Stan Lee, Marvel Comics visionary, dead at 95 - TulsaCW.com: TV To Talk About | The Tulsa CW

Stan Lee, Marvel Comics visionary, dead at 95

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By Malcolm Venable,

Stan Lee, the Marvel Comics visionary who co-created several of the brand's most iconic superheroes, including Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk, has died at the age of 95, TMZ reports.

Lee died at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center early Monday morning after being rushed there via ambulance. Lee, who had been active and fond of public appearances up until recently, had been in declining health for about a year, suffering from vision issues and a bout of pneumonia.

Working primarily with artist Jack Kirby, Lee revolutionized Marvel Comics in the early 1960s with the launch of The Fantastic Four. Lee and Kirby's fruitful collaboration also lead to the creation of Iron Man, Thor and the X-Men. Lee's groundbreaking depictions of superheroes changed the landscape of comics and launched an empire that would grow to include film, TV, merchandise and much more. Born Stanley Martin Lieber Dec. 28, 1922, the native of the New York City neighborhood Washington Heights took the pen name Stan Lee around 1941 while working at Timely Comics which would eventually evolve into Marvel comics. At age 19, he was named interim editor and then, after serving in the second World War, he returned and served as the editor for the launch of their blockbuster superhero series The Fantastic Four. Other big characters including The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, and X-Men followed. Lee and Kirby eventually turned Marvel into the world's No. 1 publisher of comic books. He became publisher in 1972 and came to Los Angeles in 1980 to make inroads into Hollywood. Marvel of course become a multimedia powerhouse over the years, purchased by the Walt Disney Co. in 2009 for $4 billion. Lee's superhero characters have not only become pop culture institutions but also massive money-making enterprises at the box office. The Avengers and Black Panther for example are two of the the top-grossing superhero films of all time.

Dozens of Marvel characters have also gone on to dominate television, including live action shows Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Marvel's Runaways and Daredevil along with scores of animated shows among them several Avengers properties. While the shows sometimes angered passionate fans because of quality or how storylines were converted from the books to screen, Marvel's shows earned intense fandom because of the fearless way Marvel shows tackled socio-political topics like racism, women's rights, social justice and plain old good versus evil. It also helped that all of their characters were far more three dimensional and developed than their intial comic origins.

Lee, who enjoyed making cameos in his movies and shows, was known as a feisty guy, but in recent years his personal life began to turn tumultuous. He sued executives at POW! Entertainment, a company he founded to develop TV, video game and film project, for $1 billion in 2017, accusing them of fraud and then dropped the suit weeks later; he sued an ex-business manager soon after and in June of 2018 had been part of an investigation into elder abuse by his own daughter. He was accused of sexual abuse by a Chicago masseuse in 2017.

He's survived by his daughter J.C., and younger brother Larry Lieber who is a Marvel writer and artist. His wife of 69 years Joan died in 2017.

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