We lost a true legend recently in the passing of Stan Lee. The godfather of superheroes, Stan gave us characters we could not only believe in, but relate to as well. His heroes weren’t overpowered godlike beings who were seemingly perfect, but rather flawed human beings with issues and problems. He brought real world dilemmas to the page, from the mundane issues like puberty and homework, to major crises like civil rights, equal rights, and hatred. Lee not only impacted the lives of geeks and nerds around the world, but he is truly a staple of modern American literature.
However, some people just like to watch the world burn, and have decided to try and downplay his significance. But, in true Stan Lee fashion, POW! Entertainment has responded in kind.
Political satirist and all around unhappy person, Bill Maher, recently took to his blog to bash all the people mourning Lee’s passing. He is now under fire from many people in and out of the industry, but quite frankly that was probably the reason why he did it. Maher was most likely just looking to piggyback off of the news and gain any kind of publicity he could.
Here’s what Maher said, in case you didn’t see:
The guy who created Spider-Man and the Hulk has died, and America is in mourning. Deep, deep mourning for a man who inspired millions to, I don’t know, watch a movie, I guess. Someone on Reddit posted, “I’m so incredibly grateful I lived in a world that included Stan Lee.” Personally, I’m grateful I lived in a world that included oxygen and trees, but to each his own. Now, I have nothing against comic books – I read them now and then when I was a kid and I was all out of Hardy Boys. But the assumption everyone had back then, both the adults and the kids, was that comics were for kids, and when you grew up you moved on to big-boy books without the pictures.
But then twenty years or so ago, something happened – adults decided they didn’t have to give up kid stuff. And so they pretended comic books were actually sophisticated literature. And because America has over 4,500 colleges – which means we need more professors than we have smart people – some dumb people got to be professors by writing theses with titles like Otherness and Heterodoxy in the Silver Surfer. And now when adults are forced to do grown-up things like buy auto insurance, they call it “adulting,” and act like it’s some giant struggle.
I’m not saying we’ve necessarily gotten stupider. The average Joe is smarter in a lot of ways than he was in, say, the 1940s, when a big night out was a Three Stooges short and a Carmen Miranda musical. The problem is, we’re using our smarts on stupid stuff. I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to suggest that Donald Trump could only get elected in a country that thinks comic books are important.
Stan Lee’s company, POW! Entertainment, has now replied with a classy and respectable answer, effectively ending Maher’s ineptitude and negativity.
Mr. Maher: Comic books, like all literature, are storytelling devices. When written well by great creators such as Stan Lee, they make us feel, make us think and teach us lessons that hopefully make us better human beings. One lesson Stan taught so many of us was tolerance and respect, and thanks to that message, we are grateful that we can say you have a right to your opinion that comics are childish and unsophisticated. Many said the same about Dickens, Steinbeck, Melville and even Shakespeare.
But to say that Stan merely inspired people to “watch a movie” is in our opinion frankly disgusting. Countless people can attest to how Stan inspired them to read, taught them that the world is not made up of absolutes, that heroes can have flaws and even villains can show humanity within their souls. He gave us the X-Men, Black Panther, Spider-Man and many other heroes and stories that offered hope to those who felt different and bullied while inspiring countless to be creative and dream of great things to come.
These are but a few of the things we the fans of Stan Lee also consider “adulting,” because life both as a child and grown-up can indeed be a struggle. Stan is the author of millions of happy childhood memories and the provider of so many of the positive tools of adulthood.
Our shock at your comments makes us want to say “‘Nuff said, Bill,” but instead we will rely on another of Stan’s lessons to remind you that you have a powerful platform, so please remember: “With great power there must also come — great responsibility!”
Seemingly channeling one of Stan Lee’s classic ‘Soapbox’ entries, POW! eloquently dismissed Maher’s idiotic comments and put the former ‘Politically Incorrect’ host on blast. Now, it is up to us fans to not give Maher any more fuel for his hunt for acknowledgement, because, in the end, that was all he was after. Maher wanted to be relevant again, and unfortunately decided to use the passing of a beloved icon as his platform to do so. But, while POW! used the Classic Spider-Man sentiment, we here at ScreenGeek believe that another classic Lee line needs to be the final word on Maher:
What do you think of POW! Entertainment’s response to Maher? Let us know in the comments below!