Bill Maher has upset a slew of comic book fans by trashing the legacy of late Marvel giant Stan Lee less than a week after his death.
The “Real Time With Bill Maher” host took to his blog to pen a cutting rebuke of those mourning the death of Lee, the co-founder of Marvel Comics responsible for creating characters such as Spider-Man, The X-Men, The Avengers and countless more.
“The guy who created Spider-Man and the Hulk has died, and America is in mourning. Deep, deep mourning for a man who inspired millions to, I don’t know, watch a movie, I guess,” he wrote. “Someone on Reddit posted, “I'm so incredibly grateful I lived in a world that included Stan Lee.” Personally, I’m grateful I lived in a world that included oxygen and trees, but to each his own.”
Maher went on to chide comic book fans noting that, when he was young, it was understood that they were just for children and that people were supposed to grow up and move on to “big-boy books without the pictures.”
“But then twenty years or so ago, something happened – adults decided they didn’t have to give up kid stuff. And so they pretended comic books were actually sophisticated literature. And because America has over 4,500 colleges – which means we need more professors than we have smart people – some dumb people got to be professors by writing theses with titles like Otherness and Heterodoxy in the Silver Surfer,” Maher wrote. “And now when adults are forced to do grown-up things like buy auto insurance, they call it 'adulting,' and act like it’s some giant struggle.”
The 62-year-old comedian concluded his blog post with a bit of a stretch, noting that the proliferation of comic book fans in America, in his view, led to the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
“I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to suggest that Donald Trump could only get elected in a country that thinks comic books are important,” Maher said.
Fans were quick to speak out against Maher’s comments, including those who work in comic book writing.
“Bill Maher dismissed an entire storytelling medium? Wow. He's so highbrow. His brow is so high, there's probably less room for a mind,” wrote Tom Taylor, bestselling writer of “Injustice: Gods Among Us” and “X-Men: Red.”
“Newsflash: Bill Maher is still a dip----,” wrote “Southern Bastards” and “Spider-Gwen” creator Jason Latour.
“I never speak on topics I know little or nothing about. Why? I never want to be the fool. In other words, I don’t wanna make a Bill Maher out of myself,” wrote Greg Capullo, an illustrator who has worked on “Batman,” “Spawn,” “X-Force” and more.
Despite his rhetoric, it's worth noting that Maher was featured in one of the comic book-based movies that he's trashing. The host makes a cameo appearance in "Iron Man 3," where he pretends to comment on the political ramifications of the Iron Patriot armor.