I swear, I am not going to turn this blog into an obituary column, although by my recent posts, it sure seems that way. I guess that's because I am getting older, and the people I looked up to and followed when I was younger are starting to leave us in the physical plane, and their legacies go on to immortality in our hearts and minds.
Today, many who collect comics, watch movies, or are even remotely familiar with his name, mourn his passing. Stan Lee, the creator of many of the comic book characters that graced the pages of Marvel Comics, passed away today, at the age of 95. Many of the heroes he created at Marvel Comics were a total contrast to those from DC. All of them had their personal flaws, demons, angst, and readers really related to them. Maybe that's why Spider Man, the Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, and the rest, struck a chord with America, and the rest of the world.
I'm not sure which of my parents was the comic book geek. They had quite a collection of both Marvel and DC comics when I was growing up. While my brother was a fan of DC, I was a fan of Marvel. In the Philippines, I remember playing the Marvel Super-Heroes card game, which was basically Old Maid with Marvel heroes and Doctor Doom as the "Old Maid."
|Courtesy of Greg Turner of Back to the Past. I do have these cards.|
I also remember collecting bottlecaps that featured both Marvel heroes AND villains, that you could collect and play, of all things, checkers. I had a complete set of these bottle caps, but I can't remember if there were 24 or 36 caps for the set. No, most likely, you won't find them on eBay. But I remember opening a lot of bottles of pop (can't remember if it was a Pepsi, Coke, or other bottle company that had these either).
His bio is well known, and I am not going to copy what has already been said about the man on many other websites. My kids mostly recognize him as the guy who shows up in every Marvel movie, although he has been known to show up in a couple of DC properties (Teen Titans Go! to the Movies comes to mind). But for me, Stan will always, be THE MAN!
Thank you for entertaining us, comic book fans, for decades. Your legacy will forever live on screen, whether it be in the cartoons, on TV, or in the movies. But more importantly, they will forever live in the pages of Marvel Comics.
Now, Mr. Lee was also a veteran, serving with the U.S. Army Signal Corps during World War II from 1942 to 1945. (something that I didn't know about the man until today). And although Veteran's Day was yesterday, today, it is observed.
I post this every year (or almost every year). And although I missed doing it yesterday, I think I will post it again tonight.
This was written eight years ago, but the sentiments remain the same.
November 11, 1919: President Wilson proclaims the first Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations." The original concept for the celebration was for the suspension of business for a two minute period beginning at 11 A.M., with the day also marked by parades and public meetings.
On June 1, 1954, President Eisenhower signs legislation changing the name of the legal holiday from Armistice Day to Veteran's Day. (from The History of Veterans Day)
To the Men and Women who serve in the US Armed Forces:
I will not pretend I know the infinite different reasons why you made the decision to join the US Military.
I can only imagine what your basic training was like (I'm not even sure the movies do any justice).
I will not pretend to know the feeling of being away from family, friends and all of the comforts of home, having been assigned to a foreign land, serving the interests of our country.
I will not say that I necessarily agree with ALL of the reasons why our country has gone to war.
I will not pretend to know what it is like out in the battlefields, not knowing if I was going to live to see another day.
But I will say this.
Thank you all for your service to our country.
Thank you for the sacrifices you made so that we can continue to live with the freedoms that we enjoy.
Your courage is nothing if not inspiring. Your stories become tales of legend that deserve to be told again and again.
For these, and countless other reasons, I give you my respect.
And I give you thanks.