So, allow me to keep it a buck for a second, son. Real talk, if anyone doesn’t understand how legendary Stan Lee was/is, then I really don’t want to know that person. Taking it a step further, if I have a friend/family member who doesn’t comprehend Lee’s GOAT‘ness, then I’m not sure that I can continue our relationship. I mean, Lee was The Gawd, man! Seriously, where the fuck would Marvel Comics or the overall zeitgeist be if Lee never existed, fam? Shit, I don’t even want to imagine such a world. All in all, Rest In Peace to one of the greatest dudes ever!
Ok, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let me explain the title of this post, bruh. So, once upon a time in elementary school, I was a HUGE comic book fan. Side note, I dare someone to test my knowledge on anything before like 2005. Honestly, I’ve got this, son. In any case, around like the third grade, I came across a special comic book: an original edition of Amazing Spider-Man #300. Now, for anyone who is unaware, this issue contains the first full-length appearance of Venom. Moving on, the comic first came out in 1988, but somehow in the early 1990s, I found an original copy. Needless to say, I was fucking HYPED, man!
Anyway, even though Lee didn’t write that particular issue, it’s no secret that Peter Parker was his brainchild. Hell, Parker along with every other Marvel character who has ever mattered, fam. All I can say is, getting ahold of Venom’s first foray meant EVERYTHING to me, bruh! On the real, I read that comic once and put it back in the plastic, son. Listen, I didn’t want to risk creasing it, man.
Now, fast forward to my freshman year of boarding school. I came home for my first vacation and noticed my room looked a little different. Most notably, my bookcase seemed to be missing all of my comic books. To add insult to injury, I definitely noticed that Spider-Man #300 was missing. From there, I asked my mom where my comics were and she uttered four words that changed our relationship: “I threw them out.” I immediately asked her why she would do such a thing and she said “you’re a teenager now, I figured you wouldn’t want them anymore.” All I know is, that might’ve been the only time I legitimately wanted to hit my own mother with the Stone Cold Stunner.
Look, I told that story to highlight one main point: Stan Lee invented a universe that I NEEDED to be a part of. Like, he created characters with nuance, fam. He created characters with ethos. For God‘s sake, he based Professor X and Magneto on Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X! What else do people need to know, bruh?! Yeah, these heroes had unreal abilities, but a lot of them had VERY real problems, son. Keeping it a buck, what awkward teenager couldn’t relate to Peter Parker? Being a superhero didn’t absolve him from the trash-ness of high school, man. The fact is, Lee built a world that all of us could identify with AND get lost in.
In the end, RIP to the greatest! Ultimately, his influence will forever be solidified. By and by, Marvel is stronger than ever and it’s directly because of his influence. At the end of the day, legends never die, fam. Long live Stan Lee! That is all. LC out.
P.S. Man, I still don’t know if I’ve forgiven my mom. Look, I just Google‘d the price of an original copy of that Spider-Man issue and got mad all over again. *Sigh* Her and I need to have another discussion, son. Good day.