Comic legend Stan Lee dead at 95, fans mourn globally (Roundup)
Los Angeles : Stan Lee, the colourful Marvel Comics patriarch who helped usher in a new era of superhero storytelling, died at the age of 95, evoking emotional tributes by a string of Hollywood personalities including Chris Hemsworth, Ryan Reynolds and Robert Downey Jr, as well as Indian film celebrities and fans of the comic visionary.
According to CNN, Lee was taken from his Los Angeles home on Monday morning to Cedar's Sinai Medical Centre, where he later died.
Lee, born as Stanley Lieber on December 28, 1922, began his career at what was then Timely Comics in 1939. Over the years he was a writer, editor and occasional illustrator.
The comic book business had been then dominated by DC (then National) Comics, creators of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Green Lantern.
In the early 1960s, Lee was asked to come up with a team of superheroes to compete against DC's Justice League.
First came the Fantastic Four which was followed by Spider-Man, the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, the X-Men and Daredevil.
These new superheroes -- all created between 1961 and 1964 -- were hugely popular and allowed Marvel to surpass DC in both sales and style.
His comic books have been turned to blockbuster superhero films, and he has left behind a legacy hard to match.
Indian filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, who made "Mr India", credits Lee as "the man that started the idea of superheroes... the originator of those mythic characters".
"Had the opportunity to spend time and work with him too. He loved Indian mythology," Kapur tweeted.
This is something Lee had admitted himself in an IANS interview in 2016.
"I've always been intrigued by Indian culture. It's so philosophical and rich in tradition," Lee had said.
Lee was as extraordinary as the characters he created, averred Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger.
"A superhero in his own right to Marvel fans around the world, Stan had the power to inspire, to entertain and to connect," Iger added.
"Thor" actor Chris Hemsworth shared an image of Lee in Thor's traditional helmet while holding the hammer, Mjolnir, and wrote: "RIP my friend. Thank you for the incredible adventures your stories took all of us on. My love and support goes out to all your friends and family."
Ryan Reynolds, who plays Deadpool in the "X-Men" franchise, shared a photograph of Lee's cameo in the latest "Deadpool" movie and wrote: "Damn... RIP Stan. Thanks for everything."
Chris Evans, who plays Captain America, wrote: "There will never be another Stan Lee. For decades he provided both young and old with adventure, escape, comfort, confidence, inspiration, strength, friendship and joy. He exuded love and kindness and will leave an indelible mark on so many lives."
Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios President, emphasised Lee's importance to his own career.
"No one has had more of an impact on my career and everything we do at Marvel Studios than Stan Lee. Stan leaves an extraordinary legacy that will outlive us all. Our thoughts are with his daughter, his family, and his millions of fans."
Robert Downey Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch, Hugh Jackman, Chris Pratt, Tom Holland and Jeremy Renner were among the many others who paid tributes. On the Hollywood Walk of Fame, fans also took time to honour Lee by laying flowers alongside his star. A floral wreath also appeared, complete with a black sash and the comic book writer's name written in gold.
For a host of Indian film celebrities, Lee's works formed a chunk of their childhood memories.
Actor Arjun Kapoor wrote: "The man who made me believe heroes exist around us and within us. Thank you Stan Lee for giving us the hope and belief we all love latching onto... RIP Stan you will always be the world's first superhero!"
Rana Daggubati said Lee was "one of the greatest influencers of my life and our times", while Sidharth Malhotra called him "the superhero of dreams, imagination and creativity".
Filmmaker Kunal Kohli wrote: As little kids we did not know the hero who created our heroes. The heroes he made, made superheroes out of actors. He made our childhood and keeps the child in us living forever. Stan Lee far more than a superhero forever."