MARVEL FOUNDER STAN LEE DIED THIS WEEK. DAVE, SAM AND ASH TALK ABOUT THEIR FAVOURITE MARVEL SUPERHERO
We all have our time, but it’s inevitably sad when someone who has had so much influence on culture passes away. The thing I love about Stan Lee is that he seemed to bypass most types of prejudice in the characters he created – even so far as to originally make Hulk the colour grey so as not to offend any race. I didn’t know him personally but it feels to me like his purpose to create these characters was to show that anyone – no matter what race, sex or age – could be a superhero. Did you know that Michael Jackson tried to buy Marvel Comics in the early ’90s so that he could play Spiderman in his own movie? It’s no secret that Spiderman is the most popular superhero that Marvel, according to ranker.com, beating Wolverine and Captain America, but he’s not my personal favourite. I like a bit of grit in my superhero: someone who is cheeky, intelligent and has a slight whiff of narcissism. Can you guess who it is yet? There’s an epic list of amazing heroes that Lee created, but I have to nail it down to one: Iron Man. Iron Man was created by Lee as a challenge to create a hero no one should like and force people to like him. Tony Stark is a self-made superhero, which probably appeals to my control-freak personality. I do love the idea that we want to hate him, but his charisma just gets you back over the line. Whoever you choose as your hero, there’s no doubt Stan Lee has amazed and inspired us. But, I think one of the greatest characters that Lee left us with was himself – “Excelsior Man”. Ever upward.
The world lost a good one when Stan Lee dropped off the mortal coil this week. And 95 is, as they say, a good innings. But with all the superpowers he bestowed on to his many colourful characters, immortality wasn’t one he could save for himself. Or was it? Many will argue that Lee will live on forever, at least in the hearts and minds of his legions of fans – be it an individual character fan, avengers fan or simply a fan of the Marvel Universe, as it is popularly referred to. But who reigns supreme? Who is the greatest Marvel character of them all? Gen Xers will put forward a solid case for Spiderman or the Hulk. Gen Y may push for Iron Man or Captain America. Millennials will look up from their device long enough to tell us that one of the Guardians of the Galaxy characters is their favourite. The magic of the Marvel Universe is that there is truly someone for everyone to identify with. For me. it’s Thor. Maybe it’s because of my Norwegian heritage. Maybe it’s the notion of hammer wielding demigod in leather (don’t read too much into that). Or maybe it’s because the most recent on-screen version is played by none other than our very own demigod Chris Hemsworth. Whatever the reason, Thor is the Lee creation I most identify with and in which I can lose myself in the imaginary world of the possible. Let’s face it, who doesn’t for just a second imagine a life where we have special powers? Lee did and will be remembered always for it.
Marvel comic legend Stan Lee was a genius in the way he was able to make the everyday human feel like they had some sort of superpower. I can assure you, superhero movies aren’t usually my thing, but the Marvel movies are the one exception. There’s a few superheroes who stand out. In the early days, I was a fan of Spiderman, because I love Kirsten Dunst and the “Spiderman kiss” – so much so, my ex-boyfriend and I tried to recreate it once (another story for another day). More recently, along with many others, my attention has turned to the beautiful god of thunder, Thor, played by our amazing Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth. The long blond hair with the big muscles and a nice sense of humour, is it any wonder there’s ladies and men drooling over him? Of course, there’s more to Thor than just his good looks. He’s strong, and he’s powerful and has a nice hammer, which apparently you can only use with one hand because the handle is too small for two hands. The gym routine that Chris Hemsworth had to undertake to resemble Thor was incredible. To get the Chris Hemsworth look, his trainer says: “It was just red meat, heavy weights and some protein powder. He crushed every single workout. He simply decided to look like Thor.” The way Stan Lee was able to intertwine the Marvel characters was truly extraordinary. They owned their powers and their character space and the actors he got to play them really replicated the original comic character.