The End of the Marvel Age: Stan Lee Dead at 95

Stratis Bohle & Sydney Borbbey

Stan Lee, the editor, publisher, and President of Marvel Comics from 1942 to 1996 passed away at the age of 95. Lee was born on December 28, 1922, in Manhattan in the apartment of his Romanian Jewish immigrant parents. He had one younger brother, Lary Leiber, 9 years his junior. Lee joined Marvel in 1939 having a connection to owner Martin Goodman, whose wife was Lee’s cousin. He would become editor in 1942 after Jack Kirby and Joe Simon left the company due to a dispute between them and Goodman. Lee would hold the position until 1972.

As the comic branches Editor-in-Chief, Lee led Marvel into the forefront soon after rival DC Comics brought back golden age superheroes such as Flash and Green Lantern. Lee’s first creation in his Marvel age was the Fantastic Four, a family of four with flawed attributes which was a departure from the image of the super squeaky clean superhero such as Superman in the 1950’s. Over the next half-century, his innovation of flawed characters seeped itself into the rest of Marvel comics and turned the dial to 1,000 when DC Comics took the idea in the late 60’s and early 70’s culminating in Watchmen and the Dark Knight Returns in the 1980’s.

On December 5, 1947, Lee wedded Joan Clayton Boocock, with whom he spent sixty-nine years of his life with. Together they had two children, Joan Celia “J. C.” Lee, who was born in 1950, and one who died in childbirth. Joan Boocock passed away on July 6, 2017 of complications with a stroke, well over a year before her husband.

On November 12, 2018, Stan Lee died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California at the age of 95. It has been said that earlier this year, he had been battling pneumonia, and it was progressively getting worse. He is survived by his brother, Lary Leiber, and his daughter, Joan Celia “J.C.” Lee. Lee will be deeply missed within the Marvel comic community.