Wikipedia says Stan Lee is “an American comic book writer, editor, actor, producer, publisher, television personality, and the former president and chairman of Marvel Comics.”
They forgot the roles of Awesomeness Maker, Superhero Wrangler, and Lord of All Things Nerdy.
Today happens to be the man’s 90th (yes, ninetieth) birthday. So we thought it fitting to take a quick look at his life so far and hope that he’ll make it to the triple digits unharmed. Of course, this is the man that is responsible for creating such unforgettable characters in the superhero worlds and founding the Stan Lee Foundation which focuses on literacy, education, and the arts.
Lee’s early career began with working at Timely Comics, a studio that would come to be known as Marvel Comics. He began doing mundane tasks such as fetching lunches and filling inkwells so that artists had all the supplies they needed to create their comics. Just two years later, just shy of his 19th birthday, he became interim editor which would later earn him the spot as Editor-in-Chief until 1972 – a whopping 31 years later.
In that time, Lee would create some of his most famous comic franchises – Fantastic Four, Hulk, Thor, X-Men, and Iron Man – as well as trademark his now famous phrase “Excelsior!”
With the rise of nerd comedies like The Big Bang Theory in the media in the past few years, as well as the huge number of superhero movies made over the last decade or so, Stan Lee has become arguably more popular than he’s ever been. We’ve been lucky enough to meet him at a few conventions and have seen line-ups for autograph grow at each one. This, of course, isn’t hurt by the fact that he has done a cameo in every film in the Marvel universe since 1989’s TV-movie The Trial of the Incredible Hulk. But we won’t tell you where he appears in each movie. Watch them all below (and see if you can find Lou Ferrigno, the original Hulk, while you’re at it!):
In the past few months, it appears that Stan Lee has become ill with a few ailments. This September, he had a pacemaker installed which forced him to cancel a few appearances. However, in true Stan Lee style, he released this statement about the procedure:
This is a dispatch sent from your beloved Generalissimo, directly from the center of Hollywood’s combat zone!
Now hear this! Your leader hath not deserted thee! In an effort to be more like my fellow Avenger, Tony Stark, I have had an electronic pace-maker placed near my heart to insure that I’ll be able to lead thee for another 90 years.
But fear thee not, my valiant warriors. I am in constant touch with our commanders in the field and victory shall soon be ours. Now I must end this dispatch and join my troops, for an army without a leader is like a day without a cameo!
We wonder how much fun that thing was to write, but either way, we hope he’s right and he does live for another 90 years! Who knows how many more characters he’s got in that brain of his! Stan Lee has exactly the type of brain we’d want to preserve and turn into a machine one day. We know that sounds weird, but if you think about all the wickedly awesome creations he must have stored in that noggin of his, you would think the same.Happy Birthday, Stan Lee! Excelsior!