×

China Mourns Stan Lee, Whose Last Creation Was a Chinese Superhero

Grief over the death of Stan Lee has taken the Internet by storm in China, with the local hashtag “Stan Lee has passed” trending No. 1 on social media and viewed more than a staggering 1.21 billion times by Wednesday evening – equivalent to nearly once per person in the world’s most populous country.

Fans mourned the legendary comic book creator by posting remembrances on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, and by flocking to cinemas to watch “Venom” in tribute to Marvel and to Lee himself, who makes a cameo appearance in the film. Many posted pictures of their tickets alongside condolences over the man some had affectionately dubbed “grandpa.”

“I cried while watching ‘Venom’, and am still applauding for grandpa – the biggest superhero of all has left us,” one Internet user wrote. “Thank you Stan Lee for the heroic dreams you’ve gifted us,” another posted beneath a photo of her pair of movie tickets.

Lee’s studio revealed last month that his next character would be a Chinese superhero named Jewel, based on the Hong Kong-based pop singer Gloria Tang Tsz-kei, or G.E.M., who is sometimes referred to as China’s Taylor Swift. 

Popular on Variety

“I never thought that one day I’d have the chance to become a superhero! Super, invincibly excited!” Tang wrote in announcing the news on both Instagram and Weibo, posting photos of herself with a cardboard cutout of Lee and holding a poster of the red-haired character, who sports a pointy-shouldered suit and a light saber-like weapon in each hand.

Chinese company Camsing International, which bought Lee’s POW! Entertainment last year, said it would press on with developing Lee’s new creations.

Jackie Chan’s online tribute to Lee mentioned his desire to create a China-inspired project. “Many years ago I met him in the US with the feeling of a fan meeting his idol,” Chan wrote on Weibo. “At the time he said he hoped that he could work with me to make a Chinese superhero movie. All these years, we always hoped to make that wish a reality… Goodbye, superhero.”

Lee had made forays to China in his latter years, with a photo of him at the Great Wall in Beijing from last year circulating widely online. The day after his death, G.E.M. posted a photo of the two of them on Instagram and wrote: “So shocked, so sad….It’s my honour to have met you and share meetings on your creative and thought process.”

Huge numbers of Chinese fans made the connection between Lee’s death at 95 and that of iconic martial arts writer Louis Cha Leung Yung, known by his pen name Jin Yong, who died two weeks ago at 94. His funeral was held the same day as Lee’s death.

“If comics hadn’t had Stan Lee, it’d be like if martial arts had never had Jin Yong. Let’s pay tribute to two great legends of the east and west,” wrote one fan.

“Venom” opened last week in China and crushed the competition over the weekend, raking in $102 million before Lee’s death Monday. It was the fifth-largest opening of any film this year in China and the second-largest opening ever for a superhero film.

More Digital

  • Sunil Doshi

    ATF: Sunil Doshi Launches Content Development Platform All Things Small (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sunil Doshi, whose company Alliance Media & Entertainment produced 2017 Tokyo film festival title “Bioscopewala” and distributed Jafar Panahi’s 2018 film “3 Faces” in India, has launched a new content development platform at the ongoing Asian TV Forum & Market in Singapore. The Mumbai-based All Things Small (ATS) is founded by Doshi, journalists Sidin Vadukut, [...]

  • YouTube-Rewind-2019

    YouTube Rewind 2019 Scraps Old Format After Last Year's Torrent of Dislikes

    YouTube has taken a brand-new approach with this year’s YouTube Rewind mashup video — dropping its tradition of highly produced original videos segments. Instead, the 2019 version is a montage of what the platform says were the biggest moments and milestones from around the world on YouTube. The move came after the 2018 YouTube Rewind [...]

  • PewDiePie

    PewDiePie Is the Most-Watched YouTube Creator of 2019 With 4 Billion Views

    PewDiePie’s Bro Army remains stronger than ever: The top YouTuber is the most-viewed creator of 2019 on the platform year-to-date, with more than 4 billion views this year, according to YouTube. The comedian, game vlogger and meme aficionado, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, is also the most-subscribed individual YouTube creator, currently with 102 million [...]

  • Variety Summit Examines Streaming Options and

    Variety Summit Examines Streaming Options and Innovation

    Analytics, monetization and the expanding landscape of entertainment will be the focus of Variety’s Innovate Summit: Discovery & Data Science in Media on Dec. 5 in West Hollywood. The event is presented by PwC. The summit will feature 32 speakers, each considered industry leaders in the emerging world of streaming. Each panel will speak to [...]

  • Talas World Xandra

    Amazon Alexa Gets First Interactive Audio Original, Courtesy of Xandra (EXCLUSIVE)

    First there was “Bandersnatch,” now there is “Tala’s World.” Interactive media is making the jump to smart speakers, starting with a new serialized young adult adventure series produced by audio startup Xandra, and licensed exclusively by Amazon. “Tala’s World” consists of seven episodes, which invite listeners to come along on an audio adventure that involves [...]

  • Billie Eilish Dazzles Crowd With Intimate

    Billie Eilish Dazzles Crowd With Intimate Acoustic Set at Apple Headquarters

    “This is really insane. Nothing like this has ever been done on this stage.” Billie Eilish was addressing the packed crowd midway through her set at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park in California’s Silicon Valley, marking the first time an artist has given a public concert at the iconic home to Apple’s keynote [...]

  • James-Charles-YouTube

    YouTube Reveals 2019 Top-Trending Videos, Most-Viewed Music Videos

    YouTube is out with its year-in-review lists for 2019, documenting the top videos, trends, creators, music, games and more. Leading the list of U.S. top-trending videos was beauty influencer James Charles’ “No More Lies” (pictured above), his video response to accusations of betrayal and misbehavior by vlogger Tati Westbrook. After the controversy blew up in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content