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Stan Lee did so much so well for so long that it’s a shame to see his sad (if lucrative) decline over the past few decades.

I’m sorry that Stan apparently overstates himself as a writer — taking too much credit for the stories and characters that Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko created with him and sometimes without him.

For me, his greatest gift wasn’t as a writer but as an editor: the guy who finds, develops or inspires great projects, who hires great writers and artists, and who provides the circumstances where they do their best work.

Editors at other companies knew about Kirby and Ditko, but only Stan hired and worked with them on the projects where they did work that still inspires readers, writers, artists and filmmakers.

Stan’s legacy as a writer is a controversial muddle. But his achievements as an editor are close to indisputable.