"Excelsior!" Stan Lee cements his legendary status with Hollywood handprint ceremony
(L-R) “Spawn” creator Todd McFarlane, Stan Lee, Kevin Smith, Chadwick Boseman and Clark Gregg — Getty Images/Michael Tran (LOS ANGELES) — Marvel comics legend Stan Lee, who created or co-created some of the most popular superheroes in history, was honored for his life’s work on Tuesday with a handprint ceremony at Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre.
Incidentally, the landmark had been destroyed — onscreen, at least — at the hands of Lee’s creations, the villain The Mandarin, in Iron Man 3.
On hand to see Lee put his hands in cement were many of his famous fans, such as Marvel movie and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Clark Gregg, Chadwick Boseman, who’ll star in the upcoming Marvel film Black Panther, and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige (FIE-ghee). Comics aficionado and filmmaker Kevin Smith was also there, acting as emcee and, like the others, sharing what Lee’s work meant to them.
“My family moved a lot and the one thing that was constant was, when we started another one of these road trips to a new town, I had my comics. They always went with me,” recalled Gregg.
Boseman’s Black Panther alter-ego made his cinematic debut in Captain America: Civil War last year, but was born decades ago, on the pages of Marvel Comics at the height of the Civil Rights struggle. But the character’s adventures in the comics had a real-life impact, as Boseman noted.
“We as African-Americans were not just victims…we were not just slaves, we were kings and queens,” Boseman said of how Black Panther — the king of the fictitious African nation of Wakanda — and his family were depicted in the comics. “We [were]…an advanced scientific nation. We were proud. We had secrets…we had abilities beyond what other people knew.”
The 94-year-old Lee, who co-created Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Hulk, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Thor and countless other heroes, has made a cameo in every Marvel movie.
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