Marvel superfan shows off $25,000 collection of memorabilia dedicated to the late Stan Lee
The granddaddy of the Marvel universe, Stan Lee himself, has died at the age of 95. For many people, Stan Lee was the face of comics, and even if you didn't regularly read his columns (addressed to so-called "true believers") then you'd probably still recognise him through his many cameos throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe and beyond. It was Lee who revitalised the ailing superhero genre in the 60s, and who created countless beloved costumed heroes and villains, such as the Fantastic Four, Spiderman, Black Panther, and the Silver Surfer,
One Marvel überfan who has been mourning the late, great legend himself is 41-year-old solicitor Wayne Hardy. Wayne, who hails from the East Midlands in England, has been East Midlands, has hoarding comics and action figures since childhood, and has now amassed a collection of geeky memorabilia worth over $25,000: including 5,000 comics and 250 action figures, as well as Marvel pyjamas, mugs and underwear.
Commenting on his action figure obsession, Wayne stated; "I got my first comic in 1985 when I was eight. I remember it vividly being a Marvel Transformers comic. I was so mesmerised in the stories and enjoyed the characters so much, it was the best escapism a kid could ask for. Ever since then I’ve been obsessed with Stan Lee’s creations and his incredible imagination."
"As a kid, I spent hours in bespoke comic stores and spent any little pocket money I had on the 50p comics. I try to get them as cheap as possible by shopping on eBay and online forums, but I still end up spending £150 on most of them – with my most valuable figures, like the Watcher, selling for hundreds of pounds online.”
He added: "I know when my girlfriend, who I’ve been with for 10 years, first saw my collection, she thought it was odd; like most people do. She grew to like it, though, and helps me by buying me things she thinks I might like. I have some friends who think I could spend my money more wisely. They’re probably right, but I’m mad about Marvel and don’t want to let any of my things go."
Wayne has been saddened by Stan Lee's death, but is glad that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has opened things up, and introduced a whole new generation of people to the characters that so fascinated him as a kid. "I was gutted when Stan died and it’s been nice to see fans all over the world remembering his life," He stated. "I heard it from my girlfriend and didn’t know how to react – as a kid I thought he would be immortal, I forgot he would be gone one day. But it means even more to people like me, who haven’t been invested for just 10 years, but nearly our entire lives."
"Stan always had a presence with the fans by showing up in cameos and narrating his animated series. We always knew he was there, we knew exactly who was behind our biggest fantasies ... He was a symbol of a superhero world. He’s helped me to stay a kid forever, as even as an adult you never grow out of superheroes."
Wayne's shrine will stand as a testament to Stan Lee's incredible lecacy - proving that, if we remember them, then our real heroes need never die.