I’m pretty sure that you’ve heard the news. If you’re like me, you’re feeling numb. It’s a familiar feeling; I had that same, hollowed out sensation in the center of my chest when I heard the news about Leonard Nimoy years ago. A part of my childhood is gone. A corner of my world has gone dark.
To most of you, Stan Lee was the man behind Marvel comics. To me, he was the narrator of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. Every Saturday morning, I heard that voice as I lay on the couch, wrapped in a favorite blanket. That voice was also a part of the Incredible Hulk cartoon that I watched. I knew the name. I knew the voice. But I didn’t understand the significance of either. At least, not until many years later.
As an adult, spotting smiling Stan Lee in a cameo role in a Marvel movie was part of the fun, as well as the biggest reason to buy a ticket. (My favorite Stan Lee cameo is in the original Thor. He’s driving a truck that’s attempting to lift up Mjölnir.) Catching a glimpse of him, hearing him say a few words, that often made the movie. Because without him, we wouldn’t have a Marvel universe.
Now the days of looking for him in an MCU cameo are rapidly coming to a close.
I lack the words to express how I feel, how empty the world seems now. All I can say is that he will be greatly missed.