Editor’s Note: Skepticism over Stan Lee’s trip to Manila

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The recently-held press conference by the organizers of ComicCon Asia announced a stellar line-up of celebrities and geek icons as guests. The Philippines has no shortage of triple A comic conventions (I can name at least two that happen once a year), and ComicCon Asia is definitely a welcome addition to that list.

Included in the guest list is one of my long-time heroes and definitely a legend in the comic book industry. If you think about comics, the name Stan Lee always comes to mind. Born Stan Martin Lieber, the former Marvel Comics editor-in-chief collaborated with other comic book legends like Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko (to name a few) to create iconic characters like Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and many other Marvel superheroes we see today.

Even before ComicCon Asia’s official announcement, rumors have already swirled that the organizers have indeed invited The Man to Manila. One presscon announcement and a video later, it’s all coming to reality. Stan Lee is coming to Manila.

I’ll say it now, and with conviction. I’m still skeptical over his confirmed arrival in Manila. I’m not ready to shell out a solid US$300 (PHP15,800) shake his hand. Not yet. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying the organizers don’t have that capacity to bring him here. That’s a different discussion entirely. It’s more about Stan Lee himself and his ability to go.

Stan Lee’s health has been deteriorating over the past couple of years. Let’s face it. The Man’s already 95 years old. It would only be natural that his body won’t be as forgiving as when he was in his prime. We also can’t discount the fact that he’s already had a history of cancellations in comic-con events in the US. March last year, he had to cancel appearances in Big Apple Comic Con and Comic Con Fan X due to health concerns. It happened again in August 2017 when he dropped out of Comic Con Palm Springs due to an undisclosed reason (yet rumored to be related to health problems as well). If that’s not enough, Stan Lee showed up to the Black Panther gala premiere in a wheelchair (see left).

Apart from his health concerns, Stan Lee has recently been struck with sexual harassment allegations, to which he and his camp categorically denies. No matter the outcome of the accusations thrown, this certainly takes a toll on his health and well-being, not to mention his social status as an industry icon and legend.

I’m not ready (though I am able) to pre-order a US$300 ticket. Not for an appearance that I feel might not come to fruition. Meeting Stan Lee has been part of my bucket list. I mean… who hasn’t? He’s just within arms reach, just a couple of months shy. But no, I’m not buying. There’s a chance that ComicCon Asia might become part of that ever-growing statistic where Stan Lee backs out at the last minute. I think that’s more painful than having to miss buying a ticket on a day where he really did come. Consider logistics too. It’ll be a nightmare for ComicCon Asia organizers to setup refunds for unsatisfied attendees.

If he does manage to show up this March, it will be a big regret of mine, knowing that ComicCon Asia will be the first and last time I’d see Stan Lee walk the same ground I’ve been. It will be a loss to not have bought tickets to meet him. But that’s my loss to bear. I’m pessimistic, and I hope everyone would forgive me for being one.

I’ll still get myself a 2-day pass, though.

ComicCon Asia tickets are now on-sale at their website. The event happens on March 24-25, 2018 at the SMX Convention Center, Manila. Guests include NBA superstar Ray Allen, and the Black Mighty Morphin Power Ranger, Walter Jones.

The opinions expressed in this article are of the author’s alone, and do not necessarily reflect that of Otakultura! as a whole.