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stan lee

Twitter really does not like this Stan Lee NFT

For many, the announcement came across like a gold-digger move, especially given the unlikelihood the late Lee was even aware of NFTs.
This article is over 2 years old and may contain outdated information

Fans of the late Marvel comic book legend Stan Lee are taking to Twitter to express their disgust after the official Twitter account for Lee made a post advertising a controversial new non-fungible token (NFT).

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NFTs, a blockchain technology-backed form of digital collectibles, are controversial for what critics say are negative environmental impacts they have due to a large amount of computing power it takes to generate the cryptocurrency with which they are exchanged.

In the post from the official Stan Lee Twitter account, the announcement marked the NFT debut of “Stan’s 1st Indian hero, Chakra The Invincible,” a character who has seen life in past comic books, animations, and digital shorts since at least 2013.

While it’s unclear at this time who actually runs Stan Lee’s Twitter account, it was reported by ComicBook back in 2018 that the company he co-founded, POW! Entertainment, was in control of it and that they worked with Lee himself at the time. Lee passed away a few months after that report and a few years have passed since then, so it’s not entirely clear if they’re still in charge of Lee’s social media accounts. Presumably, whoever is running it must have some kind of agreement with Lee’s estate.

In addition, Deadline reported that the NFT is a collaboration of POW! Entertainment and NFT company Orange Comet, with the drop seemingly taking place in honor of what would have been Lee’s 99th birthday.

The Orange Comet Twitter account even made a post about the Chakra The invincible NFT drop within just five minutes of Lee’s account’s initial post early Tuesday morning.

There is a page on the Orange Comet website about the Chakra NFT drop that features a video clip of Stan Lee talking about the character in 2012, but not mentioning NFTs.

Lee’s awareness of NFTs is very speculative, to say the least. However, it’s arguably very unlikely (though not impossible) that Lee would have been very knowledgeable about NFTs in his lifetime since they only rose to mainstream prominence earlier this year after the digital artist known as Beeple flung the concept into the collective consciousness by selling one of his pieces as an NFT for $69 million.

The technology did exist before 2021, with the first-ever NFT being developed in 2014. And NFTs did begin to come into the public awareness even more beginning in 2017, with the success of a viral NFT-backed virtual cat collection game known as CryptoKitties, which generated some kitties that sold for more than $100,000 each. However, the surge in popularity for NFTs didn’t truly take off — and countless brands clamoring for crypto pay dirt — until after the famous Beeple sale.

Fans of the late Marvel comics writer were upset at the announcement, not least of all for seemingly using Lee’s name to sell a product he probably knew nothing about.

For many, the announcement felt like a gold-digger move.

One user called it a “Nasty F**king Tribute.”

Though the Beeple sale may have been hailed by some as an example of NFTs putting the power back into the hands of artists at the time, it’s clear that not every artist thinks they’re a good thing for creators. Such was the case for the artist Ross O’Donovan.

Hell, even the damn account took some time out of their day to roast the announcement. The brand Twitter account replied to the post from the Stan Lee account with an understatedly savage posting of the definition for “defile.”

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Danny Peterson
Danny Peterson covers entertainment news for WGTC and has previously enjoyed writing about housing, homelessness, the coronavirus pandemic, historic 2020 Oregon wildfires, and racial justice protests. Originally from Juneau, Alaska, Danny received his Bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Alaska Southeast and a Master's in Multimedia Journalism from the University of Oregon. He has written for The Portland Observer, worked as a digital enterprise reporter at KOIN 6 News, and is the co-producer of the award-winning documentary 'Escape from Eagle Creek.'