BRONX, N.Y. - Maxwell Wood, a Marvel Comics Fan, now can see his favorite superheroes in his school—DeWitt Clinton High. It’s where a new mural pays tribute to a famous alumnus and his iconic creations.
"It’s just one of those things that I’ve come to love, knowing that Stan Lee went here and now seeing that he’s passed which was sad for me. But it’s wonderful to know that someone like him was able to make so much from our school and things of that nature and he was able to go far," Wood said.
DeWitt Clinton boasts a remarkable list of distinguished alumni like the writer James Baldwin, the designer now known as Ralph Lauren, activist attorney William Kuntsler and basketball great Tiny Archibald.
Stan Lee, who passed away in November, has a special place in the hearts of today's students. His legacy includes an army of colorful and complex characters like the Hulk and Spiderman, who first came to life in his comics.
Lee was born in the Bronx, lived on University Avenue and graduated from DeWitt Clinton in 1939. It was an all-boys school back then.
"When I walk, I just look at it and admire it. It wasn’t there my Freshman or Sophomore year. Now it’s my Junior year and I’m like the dedication, the beauty of it just catches the eye. And I’m like what if we had this all around the building," said student Nya White.
The school principal, Pierre Orbe, has his own fond memories of Marvel Comics. He, other staff members and muralist, Delania Alma, arranged for the tall mural to be painted during the holiday break to surprise returning students.
"My first language was Spanish so it was hard for me to speak English and my mother introduced me to the comic books and the words came to life.Stan Lee’s message was there’s something great and powerful in all of us and we have the ability to grow that out," Orbe said.
The mural is so popular, there are now plans to make a much larger one, but this time involving the art class.