Comic book genius and Spider-Man creator Stan Lee dies at 95
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Stan Lee, the creative dynamo who revolutionised the comic book and helped make billions for Hollywood by introducing human frailties in superheroes such as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and the Incredible Hulk, died Monday.
He was 95.
Lee was declared dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to Kirk Schenck, an attorney for Lee's daughter, J.C. Lee.
As the top writer at Marvel Comics and later as its publisher, Lee was widely considered the architect of the contemporary comic book.
He revived the industry in the 1960s by offering the costumes and action craved by younger readers while insisting on sophisticated plots, college-level dialogue, satire, science fiction, even philosophy.
IN PHOTO: Stan Lee, standing, publisher of Marvel Comics, discusses a "Spiderman" comic book cover with artist John Romita at Marvel headquarters in New York
Millions 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.
Recent projects he helped make possible range from the films Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther and Guardians of the Galaxy to such TV series as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and Daredevil.
Lee was recognisable to his fans — he had cameos in Marvel films and TV projects — his hair gray and his glasses slightly tinted.
"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 considered the comic-book medium an art form and he was prolific: By some accounts, he came up with a new comic book every day for 10 years.
"I wrote so many I don't even know. I wrote either hundreds or thousands of them," he told the AP in 2006.
IN PHOTO: In this Nov. 17, 2008 photo, President George W. Bush presents the 2008 National Medals of Arts to comic book creator Stan Lee
He hit his stride in the 1960s when he brought the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Spider-Man, Iron Man and numerous others to life.
"It was like there was something in the air. I couldn't do anything wrong," he recalled.
His heroes, meanwhile, were a far cry from virtuous do-gooders such as rival DC Comics' Superman.
The Fantastic Four fought with each other. Spider-Man was goaded into superhero work by his alter ego, Peter Parker, who suffered from unrequited crushes, money problems and dandruff.
The Silver Surfer, an alien doomed to wander Earth's atmosphere, waxed about the woeful nature of man. The Hulk was marked by self-loathing.
Daredevil was blind and Iron Man had a weak heart.