Kiwi newspaper's Marvel mix-up: Gisborne Herald accidentally called Stan Lee Spike Lee

The Gisborne Herald has gone international after accidentally publishing a paper proclaiming Spike Lee had died aged 95.

Director Spike Lee, 61, is still alive and healthy, but former Marvel comics editor-in-chief Stan Lee died on Tuesday at the age of 95.

"'Characters first, superheroes next': Spike Lee dies at 95," the headline said. 3

Huw Turbervill picked up on the error and posted a picture of the papers front page on Twitter, captioning the image "oh dear".

More than 12,000 people liked the tweet and nearly 5000 people retweeted it. Eventually the small paper's mistake made its way international publications Time Magazine and the Huffington Post.

Auckland resident Kenny Williams also posted a picture of the mistake.

The Gisborne Herald did not want to comment on the mix up to Newshub.

Tributes have flooded in for Lee since he was pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Tuesday (NZ time).

"He felt an obligation to his fans to keep creating," his daughter JC Lee said in a statement to Reuters.

"He loved his life and he loved what he did for a living. His family loved him and his fans loved him. He was irreplaceable."