Happy 90th birthday, Stan Lee!

Contributed by
Jan 14, 2013, 2:52 PM EST

On Dec. 28, 1922, Stanley Lieber was born to Jewish immigrants and then raised in the swelling mass of the Bronx. In 90 years he would learn to play the flute, grow a bitchin' mustache and, oh yeah, reshape comic books as we know them.

It's exciting to see Stan "The Man" Lee still out at seemingly endless comic conventions. He's still full of energy, still smiling, still ready to greet every fan. It's easy to forget that he's just turned 90 because, frankly, he's got more pep in his step than men (myself included) a quarter his age.

In celebration of his birthday, it's nice to look back at Stan's many accomplishments. Did you know that, as an editor for Marvel (then TImely) Comics, he oversaw the release of 15.2 million comics in 1952 alone? It's true. Not only that, Stan had to battle with the ever-changing genre shifts that comics underwent from 1948 to around 1958. Superheroes, westerns, horror, crime, romance and back to superheroes. Stan had to adapt to them all, and he did so with aplomb.

Then there's the Marvel way of writing comics, which Stan invented. The idea of giving an outline to an artist and then filling in the story later would, despite controversy that exists even today, revolutionize the comic book industry.

Without Stan, there would be no X-Men, no Fantastic Four, no Spider-Man, no Thor, Doctor Strange or countless others. We'd call him the King of Comics if Jack Kirby hadn't already nabbed the title. Still, he is, without question, the patriarch of this industry, and we're proud to have him around, kicking, and still influencing writers and artists today.

So, happy birthday, Stan! All of us here at Blastr wish you well.

Oh, and just for fun, here's a clips reel of all the cameos Stan has made in comic book movies. Much like the man himself, it's pretty incredible.