The co-creator of Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk and Iron Man wasn't planning to come back to Florida after his appearance at MegaCon Orlando in May.
But then Hurricane Irma hit, leaving millions without power and many with damaged homes and businesses. Days later, many are still suffering.
Legendary comic book writer Stan Lee plans to help with the recovery effort by coming to MegaCon Tampa Bay later this month to raise money.
"I just want to say if there is anything I can do to help, that's the main thing; I want to be there," Lee, 94, said this week by phone. "What's going on with the weather is so horrible and the people affected by it."
Lee — former vice president and publisher of Marvel Comics, the comic book empire he helped launch — will host an auction to raise money for Hurricane Irma relief at the convention, which runs Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 at the Tampa Convention Center.
"I'm like a bad penny," he said, laughing. "I keep coming back."
At the auction during Lee's panel Sept. 29, several packages will be up for grabs, including an exclusive dinner with the man who helped co-create Daredevil, Doctor Strange and the X-Men and artwork from his personal collection.
"We felt that Florida was in need of some cheering up," said Andrew Moyes, vice president of Fan Expo, which owns MegaCon Orlando and MegaCon Tampa Bay. "And who better to do that than Stan the Man?"
The other packages are still being worked out by MegaCon and Lee's team. A signed copy of Amazing Fantasy No. 1, anyone?
Moyes also said $5 from the next 2,000 MegaCon tickets sold will be donated to Feeding Florida, a network of food banks.
"I think we've all felt it; the sense of anxiety and pressure from this past week," he said. "Everyone is in need of a little extra magic right now. It means a hell of a lot that Stan is coming on board to help pump up that magic."
Details on autographs and photos with Lee, as well as information on special fan packages will be available starting Friday at megacontampabay.com.
Lee said if there's anything anyone can do to help in the recovery effort playing out across the state, "they should do it."
When asked if he has any other plans for his time at MegaCon Tampa Bay, he said, "Oh, the usual I guess."
"I'll be signing autographs and taking pictures and wandering around talking to fans," he said. "If I can find any. I might find one or two."
Contact Chelsea Tatham at [email protected] Follow @chelseatatham.