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.
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.
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.”
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.