Happy Birthday Stan Lee From Your Friendly Neighborhood Gwen Stacy!

Last year I wrote this Happy Birthday blog post/love letter to Stan Lee for On Wednesdays We Wear Pink and I thought I’d share it on my personal blog this year in honor of Stan the Man’s birthday<3!  Stan means a lot to me as he’s created so many of my favorite characters.  I read his biography a few years back and it made him all the more charming.
Today is comic book legend Stan Lee’s 89th Birthday! For those who don’t already know, Stan is responsible for creating the majority of today’s most popular Marvel superheroes.  Some of his brain children include SPIDER-MAN (he’s our favorite at OWWWP), Iron Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Thor, Daredevil (with Bill Everett) and Doctor Strange (with Steve Ditko).  If you have not yet read Stan Lee’s autobiography Excelsior! I highly recommend it.  One of my favorite parts of his book was the story of how Stan Lee created Iron Man.  One of Stan’s bosses at the time remarked about how easy it was to make a superhero because everybody loves a hero.  Stan obviously knew better so he made a bet with his boss that he could create a successful superhero who the antithesis of everything America believed in at the time. During the height of the Cold War, when young American’s everywhere protested and despised the current war, Stan created Iron Man as a millionaire industrialist who developed technology and supplied the military with weapons. And as we all know, Iron Man became a favorite character of everyone. Another thing Stan shines some light on in Excelsior! (which by the way means Onward and Upward to Greater Glory!) is his early life and how he kind of fell into comics. Even after taking a brief hiatus and joining the army to assist in World War II (Stan ended up filming instructional videos and writing manuals for the soldiers going off to fight) he made his way back to Marvel.
With the mere mention of Marvel nearly everybody’s first thought is drawn to Stan Lee. Stan  is truly responsible for making Marvel what it is today. When nobody believed that there was any future in comics Stan just kept working even harder and has ultimately proven them to be very wrong. Last year at New York Comic Con (2010) was the first time I had the pleasure of seeing Stan Lee up close and personal.  I attended his panel about the new and exciting characters to expect from Marvel in 2011. Even then at 87 years old, Stan was one of the most charismatic people I have ever seen.  He thrives on being in the spotlight and he jokes around constantly.  As soon as he entered onto the stage the room took on a completely different ambiance. Everyone was just sitting with expressions of shock and awe on their faces, marveling at the fact that this legend was standing a few feet away from them.  Stan has also gone on to make cameo’s in Marvel Entertainment’s movies (we told you he loves the spotlight).  But our favorite cameo appearance we’ve seen Stan do was when he was on The Big Bang Theory. Stan played himself, signed comics at Stuart’s store and when an overexcited Sheldon showed up on his doorstep, Stan told him off, dismissing him as an annoying fanboy and called the cops.  We loved this scene so much because we know that it is the complete opposite of Stan’s usual fun loving attitude.  So we hope you’ll join us in celebrating Stan Lee’s 89th Birthday today by picking up a new (or old comic) of one your favorite Marvel superheros that wouldn’t exist today with the genius himself.  Thanks Stan, Excelsior!
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