KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons has paid tribute to Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee, saying he will be "forever loved and missed".
On Friday (January 7),Simmons took to his Twitter to share a photo him with Lee, and he included the following message: "I miss Stan Lee. We would meet over the years and talk about life and comics. I've always been a fanboy and used to torture Stan's Sec'y Flo Steinberg to let me speak to Stan…Stan sent me this before he sadly passed, in his handwriting! Forever loved and missed!"
Lee died on November 12, 2018 at the age of 95 after being rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
According to The Pulse Of Radio, Lee was born as Stanley Lieber in Manhattan on December 28, 1922. He went to work as a teenager at Timely Comics, the forerunner of what briefly became Atlas Comics and then Marvel. Working his way up to editor and writer, Lee and artist Jack Kirby changed the face of comics and pop culture forever in 1961 when they created the superhero team The Fantastic Four.
From that point on, Lee — along with Kirby and other artists like Steve Ditko — launched one iconic character after another, including Iron Man, Thor, Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Avengers, the X-Men, Daredevil, Black Panther, Doctor Strange and many more, all existing together in a shared universe that became known as the Marvel Universe. The comics, books, movies, games and TV shows that have sprung from the work done by Lee, Kirby and others are now the basis of a multi-billion-dollar multi-media empire owned by Disney.
Lee's characters were groundbreaking in that they were flawed, vulnerable and insecure, subject to family fights, financial difficulties and other normal human problems and issues. The stories also addressed concerns of their times such as racism and war.
Many other rock musicians were inspired by Lee's stories and characters. Rob Zombie wrote, "Marvel comics was one of the best things I remember about being a kid. Thanks for everything. What would we have done without you?"
Alice Cooper said in a statement on his Facebook page: "Apart from being a hero in the comic world, Stan was so much fun to be around. He had a regal air about him. He was gracious to his fans too - he knew who he was to people and seemed to love every minute of it. Of course MY absolute favorite thing about Stan Lee is that when he had me drawn for the comics, it was with great abs. Thanks for that Stan!"
METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett offered, "Stan Lee was a visionary and a pioneer. I owe a lot to him for personally shaping my childhood fantasy worlds, my appreciation for art on all levels, & for teaching me humanness and humility through his wonderfully insightful stories."
SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR frontman Corey Taylor said simply, "Heartbroken. Thank you for making me believe in heroes," while BAD WOLVES guitarist Doc Coyle remarked, "RIP Stan Lee. A true legend."
Lee had been ill in recent years and lost his wife of 69 years, Joan, in July 2017. He is survived by a daughter, Joan "J.C." Lee, along with the universe, characters and stories that will endure for generations to come.