Legendary comic book writer Stan Lee has died at the age 95.
A family representative confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Lee passed away early this morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, after being taken there by ambulance from his home. The cause of death is not yet known.
The Marvel Comics publisher helped to create many of the universe's best-loved characters, including Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, the X-Men, Black Panther, Iron Man, the Mighty Thor, the Fantastic Four, Daredevil and Ant-Man. Lee started work at Marvel in 1939.
Lee was known for his "flawed" superheroes; protagonists who showed a more human side to their characters. His work went on to redefine the comic genre as we know it.
A statement on Marvel.com reads: “Today, Marvel Comics and The Walt Disney Company pause and reflect with great sadness on the passing of Marvel Chairman Emeritus, Stan Lee.
“With a heavy heart, we share our deepest condolences with his daughter and brother, and we honour and remember the creator, voice and champion of Marvel.”
Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger adds: “Stan Lee was as extraordinary as the characters he created.
“A super hero in his own right to Marvel fans around the world, Stan had the power to inspire, to entertain, and to connect.
“The scale of his imagination was only exceeded by the size of his heart.”
Speaking about his career, Lee said that he used to be embarrassed "because I was just a comic book writer while other people were building bridges or going on to medical careers."
But he added: "Then I began to realise: entertainment is one of the most important things in people's lives. Without it, they might go off the deep end. I feel that if you're able to entertain, you're doing a good thing.”
The worlds of rock and metal have taken to social media to express their sadness, including Kiss star Gene Simmons who thanked Lee for inspiring him.
Simmons says: "Thank you for making my childhood so much more exciting with your astonishing superhero characters. Thank you for inspiring me to think and dream big.
"Thank you for The Hulk, Thor, Fantastic Four and many others. You will be sadly missed. RIP."
To Stan Lee: Thank you for making my childhood so much more exciting with your astonishing superhero characters. Thank you for inspiring me to think and dream big. Thank you for the Hulk, Thor, Fantastic Four and many others. You will be sadly missed. RIP.November 12, 2018
Heartbroken.Thank you for making me believe in heroes.#RIPStanLeeNovember 12, 2018
Goodbye to the amazing Stan Lee @Marvel . He brought so much happiness to my life.November 12, 2018
RIP Stan Lee. His contributions to pop culture cannot be understated. What an amazing legacy he’s leaving behind. His creations will live on forever. Godspeed sir.November 12, 2018