Harriton’s Tribute to Stan Lee

Stan Lee (December 28, 1922 - November 12, 2018)


Quinn Hughes, Staff Writer

Born in Manhattan, New York City on December 28,1922 to Romanian Jewish parents Celia and Jack Lieber, Stanley Martin Lieber arrived into the world. His childhood began during the Great Depression, a time when America suffered its greatest recession in history; a time when people found it hard to find and keep jobs; a time when the economy was practically at a standstill as far as money was concerned. This was the era in which Stan Lee began his life.

Lee developed a genuine liking for art and writing at a young age, and with the help of his uncle, was able to obtain a job in the “timely comics” section of Pulp Magazine. This comics department was under the company entitled Martin Goodman, which eventually morphed into what we all know today as Marvel.

Lee began working at the bottom of the social ladder. He was in charge of retrieving lunch for the writers, proofreading and making sure all of the lines were correctly placed on the pictures. He eventually worked his way up to writing, illustrating and developing his first comic book strip, which was called “Captain America Foils the Traitor’s Revenge.” This was the May-cover 1941 release.

The following year, 1942, Lee joined the United States Army and served as a member of the signal corps, repairing telegraph poles and other equipment necessary for communications during World War II.

Following this he was transferred to the Training Film Division where he completed jobs such as writing manuals, writing training films–which were educational films about tasks and jobs that needed to be completed around encampments during the war–writing slogans and drawing occasional cartoons, used to communicate with the people about what was happening during the war.

Lee retired from the army in 1945 after completing three years of service.

In the late 1950s, DC Comics editor Julius Schwartz made the superhero vs. villain storyline in comics popular again, in a way saving Lee’s failing career. After many tries at different genres, Lee was experiencing a lag in success and was on the verge of failing until Schwartz brought comics back to life.

Lee was asked to work with him. At this point the Justice League had been created and was a wild success. Lee was asked to create an entirely new team of superheroes.

Some favorite characters like the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Iron Man and the X-men were created during this time period. The comic strip Daredevil quickly rose in popularity during this time as well. Doctor Strange was introduced in this time. But one of the most successful superheroes of this era rose to popularity in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and that was Spider-man.

“Yeah I love Stan Lee! Definitely going to miss him. My favorite character of all time is Spider-man. I wouldn’t be the same person without him. He’s been my idol since like kindergarten…Spider-man is really just a teenage kid who is also struggling with girlfriend issues and high school academics who also happens to be very scientifically oriented, as he develops his own super suit and web shooters.”  —Robert Fleming, Student Council Sergeant of Arms

“I absolutely love the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, and follow them really closely. I come from a comic book reading family, so it’s in my genes. One of the first stories I’ve ever read was the Phoenix Saga, featuring the character Jean Grey co-created by Stan Lee, when I was 5 or 6. I can still remember it and I still get choked up explaining the plot.”  —Freya Norwood, Freshman

“My family would usually go see the movies together and it was nice that he could so perfectly create a universe you could disappear into, so I think I’ll miss him and his work.”  —Samantha Biglin, Sophomore

Stan Lee’s characters have left impressions on many people, as he is an idol to many because his characters are so relatable. His brilliant work will be remembered now and in future generations. We will miss Stan Lee as a school community and as citizens of the world he changed forever.