Stan Lee is one of the cornerstones of Marvel. Last month he passed away, but I believe his life has had a major influence on people and will continue to do so. This is a list of all the ways I believe he has influenced people and the world. Being a Marvel fan myself this list is a little biased.
Many people would have had very different careers and therefore lives without Stan Lee. I don’t just mean the film and comic book creators at Marvel, but also the wider community. Comics, including Marvel comics, have a huge impact on the entire pop culture industry. These days we have comic conventions which are not only about comics, but pop culture in general. For example Supanova is one of Melbourne’s biggest pop culture conventions and despite being called ‘Supanova: Comic con & gaming’ it encompasses much more than that.
This connects to the idea of careers since people who were once “just a fan” are now making Marvel movies, comics and even getting paid to impersonate their favourite characters. Yes although cosplay is a fun hobby, believe it or not some people get paid for it like Thor of Oz.
Fan art and fan fiction are another way for fans to express themselves. Stan Lee encourages that artistic side of fans to create and become creators.
It’s always wonderful to see Marvel actors, cosplayers, Marvel movies and/or comics give hope to sick kids. Even sick adults and/or the parents of sick children are given hope through Marvel.
Outcasts and Minorities
There is (and has been) so much hatred in the world that it is easy to feel like an outcast because you’re different. Many Marvel characters like the X-Men feel like and have to deal with being outcasts.
The message that Marvel sends people is that it’s okay to be different and sometimes it’s because you’re different that you can make a defference. Marvel leaves no group of people out and is always seeking to expand its diversity.
Stan Lee was also one of the first people to feature dark skinned superheroes in powerful positions (i.e. not sidekicks).
Not only has Marvel influenced comic book art and fan art, but also other more mainstream artists.
Some of my personal favourite Marvel characters and stories are inspired by Norse mythology. This means when I talk to someone about Thor or Loki often their first thought or image is from Marvel rather that Nose tales.
There is a surprisingly big difference between the myths and Marvel comics.
Superheroes in General
Now it’s obvious that Stan Lee influenced and created many Marvel heroes but did you know he also wrote for DC? Marvel comics not only created their own superheroes, but influenced the entire superhero genre, just as DC (aka Detective Comics) also influenced Marvel.
Cameos particularly Stan Lee cameos were no longer just a small snippet of the film that only die hard fans would notice, but a part of the film we all look forward to.
So what do you think? How has Marvel and/or Stan Lee influenced you?