Stan Lee, right, with the pop star G.E.M.
Culture

One of Stan Lee’s last superheroes was inspired by a Chinese pop star

Nov 14, 2018

Update: Since the publication of this article, Stan Lee’s daughter, JC Lee, revealed that she and her father had been working on a new superhero called Dirt Man. The update has been reflected in this article.

Marvel creator Stan Lee passed away on Monday at 95 after a life spent creating some of the world’s most enduring superheroes, including Spider-Man, the Hulk, and Black Panther.

Just weeks before he died, his studio unveiled one of his final creations: a Chinese pop star who tours the world by day and saves it by night.

One of Stan Lee’s final creations was a Chinese pop star.
One of Stan Lee’s final creations was a Chinese pop star. / Photo: Weibo

Tentatively named Jewel, the character develops her powers after a mysterious incident involving her grandmother and a charm bracelet. The studio has yet to reveal specific details about her superpowers.

The character is based off Chinese pop star Gloria Tang, who goes by the stage name G.E.M. With millions of fans across the world, she’s been called “China’s Taylor Swift” for her prolific songwriting, though her powerful voice is more comparable to the vocals of Ariana Grande.

Gloria Tang, who goes by the stage name G.E.M., has been called “China’s Taylor Swift.”
Gloria Tang, who goes by the stage name G.E.M., has been called “China’s Taylor Swift.” / Photo: Hummingbird

In a statement, Lee’s studio said he had always wanted to create a Chinese superhero, and his encounter with G.E.M. in Hong Kong last December became a source of inspiration.

“Her powerful singing gave Stan Lee the perfect model for a superhero,” the studio said.

“Never thought I would become a superhero one day!” G.E.M. said on her Instagram at the time. “Super excited!”

On Tuesday, the singer paid tribute to Lee in an Instagram post.

“One of the sweetest and most humble person I’ve met,” she wrote, “its my honour to have met you and share meetings on your creative and thought process.”

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

So shocked, so sad... :( One of the sweetest and most humble person I’ve met, its my honour to have met you and share meetings on your creative and thought process. You have been a big big inspiration to the world, you have brought hopes and courage to so many people’s lives. Thanks for empowering and encouraging so many people and let them believe in themselves. Thanks for everything that you have done! We’ll miss you @therealstanlee ! #legend #stanlee #ripstanlee #rip 很驚訝,和傷心⋯ 你是其中一個我認識過最和藹可親的人,能遇見你實在是我的幸運。謝謝你為世界帶來這麼多的啟發、希望與勇氣,謝謝你讓這麼多人在動盪的世界裡能夠相信自己。你會一直留在我們的心裡、生活裡! @therealstanlee

A post shared by G.E.M.鄧紫棋 (@gem0816) on

The Marvel universe has a devoted following in China, and American comic publishers have been keen on developing characters for the local market.

With the Lee studio’s latest effort to create a pop star-inspired superhero, there are few parallels to G.E.M.

The singer, whose stage name stands for “get everybody moving,” debuted in Hong Kong in 2008 but shot to fame after finishing second in a Chinese singing competition in 2014.

She has toured in over eight countries and played to crowds numbering in the tens of thousands.

Adapted from an original article first published in the South China Morning Post.

Correction: A previous version of the headline erroneously stated that Jewel was a Marvel character. She was Stan Lee’s last creation but will not belong to Marvel.

G.E.M Chinese Marvel Superhero China's Taylor Swift Stan Lee Marvel