With this larger-than-life trend, Stan Lee’s legacy is alive on the red carpets.
The creator of the Marvel Universe and pop culture titan passed away today at the age of 95. As long as there are humans interested in the power of a good story, scholars will no doubt analyze the Avengers phenomenon the same way that Ancient Greek and Roman theater is studied today. The unprecedented success of Lee’s multiple blockbuster franchises just barely begins to hint at his immeasurable impact.
The Marvel ethos can be discerned, among a great many other places, on the red carpets. It’s easy enough to connect the current celebrity fascination with dramatic capes and trains with Marvel’s box office dominion. This trend is just one spinoff from the raging superhero fever that’s been entertaining and empowering viewers and readers all over the globe for decades now.
There aren’t too many individuals who can be held directly, almost singlehandedly responsible for spurring a “Golden Age,” let alone multiple Golden Ages within a single lifetime. Stan Lee carries that distinction. The phrase “Golden Age of Comics” usually refers to the ’30s and ’50s, when Lee and his contemporaries worked wonders within the print world. And make no mistake, we are living The Golden Age of Superhero Movies right now. Through economic downturns, geopolitical conflicts, and all manner of other very real crises, Marvel characters have navigated their own personal battles on-screen, often in the midst of clashes on the global or even galactic level. Fans, it goes without saying, have followed faithfully along.
Marvel’s fantastic success is no mystery. Lee started a renaissance when he gave his heroes glaring flaws, questionable character traits, and neuroses as abundant as they are therapeutically hilarious. Through Spider-Man, Iron Man, the X-Men, and many more imaginative classics, Lee’s work has delighted audiences while reminding them that in order to be superhuman, we have to be human, first — and having a sense of humor helps, too.
In that spirit, here are the most magnificent, Marvel-worthy capes and trains we’ve spotted on the red carpets recently. Inspiring, wonderfully dramatic, and unapologetically over-the-top, they’re also just plain fun. Like Lee himself, they’re way larger than life. — jas