Stan Lee, the legendary comic book writer and former editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, has passed away. Born in 1922, Lee was involved in the creation of some of the most iconic comic characters in the world, including Spider-Man, the X-Men, Iron Man and Hulk. Lee eventually became the figurehead of Marvel, known and beloved by comic book fans around the world.
“Stan Lee was as extraordinary as the characters he created. A super hero in his own right to Marvel fans around the world, Stan had the power to inspire, to entertain, and to connect,” Bob Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company said in a statement on Monday. Disney had acquired Marvel Entertainment for $4.24 billion in 2009 – a price largely based on the value of characters conceived by Lee decades earlier.
Despite the decade-spanning popularity of Marvel Comics, it wasn’t until the 21st century that Lee’s work really became a money-making machine. The success of the first live-action Spider-Man movie in 2002 kicked off a comic book movie craze, creating billions of dollars in box office revenue across the globe. The following chart ranks characters/franchises (co-)created by Stan Lee in terms of their success at the box office.