Stan Lee has had quite the month. Starting with the Legends ceremony at D23 to a handprint ceremony at the TCL Chinese Theatre to numerous appearances at SDCC, Stan “the Man” was given the praise he is due.
If anyone deserves the continual accolades, it is Stan Lee, especially in the face of his personal tragedy. When others might falter, Lee has appeared at these numerous events, always with an exclamation of “Excelsior!”
At D23, he became a Legend of Disney. He shared his honor with 10 other individuals including Mark Hamill, the late Carrie Fisher, and Whoopi Goldberg. Disney Legends are individuals who have made a “significant impact on the Disney legacy.” As such, they are commemorated in the Disney Legends Plaza at The Walt Disney Studios.
As both a creator and actor, Stan Lee has been integral to the growth of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is owned by Disney. The MCU has taken from some of Lee’s most popular characters, and he has even appeared in each film and television show (The Watcher, anyone?). Stan Lee has blessed nerds with a never ending supply of heroes we can truly look up to and aspire to be.
At the TCL Chinese Theatre, Lee placed his hands and feet in the cement, being immortalized alongside the likes of Clark Gable, Harrison Ford, and Mel Brooks. Friends and fellow Marvel folk (including Black Panther‘s Chadwick Boseman, Agents of SHIELD‘s Clark Gregg, President of Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige, and renowned comics writer Todd McFarlane) spoke the praises of Stan Lee, talking about the influence and hope that Lee has always brought to the comic industry.
McFarlane perhaps said it best when describing that by being included at the TCL Chinese Theatre he was being recognized not just as a comic artist, but as an artist of the highest level. With all the jollity so often demonstrated by Stan Lee, he joked as he stood awkwardly in the cement, “Good thing I didn’t wear my favorite sneakers!”
Stan Lee’s final appearance for the month was at San Diego Comic Con. He was honored with a Spotlight panel, appeared in the Defenders trailer, held a VR discussion, and signed a few autographs. A personal favorite experience at SDCC is the reverence and awe with which everyone treats Lee. One year, as he strolled down a hallway, a crowd followed him. They didn’t swarm him for photos or autographs, but simply followed behind him chanting “Stan! Stan! Stan!” He’s the hero we need.