Stan Lee & My Dad

My dad worked for Stan Lee.
And also with all his superheroes. Hulk, Captain America, even Spidey in the flesh!


At least that’s what he told the 6-year-old me. It was 1997 and he was working at Universal Orlando Resort, helping build Marvel Superhero Island. I remember some of the stories he shared with me.

How Spider-Man was doing. What Hulk was up to. What kind of work they accomplished together that day.

Stories so full. 
So strong. 
So real.

I hung on every word in wonder and amazement at my Dad’s details.

Every day, he’d be up there helping the good guys so that other people can get to know them too. And come visit them. And be inspired by them.

MY dad! Working with MY favorite superheroes! AND Stan Lee! My Dad and Stan Lee! WOW!


The line written in one of the pictures shown that says I wanted to be a writer when I grew up is because of these two men.

Men who caused me to believe in something more than myself.

To see that though life is tough and we sometimes struggle, there are things worth showing up for time and time again.

Because life is worth it.
Because darkness is worth taking a stand against.
Because goodness is worth going after.
And stories are good tools for such beliefs.

Sure, one of these men wrote fictional tales, many of which were targeted for children.
But they were powerful stories.

Stories meant to inspire those targeted children to do just what transpired in the pages. 
To take a stand for what’s right. 
To stand against what wasn’t. 
To believe people are worth caring for.
And, above all, to keep showing up with a story in your heart.

The child writing this grew up believing that. 
He’s writing stories now believing that. 
And he’s attempting to write that every day in his own story.

I considered one of these men a hero of my heroes as a kid.

But looking back, I now know who has been my hero all along.

Thank You, #StanLee, for opening my eyes to this.

Though you died today and I will remember your steadfast inspiration, I still have something to celebrate.


The greatest storyteller I’ve ever known. 
My Dad. Dirk Coleman.
My Hero.

So Dad, in the words of Stan, Excelsior!

Thanks for being the Hero of my heroes.

Marshall ColemandadComment