LGBT Spotlight: Stan Lee

Stan Lee's Soap BoxStan Lee, one of the founding fathers of the Marvel Universe and co-creator of many of the Marvel Universe’s most beloved characters and stories, shared words of support and hope reaffirming the heroism and positivity that helped lay the foundation of the Marvel Universe.

Marvel shared Lee’s video on Thursday, and though the message that racism and bigotry have no place in the Marvel Universe or among their fans.

Marvel has had a complicated year when it comes to racism and bigotry. In 2016, Marvel representatives suggested books featuring diverse (non-white) superheroes weren’t selling. Of course, critics and Marvel fans were quick to respond that DC Comics’ inclusion of LGBT characters and non-white superheroes didn’t affect sales in 2016—in fact, DC Comics had a landmark year across all its titles.

Marvel’s most prominent black superhero, T’Challa, aka Black Panther, will helm his own solo film in 2018, introducing superhero fans to his home nation, the fictional African nation of Wakanda. Thor: Ragnarok will feature Tessa Thompson, a biracial actress, as the traditionally Norse, white and blonde superheroine Valkyrie.

But Stan Lee has been a supporter of social change and voiced his opinions years ago.

“Racism and bigotry are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today,” Lee wrote nearly 50 years ago. “But, unlike a team of costumed supervillains, 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 from the insidious evil they really are.”

Stan Lee’s views on queer characters was also rather positive for his generation as well. When Stan Lee was informed of his character Iceman’s sexuality on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he replied: “I wasn’t involved in that, that may have been after I stopped writing the books. I didn’t really have any gay characters. If they were gay I didn’t play up to the fact that they were. I wasn’t aware of my characters sexual proclivities.”

He admitted: “In fact your telling me that is the first time I’d heard. Is Iceman really gay? Wow! I never knew that. I don’t care what happens as long as they tell good stories.”

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