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Bill Maher receives high-profile invite to Stan Lee tribute event after controversial comic book remarks

By Josh Weiss
Bill Maher

Bill Maher received an invite to the Stan Lee tribute event in Los Angeles this coming Wednesday from none other than Marvel's Chief Creative Officer, Joe Quesada.

This came after Maher found himself in hot water once again after doubling down on his controversial comments about how comic books cannot be considered "literature" and how superhero movies are not "great cinema." Moreover, he said that people who think otherwise "are stuck in an everlasting childhood."

Quesada responded on Twitter by writing:

"@billmaher if you want you can come as my plus one, I promise you I won’t ask you to read a comic but I will ask you to donate a bit to Hero and sign my copy of Iron Man 3."

Maher played himself in a deleted scene in Iron Man 3, where he blames America for creating the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) and comedically bashes the president for trying to rebrand War Machine (Don Cheadle) by giving him "a paint job" and calling him "Iron Patriot."

Maher originally made his thoughts known in a blog post several days after the passing of Stan Lee in November, and while all of his comments immediately came under fire, many interpreted them as him being "glad" that Lee had passed. Even Lee's own company POW! Entertainment weighed in, stating that comics can teach us great lessons on how to live life.

"You can, if you want, like the the exact same things you liked when you were 10, but if you do, you need to grow up," he recently said on a segment of HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher. "That was the point of my blog. I'm not glad Stan Lee is dead, I'm sad you're alive."

The tribute event will be hosted by Kevin Smith and POW! at the TLC Chinese Theatre on January 30.

“Thank you, Stan, for making me not only the boy I was but also the man I am today," Smith said in a statement when the event was first announced. "You had great power and you always used it responsibly, fostering billions of dreamers who all know your name — a name written in the stars for all time. You were not just the literary titan of comic books, you were our modern-day Mark Twain.”

Other than Quesada (and possibly Maher), guests include: Mark Hamill, Rob Liefeld, Avi Arad, Amy Pascal, Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Vincent D’Onofrio, RZA, Bill Sienkiewicz, Marv Wolfman, Joe Quesada, Tom DeSanto, Jeph Loeb, Bill Duke, Felicia Day, Clark Gregg, and Gill Champion.

On the night of the event, Quesada was sure to save Maher a seat, calling out the TV host on Twitter once again by saying:

"Hey @billmaher still a bit more than an hour to claim my plus one but at this point I can’t promise a good seat ... Well @billmaher you’re going to miss a hell of an afterparty too."

This story was originally published on January 27 and updated on January 31