Since the news broke that Stan Lee has passed away, we’ve seen a continuous flow of tributes making their way online, both from longtime fans, and from stars and artists who have reason to be thankful for the legacy that this legendary comic book creator left behind.
Among these heartfelt responses is a pair of tweets from Mark Ruffalo, who first entered the MCU as Bruce Banner in 2012’s The Avengers. In the first of these messages, the actor offers a poignant take on the importance of Lee’s output:
“Sad, sad day. Rest In Power, Uncle Stan. You have made the world a better place through the power of modern mythology and your love of this messy business of being human…”
Ruffalo then goes on to express his gratitude at being a part of the elaborate, ever-expanding mythology that Lee helped create:
“You let us be extra human… superhuman even. I am deeply honored to have been a small part in the Stan Lee constellation.”
The character of Hulk was created in 1962 by Lee and Jack Kirby, and has since been the star of two big screen solo outings. But while neither of those films made a strong impression with fans or critics, Lee argued back in 2012 that Marvel Studios finally got it right when Ruffalo took on the role for The Avengers.
“Generally it’s been wonderful,” Lee said. “They hadn’t quite found the right formula with the Hulk but he’s very good in [The Avengers]. They made him too big in the first two movies — I don’t think he had to be as big as King Kong. I think they’re gonna be OK with the Hulk from now on, though. Mark Ruffalo nailed it.”
Of course, Ruffalo is far from the only star who owes a debt to Lee’s work. For another example, the actor’s Avengers co-star Chris Evans – known for his turns as Captain America in the MCU and the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four films – took to Twitter with a tribute of his own to the late, great writer:
“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!!”
You can expect to see plenty more responses to Stan Lee’s passing in the coming days, both from actors who are grateful for the role he played in their journeys, and from fans who are grateful for all the stories and the characters that let us feel “extra human.”