Remembering Stan Lee - Dunking on Bigots Since '65
Today the sad news broke that Stan Lee, the in-house superhero of Marvel comics who helped create famous heroes such as Spider-Man, the X-Men, Iron Man, Black Panther, Captain America, Daredevil, and many more, had passed away after a well-lived 95 years of life. While it was a tremendous loss for the world of comics and pop culture, it’s also worth taking a moment to remember Stan Lee’s work in standing up to bigots and calling out their nonsense on the reg.
From 1965 to 2001, Lee regularly wrote a column appearing in issues of Marvel comics called “Stan’s Soapbox.” In his ‘Soapbox,” Lee covered a variety of topics - some comics-related, some not. Some of his most famous columns were the ones where he would speak directly to Marvel readers about issues of the day. On more than one occasion, Lee would take to his ‘Soapbox’ to share some choice words about his thoughts on hatred and bigotry (hint: he wasn’t a fan).
In addition to his own personal column, Stan Lee was also a driving force behind iconic mid-century comics titles such as X-Men and their metaphor for society’s hatred for “others”, and Black Panther - the first black superhero in mainstream comics.
Today, it seems like Stan Lee’s words, written 50 years ago, ring more true than ever. And these are words that Stan carried for decades. Here he is in a special video message from October of 2017, not long after the Charlottesville violence and the ensuring fallout.
Pax ex Justitia. Rest in peace, Mr. Lee. Excelsior!