While Spiderman, Professor X and Captain America have been resurrected more than once in the Marvel universe, the decision to bring back the recently deceased Stan Lee to advertise a movie has proven far less popular with fans.
Stan Lee’s death last November was a huge blow to the multi-billion industry he had been instrumental in building, and the outpouring from fans around the world was a testament to his wild popularity. Naturally, film producers were not about to let his Twitter account (and its 3.6 million followers), go to waste.
While generally reserving the account for respectful memories of the writer’s life and work, with appropriate indications that it was not Lee himself sending the tweet, fans feel POW! Entertainment crossed the line when using it to advertise a film premiere.
Captain Marvel landed in Hollywood this past Monday for the movie’s premiere! Read more about the evening below: https://t.co/EEzgZSPX3W
— stan lee (@TheRealStanLee) March 7, 2019
It is worth mentioning that, like many Marvel movies, Lee has a cameo in the upcoming film, one of the last he completed shooting before his death.
POW! is a production company Stan Lee co-founded in 2001 which now runs his social media accounts. In a blog post, they describe their mission to “honor” their “founder, mentor and friend the way he wanted,” “bringing his final works to the fans he loved” and “sharing memories” on his accounts.
This is exactly what fans feel they have not done with the eerie first-person tweet on Thursday.
I hope when I’m dead my corporate owners Weekend At Bernie’s my corpse to shill their products
— The Monkey Who Stares At Goats (@VincentHatesGod) March 7, 2019
Love ya Stan, unfollowing cus they are nercomancing your account and goodwill to market.
Cool when you went full on salesmen with your “Stan Lee” brand when you were alive, but now it’s just a corporation putting strings on a corpse and making it dance around. u deserve better. pic.twitter.com/CuW9UFnDJp
— : ℂ (@cowboy_steel) March 7, 2019
Responses to the tweet were overwhelmingly negative, ranging from calling the decision distasteful, to some creative fanfic about how Stan Lee himself might react.
Others didn’t get too far past being extremely disturbed at seeing their dead childhood hero being propped up after months in the grave.
Things are all the more unsettling considering that Lee had only just managed to regain control of his own account a few months before his death. While the reports are unconfirmed, producer and entrepreneur Keya Morgan had been accused of taking control of the creator’s social media accounts before Pow! and Lee’s family had them returned by the courts alongside a restraining order.
A number of people argued that a respectful solution would be to indicate explicitly that the account was no longer actually Lee’s. At present, Twitter’s “verified” check mark remains alongside the ironic handle @TheRealStanLee. While the comic creator’s works will undoubtedly live on, it seems Stan’s fans would prefer he be allowed to rest along with Uncle Ben.
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