I really will miss those cameos in Marvel films. You knew it was coming – an incredulous interviewee wanting to get back to his game of chess, a velvet clad party goer with a beautiful woman on each arm, a cheeky bus driver normalising the world of spaceships and interstellar activity. The number of credits I’ve sat through hoping to see just one more scene.
RIP Stan Lee. Your comic creations have become such a fixture of everyday life, it’s easy to overlook the sheer and abundant imagination and creativity it must have taken to help create an alternative universe that is vibrant, intricate and complicated. Yes, I vaguely resent what must by now be hundreds of pounds on cinema tickets and hotdogs. Oh and the Lego Marvel games robbing me of hours of my life. But I’ll still keep going back for more, because of complex characters in extraordinary times. That’s what makes a good yarn!
But more than just entertainment, like all great media and literature, Lee’s comics should also be considered through the spectrum of real life politics and social change. Lee was an unabashed anti-racist, who used his comics to highlight the struggles of minorities and the dispossessed. Most famously with his X-Men series, which ran as a giant metaphor for intolerance in 1960s America. From an idea created in 1963 as an allegory to racism, 37 years later Bryan Singer’s 2000 film would embrace all of the political undertones from the comics and allow Lee to have the first of many more cinematic cameo appearances.
If you’d like to use the print comics with your students to support literacy, art, media or social studies, then bear in mind that the CLA licence does cover periodicals like this. Just run the title or identifier through our Check Permissions tool and you can use extracts in lessons to engage students with arguably the biggest entertainment phenomenon of recent times – Game of Thrones wouldn’t be appropriate after all!
About the author
Julie Murray is Education Licences Manager at CLA, which means she trains and educates licensees in schools, further and higher education institutions about CLA licences and how they fit into the wider world of copyright. Prior to working at CLA, Julie was Head of History and Politics at an 11-18 comprehensive in London.