2016 has been a really rough year and way too many amazing celebrities have passed away. So when Stan Lee started trending on Google, imagine the panic that spread among Marvel fans. Don’t worry, though, Stan Lee is still with us, and the famed creator of characters like Spiderman and Iron Man is just celebrating his birthday today, December 28.
With the recent shocking deaths of Carrie Fisher, George Michael and many more celebrity superstars who have left us in 2016, it’s pretty understandable that Stan Lee fans may have been holding their breath for a moment while looking to see why the Marvel creator is trending today. It turns out that he is alive and well, thank goodness.
Rather than serving up bad news this time around, it looks like Lee has internet searches spiking because it’s his birthday! Stan Lee turns 94 years old today, and fans have been celebrating the life of such an iconic comic book creator.
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) December 28, 2016
Lately, any time an older celebrity starts to trend in the news, the internet seems to take a collective gasp before looking to see why they are in the news. 2016 has been a tough year, with many icons passing away much too early and unexpectedly. Many fans are so freaked out by the sudden death of Carrie Fisher that they have gone all out to protect Betty White from succumbing to what seems to be the curse of 2016. The worry that we might lose yet another amazing celebrity has even led one of White’s fans to start a GoFundMe account to keep Betty White alive. It’s still unclear how the crowdfunding platform might save the life of the Golden Girls alum.
Queue the trending of Stan Lee on Google, and you can see why it would bring about a moment of silence and quite a bit of worry. Rather than mourning the loss of another legend today, it looks like we get to celebrate his life instead.
Haaretz posted a beautiful piece that tells the story of how Stan Lee came to be. Stan was an avid reader, born to a Jewish family in New York City during the depression. After high school, Stan was able to connect with the husband of one of his cousins, who happened to own a comic book company. Lee quickly moved up the ranks in the company, starting out just filling inkwells and ultimately becoming the editor-in-chief of Timely Comics when he was only 19-years old.
Happy Birthday to the one & only STAN LEE! Our legend turns 94 today???????? pic.twitter.com/gNBanmm7xp
— Best of Marvel (@thebestofmarvel) December 28, 2016
Timely Comics ultimately became Marvel and Stan Lee was responsible for creating some of the most popular characters under that brand. Lee ended up disputing who was the creative force behind many of the characters he created, with Jack Kirby trying to take credit for much of the work. Years later, another similar dispute between Lee and Steve Ditko over The Amazing Spiderman caused another rift and Stan Lee ended up separating himself from Marvel completely in 1998. He even sued the company in 2002 over future profit sharing of the Marvel characters that he was so instrumental in creating.
Now Disney owns the rights to Marvel and Stan Lee started up his own company, POW! Entertainment, that he still runs. Stan Lee is a staple on the comic-con circuit and is highly regarded among comic book lovers and the fans of movies inspired by his beloved comic book characters. Thank goodness that 2016 hasn’t got its hands on Stan Lee because he is truly a beloved comic book and pop culture icon. Happy birthday Mr. Stan Lee!
[Featured Image by Michael Buckner/Getty Images]