Stan Lee

Sthanlee B. Mirador/SIPA USA

Stan Lee, Marvel Comics Co-Creator, Dead At 95

November 12, 2018 - 2:05 pm
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LOS ANGELES (WCBS 880/AP) — Stan Lee, the man who helped create Marvel Comics, has died, according to his daughter.

TMZ reports that Lee was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center early Monday morning. It’s unclear why he was transported, but the 95-year-old had suffered from several illnesses over the last year, including pneumonia.

Lee started Marvel with Jack Kirby in 1961, with the comic book “Fantastic Four.” He also created Spider-Man, Black Panther, Iron Man and a number of other superheroes.

Lee also made cameos in all Marvel movies, and most recently made an appearance in the Spider-Man game for PlayStation 4.

Lee considered the comic-book medium an art form and he was prolific: By some accounts, he came up with a new comic book every day for 10 years.

"I wrote so many I don't even know. I wrote either hundreds or thousands of them," he told the AP in 2006.

He hit his stride in the 1960s when he brought the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Spider-Man, Iron Man and numerous others to life.

"It was like there was something in the air. I couldn't do anything wrong," he recalled.

His heroes, meanwhile, were a far cry from virtuous do-gooders such as rival DC Comics' Superman.

The Fantastic Four fought with each other. Spider-Man was goaded into superhero work by his alter ego, Peter Parker, who suffered from unrequited crushes, money problems and dandruff. The Silver Surfer, an alien doomed to wander Earth's atmosphere, waxed about the woeful nature of man. The Hulk was marked by self-loathing. Daredevil was blind and Iron Man had a weak heart.

READ MORE: Celebrities React To Marvel Creator Stan Lee's Death

"The beauty of Stan Lee's characters is that they were characters first and superheroes next," Jeff Kline, executive producer of the "Men in Black" animated television series, told The Blade of Toledo, Ohio, in 1998.

Some of Lee's creations became symbols of social change — the inner turmoil of Spider-Man represented '60s America, for example, while The Black Panther and The Savage She-Hulk mirrored the travails of minorities and women.

Lee scripted most of Marvel's superhero comics himself during the '60s, including the Avengers and the X-Men, two of the most enduring. In 1972, he became Marvel's publisher and editorial director; four years later, 72 million copies of Spider-Man were sold.

Lee’s wife of 69 years, Joan, died in 2017.

The Marvel comic mastermind is survived by his daughter J.C.

(© 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)