Marvel heroes broke records and changed Hollywood

Danny Woods
November 13, 2018

Kirk Schneck, an attorney for Lee's daughter, tells CNN the comic giant was taken by ambulance from his Los Angeles home on Monday morning to Cedar's Sinai Medical Center, where he later died. He had battled multiple illnesses in the past year, including pneumonia and vision problems.

The legendary comic book writer helped create one of the most expansive comic book universes of all-time and graced the silver screen with a memorable cameo in each Marvel movie.

His death at the age of 95 sent shock waves through the publishing and movie world, with Lee creating so numerous famed characters that you see today on the big screen in films like "Avengers" and "Black Panther". Together with Kirby, Steve Ditko, and other figures such as John Romita, Lee helped craft a modern mythos in the Marvel Universe, what many would consider to house the 20th century's most iconic superheroes and villains.

I don't think I'd want to be immortal.

First came the Fantastic Four, a superhero team probably most famous for the grumpy, rock-skinned Thing. The military recognized his impeccable writing skills, which he later used to develop some of the most celebrated superhero characters. In 2009, the Walt Disney Company purchased Marvel Entertainment - the licensing arm of the comic-book brand - for $4 billion.

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"Thank you Stan Lee for making people who feel different realize they are special", wrote actor Seth Rogen.

His cameos have been a staple of nearly every major Marvel movie since the reinvention of the Hollywood franchise, which The New York Times notes had grossed more than $24 billion worldwide as of April this year.

Just a small sampling of Lee's work. Over the years, the credit for the characters - and, therefore, the profits - has been the subject of court cases, some involving Kirby or his family.

So you not only sold comics, you sold me *on* comics - so much so that I built a life and career around your dreams and ideals. After a worldwide box office of almost $18 billon and Captain Marvel poised to be released next spring, Disney's big bucks acquisition of Fox's film properties this year, sees the previously pre-Disney licensed X-Men plus Spidey himself and more look to swing over the cinematic rooftops anew in the not too distant future.

At the time of his death, Stan Lee worked for Marvel for over 65 years, and as of 2017, his net worth was $50 million.

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