Robert Downey Jr. posts heartbreaking tribute to Stan Lee following the sad news of his death

Robert Downey Jr. posts heartbreaking tribute to Stan Lee following the sad news of his death

Stan Lee, the legendary creator of countless Marvel superheroes, including Spiderman, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Black Panther, and the X-Men, has died at the age of 95. For many people, Stan Lee was the face, and the voice, of Marvel comics, and was well known to fans of Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe thanks to his many cameos throughout the movies. It was Lee who, in the early sixties, revitalised the ailing superhero genre (which had been dying out as a result of restrictions placed on their content by the Comics Code) with wild and bold new stories about flawed superheroes and interconnected storylines.

Once upon a time, Lee's costumed heroes were confined to the narrow panels and flat pages of comic books; but now his creations have found a new life on the silver screen, and the Hollywood A-listers who portrayed them are now nearly synonymous with their caped alter-egos.

One of the best examples of this is actor Robert Downey Jr, who portrays the irreverent supergenius Tony Stark in the movies. The 2008 movie Iron Man has been credited with birthing the gigantic Marvel movie franchise (which has continually broken box office records) and resurrecting Downey Jr's career.

As a result of this, RDJ owes something of a debt to Stan Lee, and when he heard the news of his death, he immediately took to social media to post a heartwarming tribute to the granddaddy of the modern comic book industry; posting an image of himself and Stan Lee together, with the caption: "I owe it all to you… Rest In Peace Stan."

Other Hollywood actors have also paid tribute to Lee. Australian actor Hugh Jackman, who famously portrayed Wolverine until he bowed out gracefully in Logan, wrote: "We’ve lost a creative genius. Stan Lee was a pioneering force in the superhero universe. I’m proud to have been a small part of his legacy and …. to have helped bring one of his characters to life."

Tributes for the late Stan Lee. Credit: Getty

Mark Ruffalo, who plays Bruce Banner in the MCU, also shared a picture on Instagram and captioned it: "Sad, sad day. Rest In Power Uncle Stan. You have made the world a better place through the power of modern mythology and your love of this messy business of being human… you let us be extra-human … superhuman even. I am deeply honoured to have been a small part in the Stan Lee constellation."

On Twitter, Captain America actor Chris Evans wrote: "There will never be another Stan Lee. For decades he provided both young and old with adventure, escape, comfort, confidence, inspiration, strength, friendship and joy. He exuded love and kindness and will leave an indelible mark on so, so, so many lives. Excelsior!"

It's sad that Lee never got to see the grand culmination of Avengers Infinity War: Part II, but he apparently had already filmed his very last cameo before passing peacefully away. His remarkable legacy will endure; for as long as the world still needs heroes.