'Celebrating Marvel's Stan Lee' Review: ABC's perfect Christmas present for comicbook lovers
Tom Hiddleston, one of the actors who was part of the celebration said, "Stan Lee started a world with no end, and we can't stop it."
This celebration was important. What Stan Lee did was create a universe that people couldn't just escape to, but a universe with a rich comic mythology. And ABC with big names from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the team from Marvel came together to celebrate Stan 'The Man' Lee. They toasted to one of the greatest pop-culture icons of all time recollecting their favorite moments at the New Amsterdam Theater in New York City.
There's enough about Lee that it feels an hour might feel like a really short time, but for fans and comicbook aficionados, this is ABC's perfect Christmas present.
Among those sharing their memories are host Clark Gregg and Ming-Na Wen ('Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'), Kevin Feige and Marvel Cinematic Universe stars Tom Hiddleston, Paul Bettany, and Cobie Smulders, Marvel Comics legends Todd McFarlane and Gerry Conway, and more.
Lee was more than a creator. He was a man with a vision. His stories meant something and weren't just strips of stories compiled into a booklet. Spider-Man and the X-Men camel alive for a reason— and they were infused with an element that made them acceptable, relatable and respectable. 'Celebrating Marvel's Stan Lee' has its moments. From his time with Jack Kirby and Joe Simon at Timely Comics to the time he decided to go to Hollywood, the hour-long episode gives valuable insight about how integral his wife was to his success and of course his column, Stan's Soapbox.
Tom Hiddleston who plays Loki in the MCU said Lee was in more movies than he was. "Most writers do not have cameos in dozens of movies, but he wasn't a writer, he was a star," he said. For popular host Jimmy Kimmel, Lee was a superhero as he thanked him for being a big part of his childhood and also showed off his 'Manly Stan Lee' sketch where Lee was shown wearing a cape. "I was a nerd," Kimmel jokingly admits. Paul Battany who played J.A.R.V.I.S. and Vision in the 'Iron Man' trilogy and 'Avengers' said Lee was a big thinker. "He gave us our mythology, Stan Lee wasn't just a creator of comics, he was larger than life."
The cameos were a talking point as for some celebs, it was much more fun to have him in the movie and for Cobie Smulders, his cameo as the security guard in 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' was her favorite. This is followed by some archival footage where Lee expressed his desire to act at some stage in his life and it came true. Hiddleston said, "Stan Lee started a world with no end, and we can't stop it".
The episode concluded with some great footage of Lee reading a letter to his younger self where he revealed he practiced his signature countless times. A move to prepare himself for the greatness that would unfold in the years to come and ended with the iconic word "Excelsior!" The hour is a blur. In the end, we can't stop thinking and wishing for more of Lee. If this was meant to be a tribute, then a very rich one it was!