Stan Lee, the pop-culture revolutionary who co-created Marvel Comics, has died. Lee was responsible for creating such comic superheroes as Spider-Man and The Hulk.
Stan Lee, the architect of the contemporary comic book and the co-creator of superheroes like Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and The Hulk, has died. The Marvel Comics legend was 95 years old.
The creative dynamo revolutionized comics by introducing human frailties in superheroes.
"I think everybody loves things that are bigger than life. ... I think of them as fairy tales for grown-ups," he told The Associated Press in a 2006 interview.
"We all grew up with giants and ogres and witches. Well, you get a little bit older and you're too old to read fairy tales. But I don't think you ever outgrow your love for those kind of things, things that are bigger than life and magical and very imaginative."
Lee was the top writer at Marvel Comics and later its publisher. He revived the industry in the 1960s by insisting on sophisticated plots, college-level dialogue, science fiction, satire and even philosophy.
Millions of people around the world responded to the unlikely mix of realistic fantasy, and many of his characters, including Spider-Man, the Hulk and X-Men went on to become stars of blockbuster films.
Many actors who played his iconic heroes on the big screen expressed their condolences on social media.
"You let us be extra human... superhuman even," wrote The Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo. "I am deeply honored to have been a small part in the Stan Lee constellation."
Hugh Jackman, who played Wolverine in multiple X-Man films, wrote: "We’ve lost a creative genius. Stan Lee was a pioneering force in the superhero universe."
US physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson praised the scientific literacy of Lee's heroes. On Twitter, he wrote: "Born before Edwin Hubble discovered the expanding universe, he ultimately created an expanding universe of his own - one of scientifically literate superheroes such as Spider-Man , The Hulk, Iron Man, & Black Panther."
Working until the end
Recent projects he helped make possible ranged from the films "Black Panther" and "Doctor Strange" to such TV series as "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D" and "Guardians of the Galaxy."
Lee died early Monday in Los Angeles at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, according to to Kirk Schenck, the attorney for Lee's daughter, J. C. Lee. He had suffered a number of illnesses in recent years.
Lee is survived by his daughter, Joanie. His wife of 70 years, Joan B. Lee, died last year.
av/jm (AP, AFP, Reuters)