Last week, Joan Lee, the wife of Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee, passed away. Joan Lee was vital to the creation of the Marvel universe. Later in her life she also inhabited the Marvel Universe as a voice actor for on several of Marvel’s 1990s cartoon, most notably voicing madame web in Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
Following her death, Spider-Man: The Animated Series producer John Semper Jr. posted some thoughts about Lee Facebook.
“Joan Lee, the colorful wife of my friend, Stan Lee, passed away today,” Semper wrote. “In the final season of Spider-Man: The Animated Series, at the very end, I wanted Spider-Man to face the greatest challenge he'd ever faced. Throughout the season, I decided to build up to this big challenge by having an ominous, almost supernatural creature warn Spidey of what was to come and guide him so that he'd be prepared. I chose as his mentor "Madame Web," a strange elderly woman who sat in a giant, metallic, futuristic chair. She was a relatively obscure character who had appeared in the comic books only briefly. My then-boss, Avi Arad wasn't too excited about bringing her to life on the TV screen. ‘I can't make a toy out of an old broad,’ he grumbled. But I stuck to my plan.
“There was only one person I wanted to provide the voice for Madame Web --- Joan Lee, the wife of Stan Lee. I had known Joan and Stan for many years prior to this, and as I wrote the ‘Madame Web’ character, it was Joan's voice in my head that I was hearing. I knew she could capture perfectly the husky, haughty, almost arrogant attitude I wanted for ‘Madame Web.’ And, of course, she had that wonderful British accent!”
The post also includes several photos from the very last recording session for Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
“Joan graciously consented to perform the role, and she was, as I had expected, perfect. In the very last episode, after Spidey had fought the great challenge and conquered, I wanted Spider-Man to meet Stan Lee, his creator, face to face. I made sure that for a brief moment, Stan also shared the screen with "Madame Web", so I'd be able to write a playful bit of dialogue in which they expressed a mutual fascination with one another. Watching Joan and Stan record this brief exchange was for me one of the supreme highlights of working on the series. I shot my own home video that day, and these still images here are freeze frames from that session, the very last recording session of the series. These images tell only a bit of the story of how important they were to one another and how much fun they had in each other's company. I am deeply saddened to learn of Joan's passing. She was a great lady, a real talent, and the incredibly significant woman standing arm-in-arm alongside the man behind Marvel.”