Editor’s Note: The views expressed here are those of the author’s and don’t necessarily represent or reflect the views of MangoBaaz.
By: Khaya Ahmed
Khaya is a writer based in Islamabad and has worked as a consultant writer for Marvel Inc. She helped devise the backstory and pivotal details for Kamala Khan AKA Ms. Marvel’s character.
After the launch of the comics, she was sitting in her home in Islamabad, while the Marvel team celebrated in the United States, they made sure to include her in the celebrations with a Skype call. And one of the people on the call left her pretty speechless…
There are moments in your life that seem to stop time itself and everything around you
For me that moment came at 2 AM in the morning on Skype while I was in my Family Guy PJs. That year had been a rollercoaster in itself, I’d gone from a fangirl on Tumblr to be a part of the team that brought Ms Marvel, Kamala Khan, to life. None of us involved expected the reaction we received and naturally, we did what anyone in our position would do; we celebrated through a Skype Call.
I was there in spirit in my aforementioned pajamas, though I do regret not being there in our editor’s office in person because the celebratory chocolate chip cookies looked delicious. I remember the team hiding a small knowing smile, all of them with a fun little twinkle in their eyes, “Our Kamala, we have someone here who’s dropped by to say Hello to you.”
It was his infectious laughter that got me first and made me realized that I was staring at the screen, eyes wide, jaw slacked, right at Stan Lee himself.
The following sound that came out of my mouth was a cross between a squeal, a shout, and an exclamation followed by me bursting into tears… I was meeting one of the men who brought my favorite characters to life and I was in my pajamas with uncombed hair and an inability to form coherent words.
He’d dropped by Marvel Comics for some other business but when he’d heard that the team was commemorating Kamala’s success, he wanted to be a part of it, “I know how it feels to bet it all and take a risk on something that means this much to you.” I remember nodding between the sobs, thanking him for paving the way along with the others and inspiring people like us to take that same chance, “Kiddo, you inspire me.” He told me he liked my jammies, he wished me and the team luck with Kamala, and he left with a rousing “Excelsior!”
Cue more tears.
That was the first and last time I would get to speak to Stan Lee and I am supremely lucky that I got even that small chance; it’s not every day that you meet your idols.
He was an inspiration to us all; for anyone who picked up a comic, or watched a superhero movie, he was Marvel. He leaves behind a colorful legacy, one filled with struggle, success, and the cost of it all but most of all, he leaves behind people who are more than ready to pick up where he left off and continue his work.
That is the mark of a true legend.
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Cover photo source: Khaya Ahmed/Wired