Over Three Decades Stan Lee Included His 'Superhero Soapbox' In His Comics
The man behind so many of our favourite Marvel comics and characters was a superhero in his own right, and over the years he used his platform for good.
Contained in the pages of his comics for more than three decades, Lee published a small yellow box that often packed a whopper of a punch.
"Stan's Soapbox" would occasionally feature Lee's thoughts on the events of the comic it was attached to, but even more often he would use the soapbox to call out bigotry.
In 1963 Lee wrote, "From time to time we receive letters from readers who wonder why there's so much moralising in our mags."
READ MORE: Marvel Comics Creator Stan Lee Dead At 95
"They take great pains to point out that comics are supposed to be escapist reading, and nothing more. But somehow, I can't see it that way," he continued.
"None of us lives in a vacuum -- none of us is untouched by the everyday events about us -- events which shape our stories just as they shape our lives. Sure our tales can be called escapist -- but just because something's for fun, doesn't mean we have to blanket our brains while we read it!"
Lee's words still ring true today, especially in the soapbox that often goes viral online, one which is still so pertinent to this day.
In 1968, contained in the pages of The Fantastic Four #81, Lee wrote a brief note on the nature of bigotry.
"Let's lay it right on the line," he wrote, "Bigotry and racism are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today."
"But, unlike a team of costumed super-villains, they can’t be halted with a punch in the snoot, or a zap from a ray gun. The only way to destroy them is to expose them -- to reveal them for the insidious evils they really are."
"But, although anyone has the right to dislike another individual, it’s totally irrational, patently insane to condemn an entire race -- to despise an entire nation -- to vilify an entire religion. Sooner or later, we must learn to judge each other on our own merits. Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill out hearts with tolerance."
On Monday, Lee was rushed to hospital but died shortly after. There was an outpouring of love for the man who created so many iconic comic book characters and worlds, and who was responsible for so many of the superheroes we have immortalised and continue to see adapted into major motion pictures.
Lee's heroes, creations that embody the good and righteous, were extensions of his own compassion.
In X-Men #56 Lee wrote, "Consider the practitioners of hate who have sullied the pages of history. Who still venerates their words? Where is homage still paid to their memory? What banners still are raised to their cause?"
"The power of love -- and the power of hate. Which is most truly enduring? When you tend to despair... let the answer sustain you."
Lee is survived by his daughter J.C., his brother and his incredible legacy.
Featured image: Getty Images.