Tennessee Valley Marvel fans react to death of Stan Lee

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Stan Lee was a legend, credited with building a universe that's complex, inspiring, and larger than life. Fans across the world are saying goodbye.

“Stan Lee was as extraordinary as the characters he created.  A superhero in his own right to Marvel fans around the world, Stan had the power to inspire, to entertain, and to connect.  The scale of his imagination was only exceeded by the size of his heart,” said Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company in a news release. Marvel released its own tribute to Lee on Monday.

We met Robbie Biloups, Store Manager of The Deep Comics & Games, as he was working at the store Monday. He said Lee's passing was not surprising, given the writer and publisher's age of 95, but it was difficult all the same.

He said his favorite thing Lee created is Fantastic Four. "He co-created it with Jack Kirby. That's my absolute favorite comic of all time," he said.

Biloups said Lee's stories and characters introduced him to topics and ideas that made him who he is today.

"I work at a comic book store. Making comic books, talking about comic books is something I'm really, really into," he said, "It also really influenced me with an interest in science and mythology and being a better person. You know, the idea of a hero and trying to help the little guy."

Biloups said it is easy to relate to many of Lee's characters because they are complex and flawed the same way people are.

"It was always easier at times, when I was a kid, to relate to characters like Spider-Man because he was a kid who didn't have enough money, he had a sick aunt, he couldn't get it together, wasn't popular. People respond to that. The Fantastic Four; they were a big superhero team, but they were a family. They fought amongst each other. I could relate to that," he said.

"The idea that heroes have flaws. Everybody has flaws. And that was something that Stan Lee and other creators like Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby really helped cement as the Marvel style that still continues to impact comics today," Biloups stated.

Many of Lee's characters have made their way to the big screen, creating a resurgence of love for the worlds he left behind for fans to enjoy.

"Those movies have been very, very successful. They've taken the ideas Stan and others created and moved them into the modern day," Biloups said of the films, "and really helped capture that feeling for the main, general audience."

Biloups hopes the comic book world will move forward telling stories, with new and diverse characters, as Lee's legacy lives on.

"Stan Lee taught me that the everyman, every woman, anybody can be a hero as long as they have the right attitude. And with great power comes great responsibility."

In life, Stan Lee maintained a connection to the characters he created with Marvel. Many fans including Biloups, look forward to his cameos in Marvel films and television series. These, too, will remain part of his legacy.

"Stan Lee's contributions to Marvel, a company he helped forge into a household name, will forever live on and we will continue to celebrate the imaginative characters he helped create and the fantastic universe he helped build. My thoughts and prayers go out to his daughter and brother at this time," said Ike Perlmutter, Chairman of Marvel Entertainment on their website.