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Stan Lee Accomplished So Much He Forgot He Created Groot

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According to Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, comic legend Stan Lee forgot he created Groot. Lee's name is synonymous with Marvel Comics. He got his start with the company in 1939, while it was still known as Timely Comics, starting off as an assistant before working his way up the ranks. Eventually, Lee became a writer for Timely and created or co-created superheroes like Destroyer and Jack Frost. However, Lee became disillusioned with the industry, and thinking he was going to quit Timely, started creating characters and stories he found interesting. Lee played up the humanity in his characters and ended up becoming a comic book superstar. Sadly, Lee passed away on November 12th, 2018, at the age of 95.

To say Lee was a prolific creator would almost be an understatement. His tactic of exploring the flaws of his characters was unheard of in the industry at the time and proved to be a massive hit. Lee co-created the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the X-Men, The Hulk, Black Panther, and countless other widely popular comic book characters and series. Among these is Guardians of the Galaxy favorite Groot, who Lee created with Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby in 1960.

On the second anniversary of Lee's death, Gunn shared a story where he revealed Lee himself forgot he created Groot. Gunn recalled a time when Lee spoke to him about his love for the first Guardians of the Galaxy film, despite the fact he didn't create the characters. Gunn had to remind Lee he actually did create Groot.

Though Gunn's story is somewhat surprising considering Groot's popularity, it speaks to Lee's impressive career. With the number of iconic characters he was responsible for, it makes sense one slipped through the cracks. It's also worth noting the Guardians of the Galaxy films increased public awareness of Groot quite a bit. While the character was loved by many before his debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he wasn't quite as well known as some of Lee's other creations. This may have impacted the writer's memory of him.

Lee's gigantic mark on comic books, and pop culture itself, cannot be understated. The MCU is now the highest grossing film franchise of all time and is largely made up of characters Lee created. It would not be hyperbolic at all to make the argument he is one of the most important creators in modern times. Lee himself may be gone, but his memory lives on in passionate fans who have been engaging with his work for decades, including those who call Guardians of the Galaxy's Groot one of their favorites.
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