Only Walt Disney had as much an effect on American pop culture as Stan Lee. Disney needed nameless thousands to make his visions come true. Lee needed just a couple of fellow dorks: Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, John Romita, and others. Disney always showed the sugary best of us. Lee used myth and history to show the best AND the worst of us. He gave nerdy kids like me in the 70s who bought Marvel back issues from second-hand stores for a quarter, read them over and over voraciously, and realized superheroes for us now are what gods once were for the ancients that we didn’t have to stand by in the face of evil, or even in the face of the everyday banalities that make us small, petty and cruel. He showed us that we could be entertained, have fun, connect with others like us, and dream of flying through the skies while we also learned how to be bigger and better.