HOW COMIC BOOK LEGEND STAN LEE BROUGHT ATTENTION TO SOME VERY REALISTIC PROBLEMSComic book legend Stan Lee (1922-2018) once said that Marvel has and always will be a window to the world around us, a reflection of our everyday lives. Superheroes, in essence, are supposed to be role models and teachers to children, teens, and even adults, and they are as much human as we are (even the big, green angry ones). Since its shaky roots decades ago to its multi-billion dollar victory nowadays, Marvel Comics has continued to showcase some of the greatest stories ever told, and that is all thanks to the genius of one man. Throughout his career, Stan Lee created the modern mythology and, simply put, created a series of legends that are 100% American. In honor of the late comic book king, let’s take a closer look at some powerful lessons he taught us through some incredible superheroes, and, as Stan the Man always said: Excelsior!

Iron Man

Since the armored avenger first soared across comic book pages, readers were enthralled by a man as powerful as Tony Stark, who fought the good fight without superpowers. In fact, he was the first superhero who didn’t rely on laser vision, super strength, or invisibility. Instead, he relied on his brain, which is already a good lesson to teach. However, like many people, sometimes our minds can reverse gears and take us down a dark, solemn path. This is exactly what happened to Tony during the infamous “Demon in a Bottle” issue, where he falls into alcoholism and must find a way to recover. Eventually, his butler Jarvis convinces him to go to Alcoholics Anonymous (yes…that one) to get help. That, overall, is a lesson worth teaching teens. Seek help and you will get it.

Captain America

Truth be told, there is no great symbol for American comic books than the star-spangled man himself: Captain America. One of the first major heroes of Marvel, good old Cap has been battling robot armies and the Red Skull since the 50s, but did you know that this iconic Avenger once suffered from meth addiction? In one episode, Cap ingests some of the toxic drug, which doesn’t mix well with the super soldier serum running through his body. As a result, he goes completely insane to the point of speaking in gibberish. While you might think this is played for laughs, keep in mind that thousands of soldiers used crystal meth during wartime to stay alert in the trenches. Now, you are probably not chuckling.

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