Kevin Feige is known for constructing the MCU, but Stan Lee is the mastermind that created the interconnected universe in Marvel Comics first. Lee brought characters like Black Panther to life during the height of the Civil Rights movement. He created a family of heroes with values and morals in the Fantastic Four. While others probably mocked heroes with powers like an insect, Lee found a way to make Spider-Man and Ant-Man two of Marvel’s most important figures. That’s all without mentioning his construction of The Avengers. Marvel Studios heads Kevin Feige wrote a piece for Enteratinment Weekly in the wake of Stan Lee’s death that is both informative and emotional.
“What director Ryan Coogler was able to do with Black Panther would not exist if not for Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby taking a quote-unquote ‘risk’ bringing in an African — not even African-American, an African — character to their stories who was smarter and wealthier and more technologically advanced than any other hero,” writes Feige. “He believed in the best of humanity. He also believed in the flaws of humanity, and that the flaws could be overcome. Stan explored intimate questions and struggles, and he had a desire for understanding identity. It might be an obvious thing to say, but Stan Lee got his messages across in a way that was also compelling and entertaining, and held an audience’s interest.”
“He would show up to the movie sets game for anything,” continued Feige, referencing the world famous Stan Lee movie cameos. “But one thing he would always do is try to add more lines. He always would joke — but not really joke — about wanting more lines, although he understood why we couldn’t. God forbid he would start to overshadow the hero. That was something a character like Stan Lee could easily do.”