35 Powerful Quotes From Stan Lee
Stan Lee, the mind behind many of Marvel Comic’s superheroes, died on November 12th, 2018, at age 95.
After many years of combatting several health problems, including pneumonia as well as vision problems his daughter Joan Celia Lee said to TMZ, “My father loved all of his fans. He was the greatest, most decent man.”
His career lasted more than 5 decades.
In 1961, Lee and Jack Kirby created Marvel Comics with The Fantastic Four, and he also co-created Spider-Man, the Hulk, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Daredevil and X-Men.
Through these superheroes, he inspired generations of fans. However, Lee also motivated others in interviews over the years. Here is a look back at several of his most memorable quotes:
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.
If I got a superpower, I wouldn’t say, oh, I got to get a costume and put on a mask. I would say hey, I can do something better than other people. How can I turn it into a buck?
I used to be embarrassed because I was just a comic-book writer while other people were building bridges or going on to medical careers. And then I began to realize: entertainment is one of the most important things in people’s lives. Without it, they might go off the deep end. I feel that if you’re able to entertain people, you’re doing a good thing.
Everybody has Doctor Doom misunderstood. Everybody thinks he’s a criminal, but all he wants is to rule the world. Now, if you really think about it objectively, you could walk up to a policeman, and you could say, ‘Excuse me, officer, I want to tell you something: I want to rule the world.’ He can’t arrest you; it’s not a crime to want to rule the world. So […] it’s unfair that he’s considered a villain because he just wants to rule the world. Then maybe he could do a better job of it. So I’m very interested in Doctor Doom, and I’d like to clear his name.
[Being a ‘geek’] has become a badge of honor. It’s geeks who really make or break a TV show or movie or video game. They’re the ones who are passionate about these things and who collect [the paraphernalia] and talk about them. A geek is really somebody interested in communication and entertainment and [finding] the best way to avail himself or herself to it..
I wanted them to be diverse. The whole underlying principle of the X-Men was to try to be an anti-bigotry story to show there’s good in every person.
The more you read, the better you’re going to become as a storyteller.
If there are people who like the work you’ve done, because of that, they like you and want your autograph and to take a photo, that’s really gratifying. You have to be appreciative.
Most people say, “I can’t wait to retire so I can play golf,” or go yachting or whatever they do. Well, if I was playing golf, I would want that to finish so I could go and dream up a new TV show.
I don’t know where the hell I’ll be in five years. Maybe I’ll be producing movies maybe I’ll be on a corner selling apples. I don’t know, but I’m having a hell of a lot of fun.
With great power comes great responsibility.
Your humans slaughter each other because of the color of your skin, or your faith or your politics — or for no reason at all — too many of you hate as easily as you draw breath. (Magneto, “ X-Men”)
There is only one who is all powerful, and his greatest weapon is love. (Silver Surfer)
For men must never feel a cause is hopeless– men must never feel an enemy cannot be beaten! (Balder the Brave)
Luck’s a revolving door, you just need to know when it’s your time to walk through. (Lucky Man)
The power of prayer is still the greatest ever known in this endless, eternal universe. (”The Avengers #14”)
I try not to do anything that’s too close to what I’ve done before. And the nice thing is we have a big universe here. It’s filled with new ideas. All you have to do is grab them.
Another definition of a hero is someone who is concerned about other people’s well-being and will go out of his or her way to help them — even if there is no chance of a reward. That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero.
The pleasure of reading a story and wondering what will come next for the hero is a pleasure that has lasted for centuries and, I think, will always be with us.”
If I’m half as good as everybody said I am, I’m far too good to be wasting time with ordinary people. But I seem to be spending my life with ordinary people, who are the best people in the world.
I’ve been the luckiest man in the world because I’ve had friends, and to have the right friends is everything: people you can depend on, people who tell you the truth if you ask something.
For years, kids have been asking me what’s the greatest superpower. I always say luck. If you’re lucky, everything works. I’ve been lucky.
America is made of different races and different religions, but we’re all co-travelers on the spaceship Earth and must respect and help each other along the way.
All I thought about when I wrote my stories was, ‘I hope that these comic books would sell so I can keep my job and continue to pay the rent.’ Never in a million years could I have imagined that it would turn into what it has evolved into nowadays.
Just because you have superpowers, that doesn’t mean your love life would be perfect. I don’t think superpowers automatically means there won’t be any personality problems, family problems or even money problems. I just tried to write characters who are human beings who also have superpowers.
My theory about why people like superheroes is that when we were kids, we all loved to read fairy tales. Fairy tales are all about things bigger than life: giants, witches, trolls, dinosaurs and dragons and all sorts of imaginative things. Then you get a little bit older, and you stop reading fairy tales, but you don’t ever outgrow your love of them.
I don’t have inspiration. I only have ideas. Ideas and deadlines.
To have an idea is the easiest thing in the world. Everybody has ideas. But you have to take that idea and make it into something people will respond to — that’s hard.
The only advice anybody can give is if you wanna be a writer, keep writing. And read all you can, read everything.
Some people will say, “Why read a comic book? It stifles the imagination. If you read a novel, you imagine what people are like. If you read a comic, it’s showing you.” The only answer I can give is, “You can read a Shakespeare play, but does that mean you wouldn’t want to see it on the stage?
I don’t think you ever outgrow your love for things that are bigger than life and more colorful than the average life. And somehow I feel that these comic book stories are like fairy tales for older people because they have the same qualities.
I don’t think anything can really beat the pure fun and pleasure of holding a magazine in your hand, reading the story on paper, being able to roll it up and put it in your pocket, reread again later, show it to a friend, carry it with you, toss it on a shelf, collect them, have a lot of magazines lined up and read them again as a series. I think young people have always loved that. I think they always will.
Marvel is a cornucopia of fantasy, a wild idea, a swashbuckling attitude, an escape from the humdrum and prosaic. It’s a serendipitous feast for the mind, the eye, and the imagination, a literate celebration of unbridled creativity, coupled with a touch of rebellion and an insolent desire to spit in the eye of the dragon.
The only time I go on the set is when I have a cameo to do in the picture. I go to the set, and I do my little cameo, and I meet all the people. It’s a great way to spend the day. And then I go back to my own world.
I don’t analyze things too closely. I find the more you analyze, the more you get away from spontaneity. I have only one rule: I just want to write a story that would interest me — that’s the only criterion I have. Am I eager to see how it ends? If these characters really existed, would I want to see what happens to them? … If I like something, there are bound to be millions of people who like it, too. And if they don’t, shame on them.