Stan Lee, the Homer of American 20th century culture, maker of myth and monsters, died today at the age of 95.
You almost certainly don’t need me to tell you who he was. His fame was universal, assured by his two superpowers: story telling and self promotion.
Stan wasn’t the only person who made Marvel Comics and later Marvel Entertainment the force in popular culture that it was, but he was probably the most recognizable name among a pantheon of legends that included Jack “King” Kirby, John Romita, Steve Ditko, and many others.
He created, co-created, or promoted amazing fantasies, a multiverse of heroes and villains, mutants and mundanes, celestials and sub-humans, terrestrials, extra-terrestrials, and extra-dimensionals, and even a sub-mariner.
His energy and enthusiasm were infinite. His corporeal form, alas, was not. Yet his legend is assured immortality.
You held great power, and you wielded it with sublime responsibility. You touched the lives of billions of people, and set fire to our imaginations.
Today through the news of his passing, he is making a cameo appearance on every social media feed on the planet. We feel a collective earth quake as our hearts break upon learning that today the inevitable has finally come.
Thank you, Stan Lee.