Gratitude for a Real Hero
Celebrities pay their respects to Marvel's Stan Lee

Stan Lee at his tribute event at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, California last August 2017 (Photo by Chris Pizzello for AP)

updated April 26, 2019

Stan Lee, the mind behind Marvel Comics and the many heroes it sprung like Spider-Man, Iron Man, and the X-Men, passed away on November 12, 2018 (November 13, Philippine Time) at the age of 95.

Lee has been credited with many creations of superheroes that are loved today by fans, some of them he co-created with Jack Kirby. The duo produced such icons like the Hulk and Fantastic Four, gathering them all into the super-team The Avengers.

He gained greater popularity for his cameos in the various films that featured his Marvel characters, as early as the first X-Men film in 2000 right up to blockbuster hits of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, most recently in Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame (both 2019).

Upon hearing the news of Lee’s passing, celebrities took to social media to pay their respects and thank the writer & artist for his contributions and friendship.

Hugh Jackman, who played Wolverine in nine different films (10 if you include archival footage from Deadpool 2) from 2000-2017, was among the first to offer his condolences for Stan Lee; he also cited being proud to have helped bring his iconic character to the screen, as it paved the way for future Marvel films to be created.

Robert Downey, Jr., the man behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first feature film Iron Man (2008), posted as well on Instagram a photo of him with Lee on one of Marvel Studio’s sets; in a short caption, he mentions how he “owes it all” to Lee.

Tom Holland was the newest actor to undertake the role of arguably Marvel’s most popular creation Spider-Man, donning the suit in Captain America: Civil WarSpider-Man: Homecoming, and Avengers Infinity War. Holland stated that he is “indebted” to the “father of Marvel”.

Josh Brolin, who starred as the Mad Titan Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Endgame, posted on Instagram astounding words of Lee’s creative genius, putting him along names like Dr. Seuss and Ray Bradbury. Infinity War, which was released earlier this year, is currently the highest grossing film of 2018 (fourth all-time) and is the first superhero film to gross over $2 billion worldwide.

Anthony and Joe Russo, collectively known as the Russo Brothers, are the directorial geniuses behind the last two Avengers‘ successes, as well as working on the two Captain America sequels. But without Lee to inspire their childhoods, the movies’ success would not have been possible.

Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, extended his gratitude to Lee as the reason behind the studio’s success. “Stan leaves an extraordinary legacy that will outlive us all,” said Feige. He also offered his condolences to his daughter, Joan Cecilia Lee.

Marvel’s own Twitter account tweeted a link that showed Lee’s history with Marvel and his work has changed the course for both its studio and Disney (of which Marvel is now under). “Every time you open a Marvel comic, Stan will be there,” ends the dedication article.

Stan Lee’s own Instagram account posted one last photo, a simple text stating the years of his life highlighted by the word “Excelsior!”, which was Lee’s trademark catchphrase that he recited at conventions and screenings (it even made it to Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015). The word is now going viral, along with Lee’s name, as millions of people around the world too pay their respects to the great artist.

Truly the world will never see a man like Stan Lee again. His creations have inspired and entertained generations of children and adults alike, spanning different incarnations across all mediums. As the tributes roll in, we remember the man who at the very beginning envisioned giving the public a world beyond possibility, and wrote it right into our heart. Thank you Stan, Excelsior!

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