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Do You Know What Stan Lee's Catchphrase 'Excelsior' Really Means?

Stan Lee is known for creating superhero characters. But perhaps, Stan Lee was the superhero all along.

Raka Mukherjee | News18.com@RakaMukherjeee

Updated:November 13, 2018, 1:41 PM IST
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Do You Know What Stan Lee's Catchphrase 'Excelsior' Really Means?
Stan Lee is known for creating superhero characters. But perhaps, Stan Lee was the superhero all along.
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Comic and superhero creator, Stan Lee passed away at 95 yesterday.

He was known for creating characters like Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Hulk, X-Men and a cavalcade of other Marvel Comics superheroes that have become mythic figures in pop culture and have turned into movies with soaring success at the movie box office.

After the news of his death broke, fans, friends and family paid their tribute on social media with one keyword 'Excelsior.'













Excelsior also spiked in Google Trends searches.

trendsearcg.

So, what is 'Excelsior'?

'Excelsior' which is Latin for "ever upward," was Stan Lee's catchphrase. In 1960's when Atlas Comics became Marvel, Lee's monthly column would be signed off with "Excelsior."

In a 2007 interview, he revealed how he wanted to create a unique word that his rivals at the time wouldn’t be tempted to copy.

"I used to have a lot of expressions that I would end my comic book columns with: Hang Loose, Face Front, 'Nuff Said, and I found that the competition was always imitating them and using them. So, I said I'm going to get one expression that they're not going to know what it means, and they won't know how to spell it. And that's where excelsior came from, and they never did take up on it, thank goodness," he had then said.

What Stan Lee claimed started as a clever way to sign-off and not have it copied, became a slogan for him, which he would continue to repeat throughout his life. Maybe more than just a way to sign-off, 'excelsior' became part of Stan Lee's way of reminding us, to move 'ever upwards.'

Stan Lee is known for creating superhero characters. But perhaps, Stan Lee was the superhero all along. Through his work he gave us enough space to be weird, different and ourselves. To all the young kids who would pore over their pulp magazines, turning pages, wide-eyed at Spiderman yet again saving the day, he provided a refuge, a different world, and a safe space. More than just creating superheroes, he created superheroes in all of us - reminding us that potential is endless, and even though we can't all have Adamantium running through our veins, bravery was something Wolverine didn't have clinically injected into him.

Tributes to Stan Lee after news of him passing, show just that.







He took to Twitter once to explain what 'Excelsior' meant - and how he'd use it when he finished tweeting.

And in the end, he did.





Ever upwards, superhero.
(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat of the state Assemblies in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you put on the psephologist's hat. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections. Elections = News18)
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