In every creative field, there are individuals so extraordinary that they are without equal. These legends are rare, inhabiting a league of their own throughout their lifetime. Stan Lee is one such singular icon. Founder of Marvel Comics, visionary writer, and creator of some of the 21st century's most memorable characters -- Stan Lee's legacy truly cannot be matched. His creative DNA is woven into the fabric of the superhero genre, and his historical contribution to comic books as a medium is monumental.
Stan "The Man" Lee has always made time to interact with fans, through his infamous letters column and as a featured guest at countless comic book convention. He is notorious for speaking with fans at length during public appearances. His generously open nature has evolved with modern technology, and lucky for us, we live in the age of Twitter. We mortals get to interact with luminaries on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. Many celebrities use their platform in the most basic manner, to market upcoming projects or maintain their carefully crafted public image. But Stan Lee doesn't do anything in a typical fashion, including social media. These tweets by (and about) Stan Lee definitively prove that he is indeed THE man.
15 MOST OF HIS TWEETS ARE ACTUALLY FROM HIM
So, to give a definite answer to a definite query, each and every titanic tweet is typed with my own weary but wondrous little fingers!— stan lee (@TheRealStanLee) December 21, 2010
To see an unfiltered, sometimes messy social media presence of a public figure is sadly not unusual (we won't name any famous octogenarian Trek actors). Stan Lee is genuine in his online interactions, but not overly polished -- and he understands that with great Twitter power comes great responsibility. He never uses his platform to belittle anyone, demonstrating the kindness he no doubt exhibits in real life.
Stan Lee could easily have an army of interns oversee his Twitter account, and no one would judge him for it -- the man is over 90 years old! But you can actually see the evolution of his Twitter use over time. It is the same journey many of us have experienced on Twitter, from over-sharing every thought to utilizing the platform for building communities. Besides, the man claims to craft his tweets, and we take his word for it.
14 HE KNEW CHRIS EVANS WOULD BE THE BEST CAP
If you think Chris isn’t right for Capt. America, remember what most fans said when they first heard about Toby playing Spider-Man!— stan lee (@TheRealStanLee) March 25, 2010
It seems like a lifetime ago that Chris Evans was known for being the best part of Fox's first lackluster Fantastic Four franchise and as Jake from Not Another Teen Movie. Despite the potential demonstrated early in his career, many were skeptical of the former Johnny Storm taking on the flagship Marvel character of Steve Rogers, Captain America himself.
Could a once teen heartthrob be a leading action hero? Would Thor listen to this guy? Stan Lee of course knew then what the entire universe now accepts -- that Chris Evans was born to bring the legendary Captain America to life on the big screen. It is heartwarming to see this early 2010 tweet from Stan defending the casting decision that would launch the Avengers franchise.
13 HE LOVES A GOOD MEME
Even for a celebrity, it requires a certain amount of confidence to openly share a meme where you are the subject. But Stan is definitely self-aware enough to be in on the joke, and seeing it shared by him makes any meme he posts all the more hilarious. These jokes work on a meta level as well, where Stan himself is as oversized a character as Spidey or Batman.
Another reason why this is notable? Internet memes function much like single panel comic strips; one note jokes that are a clever combination of words and pictures. Stan Lee knows how to meme, which already put shim a couple steps ahead of our technology-void parents that don't see the humor in said above tweet. Make my memes Marvel!
12 HE SHARES MEMORABLE MOMENTS WITH FRIENDS
Few things will make you more grateful for the eternal memory of the internet like seeing Carrie Fisher cross paths with Run DMC's Darryl McDaniels. This kind of spontaneous and candid rap battle would've been Hollywood lore 20 years ago, but it has now been immortalized in real time and for all of us to experience.
We lost Carrie Fisher far too soon, but coming across this brief moment in time reminds us that her presence is still felt and appreciated. It should also be noted that these two were guests at the same Stan Lee branded convention, which is wild in and of itself. Witnessing and sharing interactions like his is also definitive proof that Lee is and always has been leading his best life.
11 HE CAN OUT-GRUMPY GRUMPY CAT
Not only is this "break the internet cute", but it demonstrates how conscious of current pop culture Stan Lee has remained, even in his old age. Here is posing with the cat celebrity Tardar Sauce, in front of a Hot Topic booth, fully embracing the dominance of internet cat culture. Both of these hardworking celebs spend hours at conventions posing with overly excited fans, yet at the end of a long day they came together for one more amazing photo op.
Stan did not hesitate to do his best Grumpy Cat impersonation either, and we dare say that he looks even more melancholy than the famously sad looking feline. Stan Lee may be a legendary creator, but he recognizes greatness and demonstrates humility in the presence of four legged divas.
10 HE GRABBED A BITE WITH BUZZ ALDRIN
We can't even take how much awesome is in this one photo, and it was just tweeted out by Buzz Aldrin like it was no big deal. There's a lot to unpack -- how and when did they meet? What did these two American treasures discuss over lunch? What restaurant are they in that has wood paneling and pictures of airplanes on the wall? Does Buzz Aldrin read comics? Who is his favorite character?
We like to imagine that they discussed their amazing lives in great detail, and both had a good chuckle when they realized they both had wives named Joan. We must also acknowledge Buzz Aldrin's Total Recall shirt, complete with the hashtag, "Get your ass to Mars." These are some exceptionally hip grandpas.
9 SHARING A CASUAL MOMENT WITH OPRAH
Once again, our mind are sent racing pondering the how, why, when, and what surrounding this moment. After a little digging for the context, Mark Hamill, Stan Lee and Oprah received Disney Legend Awards at this year's D23 event. Oprah literally looks like she is having a fangirl moment with Stan Lee and we are LOVING it.
That Stan Lee could elicit this reaction from Oprah speaks volumes to his status as one of the most beloved figures in our culture. Even these two titans of their respective fields, arguably without equals, can be excited to cross paths. The only way this picture could be more iconic is if Mark Hamill was between them, posing for a selfie. This definitely makes us want to attend the next D23!
8 HE INSPIRES THE MOST SPECTACULAR FAN ART
Started by renowned animator Tom Bancroft, #MerMay is an illustration prompt that first took over all social media in 2016. Fellow illustrators are encouraged to post a different mermaid inspired illustration every day during the month of May. These creative exercises are not uncommon (Inktober has been around since at least 2009), and mash-ups have always been a popular.
But it's still quite an achievement to see this exceptional crossover between Marvel's X-Men, Disney's The Little Mermaid, and of course, Stan Lee as King Trident. Thanks to Stan's tweet, illustrator Amanda MacFarlane's piece was seen far and wide, and we're the benefits because we may have never seen it otherwise. With animated pecs like that, it's understandable why Stan Lee would share this particularly bit of fan art!
7 BECAUSE HIS #TBT PHOTOS LIKE THIS
Before the slicked back hair and sweater / collared shirt combo we've come to know and love, this is the style Stan Lee was rocking. We have no doubt that out of frame, there is a pinky ring on at least one hand. Were any of his shirt's buttons done up? And though his glasses and mustache have always been a part of his aesthetic, both read very differently on a younger man.
But Stan has no shame about being "that guy" from the '70s, and he proudly volunteered this image of his past style misstep as part of the always popular #ThrowbackThurday. It takes confidence to own this look, but the real courage comes from posting it on the internet a few decades after it has gone out of fashion, something Stan himself will never be.
6 HE KNOWS WHY PEOPLE REALLY SEE MARVEL MOVIES
Just saw the #Deadpool movie and it was AMAZING (all because of my cameo)!— stan lee (@TheRealStanLee) January 19, 2016
You will find few topics that Stan Lee discusses more frequently on Twitter than his own cameos, and you can't fault the man for it. The thing is, he is not overstating the importance of the body of work he has amassed. Every Marvel film where he makes a cameo has at least one good laugh because of his charming appearances. And when he isn't in the film, people take notice.
There is no other creator that has had as many memorable and effective one liners as Stan Lee, and he's not even a professional actor! It is quite an achievement that he has managed to find yet another field to dominate. Mark our words, these cameos will one day make up an entire montage at the Oscars.
5 HE'S BRUTALLY HONEST IN HIS Q&A'S
You have to give props to a creator that gets two loaded questions from a fan and manages to succinctly answer them both in ONE tweet. Not only does he cut to the chase, but there's a lot of wisdom packed into his response, and it isn't even 140 characters!
Stan Lee didn't get where he is by waiting for inspiration; he bluntly acknowledges that the requirement to work and deliver the goods was what inspired him to create his characters. Consistently working is what made him a legend, not luck. And the fact that he most relates to Tony Stark is telling as well. We wonder if he also relates to Howard Hughes and Errol Flynn, the people Stan Lee admits influenced this character?
4 HE ALWAYS GAVE HIS WIFE PROPS
Dec 5th 1947, I married Joanie, the love of my life. 65 years together and we never had a fight. She's just had a long series of victories!— stan lee (@TheRealStanLee) December 13, 2012
If nothing else, Stan Lee's regular public pronunciations of gratitude and love for his wife Joan over the last 70 years demonstrates his true character. Stan Lee famously said of his wife upon meeting her that she was "the girl I had been drawing all my life". Stan has always given her credit when due; she inspired the character of Gwen Stacy, and she encouraged Stan to continue creating comics, even when he considered quitting the industry entirely.
We may not have the Fantastic Four or Spider-Man if not for Joan Lee. Now that she has passed, the ordinary everyday moments with his wife that Stan shared on Twitter are all the more meaningful. Their marriage is the ultimate example of relationship goals, and fans and colleagues the world over are sharing heartfelt condolences with Stan.
3 HE'S SENTIMENTAL WHEN HIS FANS FIND LOVE
We're beginning to the think Stan Lee's cameo in Mallrats may have been inspired by his real life status as a hopeful romantic. These two Firefly fans had a picture perfect moment with Summer Glau at Stan Lee's Comikaze convention, and Stan didn't hesitate to share it with his large Twitter audience. This may seem like a small gesture, but imagine it from the couple's perspective.
After getting engaged in front of Summer Glau, while cosplaying as your favorite characters from her show, you might think there is no topping that. But then Stan Lee goes and creates the best engagement announcement imaginable. He literally became a part of this moment in their lives! We doubt they got a better wedding gift than this tweet.
2 HE'S LOVED BY LITERALLY EVERYONE
Seeing Stan Lee hang out with DJ Khaled and Tom Holland is just pure delight, and thank goodness it was documented on Snapchat as well. The three superstars filmed promos for a series of Spider-Man: Homecoming and NBA Finals crossover ads. Without the heavy-handed references to the NBA, you would think these were deleted scenes from the film. But it's the behind the scenes moment that really make this collaboration unique.
All three are quick to acknowledge that even among this group of well-known figures, Stan Lee is the legend. Tom Holland barely gets a word in, and we're pretty sure the Snapchat ends right before Stan Lee is about to dub Holland "the almost legendary". This is Stan's world, and we're all just living in it.
1 HE'S JUST INCREDIBLY TALENTED
At 94 years old, Stan is still working to bring new heroes to life. Take a minute to read that headline, and really let it sink in. You'll either feel bad about what you haven yet to accomplish in your life, or you will feel inspired to keep working toward your goals. We hope it's the latter -- it is what Stan would want.
After all, he's had nine decades to cement his status as an absolute legend, so you have some time to catch up. Even after everything he has accomplished, retirement isn't even in his vocabulary. If Stan had an anthem, it would be Frank Sinatra's "The Best is Yet to Come". Stan "The Man" Lee does not quit! And thank goodness for that.
Did we miss any other tweets that prove Stan Lee is "The Man"? Let us know in the comments!