James Gunn marks the 100th birthday of the late Stan Lee with a celebration. Even if the Marvel Cinematic Universe has grown significantly, it would not have been possible for it to be as successful without the well-known comic book author. In addition to creating some of the most famous comic book characters ever, Lee also became well-known for his outsized personality and recognizability. Following his repeated cameo appearances in Marvel movies and television programs based on his characters, he became well-known. Just a little over a month shy of his 96th birthday, Lee passed away in 2018 at the age of 95.
Four years later, Lee is still regarded as one of the greatest comic book authors of all time by fans all around the world. On Lee’s birthday, Gunn, the Guardians of the Galaxy movie’ MCU director, sent a message on Twitter to honor his buddy. The greeting was simple and concise: “Happy 100th birthday, Stan Lee.” We will miss you, my friend.” Gunn also included pictures of himself with the legendary character who, while playing a small role in the formation of the Guardians of the Galaxy, continued to support them and make appearances in those films proudly. Here is a tweet from Gunn:
Examining Stan Lee’s Legacy in the MCU
Lee has long lobbied for film adaptations of his characters. In the beginning, only TV studios were interested in adapting Lee’s characters for their productions. This led to the development of The Incredible Hulk TV series, which starred Lou Ferrigno and Bill Bixby and ran for five years. However, other adaptations, including a Doctor Strange TV movie, Captain America movies, and spinoffs of The Incredible Hulk featuring Thor and Daredevil, were not as successful and failed to generate much interest. A Spider-Man TV series was also made, but it received negative reviews and even Lee himself criticized it as being uninspired and dull.
After the failure of Howard the Duck at the box office, Lee had difficulty bringing more Marvel characters to the big screen. However, the release of Blade and X-Men marked a turning point, and Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, which followed soon after, paved the way for the production and commercial success of other notable Marvel films. Lee was totally in favor of Kevin Feige’s plan to build a common world akin to the comics when he took over Marvel Studios. Lee also had a penchant for making brief appearances in movies, and Feige continued the practice and had Lee’s presence in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 support a widely held fan idea that Lee was the same character who had been appearing in all the movies.
Despite his passing, Lee’s contributions to the success of Marvel Comics and the MCU are still honored. Even while there have been suggestions that Marvel may continue the practice of his cameo appearances after his passing, this seems improbable and might be seen as disrespectful. Stan Lee and the delight he provided to readers and audiences worldwide are revered by Gunn and the rest of the Marvel cast and crew. It doesn’t seem like anybody will ever forget the Marvel comic book creator, especially with the news of a new Disney+ documentary also coming.