A comic book artist who has worked on the likes of X-Men and the Avengers has gone missing in the Cayman Islands after swimming near Grand Cayman's east coast. While snorkeling about 250 yards from shore on Thursday morning, Norman Lee and his wife got separated, MyFoxBoston reports. Though his wife made it back to shore, Lee did not. Crews launched a search that has been fruitless, MyFoxBoston notes, and WMUR reports that it's now considered a rescue mission—even as officials doubt they'll find Lee's body. "The currents in that area are strong, and it is unlikely that we will make any recovery at this stage," an official tells WMUR.
Lee, 47, has worked at both Marvel and DC comics and has established a strong reputation in the industry, MyFoxBoston reports. He began at Marvel some 20 years ago, contributing to the character Wolverine, the New York Daily News reports. His main job has been as an inker, NECN reports; that means he finalizes the lines that create the characters, the Daily News notes. "He's worked on some of the best stuff in the country, on some of the best artists," a friend tells NECN, which notes that his work can be found at many comic stores. Despite authorities' bleak outlook, a friend is still hopeful, he tells WMUR. "He's a very strong man. If anyone can survive it, it's Norman. So I hold out hope at the moment." (Last year was a big one for Marvel, including the introduction of a female Thor.)