I was really sad to hear the news yesterday of the passing of Stan Lee. He pioneered a whole universe of storytelling that’s meant so much to so many of us: not just brightly-coloured superheroes, but characters with doubts and flaws and dark sides they have to overcome – people, in fact, just like us.
More than that, though, he seemed so unaffected by his Living Legend status. I didn’t know him in real life, so that might not in fact have been true. There are some stories suggesting he certainly wasn’t perfect – if he did indeed harass his nurses, for example, that is inexcusable. I don’t know enough right now to judge.
His work and words have been a big part of my life, though, so I do feel a big loss. And what feels like most of a loss isn’t to do with his writing or his cultural legacy. It’s that in his columns and interviews, he clicked with us all as just someone else who was thrilled and giggly about these big, rollercoaster storylines – another True Believer who was as caught up in the excitement as we were. That counts for something in the western entertainment industry. And his endless willingness to send himself up in his cameos in the Marvel movies meant he was a constant presence in our lives right up to this year. Daft as it sounds, the biggest sadness at his loss is that I’ll miss him. He seemed like a fun, nice guy who loved fantastical adventure stories like we do, and we won’t have him any more.
Rest In Peace Stan the Man. Excelsior!