Okay, well maybe not everything but growing up with two older brothers in the 60's and 70's you can bet I was indoctrinated into the Marvel world at a young age. Thank Valhalla! I owe Stan Lee so much including:
1. Norse Mythology 101 -- The Mighty Thor and his Mjolnir. Who knew? Growing up Italian-American, I didn't even know the Norse had gods! (I was also eight.) But a rainbow bridge? Kewl! Balder the Brave? (He dies?) And Loki? That dud had dibs on horns long before Hellboy. ;)
2. Geeks rule -- Peter Parker aka the lone webslinger, Spiderman. You never looked at the smart kid in class the same way again. So think twice before leaving that shy, brainy kid for last when picking teams in gym class.
3. Geeks can get the girl -- Mr. Fantastic married Sue Storm when she could have gotten Dr. Doom to take off more than his mask and Namor, the Sub-mariner, to trade in his gills for a set of lungs just by asking.
4. Nobody's perfect -- Superheroes aren't right all the time. Even with superpowers, they make mistakes. They suffer through frustration, alienation, and self-doubt. You are not alone, kiddo. Not by a long-shot.
5. Girl's got power, too -- Storm, the Scarlet Witch, Rogue, the Invisible Woman, Jean Grey, Valkyrie. Need I say more?
6. Tolerance -- Now really, would Hulk have rampaged all over the place if they'd stopped shooting at him every time he went green? And don't even get me on mutant-phobia.
7. Don't give up the good fight -- When life throws crap at you (and it will), don't just lie down and take it. Get up and push through it. It's Clobberin' Time!
8. Everybody wants a home -- That's why superheroes who started out solo often joined teams like the Defenders, the Avengers or the X-Men. The human (or mutant or android or alien) touch is universal. Don't believe me? Ask the Silver Surfer.
9. Use your imagination and read -- Everything about comics ignited my desire to read--the world, the characters, the conflicts. The influence of Marvel spurred my love of paranormal in what I write today. Though I illustrate with words and not pen and ink I've taken all of the above lessons mixed them up with romance and given them to my own characters. My passion for heroes has never dimmed in forty years. And for that all I can say is...
Thank you, Stan Lee!