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Celebrating Marvel's Stan Lee, on ABC
ABC; Marvel.com

This is a tribute to Stan Lee, which aired in December 2019 (a bit more than a year after his death in November 2018). It was hosted by Clark Gregg (from Agents of SHIELD), and there were appearances by many other people who've worked in Marvel comics, TV, and movies, as well as famous fans of Lee's work who weren't actually involved with anything related to his work, themselves. The special talked about the origins of Lee's career, including the fact that he adopted the name Stan Lee because he really wanted to write "the great American novel," and didn't want his real name, Stanley Martin Lieber, associated with the comic book medium, which at the time was greatly disdained by most people. So it's somewhat ironic that he went on to create some of the best-known and loved characters in comic book history, and helped revolutionize the industry into something that could be taken seriously. He wrote characters with actual personalities, and stories that deal with realistic situations, and brought diversity to comic books, so that more people could see people like themselves represented. The special also looks at how Lee worked to bring his comics to other media, including various TV shows and movie franchises, such as Spider-Man, X-Men, and of course, the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe (starting with Iron Man). We also got to see some of his cameos in those movies, and while I was somewhat disappointed that we didn't get to see a complete montage of all those appearances, it was at least nice that the special gives a sense of the joy he took at making the cameos. And... I don't know what else to say, except that the special ends with archival footage of Lee reading a letter he wrote to his 16-year-old self, which was quite nice.

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