Stan Lee, the man behind Marvel superheroes has died aged 95 – but the advice from his wife made him marvellous.
Lee reached a crossroads in his career in the Sixties when working for Timely Comics.
He was tasked with creating a superhero team to rival DC Comics’ Justice League of America, but felt his characters and those in most comics lacked personality.
Joan Lee told him to make his heroes more human, with character flaws rather than just super powers that would make their back stories and frailties more believable.
Marvel has skyrocketed into a multiverse of characters, comics, toys and movies worth billions. The Marvel Universe has also spread to video games, theme parks.
The characters are familiar to generations of fans – the roll of honour includes the Fantastic Four, Spider Man, The Incredible Hulk and X-Men.
Lee died with a net worth of $50 million and some unfinished business, claiming he was deceived into selling his rights to marvel’s characters
Stan Lee was born as Stanley Lieber in December 1922 in New York. He started his career at Timely Comics in 1939, which evolved into Marvel decades later.
“I applied for a job in a publishing company,” he said. “I didn’t even know they published comics. I was fresh out of high school, and I wanted to get into the publishing business, if I could. There was an ad in the paper that said ‘assistant wanted in a publishing house.
“When I found out that they wanted me to assist in comics, I figured, I’d stay for a little while and get some experience, and then I’ll get out into the real world.”
He did and the rest is history.
Stan Lee married English born Joan in 1948. She dies of a stroke aged 95 years old in July 2017.
He died of complications arising from pneumonia in hospital.
His legacy of the Marvel Universe will live on as part of the world’s cultural heritage – but he arguably missed one of the greatest accolades.
The most successful movie character in terms of box-office draw is Black Panther, showcasing Marvel’s first black super hero. The movie is expected to win Marvel’s first Oscar in 2019.