Comic book legend Stan Lee dies at 95

UB community shares thoughts on Lee's 'super' legacy

stan-lee-courtesy-of-gage-skidmore

Renowned graphic artist Stan Lee –– a “superhero” in his craft –– died at 95 years old.

Lee died in the hospital on Monday after becoming ill, as first reported by TMZ

Lee founded the world famous Marvel Comics alongside Jack Kirby in 1961. He went on to create popular characters such as Spider-Man, Black Panther, The Hulk, Thor and Iron Man. Comic book and film fans quickly took to social media to express their grief and speak about his legacy.

Many UB community members are also hurt by the loss of a treasure to the comic community.

Jeremy Kazimer, a junior physics major and president of the UB Comics Club, said Lee was an icon and a titan of his time. 

“Not only had he pioneered the success and longevity of Marvel, but his contributions to the comic industry are strikingly apparent,” Kazimer said. 

“With his aid, comics became an accepted and popular medium, one with flawed yet deeply relatable characters. He will be greatly missed as a creator, innovator and most importantly, a genuine, caring and respectful human being.”

Lee helped produce the Marvel Cinematic Universe film canon and made cameos in nearly of the canon’s movies. In 2009, Disney announced a deal to acquire Marvel Entertainment for $4.28 billion, and Marvel’s films have grossed over $12.2 billion in total, an average of roughly $231 million per film, according to boxofficemojo.com.

Lee is also considered one of the most significant figures within the comic book community, with his work on some of the most successful film franchises of all time. 

Richard Deverell, a Ph.D. candidate in the history department, has a focus on cultural history. He studied Lee’s papers for his dissertation at the University of Wyoming’s American Heritage Center. Deverell, in an email, wrote that Lee is an example of what someone can do on behalf of “artistic freedom in a corporate culture.” 

“Having spent two weeks researching with his papers for my dissertation made him seem all the more present to me, so that the timing of his death felt sudden, his age and health not withstanding,” Deverell wrote.

“I will be forever grateful to him for the legacy he left in comic books and for how his work influences my studies and professional life.”

Eric Pritchard, an English professor and avid comic fan, spoke about Lee’s significance to his own life.

“Stan Lee's presence will be felt every time someone opens the pages of a Marvel comic book forever,” Pritchard said.

“This is a very solemn time for comic book fans everywhere. It was comic books –– including many of those created and published by Lee's Marvel –– that affirmed my early belief in the potential within all of us to be heroes, and that the very best world for all of us to reside in is still possible.”

 Samantha Vargas is the asst. arts editor and can be reached at Samantha.Vargas@ubspectrum.com.