Stan Lee, visionary Comic Book writer, editor, and publisher, is one of the pillars of superhero comic book history for overseeing the growth of Marvel Comics into a veritable entertainment empire. These days he busies himself with personal creative projects while serving as Marvel’s figurehead and public face a la Colonel Sanders and his creation KFC. Stan “The Man” prominently serves this role today by doing cameos in films in films based on the heroes he personally created (and even the heroes he did not personally create). Through it all his wife Joan Lee, who has her own small contributions to Marvel media, has been at his side; at least until Thursday when she passed away.

Behind a successful man

Joan Clayton Lee, a British former hat model who married Stanley Martin Lieber – Stan Lee – in 1947, died at the Lee home this July 6. An official statement released by a family spokesperson said that Mrs. Lee, who had suffered a stroke just the week before, passed away quietly surrounded by her family members. She was 93 years old. The spokesperson also called for the public to give Stan Lee and the rest of the Lee family some privacy and time to mourn her loss.

Stan Lee and Joan first met after World War II, when Lee had returned to his job at Timely Comics after a hiatus while serving in the US Army Signal Corps. After getting a divorce from an unhappy marriage, Joan married Stan in December of 1947.

She was with him in the heyday of his time in comic books (Timely becoming Atlas and eventually Marvel Comics).

A story told by Lee credits her with maintaining his dedication to comics even when he was considering leaving the business, which led to his creation of Marvel superheroes like the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Iron Man and the X-Men.

Sad day in comics industry

Joan Lee too got into the Marvel craze herself later on when the properties exploded into television and film.

She provided voice talent for the in the 1990s “Spider-Man” animated series (Madam Web), and also in the “Fantastic Four” cartoon series of the “Marvel Action Hour” programming block. Her last contribution in this vein was a live-action cameo with her husband in 2016’s “X-Men: Apocalypse” film.

Stan Lee and Joan were married for 69 years and had two children, Joan Celia (born 1950) and Jan (died 3 days after birth in 1953).

The comic book industry and fan base, especially for Marvel, is devastated at the news of her death, with Marvel Entertainment giving their condolences on Twitter.

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