Stan Lee has died at age 95. The comic book titan, who co-created some of Marvel Comics biggest characters, including Spider-Man and the Hulk, passed away just one year after the death of his beloved wife Joan. Stan Lee was married to Joan Boocock Lee for nearly 70 years and their chance romance was straight out of a Marvel fantasy comic.
Stan Lee once spoke to the Hollywood Reporter about how he met his future wife Joan, who had impulsively married an American soldier during World War II when her childhood sweetheart married another woman. An unhappy Joan moved to New York, where she later met Lee, and it was, indeed, love at first sight.
Stan Lee told THR he had long been drawing his version of “the perfect woman.” His cousin knew a hat model named Betty that fit the bill so he attempted to set Lee up on a blind date with her. But when Lee went to Betty’s door to ask her out to lunch, he came face to face with Joan Boocock instead. Lee took one look at the British-born beauty and told her he had been drawing her face since childhood.
“Betty didn’t answer the door. But Joan answered, and she was the head model. I took one look at her — and she was the girl I had been drawing all my life. And then I heard the English accent. And I’m a nut for English accents! She said, ‘May I help you?’ And I took a look at her, and I think I said something crazy like, ‘I love you.’ I don’t remember exactly. But anyway, I took her to lunch. I never met Betty, the other girl. I think I proposed to [Joan] at lunch.”
Behind every great creator is an incredible partner. We are heartbroken by the passing of Joan Lee. Sending love to Stan Lee and her family. pic.twitter.com/ix6TWclMIE
— Wizard World (@WizardWorld) July 6, 2017
Desperate for a quick divorce so she could be with her soulmate, Joan moved to Nevada to establish residency, the fastest way to get a divorce at the time. In December 1947, just two weeks after she met Stan Lee, a judge granted Joan her divorce and an hour later that same judge married her and Lee in a room next door. The couple would soon have two children—daughters Joan Celia, born in 1950, and Jan, who died three days after birth, in 1953.
As previously shared by the Inquisitr, Joan served as Stan Lee’s inspiration for some of his most iconic comic book characters. Early in his career, Lee became depressed and wanted to quit the comic book industry, but his wife urged him to try one more comic that he would be really proud of. That comic, created with partner Jack Kirby, introduced the world to a group of superheroes known as The Fantastic Four, and the rest is Marvel Universe history.
Joan would continue to inspire Stan throughout his career. She was also the inspiration for Spider-Man’s first love interest Gwen Stacy.
“Stan has always said that I have a cartoon face,” Joan said in a 2002 interview about being the inspiration for Peter Parker’s first love, citing her “little nose, big eyes.”
While Stan Lee was known for making cameos in Marvel film and TV shows, his beloved “Joanie” logged credits too, playing herself in X-Men: Apocalypse and voicing Miss Forbes in the 1994 animated Fantastic Four series and Madame Web in a Spider-Man animated series from 1996-98.
Stan and Joan Lee enjoyed a 69-year love story, living in homes in New York and West Hollywood, until Joan’s death in July 2017. After an incredible seven decades of marriage, a broken-hearted Stan Lee has now passed away 16 months after his wife.