In 2018, the world mourned the loss of a man who had change the way we see Superheroes. Before he completely dove into the superhero world, superheroes had a tendency to be flawless, idealistic characters who’s main point was to save the day and do good. Stan Lee kept the idea of saving the day and doing good. But then he did something that, at the time in the 1950s, was considered unique. He gave his characters flaws and imperfections, whether it be worrying about everyday life, having a temper, or a physical illness. Here the characters were struggling with things that we could all relate to on different levels, and yet they still rose to fight for something bigger than themselves.
From that concept developed the characters we know and love today. Some of the characters are Thor, Iron Man, Daredevil, Spider-man, and Doctor Strange.
It seemed as though Stan Lee was always creating something new. Right up to weeks before he died, he was working on new stories with other creators. When he suddenly passed away, out of respect to Stan Lee, many felt it was the right thing to do to hold off on continuing to publish work started under him. Now, two years later, we are starting to see the projects come to life.
The first one is a Kickstarter project of a webcomic called Backchannel. From the co-writer of Backchannel, Tom Akel:
“In 2015, when working with Stan and the team at POW! on another project, we sort of stumbled into an idea that Stan had developed – a new hero, Tom Tanner, who while dealing with very modern familial problems had also discovered incredible new abilities. Tom’s powers and the themes of the story made it a perfect choice to become the first webcomic created by Stan Lee.
Soon after, Andie Tong, who had previously worked with Stan and POW! on The Zodiac Legacy, came on board, then Sean Lee from Komikaki Studios and Taylor Esposito, and later Omi Remalante, and after what felt like an eternal development period but in hindsight wasn’t, we launched Backchannel in October 2018.
Then, just 8 weeks in, Stan passed, and so we paused.
But, to paraphrase his immortal words, we have the power to finish this story and the responsibility to do so. And that brings us to today.”
The Kickstarter, run by Rocketship, went live on April 19th. And within 24 hours the campaign was fully funded. If you would like to support it or just take a look, you can check it out here:
The second project is the very last property Stan Lee created before passing away. He teamed up with Arnold Schwarzenegger to create a fun animated series for children to enjoy. Schwarzenegger plays a former superhero named Arnold Armstrong, who finds himself a kindergarten teacher, teaching kids how to use their superhero powers and learn lessens about health, exercise and anti-bullying.
“This is a deeply personal project for me and I am so pumped to introduce it to the world. Not only has it allowed me to bring to life the work of the fantastic Stan Lee, but the series also touches on subjects I’ve spent my life working on, from health and fitness tips and anti-bullying messages to inclusivity and diversity. It brings me great joy to share that messaging with kids in a way that is vibrant, dynamic and most important – fun! It’s an honor to have worked with Stan Lee and I know he would be proud of the message we’re delivering.” -Arnold Schwarzenegger
Watch the trailer here:
Genius Brand recently announced the 26 episode series airs on April 23rd, celebrating the premier with two episodes, only on Kartoon Channel. After that, it will air one episode per week. You can watch Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten on Kartoon Channel which is available on most streaming devices such as Apple, Android, Roku, and Amazon. Click here to see full options of where to watch this series.
Stan Lee’s influence is still being felt today, as new content born from his imagination continues to come to life, for all generations.