(Published by me in November 2018)
Lee was born Stanley Martin Lieber in Manhattan’s Upper West Side in 1922. His childhood was greatly marred by the Great Depression, influencing the way he upheld work and life. He attended DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx. At the young age of 17, Lee got a job working as a script writer for Timely Comics, what would later become known as Marvel Comics. This job would provide a segue into the entertainment business for him. He began by doing menial jobs. When he was only 19 years old, Lee was then made interim editor and worked there for 31 years, mostly as editor-in-chief. In 1942, he joined the United States Army and served in the Signal Corps. He continued his creative streak there by writing manuals, training films and slogans, which is why he was nicknamed ‘playwright.’
After finishing with the army, Lee re-entered the company in 1950s, which was then known as ‘Atlas Comics’. He experimented with various genres throughout his entire career––writing romance, sci-fi, horror, humor, etc. It was during the late 1950s that superheroes, such as Doctor Strange and the Hulk, were created. For Lee’s numerous achievements, he was honoured with titles and awards including (but not restricted to), a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Eisner Award, Harvey Award, and a place in Disney’s Hall of Fame. Lee was a pinnacle in developing characters whom the audience saw a bit of themselves in. Marvel’s heroes were outcasts, the victims of injustice, trapped in moral webs stronger than anything Spider-Man ever encountered. They appealed to people who felt the same way, even before Lee and the other Marvel creators published the first heroes of colour and diverse abilities.
Lee was every bit as complicated as the characters he created. His ideas taught generations of fans about responsibility, morality, and love. In a sense, his death can’t be any more permanent than ones he might have written, because the stories he began are all to be continued. As for now, we can only hope he has managed to find peace.