In the wake of a whirlwind confounding, and concerning, reports involving legal battles, hijacked social-media accounts and accusations of elder abuse, Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee has returned to Twitter with a video message intended to reassure fans.
Beloved for his role in the creation of such iconic superheroes as Spider-Man, the Avengers and the X-Men, Lee has become ubiquitous in Marvel Studios films. In his video, he appears determined to reestablish that image rather than go into any specifics about the recent turmoil in his life.
"You better not have forgotten me. It's been a while since I've done a soapbox," he says, a reference to his history of communicating directly with fans, which started with the "Stan's Soapbox" column in Marvel comics. He goes on to say, "It's taken me a while to get used to being 79 years old." This may cause some head-scratching, as his he's actually 95, but the joke seems apt when he talks about how he and his fans have "been together for so many generations."
The accompanying tweet reads, "I'M BACK!" and includes the sign-off "Stan," which Lee's social media managers at POW! Entertainment have explained is their guarantee the message comes directly from him.
Although the time may be coming that Lee will no longer be able to speak this way to his fans, he seems determined to keep up the relationship that he's built with them over the years. "I don't consider you as fans," he says, "I consider you as close, close friends. I'd like to feel that you consider me the same way." He ends the address with his trademark invented exclamation, "Excelsior!"
Fans on Twitter responded to the message with an outpouring of affection, mixed with some concern as different aspects of Lee's recent troubles were brought up.
Stan. I love you but im worried about you. Please stay safe. The people around you don't seem too trustworthy— Nem: The Infinity Watcher (@NemRaps) July 13, 2018
If anyone thought that there was a subtle note of farewell in the video, however, Lee's perspective seems to be anything but. "I'm back with new energy, with new care, with new things to say," he proclaims, and even calls this particular soapbox his "first in a new series of videos." Fans who can't get enough of Stan Lee might just be in luck.