Stan Lee: Rest in Peace
Still coming to terms with the sad news of the passing of Stan the Man himself, Stan Lee. I believe today will be a day filled with personal stories, as although most of us never had the pleasure of meeting Stan, he's been such a mainstay of geek culture for so long, that so many of us have formed formed a relationship with his work which is personal to us.
When I was just a child, and more into watching TV than reading, even reading comics, I like many boys adored Superheroes. But at the time there were only 2 superhero shows broadcasting, the always fantastic Wonder Woman live action series with Lynda Carter, and Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, cartoon series, which would be shown on a sunday afternoon as part of Glen Michaels Cartoon Cavalcade, and for me it was the highlight of a sunday afternoon.
The show was introduced by Stan Lee, it's been too many years for me to remember whether it was every episode, or just the pilot episode, and whether it was an animated Stan or live action. But my memories are of Stan talking about the adventures of Spider-man, how Peter Parker went through ordinary struggles like you or me, as well as obviously his more spectacular ones against the likes of Doctor Doom or the Green Goblin. I remember Stan talking about making moral choices, and the trials of just being normal, never mind being extra-ordinary. I remember Stan not only creating this superhero, but also presenting him to us, him being as excited as a 5 year old me at the latest adventures.
And that's the relationship through the years, Stan was always comic book's best cheerleader, not only a creator but a fan. And as the years went on, his appearances continued, Stan's Bullpen in the back of the comics was always a great read, he obviously never took himself too seriously, as his appearance in Mallrats, and even as a bus driver in Heroes.
And we come to the latest era, where he's received true recognition for his work as movies based on his works top the charts for the past decade, and each movie carries his cameo, always a wonderful little gem which usually gets a "Oh, look, there's Stan, from my wife or kids", putting a smile on our faces like we're seeing an old friend, and we were.
And now it's over, soon we'll get a Marvel movie without a Stan Lee cameo which is almost too much to bear, I hope they've got a few to keep using, even if it's just posters in the background like in the Netflix Marvel series.
So, thanks Stan. Thank you for being there for a geeky kid and showing us it was alright to like comic books, because this grown up did. Thank you for so many great and relatable characters, the comics of which I've collected over the years. Thanks for so many great moments, from discussing Secret Wars with my eldest son, when he was only 5, to sitting with my family all of us enjoying the movies that originated from you. You were an absolute gem of a man, and we'll all live in your shadow for decades to come.