Writer-director Joss Whedon’s work on 2012’s The Avengers and 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron have served as pivotal chapters in the formation and continuation of the MCU, but without Stan Lee helping to lay the groundwork in the comic books, it’s hard to imagine this cinematic universe existing in the first place.
So when the news recently broke that the renowned comic book creator had sadly passed away, it’s only natural that Whedon soon took to Twitter to offer his thanks in a message that also reflects on Lee’s lasting legacy:
“Stan Lee created a universe where, if a character was beloved enough, they could never really die.
Now THAT’S thinking ahead.
Thanks for so much of my life. You’ll never not be in it.”
The Avengers served as a defining moment for the Marvel film franchise which demonstrated that the interconnected nature of the comic books could be adapted to the big screen. Among the movie’s all-star cast were several characters that Lee had a hand in creating, including Iron Man, Thor, and the Hulk.
So far, we’ve already seen multiple online tributes from the actors who formed this team of heroes, including Captain America himself, Chris Evans, who tweeted his thoughts on the importance of Lee’s decades-spanning output:
“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, so, so many lives. Excelsior!!”
Evans’ co-star Robert Downey Jr. offered a more concise and personal response to Lee’s passing, posting an image of himself and the late publisher to Instagram along with the accompanying claim, “I owe it all to you.” Meanwhile, Hugh Jackman of X-Men fame praised Lee as “a creative genius” and said that he was “proud to have been a small part of his legacy.”
It’s clear that the influence of Stan Lee spreads far and wide in our current pop culture, and you can expect to hear plenty more tributes to this legendary writer in the coming days.