Marvel Comics co-founder Stan Lee passed away Monday at the age of 95 after recent battles with pneumonia and vision issues, TMZ reports. Lee started Marvel alongside Jack Kirby in 1961 with The Fantastic Four, and went on to create such icons of page and screen as Spider-Man, Black Panther, The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, Iron Man, and The Avengers, making cameos in each of the many films based on his characters. After his wife of 69 years, Joan, died in 2017, Lee proceeded to sue a development company he founded, as well as his ex-business manager--and the LAPD recently investigated allegations of elder abuse lodged against his caretakers. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, the Walt Disney Company bought Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion in 2009, turning Lee's creations into cinematic blockbusters and ultimately convincing him that they meant something significant to people. "His stories taught me that even superheroes like Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk have ego deficiencies and girl problems and do not live in their macho fantasies 24 hours a day," Gene Simmons of KISS said in a 1979 interview. "Through the honesty of guys like Spider-Man, I learned about the shades of gray in human nature."
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