What STAN LEE Meant To Me

Stan Lee passed away Monday morning, and the impact was felt around the world. You can’t touch social media without scrolling by a message about the icon. I can honestly say that Monkeys Fighting Robots would not be here if not for Stan Lee. The staff at Monkeys Fighting Robots wanted to take this moment to reflect on the icon and honor his legacy by sharing our thoughts on what he meant to us. Please add your own personal note about Stan in the comments section below.

SPIDER-MAN AND HIS AMAZING FRIENDS rocked this 5-year-old in 1981 and changed his course of history. I made my mom drive all over Upstate New York looking for web-shooters for my first grade Spider-Man costume (she never found them). What made the show great was Stan Lee’s introduction for every episode, which started with season two (Marvel went back and added Stan to season one for the reruns). I would get goosebumps and a little scared when he introduced the INCREDIBLE HULK. It was that charisma for storytelling that got me hooked on comic books. Thank you, Stan!Matthew Sardo

Without Stan Lee’s work, I don’t know what kind of person I would be today. And I don’t want to know. Stan showed me that anybody – no matter how flawed – could be a hero. I think of his lessons on a daily basis.Anthony Composto

Saying Marvel Comics was a big part of my life would be an understatement. From the comics, the movies, the shows, and the very spirit and energy these media posses has left a lasting impact on my life. Without Stan Lee, such a legacy would not have been possible. He taught us all not only to be heroes but to carry the great responsibility associated with it on your shoulders.Tony Wendel

In 2001, I moved to Los Angeles. I moved there with a friend who was looking to get into the television business. At the time I had been a lapsed comic book fan, going on 4-5 years without reading anything currently. I had a job as a movie theater usher, and one quiet morning Stan Lee came in alone to catch an early matinee. I geeked out immediately, telling him how I had grown up loving Marvel and comics in general. He listened to everything I said and then told me to check out some of the new “Ultimate” comics Marvel had just started doing at the time, as well as Marvel Knights. I did and fell in love with the medium again. After that day I became a weekly Wednesday Warrior again, looking forward to each NCBD. And have stayed that way until today. So yeah Stan Lee got me into comics, and then he got me back into them too!. ‘Nuff Said!Manny Gomez

I don’t remember the moment I first learned of Stan Lee, as he has been a part of my life from what feels like the very beginning. I do, however, remember the moment I realized who Stan Lee really was. He wasn’t just the guy that popped up in the movies; he was the guy that created this entire universe of characters that I have loved and will continue to love. Stan Lee didn’t just create heroes; he was one. I’m incredibly sad to hear that he’s gone, but it’s comforting to know that he’ll never be forgotten and his work will live forever.Kieran Mclean

Stan provided the scripture and personality for what is the only religion that ever made sense to me, comic books. He was my childhood preacher and hype man for what I have always cared about most in this world. Without Stan Lee, I don’t know if I would’ve been comfortable publicly dedicating so much of my life to these silly stories and characters that mean so much to me.Brandon Griffin

Stan Lee was an incredible creator, but more than that, he was so incredibly earnest. He clearly loved his characters as much as, if not more, than any of the millions of Marvel fans. In an industry that too often ruled by cynicism or commercialism, Stan Lee was a bright light.Jon Barr

Stan Lee taught us to read. He taught us to care. He taught us to be kind. Because kindness is the only superpower, we’ll ever need. Gary Moloney

Spider-Man introduced me to comics. From that point on, I was hooked. Stan Lee was a visionary and what he accomplished over his lifetime in propelling Marvel to what it is today, is nothing short of amazing. I will miss seeing his cameos in future MCU adaptations, but he will forever be remembered. I credit him with filling my heart with enthusiasm, which makes me a proud nerd. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us, Mr. Lee. Rest In Peace and Excelsior!Michael Stagno

I’m not sure that there are words to describe Stan Lee. “Icon,” “legend,” “trailblazer”… they just don’t seem powerful enough to describe a man who created characters that have made such an impact on pop culture. Rest easy, Stan. Excelsior!Kimberly Cook

Summing up the legacy of someone like Stan Lee is hard. He’s one of a few individuals who I can honestly say left a permanent, positive mark on world culture. Still, it was Stan’s appearance on THE SIMPSONS that always best-defined who he was to me: a good-natured guy who never took himself too seriously and just wanted to bring happiness to others. In that regard, the world needs a lot more people like him.David DeCorte

Since I was a kid, I have always been a fan of Stan Lee. His characters inspire us all to be our best selves. We must continue to live out his motto of “Excelsior!” in our daily lives and beyond. Mr. Lee, you will be missed.Sean Boelman

Since I was a child, I’ve loved comic books, and Stan Lee has been responsible for more of them than any being on this or any other planet. The characters he helped create have brought so much joy into my life it’s hard to imagine what a boring existence it would’ve been without him. For more than 30 years, I don’t think I’ve ever gone more than a week without reading or watching something of his, and if the fates are kind, I never will. He was and is an inspiration for myself and everyone with an imagination. Excelsior, sir!Joshua Versalle

Probably more so than any creator who ever lived, Stan Lee had a massive impact on me and how I view the world. I picked up my first Spider-Man comic in 1992 when I was about 5 or 6. And though he was long gone by then, I devoured as many collected editions of the early stuff as I could find. What he did with the sensational Steve Ditko, and later with jazzy John Romita Sr. was nothing short of spectacular. It made me dream of being an editor in the Spider-Man office at Marvel when I “grew up.” And look, as a 32-year-old who’s nine years into a career in a different part of publishing/media, that’s basically probably a pipe dream at this point, regardless of what I know/don’t know. It remains fun to think about either way. But I digress. One of the coolest things that Joe Quesada said during the Marvel Knights panel at New York Comic Con this year was about advice Stan gave once regarding writing comics.

Let’s say you start with Spider-Man on the side of a building, the wind whipping against him, rain falling. He’s looking into the horizon. He’s about to swing away. Who is he? He’s a guy who’s wearing blue and red spandex and has these powers and uses them to fight crime. But there’s more to it than that because there’s more to anyone than that. What are his dreams? Who does he love? What keeps him awake at night? Why is he doing this? Looking at not just the protagonist like that, but practically every supporting character, expanded the superhero genre and comic medium as a whole beyond one-dimensional morality plays. That’s a hell of a legacy that he created alongside the likes of Kirby and Ditko and Romita and Simon and Kane and so on.Roger Riddell

How did Stan Lee impact your life, comment below with your thoughts?

Matthew Sardo
Matthew Sardo
As the founder of Monkeys Fighting Robots, I'm currently training for my next job as an astronaut cowboy. Reformed hockey goon, comic book store owner, video store clerk, an extra in 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon,' 'Welcome Back Freshman,' and for one special day, I was a Ghostbuster.