Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by gary. gary Wonders, “Who was Stan Lee?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, gary!

If you could have any superpower in the world, what would you choose? Would you shoot webs like Spider-Man? Would you fly like Captain Marvel? Maybe you’d choose to wear a powered suit like Iron Man!

Have you ever WONDERed where the ideas for all these characters came from? Who thought to make Black Widow a talented spy? Where did Jean Grey’s telekinesis come from?  Who decided Black Panther should have super strength?

Would you believe the same person helped write the stories of all these characters? It’s true! The creation of these and many more heroes is credited to Stan Lee. Born Stanley Lieber in 1922, Stan Lee gave a lot to the world of comics.

Lee started out as an office assistant at Timely Comics. That company would later become Marvel Comics. At the age of 19, he became an editor and went on to write his own superhero stories. 

Working with artist Jack Kirby, Lee created some of Marvel’s best-known superheroes—the Fantastic Four—in 1961. The story of Invisible Woman, the Thing, Mr. Fantastic, and the Human Torch was a hit among readers. 

Shortly after, Lee and another artist, Steve Ditko, introduced another character you may have heard of. Can you guess who it was? Here’s a hint: He received a bad spider bite. Then, this character gained the ability to climb up walls, shoot sticky webs, and sense danger. Do you know who we’re talking about? It’s Spider-Man, of course!

Lee didn’t stop there. He went on to write the stories of the Hulk and the X-Men. He is also credited with the making of characters like Thor, Doctor Strange, and Daredevil.

It didn’t take long for people to see Lee’s writing as special.  The heroes he created had much in common with everyday people. They had positive traits like bravery, but also negative ones like jealousy. They dealt with many real-world issues, making them more relatable to readers.

In 1972, Lee became the publisher and editorial director of Marvel. When the stories he co-created became major film productions, Lee made cameo appearances. He also went on to found Stan Lee Media and Pow! Entertainment.

In 2008, Stan Lee was awarded the National Medal of Arts. In 2018, he passed away after a heart attack. Today, Lee is remembered for changing the world of comics. 

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2, CCRA.W.3, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2

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