The Amazing, the Incredible, Death of Stan Lee By Bruce Bennett
Jewish comic writer, Stan Lee, or his birth name, Stanley Lieber, along with artist, jack Kirby (real name Jacob Kurtzberg), created many of Marvel’s major heroes and villains, in the 1960s “silver age’ of comics. There have been disputes over the years about who did what, with Kirby and Steve Ditko being bitter about Lee’s treatment of them. Both left Marvel; Kirby came back briefly then left again. Talk about job satisfaction. And, there were the law suits.
Recently Lee’s world seemed to have been falling apart with a sexual assault lawsuit and other hassles of being rich. So, it was probably a good time to leave this veil of tears for warmer climates, maybe visiting super-friends from other dimensions.
I read Marvel comics as a teenager while the Lee/Kirby team was doing them. Political correctness was being pushed in the 1960s, especially through the X-men, who in early numbers were somewhat normal super-heroes, but soon become freakish minorities with chips on their shoulders. That theme flowed into the X-Men movies, but it was strange that they kept the “Men” part, which was gender discriminatory, given that the lead characters (e.g. Jean Grey) were female.
Overall, Lee and his web-spinning friends “redefined” comics by making heroes far less than the classic Western European ideals that we see in The Lord of the Rings, doing to the comics what the 1960s clint Eastwood movies did to the John Wayne era (John Wayne to an arrogant Eastwood: ““That isn’t what the West was all about. That isn’t the American people who settled this country.” ) At times, with some characters developed after Lee’s period, it is hard to determine who is a hero and who is a villain. And today, the comics are beyond appalling, embodying every political correct notion you would not wish for. Comics, are a dated medium, hanging between electronics and print books … why they even speak now of graphic novels to cover the gaps. Hopefully the medium will soon die. Then everybody will forget about people like Lee, and move on to the next problem.