By Jules Shane
With the death of Stan Lee, the comic world mourns the loss of one of the most influential and insightful minds the industry has ever known. From humble beginnings at Marvel’s predecessor, Timely Comics, Lee made his writing debut with Captain America #3 in 1941, using the pen name “Lee” as opposed to his last name Lieber.
He would go on to help create some of the most iconic heroes from the American silver age of comics. The artist was also known as a towering business magnate, leading the Marvel company through tough times as the industry faltered in the ’70s and ’80s, eventually becoming the face of Marvel Comics.
His influence on American pop culture is as pervasive as it is colorful, and his cameo appearances in what has become the largest film franchise in history have become a mainstay with audiences.
Bob Koppy, the owner and purveyor of Empire Collectibles in City Heights, shared the appreciation of Lee’s knack for the business element of comics.
“Stan Lee excelled at being a promoter and a face for Marvel Comics during the 1960s,” Koppy said.
But as much as he did for promoting Marvel and its properties, Koppy noted Lee’s impact on the heroes and stories the company sold.
“Lee was responsible for bringing the X-Men to Jack Kirby and for bringing a little more characterization to the Fantastic 4 so that everyone wasn’t just getting along as friends all the time,” he continued.
—Jules Shane can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.