The man leading those next stages of Marvel's growth wore his heart on his sleeve in a statement after Lee's death at 95-years old today. He left the company in 1972 but kept the title of chairman emeritus until his death, and he received production credit on TV series like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, The Gifted, Inhumans, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.
Lee and long-time creative partner Jack Kirby created Black Panther back in the 1960s, and the comic book legend appeared in the film for one of his famous cameos. "Part of me thought he would live forever".
He considered Doctor Doom, the Fantastic Four villain, one of the most unappreciated characters he created. "May the heavens be made more colourful with your arrival".
In an age where superheroes dominate the landscape on both the big and small screen, it's hard to accurately convey the lasting impact that Lee had.
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"He was able to build interconnectedness with the comic books and the characters, and that laid a web, if you will, for the films", she said. "He was a character as much as any he ever created", said former Marvel executive Shirrel Rhoades. In 2005, Lee and Marvel settled their differences for $10 million. "He paved the road for me and other creators for more than half a century", said DC chief creative officer and publisher Jim Lee.
Singer Josh Groban said: "Thank you for making my childhood, teen years and adulthood so fun, especially during darker days".
With Captain Marvel being the next release on the franchise's slate, fans' attention will be more focused on Brie Larson's superhero.
Guardians of the Galaxy star Zoe Saldana also posted an on-set image of Lee, director James Gunn, and herself on-set, and called him an "inspiration and superhero to us all".
"I always wrote for myself", Lee told the Hollywood Reporter.