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Stan Lee dies at 95

Names from across the gaming industry pay tribute to co-creator of Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Hulk, and numerous others

Iconic comic creator Stan Lee has died. As reported by The New York Times, Lee died today at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles at the age of 95.

Lee was best known as a key writer and editor at Marvel Comics during the 1960s, and co-created many of the label's most popular heroes, including Spider-Man, Thor, Iron Man, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, and many more.

While his work in games was largely limited to character creation credits and voice acting cameos in modern Marvel games, the impact Lee's work had on the games industry is difficult to overstate. A glance through gaming Twitter today provided some idea of the breadth of his influence on the medium.

In the minutes after the news first broke, veteran developers like Ed Boon, Cliff Bleszinski, Brian Fargo, and David Jaffe paid their respects, with Fargo calling Lee "a true legend." Warren Spector called meeting Lee "one of the highlights of my life." Mark Rein, Pete Hines, John Smedley, and Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb chimed in with their own nods to Lee, as did indie developers including Robin Hunicke and Tommy Refenes. Industry analysts were likewise represented with Michael Pachter paying his respects to the comic creator and Mat Piscatella retweeting a 1968 "Stan's Soapbox" column Lee wrote about bigotry and racism.

Some tributes expanded a bit on exactly what Lee meant, either to them personally or the world at large.

"That was quite an innings Stan," said former Sony Computer Entertainment biz dev man Shahid Kamal Ahmad. "You lived to see an era where your work became utterly unprecedented in its ubiquity."

10-Second Ninja designer Dan Pearce was similarly struck by the scope of Lee's influence, saying, "Oof, I usually have a detachment to celebrity deaths but I'm feeling this one. Rest in peace, Stan Lee, I can't even begin to imagine what a world without you in it would have looked like."

Others, like XCOM: Enemy Unknown designer Jake Solomon, took a more personal angle on Lee's passing.

"Rest easy, Stan Lee. Can't say in words how much the characters and stories have meant to me and still influence me," Solomon said.

Halo franchise development director Frank O'Connor talked about what Lee's work meant to him.

"So long @TheRealStanLee - you were the first American to speak to me thru landscape format reprints of Spider-Man I'd read in Scotland in the 70s. I'd skip straight to the bullpen for sage advice and jokes. You're probably drinking mead in Asgard on your worthy way to Valhalla."

Former 343 Industries studio head of external development Dan Ayoub borrowed Lee's signature signoff in his tribute, saying, "Excelsior Stan Lee. You shaped my childhood and drove my creative storytelling and imagination into adulthood. Thank you for the worlds of delight you created."

The list of tributes the gaming industry has paid to the comics legend goes on and is expanding still, but we can bring it to a suitable end with the reaction of Kieron Gillen, who bridged both worlds. A former games journalist Gillen has gone on to a successful career writing comics, including a number of Marvel series using Lee co-creations like the X-Men and Thor.

"RIP Stan Lee," Gillen wrote. "'End of an era' is one of the phrases that is over-used, but clearly the one to use here."

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.