisher and later executive producer for Marvel’s movie and television productions. Most people know Lee today for his memorable cameos in many Marvel films.
Stan Lee Quotes
Here are a few of Stan Lee’s most noteworthy quotes:
1.”I used to be embarrassed because I was just a comic book writer while other people were building bridges and going on to medical careers. And then I began to realize: entertainment is one of the most important things in people’s lives. Without it, they might go off the deep end.”
2. “I have always included minority characters in my stories, often as heroes. We live in a diverse society – in fact, a diverse world, and we must learn to live in peace with respect for each other.” Lee was always a firm believer in human and civil rights. He expressed those beliefs in the stories that he wrote and in some of his Bullpen Bulletin commentaries that appeared in Marvel Comics in the 1960’s and beyond. Another well-knowing saying of his along the same lines was:
3. “America is made of different races and different religions, but we’re all co-travelers on the spaceship Earth and we must respect and help each other along the way.” Stan saw and appreciated other people’s differences. He realized that we had to co-exist peacefully and help each other in navigating through life’s trials and tribulations.
4. “All I thought about when I wrote my stories was, ‘I hope that these comic books would sell so I can keep my job and continue to pay my rent.’ Never in a million years could I have imagined that it would turn into what it has evolved into nowadays.” Stan Lee initially got into comics because he wanted to help his parents pay the bills. He was still a teenager when he was hired by Timely Comics. Stan originally wanted to write books. He never did get to write The Great American Novel, but his stories are still beloved by fans around the world and the morals and themes in his works are just as important today.
5. “My theory about why people like superheroes is that when we were kids, we all loved to read fairy tales. Fairy tales are all about things bigger than life: giants, witches, trolls, dinosaurs,and dragons and all sorts of imaginative things. Then you get a little bit older and you stop reading fairy tales, but you don’t ever outgrow your love of them.” Lee often referred to his comic stories as fairy tales for adults. Even though comic books were typically marketed towards children, the stories that he wrote were usually written for grown-ups.
6. “The pleasure of reading a story and wondering what will come next for the hero is a pleasure that has lasted for centuries and, I think, will always be with us.” Many of the stories that Lee developed with different artists had cliff-hanger endings and story lines that spread across multiple issues or even multiple titles. His approach was very similar to radio and television dramas of the day that left followers in suspense, patiently waiting until the next installment to see what would happen next.
7. “You know, I guess one person can make a difference. ‘Nuff said…” The term ‘Nuff said” was first written by Lee in Fantastic Four #19, in response to a poll that asked faithful readers whether or not Reed Richards (aka Mr. Fantastic) should remain the group’s leader. The phrase has been used in countless Marvel publications ever since. This particular quote was about Lee’s perspective on our own individuality and impact on the world.
8. “Luck’s a revolving door, you just need to know when it’s your time to walk through.” Stan Lee has often stated how fortunate he was to have a long and successful career as a comic book writer and executive. He simply happened to be in the right place at the right time.
9. “Just because you have superpowers, that doesn’t mean your love life would be perfect. I don’t think that superpowers automatically means that there won’t be any personality problems, family problems or even money problems. I just tried to write characters who are human beings who also have superpowers.” Very few of the characters that Stan Lee co-created had an easy life. Many of them had the same issues and anxieties as everyone else. The very relatable human qualities of his hero characters is one of the main reasons why so many people have been drawn to them.
10. “With great power comes great responsibility.” One of the last lines from Spider-Man’s debut in Amazing Fantasy #15 in August 1962 has been one of the most popular quotes of the 20th Century. In his origin issue, teenager Peter Parker basked in the fame and fortune that his newly acquired powers have provided. He felt like he was on top of the world, until tragedy struck
Parker allowed a criminal to get away after one of his performances. He headed home only to find that his Uncle Ben had been shot and killed by a burglar. Peter later rushed off in anger to find the burglar. He soon found and apprehended the burglar in an old abandoned warehouse, only to find out that the culprit was the same criminal that he had allowed to escape earlier. The moral of the story helped fuel strong demand for a new book for the young superhero.
Stan Lee passed away on November 12, 2018 at the age of 95. He is fondly remembered an entertainment icon. The stories he wrote and the lessons he imparted upon his readers are just as important now as when they were first written. He let us know that it was okay to be imperfect. We learned that we’re all important. Stan taught us to seek out the heroes in our lives and that we are already heroes to others. Excelsior!
Stan Lee Video
This is a fantastic video of every cameo appearance that Stan Lee had on all the marvel movies. If you want to honor Stan Lee’s contributions to the Marvel Universe, watch this clip!