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There would be no Marvel Comics, much less a Hollywood-ruling Marvel Cinematic Universe, without Stan Lee, whose mark on the world of superheroes is second-to-none. Having co-created Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Fantastic Four, X-Men, Iron Man, Thor, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, and countless others, Lee is akin to the patriarch of the entire modern genre — and thus it was more than fitting that, on Friday at Disney’s D23 Expo, he was named one of the newest class of Disney Legends.
Being honored alongside Jack Kirby (with whom he conceived many of the aforementioned Marvel heroes), Lee was visibly moved by his induction today, as evidenced by the above video from Yahoo Movies‘ Marcus Errico. To rapturous applause from the crowd, Lee began by paying tribute to his former partner, saying, “I’ve never been known as a man of few words, but I’ve got to say, I was so thrilled to see that testimonial to Jack Kirby. So well deserved.” He then went into detail discussing how his avid childhood love of reading led him to a “coffee table book” called “The Art of Walt Disney,” and — with his voice beginning to crack — how he saved up his every penny until, a few months later, he could buy it. “To me, he [Walt Disney] was more than a man — he was an inspiration. Something to reach for.”
It was a touching speech — topped off with a closing “Excelsior!”, of course — from a man who, more than any other, is responsible for the cinematic superhero landscape we all enjoy today. To hear his emotional speech, check out the clip above.
Marvel Supercut: Hilarious Stan Lee Cameos (As of mid-2015):
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