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November 12, 2018

Stan Lee dies at 95; Marvel stars and comic books fans react

Stan Lee, legendary comic book writer and editor for Marvel, passed away Monday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the New York Times reports. He was 95.

Born Stanley Martin Lieber on Dec. 28, 1922, in New York City, his creative artistry is responsible for many of the beloved characters in the Marvel Universe including Spider Man, Black Panther, The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, Ant Man, Iron Man, and The Avengers. He became an advocate for the comic book company, even moving to Los Angles in 1980 to bring his world to TV and film.

The superhero stories and characters that Lee championed would grow to become superstar films, making more than $24 billion worldwide as of April 2018. Lee's cameo appearances in the Marvel films also became a beloved tradition, and Chris Ryons from Atomic City Comics, 638 South St., doesn't think his memory will ever fade from the franchise.

"You're going to see a lot of tributes going forward for Marvel," he said. "You’ll probably see him in pictures or billboards or something like that. Keep something going, as a remembrance, because he’s one of the greats." 

Fans and Hollywood flooded social media on Lee's passing, including the some of the stars of the Marvel movies, like Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool), Edgar Wright ("Ant Man," director), Chris Evans (Captain America), and Zoe Saldana ("Guardians of the Galaxy").

Many of them adding, "Excelsior!" to the end of their tributes, in honor of Stan's infamous and trademarked catchphrase from his former monthly 1960s comic book column, "Stan's Soapbox." 

Marvel competitors, DC Comics, even commemorated Lee's death, noting "he changed the way we look at superheroes."

The U.S. Army also paid its respects to the former soldier, adding, "Lee served in the #USArmy Signal Corps during WWII from 1942-1945. We are deeply grateful for his service to our country and for his tremendous support to servicemembers. #Excelsior!"

Questlove was among those saddened by the news. Seth Rogen gave a heartfelt thanks to Marvel's co-creator, tweeting, "Thank you Stan Lee for making people who feel different realize they are special." 

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Stan The Man. #RipStanLee

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Atomic City Comics' Ryons discussed Lee's mark on comics and the world.

"He hasn’t been much of a creator on Marvel for years but the impact (of his death) will be felt for a long time to come," Ryons said. "He was a legend and really helped to push the medium forward. We are definitely sad to see him go. He left a great legacy. Creators, artists and writers will have big shoes to fill going forward.”

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