LOS ANGELES — Comic book genius Stan Lee, the architect of the contemporary comic book, has died. He was 95.
The creative dynamo who revolutionized the comics by introducing human frailties in superheroes such as Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four and The Incredible Hulk, was declared dead Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to Kirk Schenck, an attorney for Lee’s daughter, J.C. Lee.
As the top writer at Marvel Comics and later as its publisher, he revived the industry in the 1960s by offering the costumes and action craved by younger readers while insisting on sophisticated plots, college-level dialogue, satire, science fiction, even philosophy.
In Denver, the owner of Mile High Comics was quite emotional talking about Lee’s passing. “I felt a little sick to my stomach. I mean it was just one of those things, like a member of my family had passed ,” said Chuck Rozanski.
Rozanski and Lee were in a Morgan Spurlock documentary together, and spent time together over the years. But, Rozanski had marveled over Lee’s characters since childhood.
“When I was kid, I was dirt poor and I got the crap beat out of me a lot, and Spiderman was my inspiration, and made me feel enough of a sense of optimism to get through my childhood, otherwise I don’t know if I would have made it,” he said.
Spider-Man, the Hulk and X-Men were among the Lee creations that went on to become stars of blockbuster films.