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For Marvel legend Stan Lee, birthday wishes galore

Excelsior! In a year of sadness, take time out to celebrate the Marvel Comics icon, now 94.

It's been a tough year in a lot of ways.

One of them was seeing a celebrity name suddenly start turning up in the news -- it makes many people assume the worst. Just consider the one-two punch this week with the loss of Star Wars icon Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds.

Let's redeem that for Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee, who turned 94 on Wednesday. Lee's birthday was celebrated on social media by numerous pals in the comics and movie industries in which he's been such a pioneer.

When "Guardians of the Galaxy" director James Gunn greeted Lee, the comics icon responded with a sassy reply.

At 94, Lee shows no sign of slowing down, and his social-media skills are better than many of those half his age. On Christmas Day, he tweeted an illustration of the Marvel superheroes doing the famed "Charlie Brown Christmas" dance, drawn by "Mini Marvels" creator Chris Giarrusso.

Look for Lee's amazing, nearly century-long life to come to the big screen sometime soon. Back in September, it was announced that his life story would be made into a feature film with a 1970s adventure-movie theme, with Lee as executive producer.

In true Lee fashion, he thanked his well-wishers and wished them all a happy 2017 with his trademark signoff, "Excelsior!"