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A Marvel-lous creator

How Stan Lee invented universes and changed entertainment

Over the past decade, the American comics publishing house Marvel has become one of the great global cultural juggernauts, thanks to its billion-dollar movies and its half a dozen television shows. Last week, the man whose name is associated with Marvel more than any other, its former editor-in-chief Stan Lee, died at the age of 95 — setting off worldwide mourning of the sort usually seen when a great movie star dies. Lee, however, was a familiar face; he had made dozens of short, special appearances in Marvel superhero movies, and waiting for the Lee cameo was part of the ...