Stan Lee Photo: Gage Skidmore
The Marvel Universe feels a little quieter tonight after the death of one of the greatest real life heroes to grace the comics scene, Stan Lee. The cause of his passing is not yet known but he was reportedly rushed to Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles after experiencing a medical emergency. He was 95.
The co-creator of characters including Spider-Man, Daredevil, Black Panther and the Hulk, he fought against censorship and helped the industry to start reaching more mature audiences. A member of the Producers' Guild of America, he had cameos in many films based on his work, including Iron Man, Thor and Deadpool. He was most recently seen onscreen walking a dog in Venom.
His charity,. the Stan Lee Foundation, funds projects aimed at improving literacy, enhancing diversity and supporting arts and culture.
Tributes have been pouring in from fans, including Mark Hamil, who said "His contribution to pop culture was revolutionary and cannot be overstated. He was everything you hoped he would be and more. I love this man and will never stop missing him. They say you should never meet a childhood idol. They are wrong."
"My youth wouldn't have been the same without him," said James Wan, calling him "a true pioneer and legend."
"When we were afraid, he gave us strength. When we were alone, he gave us a family. He may be gone, but his teachings live on through us, his students. Wherever we may go, we must carry on his vision. And that is a vision of a world united," said Rebecca Romijn.
Lee is survived by one of his daughters. His wife of 69 years, Joan, died in July last year.