In Memory of Stan Lee: Marvel Superheroes with Humanity


Spandana Vagwala ‘22 and Jennifer Uche ‘22, Staff Writers

We all have someone we look up to or admire. We aspire to be like this person and live our lives with the same grace with which that they lived their lives. For many people, that person was Stan Lee.

Stan Lee—the true hero of stories—recently passed away on November 12, 2018. He died from heart and respiratory failure.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the genius of Stan Lee, he was the primary creative leader of the Marvel Comics. He created the iconic Iron Man, the heroic Captain America, the talented Black Widow, the Incredible Hulk, the genius Doctor Strange, the warmhearted Spider Man, the funny Thor, and the mischievous Loki. Stan Lee raised the expectations for Comic Books to a whole new level. Not only was he the embodiment of Marvel, but also he has emerged as a foundational basis for the comic book and movie industry.

Stan Lee’s stories have had a significant impact on people’s lives because of the way he portrayed his characters. Stan Lee was known for humanizing his superheroes , which entailed illustrating them with flaws, self-doubt, humor, and more. In other words, Stan Lee provided his readers with a character to whom they could be relate to rather than superficial superheroes. This pattern of helping regular people identify with superheroes has an empowering effect.

One Montrose Marvel fan said that Stan Lee “portrayed his heroes as real people, with flaws and weaknesses. That’s important because it creates a role model who isn’t perfect and doesn’t have to be.” Stan Lee’s relatable heroes becine what we all want to be; and, because of their traits, the idea- that we could also be like superheroes- seems reachable.

In 2003, Stan Lee told the LA Times, “I wanted the reader to feel we were all friends, that we were sharing some private fun that the outside world wasn’t aware of.” Writing these comics was Stan Lee’s way of forming connections with the world.

Stan Lee had such a positive impact to the world, even among people who didn’t know him, like the Montrosian who imagined he was “a fun and cheerful person to be around.”

He created stories that millions have grown up with and immersed themselves in. Many Montrosians express their gratitude for Stan Lee’s stories and have thoughts they would like to share. Abby McAvoy ‘19 said: “He just did such an amazing job creating a universe that means so much to people. Honestly I don’t think we can ever thank him enough for his stories of heartbreak, comedy, and action. The cameos were always a highlight of the movies and I think something will be off in the future without him;  but his legacy will of course live on through his stories.” Many students, including ourselves, will miss his infamous cameos in all the movies.

Other students, found that they admire “his Excelsior!” Excelsior was his signature catchphrase, meaning “ever upward.”

In a recent Looking Glass survey, we heard many amazing responses saying that Stan Lee “changed my childhood with his stories!” Another student said Stan Lee was a “brilliant creator, that understood what we all aspire to be.”

Stan Lee’s relatable heroes really stand out to audiences of people — and Stan Lee was a hero to the people on screens as well as all around us.