Today is Marvel co-creator Stan Lee's birthday - his first since dying back in November of this year. That bittersweet anniversary has brought on a massive outpouring of fond remembrance from Marvel fans and celebrities alike, including the Avengers own social media butterfly, Mark Ruffalo!
Check this fittingly touching post about Stan Lee that Ruffalo just added to his Instagram:
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This picture isn't just great because it captures the warmth and mirth of Stan Lee - it's great because it also happens to feature that really cool piece of Marvel characters in an amalgamated face, seemingly drawn by Lee's Marvel Comics co-creator, artist Jack Kirby. In that sense it's kind of a tribute to both Marvel creators all at once, while still keeping Lee in the forefront, as he should be on his birthday.
While Stan Lee may be gone, Marvel fans will still get to see him "live" again, through some touching Marvel movie cameos that have yet to be revealed. Lee's first posthumous appearance has been Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, where his monologue now has such bittersweet new context it's moving some fans to tears. We'll get to see him re-appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with both Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame next year, with the latter serving as the likely final time that Lee will make a living appearance in a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. Which couldn't be more appropriate, really.
Stan Lee died at age 95, a year after his wife Joan passed in 2017. He is survived by his daughter, JC.
“One year ago today on his 95th birthday, I saw @therealstanlee in real life for the last time,” Smith begins. “Prior to that, I’d last seen Stan at his footprints ceremony at the @chinesetheatres, when I was the emcee at the @legionmofficial event. But on December 28th of 2017, Stan’s faithful body man Max invited me to a steak house in Beverly Hills for a surprise party on behalf of our beloved Mr. Lieber.”
Marvel paid official tribute to Stan Lee earlier today, with a tweet stating "On his birthday, join us in remembering Stan Lee. Happy Birthday, Stan. Thank you for everything." The Marvel UK Twitter account added, "Stan Lee would have turned 96 today. His genius lives on in his creations.” Other celebrities like Kevin Smith have also made public statements of love and support for Lee; as Smith posted:
“I asked ‘Are you sure it’s a good idea to throw a *surprise* party for a 95 year old?’ But it truly was: as you can see in the video, Stan made it through the surprise just fine. I remember nearly not going because I had a HOLLYWOOD BABBLE-ON with @ralphgarman that night (like we do Monday for New Year’s Eve; Tickets at the link in my bio). But then I said ‘The Man’s only gonna turn 95 once…’ I’m SO glad I went, as this was the last time I’d ever see my friend and hero: two months later, I had a massive heart attack. And nine months after that, Stan would leave us for a better place where the master storytellers gather and reminisce about how their magic words changed the world.”
“Happy Birthday, Stan! We all miss you because you hung the moon, man.”
Avengers: Infinity War is now available on home video and Netflix. Upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, Avengers: Endgameon April 26, 2019, and Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 5, 2019.