To My Hero, Stan Lee, Happy Birthday! - South Dade News Leader: Community News | South Dade News Leader | Miami Dade County

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To My Hero, Stan Lee, Happy Birthday!

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Posted: Friday, December 28, 2018 1:00 am | Updated: 8:10 am, Mon Dec 31, 2018.

Stan Lee would have been 96 years old today.

Passing away just less than a year after his wife Joan did -- she died last summer at the age of 95, after being married to him for 69 years -- Stan “The Man” Lee died on November 12th due to ​cardiac arrest with respiratory failure and congestive heart failure​.

Lee not only created notable superhero icons like the X-Men, Hulk, Spiderman and other characters that have become symbolic of Marvel Comics for over fifty years, with artists such as ​Jack Kirby​ and ​Steve Ditko​, but Lee allowed generations of people to strive towards, emulate, and admire the characteristics of many of these extraordinary heroes.

As a black kid living in the suburbs of Connecticut, I understood Lee’s X-Men; powered mutants who strived to protect humans, despite being feared and hated by them for what they could do or how they looked.

Like the Hulk, I would later as a teenager identify with the inner struggle plaguing Dr. Bruce Banner, a mild-mannered scientist whose own rage manifested in a transformation into the nearly unstoppable Hulk, and the struggle to balance and control the monster within.

And now as a father, I understand now more than ever the wise words of Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben: “with great power, comes great responsibility”, words that would guide his alter ego Spider-Man to literally scale greater heights to help within his community and beyond.

Lee’s comics helped me make sense of myself and the world around me, all while treating me to the some of the greatest adventures I’ve ever

known, and allowing me to become part of a community I never knew I needed.

And because Stan Lee made this all happen, his life was one of our greatest gifts, and his death stings to my core.

As other fans around the globe, from New York to New Delhi, seek to celebrate his birthday today and honor it as Stan Lee Day, let’s all take his comic’s themes of unity, tolerance, and cooperation and strive to be truly heroic in the best sense of the word, in the best way in the world.

Or like David Bowie’s song ‘Heroes’ says: “we can be heroes, for just one day”.

Would that we could carry this into the new year and show the world just how amazing, like Spider-man, and incredible, like the Hulk we all can be.

I believe Stan Lee would be the most proud of this team of true believers, and simply say as he always did with the utmost joy and passion, rivaling that which he put into his characters and stories:

Excelsior!

With the flood of Marvel movies coming next year, such as March’s Captain Marvel, and April’s Avengers: Endgame; in addition to films already out now, like the animated Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, making Marvel’s fleet of characters more popular than ever, fans both old and new can definitely agree on one thing.

Without Stan Lee, the hero in all of us wouldn’t have had such astonishing heroes to connect with; such varied and entertaining characters to enjoy.

And that is why Stan Lee was, and will always truly be “The Man” indeed.

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