“With great power comes great responsibility!”
The above iconic line figured at the end of the Comic Book “Amazing Fantasy #15”, which was the place where one of literature’s most iconic characters, Spider-Man, first appeared.
But today’s MILE is not about Spider Man! Rather, it is about the creator of Spider Man – Stan Lee!
Stan Lee was the genius behind Marvel comics, and the creator of some of the most iconic figures in the world: Spider-Man, The Avengers, X-Men, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, The Fantastic Four, as well as hundreds of others. He was inducted into the comic book industry’s The Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1995.
Stan Lee passed away in 2018, and he left behind him a legacy spread across seven decades and filled with some of the most iconic characters and captivating tales to come from any medium.
Once Stan Lee shared that he used to be embarrassed because he was just a comic book writer while other people were building bridges or going on to medical careers. And then he realized that Entertainment is one of the most important things in people’s lives. Without it, they might go off the deep end. He felt that if one is able to entertain people, they are doing a good thing.
In 2017 Stan Lee gave the keynote graduation speech at the UCLA Extension Certificate Graduation Ceremony. In the speech he recalls how Spider-Man was created and also shares how the iconic character was almost cancelled!
Tasked with creating a new hero back in the early 60s, Lee recalled seeing a fly crawling on the wall, and thinking, “Hey, if I could get a superhero that could stick to walls, man, that would be cool,” he said.
Unfortunately, his publisher hated the idea — but Lee was able to introduce Spider-Man in the final issue of a title that was slated for cancellation, he said.
When that issue sold unexpectedly well, Lee said, his publisher came back to him saying, “Stan, Stan! Remember that character we both loved so much? We’re going to do him as a series!”
He emphasized the moral of the story to his audience: “If you have an idea that you genuinely think is good, don’t let some idiot talk you out of it”.
This is also a reminder to us to only share our ideas with the right people, and ignore anyone who tries to talk you out of something that we know is great.
Please click the following link for viewing the video where Stan Lee shares how Spider Man comic series came into being (Use Google Chrome browser only): Click here to view video
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There is so much that we can learn from Stan Lee! Through his comics, he taught us that it was our differences that made us special (X-Men), that with great power comes great responsibility (Spider-Man), and that our struggles don’t define us (The Hulk). Stan Lee taught us that if something is worth doing, then it’s worth doing enthusiastically and with nothing less than our very best effort.
We sign off today by saying ‘Excelsior’ which is Latin for “ever upward,” and which was Stan Lee’s catchphrase. This is what he had to say about it: “I’m always looking ahead, even at this age. You know, my motto is ‘Excelsior.’ That’s an old word that means ‘upward and onward to greater glory.’ It’s on the seal of the state of New York. Keep moving forward, and if it’s time to go, it’s time. Nothing lasts forever.”
(Team COE-Strategic HR & Talent Management,