It’s been quite some time since we last attempted a Scribituary, but when a legend in the field of visual storytelling dies, we have to make an exception. Stan Lee wasn’t an artist himself, the visuals came courtesy of the likes of Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, luminaries of the comics world in their own right. But as writer, editor and publisher of some of the most popular and iconic comic book characters of all time, Lee’s mastery of the genre was unquestionable. Under his creative direction, Marvel comics evolved from a small division of a publishing house to a huge multimedia corporation.
Beginning his career in comics way back in 1939, Lee went on to create the likes of Black Panther, Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Mighty Thor, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, Daredevil, Ant-Man and countless others. What united all of his characters, and perhaps accounted for their popularity, was that their remarkable powers were always tempered by their fallibilities. The same might also be said about the man himself, whose judgement in business and personal life wasn’t always impeccable. However, Lee was always keen to use comics as a force for social change, often dealing with themes such as discrimination, intolerance and prejudice.
Throughout his career, Lee always seemed to be enjoying himself, acknowledging his good fortune to have spent a lifetime doing what he loved - telling stories. “For years, kids have been asking me what’s the greatest superpower,” he remarked, “I always say luck. If you’re lucky, everything works. I’ve been lucky.”