Stan Lee‘s passing marks the end of an era. He’s perhaps the most influential comics writer of all time and is responsible for shaping the modern superhero. As such, his death has resulted in an outpouring of emotional tributes from those who’ve worked with him and been influenced by his work.
You’ll all be familiar with his cameos in Marvel Studios movies, and many will have seen his typically energetic and charismatic personal appearances at conventions and premieres. And it seems like that energy was present right up until his death, if these last known photos of Lee are anything to go by.
He’s pictured here with his protege and successor as Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics, Roy Thomas. The two spent some time together last Saturday where they discussed (what else?) superheroes and his history with the company. At this particular meeting, a number of pictures were taken, which may well prove to be the last photos ever snapped of Stan Lee.
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In an interview with Bleeding Cool, Thomas spoke about that final meeting and described it as so:
“I’m sadder than I can say that Stan has died. Even though I know, from my recent phone conversations with him, that he was more than ready to leave this Earth. I’m so grateful that, by sheer circumstance, I got to spend a half hour or so with him this past Saturday, less than 48 hours before he passed away.”
He goes on to explain that though Lee seemed tired, he expressed a “real interest” in shooting more cameos for upcoming Marvel movies, hoping that there was a way for him to fit them in without being too much trouble. The pair also discussed their shared history at Marvel Comics, with Lee apparently becoming quite animated when the conversation turned to his legendary battles with publisher Martin Goodman to allow him to work on the heroes he wanted to.
“I opined as how maybe the one important creative decision Goodman ever made was when he commissioned Stan to create a super-hero group back in 1961. Stan seemed to get a kick out of that. Still, I consider myself so very lucky to have known and work with him for so many years…one of the most important mythmakers of the 20th century.”
That 1961 superhero group was, of course, The Fantastic Four. Their adventures went on to spawn the Marvel Universe as we know it, with Stan Lee‘s writing and Jack Kirby’s art spinning into existence an iconic collection of ideas, stories and characters that have gone on to achieve worldwide fame and become loved by millions.