The passing of Stan Lee on Monday immediately left a Thanos-like void in the universe, not to mention a huge spiritual hole in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, known affectionately and necessarily as the MCU.
His death at the age of 95 sent shock waves through the publishing and movie world, with Lee creating so numerous famed characters that you see today on the big screen in films like "Avengers" and "Black Panther".
The creative powerhouse was one of the critical figures behind the creation of Marvel Comics, and co-authored many of its hit series including Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men. "Part of me thought he would live forever".
Numerous characters were developed for television with varying degrees of success. He ended up writing comics himself in short order, and helped create characters that would make Marvel a major rival to DC Comics (of Superman and Batman fame) in the 1960s.
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Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr said of Lee: "I owe it all to you".
Stan Lee revolutionized comic books by delicately balancing superhuman powers with humanizing choices and giving young people everywhere heroes they could relate to. "I just hoped the books would sell and I'd keep my job", Lee said in 2006. In 2005, Lee and Marvel settled their differences for $10 million. "So from now on, I want you to remember that", he said in a 2012 YouTube video.
In recent years the Marvel brand expanded into Hollywood, creating a multi billion-dollar film franchise.
Outside of my parents, you were the one adult who gave me the most useful life skills I still use today. It was his first public appearance following the death of his wife, Joan, who had died a week prior.