Stan Lee, Jewish-American father of the Marvel comic universe, is gone

Stan "The Man" Lee, the iconic father-figure of Marvel comics and the creator of such iconic pop-culture heroes like the Hulk, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and Thor passed away on Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, he was 95 years old.

While American comics already featured inspiring works like "Little Nemo" [1906] and Dick Tracy [1931] before Lee arrived on the scene. He is often credited by many as the father of the extreme popularity comic books and the characters that inhabit them enjoy today. Especially with the box-office success of Marvel-based movies that made the Hulk and the Web slinger such globally recognized, and beloved, characters, with famous actors such as Andrew Garfield, Edward Norton and Jessica Alba respectfully portraying the roles of Spiderman, the Hulk, and the Invisible Girl, all created by Lee.

Born in 1922 in Manhattan to Romanian-Jewish parents Celia and Jack Lieber, Lee began working in comics from the bottom-up, making sure the artists who drew comics always had fresh ink. His first break as a writer came with the 1941 third issue of Captain America, he quickly discovered an uncanny talent in writing exciting, original stories for mostly young readers and an uncommon theatrical flair. Eventually adopting the pen name of Stan Lee as his own.

Lee, who gained the nickname 'The Man', used his position as editor to speak to his young readers (whom he called "true believers") directly through comics. Unlike the shy artist Jack Kirby, who created Spiderman and Doctor Strange for Marvel at the same time, Lee enjoyed presenting himself to the world. He took on minor cameo roles in every Marvel film and many fans still believe he provided the voice-over for the 1980's animated television series "Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends."

Lee often said that he read extensively growing up and used everything he gained as a reader to invent, or in the case of the Nordic god Thor, retell - inspiring stories. Lee often credited his late wife Joan for giving him the encouragement he needed in the 1950's to dare write the stories he wanted to tell.

Until Lee arrived to the comic-book scene heroes were nearly perfect, Superman is extremely powerful and Batman is a millionaire, in contrast, most of Lee's characters had day-jobs and needed to navigate their way in a complex world without the aid of butlers or super-vision. If the concept of a pop-culture hero getting bullied or not landing a date seems hackneyed now, it's only because it was such a breakthrough when it was first introduced by Lee and used again and again since then. A shy teenager who is secretly the wall climber, a disabled professor who is a powerful telepath or a blind lawyer who can fight in the street were unique and daring when they were first introduced and still gain interest today when the characters appear in Netflix shows or the silver screen. This is also due to the fact Lee gave his characters emotional weaknesses and romantic interests that made them a little more realistic than what was the norm at the time.

Lee was also able to populate an entire fictional universe, ensure that the characters that inhabit it mostly get along and invited his young readers to spend a little time there. Many of whom kept on reading their favorite character as adults as well.

Lee also created openly Jewish characters such as the Thing, who, as Benjamin Grimm, is a Jewish-American superhero who, in the fictional Marvel Universe, is about to be married in a Jewish ceremony to his long-time girlfriend this December.

Lee's daughter, J.C., called him "irreplaceable," the Telegraph reported.

"He loved his life and he loved what he did for a living. His family loved him and his fans loved him," she said.

Stan Lee, Marvel Comics Creator, Dead At 95

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