Stan Lee died. He was 95. He was an American icon.

He didn’t just create an American mythology, he didn’t just create a world.  Tolkien created a mythology.

J.K. Roland created a wizarding world.

Stan Lee created a Universe.

When the news came out many people, especially old, old friends emailed me. They all know I was, and still am a huge comic book nerd. Every week when I was old enough to walk to the store, I would buy the latest comic books. They cost 10 cents. Then they went up to 12 cents. I didn’t own a copy of Spiderman#1.

Or the Fantastic Four #1.

But I did own the first copy of every other Marvel character that debuted after that. Iron Man, The Hulk,  The X-Men, etc.

Every single one. I wasn’t a collector. They were just there and new, so I bought them. Years later I was in a bookstore and I found a book of comic collectibles and what they were worth. I started to tally up all the issues I remembered I owned. I stopped at 17-THOUSAND DOLLARS! So, you say, why didn’t you just sell them all?  Because when I was about 17 my mother put all of them into three grocery bags and GAVE THEM AWAY TO OUR BARBER!!!

That was over 50-years ago, and I still haven’t gotten over it.

I loved comic books. I loved all the Marvel and DC characters. When I was ten, I had a tiny desk in my bedroom where I would trace pages of Spiderman comics and make my own stories.

I still have that little desk. Spiderman was my favorite. He still is. Spiderman appealed to all the kids who got picked on, who were scrawny, who were nerds. Suddenly they had superpowers.

They were superheroes. I always hoped that someday, somehow, I would get bitten by a radioactive spider and become Spiderman. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I still do. I always have.

When I read about Stan Lee’s death, I got to thinking about this again. But this time, for some reason, my fantasy about becoming Spiderman changed a little. The fantasy is, you wake up one morning and you’re Spiderman. But for the first time, I started to think about what happens next.

First, I realize, I’m Spiderman! Awesome! I can climb on the walls! I can pick up a  car!

I rush to tell my wife, Ellin.

ME: Ellin! I’m Spiderman! I can climb on walls! I can pick up a car!”

ELLIN: That’s nice. Can you climb up the walls and change all the light bulbs that are out in the Kitchen?

ME: You don’t understand. I’m Spiderman now. I have to use my powers to for good! I have to fight crime! I have to use my webs to swing from building to building and save people from being mugged!

ELLIN: We live in Easton CT. There is no crime here. And we live in the woods. There are no buildings to swing from. Just a lot of trees.

ME: Well, yeah. OK, I could go to New York City.

ELLIN: Really? You’re going to start commuting to the city, again? You did that for 40-years. That’s why you retired. To stop having to spend four hours a day in a car commuting.

ME: Yeah, well yes, but with great power comes great responsibility!

ELLIN: And even if you do start commuting to the city again how are you going to swing from building to building with your webs? Don’t you need a web shooter thingy to shoot all those webs? You’d have to invent it. You’re a retired TV Director, not a genius 16-year-old biochemist.

ME: I never thought of that.  But still, with great power comes great responsibility!

ELLIN: I agree. You now have great powers and you have great responsibilities. First, you have the responsibility to take out the garbage. It’s overflowing. And there are light bulbs out in the bedroom.

ME: But, but…

ELLIN: No buts, garbage, light bulbs.

So, there you have it. At least I don’t have to hire anybody to clean the gutters on the roof anymore.

And I can still bench press a car.

RIP Stan Lee

Nuff said.


Categories: Author, Superhero, Tom Curley

Tags: , , , ,

31 replies

  1. Bon Voyage, Stan. You will be missed. 😦

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Oh my goodness. 😥 I had not heard that news. I knew the fella was well ‘seasoned’, but 95? Wow. At least he had a lot of fun (I believe) in his later years, with his cameos in all the Marvel Movies he got to see brought to life. He’ll be missed. And the world will lose another positive power to the dark side. (yeah, mixed metaphor).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad to get back to my Other Computer where there is no Gutenberg. The worst part about it is that it’s the wrong design for the medium. And excessively complicated. A lot of not-very-nerdy people are going to give up. What we want are more tabs, a way to fix the weird spacing, and make the fonts responsive to points, not “tiny, small, normal, large, and ridiculously large.” The rest of it is — assuming the fix it and make it work — way too complicated for bloggers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well I’ll have to figure it out perhaps, one of these days. And since my own field (as such) was word manipulation (editing, doing spreadsheets, making Powerpoint presentations ((before Powerpoint got user friendly)); I’ve had to learn A lot of different ways of messing with text and perhaps now I know why. I’m so sorry it’s making your life difficult though, you have enough and more on your plate IMHO!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I was wrong. It’s here, too. I can figure it out, but I don’t want to. Garry won’t figure it out. Ever. He’ll put down some text and I will have to figure it out.


  3. When Stan Lee died, my Facespace blew up with RIP messages because we’re all nerds there. Here on WordPress? This is the only post I’ve seen regarding his death in my reader list. Different crowd I guess. RIP Stan Lee, you will be missed.

    And thank you for the post.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Don’t you sometimes feel like all the geniuses are dying and no one is going to be able to step into those shoes? It worries me.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. R.I.P. Stan.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Loved this!!!!! Delightful humour amid a sad loss. I too had dozens of originals and my mother went into my room and tossed them as they were “dust collectors” and they were just gone. I still feel it today because it was so valuable to me, a delightful escape and always with positive good wins (mostly) over evil. They were so wonderful!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. We will miss Stan! Loved your post! Cleaning the gutters and fixing light bulbs! Won’t Spider-Man be happy 😂

    Liked by 2 people


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