Stan Lee is gone. It’s hard even to write those words, though all of us in the geek media sphere knew that sooner or later we’d have to. Perhaps because of that, it became common in fan circles to joke that Lee was actually immortal. Though in actuality it was probably only half a joke, with the other half being something of a desperate plea to any gods that might’ve been listening.
That being said, if you were ever lucky enough to meet Lee or see him at a convention (or even on a DVD extra), you know that it wasn’t just his longevity that inspired that sort of talk. The man was possessed of a seemingly boundless energy that belied his physical age. Well into his golden years, this energy meant he could easily be mistaken for a much younger man. Not only did he tour the world and enthusiastically greet fans wherever he went, it was not unheard of for him to leap from convention stages well past the age at which that might seem like a good idea.
And lest you think that was just Lee putting his game face on for the convention crowd, no less a figure that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige would like a word with you. The producer’s acquaintanceship with Lee spanned nearly two decades, and Fearless Feige (as Lee dubbed him) spoke with the Hollywood Reporter following Lee’s death and made clear that even those who knew him personally were awed not only by Lee’s own energy buy by how infectious it was, comparing Lee’s days filming cameos to holidays.
“He was a ninety-five year old man, I’m realistic. But he’s also Stan Lee. He’s a mythological legend who’s had more energy than me ever since the first day I met him. Part of me thought he would live forever.”
Of course, in a way he will. Stan Lee leaves behind a body of work that spans half a century. His characters have been adapted into every medium imaginable. He made an indelible impact not just on pop culture but American mythology. If that’s not immortality, I don’t know what is.
In the words of The Man himself, “‘Nuff said!”