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Comics legend Stan “The Man” Lee has passed at the age of 95.  He was rushed by ambulance from his home in the Hollywood Hills to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Monday morning, where he died.  This news was reported by Lee’s daughter J.C., who added “My father loved all of his fans. He was the greatest, most decent man.”  Lee’s health had deteriorated over the years with him recently suffering a bout of pneumonia and dealing with eye issues.  He had also scaled back his commitments due to his suffering health, announcing in August that he would no longer hold public autograph signings.

Lee, who began his career as a comic book writer in 1939, helped launch the Marvel Universe in 1961 and co-created the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, The Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Black Panther, the original X-Men and many other immortal icons.  Lee’s Marvel creations are credited with advancing the art form of comics, by introducing heroes with real world flaws and problems.  His style of crafting comics was also innovative, with him penning a story outline, which artists like jack Kirby and Steve Ditko would then drawn, with Lee (and later others) going back and filling in the dialogue.

Fans have been delighted by his frequent cameo appearances in various movies and TV series based on Marvel characters.  Ironically, his last film appearance was in the animated DC Comics movie ‘Teen Titans GO! To the Movies’.  Reportedly, he has filmed additional cameos to be inserted into future films.  He also recorded a part for the Disney XD series ‘Avengers Assemble: Black Panther’s Quest’.  Prior to his film cameos, Lee often narrated animated Marvel television shows like ‘Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends’ and ‘The Incredible Hulk’.

In recent years, Lee had been embroiled with a number of legal issues, involving his former business partner Keya Morgan and the company he co-founded POW! Entertainment. He filed a $1 billion law suit against POW!, but dropped it a few weeks later.  He had filed a restraining order against Moore, alleging that Morgan had stolen over $5 million in cash, original comic art and other memorabilia and who had been charged with making a false 911 call saying that Lee was being threatened at gunpoint by fired security guards.  He had also been charged with sexual harassment by nurses whose care he was in, another case where charges were dropped.  There was also an investigation in elder abuse against Lee and claims on his part that his social media had been hacked.

In a 2014 interview with the Chicago Tribune, Lee said:

“I used to think what I did was not very important.  People are building bridges and engaging in medical research, and here I was doing stories about fictional people who do extraordinary, crazy things and wear costumes. But I suppose I have come to realize that entertainment is not easily dismissed.”

Lee was born Stanley Martin Lieber but used the pen name Stan Lee for his comic book work, hoping to save his real name for “the great American novel” he hoped to write.

Lee’s death follows that of Steve Ditko, his ‘Spider-Man’ and ‘Doctor Strange’ collaborator, who passed away in July.

In 1996, while appearing on ‘The Late Show with Conan O’Brien’, he joked:

“When a celebrity dies, about 15 minutes later, the newspaper comes out and there are about three pages of write-ups about them, and you wonder how did they write it that fast? It’s all there in advance.

“I’d love to think my obituary is on file somewhere. Then I’d know I made it. I don’t want to see it too soon, but that’s how I’d know I made it.”

Lee is survived by his daughter Joan Celia “J.C.” Lee as well as a younger brother Larry Lieber, who also worked for Marvel.  His wife, Joan, passed away in 2017.

“ ‘Nuff said… Excelsior!”

Source: The Hollywood Reporter