Disability in Marvel Comics: The Necessity of Normalization – ComicsVerse

Read up on some of the disabled heroes of the Marvel universe, and what their depictions mean for the disabled community.
— Read on comicsverse.com/disability-in-marvel-comics/

Excelsior!: Remembering the “Marvel”ous Man Behind The World of Marvel

Source: WDW News Today

Introduction

To be honest, I’m more than DC Comics fan, than I am a Marvel fan and own . I enjoy DC Comics’ books and I’ve enjoyed Marvel Entertainment, both the cartoons and much later on their movies. The 90s animated show, X-Men and in the early 2000s X-Men Evolution. Whether you read his comic books or watched movies based on his comics or weren’t familiar with any of his works, you knew Stan Lee.

X-Men (original) Early 90s

X-Men Evolution

Halle Berry as Storm in the first X-Men movie (2000)

Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing

Celebrating Diversity

Now when I think about it, he was the only comic book creator of his time who put people of color  and women in comics and really promoted them. For example, characters of color included, Storm, Jubilee, Black Panther, Misty Knight, and Colleen Wing. He had some of those characters have their own comic book series. Ooh! He also created some comic book characters with disabilities too like Professor X,  Daredevil/Matt Murdock, Misty Knight, Iron Man/Tony Stark, Stick, and Hawkeye/Clint Barton.

Charlie Cox as Daredevil/Matt Murdock

He made everyone feel included while reading his comics. Anyone who felt different, could relate to the trials and victories his characters faced. It was brief escape from the real world, where the world of Marvel almost made more sense than the issues of the real world. People of color, women and people with disabilities could do anything just as well as their white male counterparts. So the Marvel Universe wasn’t just a world filled with superheroes and villians, but a Universe where people were treated equally regardless of their color, gender, sexual orientation, and abilties.

Civil Rights

When he was actively writing his comics from 1965 to 2001, he had a section called, “Stan Lee’s Soapbox”. While he would respond to some readers’ letters and talking about the epic showdowns and dramatic showdowns, he wasn’t afraid to call out hatred and racism.

He used real life civil rights heroes to inspire his characters. For example, the conflicting philisophies between Magnito and Professor X were inspired by Martain Luther King Jr. and Malcom X.  Despite the slight differences, they were still worried about the well being of people. In fact, a lot of the events that took place during his time like the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War, inspired the sceneros shown in his books. While Stan Lee wasn’t a civil rights activist per se, you could see his concern with the wellbeing of humanity via his stories and characters. In some ways he was a chronlicer of times.

Cameos

You know what else I’m going to miss about Stan Lee? His cameos! I always looked forward to seeing them! It felt like I was playing “Where’s Waldo?” The first time I saw him in a cameo was in the X-Men movie (2000). Then again in Spider-Man as shown below.

As a bystander in SpiderMan (2002)

I don’t know why the cameos that are always shown are the Marvel movies after Disney acquired the rights to Marvel.  Did you know that next to Alfred Hitchcock who made 39 cameo appearances in his films, Stan Lee is the highest with about 29? Crazy… Anyways, his cameos were always a joy to see…trying to figure out where he was going to be next or what was he going to be next. Now that I think about it…I wonder if the upcoming Marvel films like, ” Captain Marvel” and the “Avengers 4” are going to have his last cameos?

Conclusion

Stan Lee was one of our national treasures and whether you are familiar with his comics or not, he was a part of our pop culture. He has influced a lot of comic artists and writers. Heck…he influenced me. When I first saw Storm as a child on the X-Men TV series, seeing her character gave me the courage to enjoy comic books more. Like her, I was the only girl…Black girl who enjoyed reading comic books in a time where it was all about being a princess or a pop princess and well…where reading comic books and watching action packed animation shows were “only for boys”. While it’s weird to say this, Storm was kind of my role model. seeing how Storm carried herself as the strong, powerful and regal Black women, yet she kind and benevolent person and seeing that made me want to carry myself that way too. Stan Lee made everyone to believe in themselves and accept and become who they really were as well as to accept other people’s differences and not hide in the shadows of our society. He will be missed.

Marvel’s heroic stories have room for everyone, regardless of their race, gender, religion or color of their skin.The only things we don’t have room for are hatred, intolerance and bigotry. That man next to you — he’s your brother. That woman over there — she’s your sister. And that kid walking by — hey, who knows, he may have the proportionate strength of a spider! We’re all part of one big family — the human family — and we all come together in the body of Marvel.

-Stan Lee

 

More Readings:

5 Times Marvel Legend Stan Lee Took On Racists In Comic Books

5 Black Female Comic Characters That Wouldn’t Exist Without Stan Lee

KaPow! The Super-Sheroes That Stan Lee Created

The Super Humanity of Stan Lee

How Stan Lee’s Superhero Helped Changed The World

Stan Lee Offers Touching Salute To Fans In One of His Final Videos

How Stan Lee’s X-Men Were Inspired By Real Life Civil Rights Heroes