More than 50 years ago, before the nation was coarsened by a D-list celebrity-cum-commander in chief, Stan Lee taught young and old alike the meaning of greatness [“Marvel Comics visionary,” News, Nov. 13].
Indeed, he reminded us that with great power comes a greater sense of altruism.
Silver screen superheroes have become such a vivid part of popular culture that it’s easy to forget how profoundly Lee altered the formulaic four-color comic book industry — and spawned a modern-day mythology.
Stanley Martin Lieber humanized the genre’s Dudley Do-Right demi-gods by afflicting his characters with everyday foibles to go along with their wondrous powers. And much like Rod Serling’s “Twilight Zone” and Gene Roddenberry’s “Star Trek,” Lee’s Marvel universe employed science-fiction derring-do to expound on racism, political corruption, bigotry and even the military-industrial complex.
Such exploits caught the attention of a kindred creative spirit, Federico Fellini. When the famed Italian director visited Lee’s cluttered office on Madison Avenue in 1965, the two became fast friends.
A fitting epitaph for New York’s favorite Marvel would indeed be “Excelsior!”
Rosario A. Iaconis, Mineola
Lowered flags testify to failure on guns
We have become a nation living at half-staff. As one who grew up in the 1960s, I recall our nation’s flag at half-staff after the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, but I’m hard pressed to think of other moments when that happened.
Tragically, in recent years, flags in our country have been lowered time and again after mass shootings in schools, churches, synagogues, nightclubs and outdoor concerts [“Shared prayers and grief,” News, Oct. 29]. Our young people are growing up seeing the flag often at half-staff.
I believe stronger gun controls are needed. The United States has not passed a gun-control bill in more than 10 years, and our NRA-puppet government officials continue to stick their heads in the sand, in exchange for endorsements from that organization. What are we waiting for? I’m tired of looking only half-way up the flagpole every day.
Marc Comerchero, Commack