Tributes have poured in to Marvel Comics co-creator Stan Lee, who has died aged 95.
The Associated Press reported that a family lawyer had confirmed the death of the creator of Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four and The Incredible Hulk on Monday morning.
Since the news broke, stars of the Marvel movies and fans having been paying tribute to Lee on social media.
Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr shared a photo of himself with the comic book legend on Instagram, saying: “I owe it all to you… Rest In Peace Stan.”
On Instagram, Josh Brolin, who plays Thanos in the Avengers films, said Lee ranked alongside authors Dr Seuss and Ray Bradbury.
“That’s where it begins and ends with me,” he said. “To those of us who have been so deeply affected by the humanity of his imagination, the understanding of reaching beyond our potential and the necessity of tapping into our immeasurable imaginations, we thank you and are forever indebted.”
Wolverine actor Hugh Jackman wrote that the world had lost a “creative genius”.
“Stan Lee was a pioneering force in the superhero universe,” he tweeted. “I’m proud to have been a small part of his legacy and to have helped bring one of his characters to life.”
British actor and Spider-Man star Tom Holland said on Instagram: “How many millions of us are indebted to this guy, none more so than me.
“The father of Marvel has made so many people so incredibly happy. What a life and what a thing to have achieved. Rest in peace Stan.”
While Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds simply wrote: “Thanks for everything, Stan.”
In a statement The Walt Disney Company, which bought Marvel Entertainment in 2009, saluted Mr Lee’s “unmatchable” life and career.
“Every time you open a Marvel comic, Stan will be there,” it said. “Please join us today in remembering Stan ‘The Man’ Lee.”
Chairman and CEO Bob Iger added: “Stan Lee was as extraordinary as the characters he created. A super hero in his own right to Marvel fans around the world, Stan had the power to inspire, to entertain, and to connect. The scale of his imagination was only exceeded by the size of his heart.”
Long-time rival DC comics also issued its own tribute to the “true legend”, hailing his efforts in making comic books more accessible.
DC Publisher Dan DiDio said: “Without Stan Lee’s fertile and creative mind, endless energy and work ethic, comic books would have been completely different from what we know and enjoy today.
“He helped to create worlds that were both fantastic and relatable at the same time, allowing more people to embrace superhero stories. We’ll be forever richer having him with us.”
“Stan was a great friend and a true legend. He paved the road for me and other creators for more than half a century,” said DC chief creative officer and publisher Jim Lee.
Lee, who founded Marvel Comics with Jack Kirby in 1961, helped create some of the comic world’s most iconic superheroes.
Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Hulk, X-Men, Black Panther, Daredevil and The Avengers were just some of Marvel’s famous creations.
In recent years the Marvel brand expanded into Hollywood, creating a multi billion-dollar film franchise.
Lee was known for making brief cameo appearances in Marvel universe films.
The cause of Lee’s death is not known, but earlier this year it was revealed that he was fighting a bout of pneumonia.
Lee’s wife Joan died in 2017 and he is survived by his daughter Joan Celia “JC” Lee.