In his life, Stan Lee made an immense impact on comics and film, and Marvel super fan or not, his cameos in Marvel films are Easter eggs that never fail to prompt cheers from the audience.
Although many Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) fans will know him as the guy who shows up in the majority of the movies released by Marvel, Stan actually started doing cameos long before the superhero movies were made. As far back as the 1960’s, Lee would be occasionally inserted in the covers and pages of Marvel comics he was overseeing.
“The artists back then would draw me in as a joke or just to have fun,” Lee told the Business Insider. “And I would put some dialogue balloons there and it looked as if I intended it. I didn’t try to do cameos in those days.”
Speaking on his cameos in the films, Lee said that he particularly liked his cameo in Avenger’s: Age of Ultron (2015) because “it’s so funny”. He also liked his appearance in Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, where he wasn’t allowed in to Reed Richards and Susan Storm’s wedding because the bouncer didn’t believe he was really Stan Lee.
As a tribute to the former president and chairman of Marvel Comics, who has died at the age of 95 today, we’ve compiled a list of every cameo he’s ever done in the Marvel universe.
1. The Trial of the Incredible Hulk (1989)
Stan made his first cameo ever almost 30 years ago in a TV movie. He played the role a of a jury member in David Banner’s imagined trial.
2. X-Men (2000)
Stan’s first feature film cameo was in the premiere X-Men film (unfortunately, his Blade appearance was removed from the final cut). Fans spotted him selling hot dogs on the beach during Senator Kelly’s emergence from the sea.
3. Spider-Man (2002)
Stan was the bystander who shielded a young girl from debris when the Green Goblin caused an explosion.
4. Daredevil (2003)
Stan co-created the character Daredevil with artist Bill Everett. Even though the 2003 movie adaptation ended up being criticised severely, fans rejoiced at the sight of Stan Lee reading a newspaper next to young Matt Murdock
5. Hulk (2003)
Stan appeared with former Hulk actor Lou Ferrigno as security guards in this film. It’s also the first cameo that had Stan Lee speaking!
6. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Similar to Stan’s cameo in the previous Spider-Man movie, he saved a woman from falling debris in this one as well—this time caused by Spider-Man’s fight with Doctor Octopus.
7. Fantastic Four (2005)
Stan played mailman Willie Lumpkin, a character he created in the comics. The role saw him greeting Reed Richards, aka Mr Fantastic.
8. X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
Stan was a bewildered neighbour, whose hose began to spray water upwards while he’s watering his lawn, when Jean Grey’s used her telekinesis to levitate several objects outside.
9. Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Stan uttered some wise words to Peter Parker in this one that made us all shed a tear.
10. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
One of Stan’s favourite cameos where his character wasn’t allowed into Reed Richard and Susan Storm’s wedding because the bouncer didn’t believe he’s really Stan Lee.
11. Iron Man (2008)
In this cameo, Tony Stark mistook Stan for Hugh Hefner at a red carpet event. Though we’d have to agree that he does look a lot like Hefner here!
12. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Stan accidentally got infected with gamma sickness when he drank a soda contaminated with Bruce Banner’s Hulk blood.
13. Iron Man 2 (2010)
Keeping the trend of mistaken identity, Tony Stark confused a suspender-wearing Stan Lee for Larry King.
14. Thor (2011)
Stan tried to pull Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir, out of the ground using his pickup truck. Failing the task, Stan prompted laughter from the other truckers.
15. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Stan added comic relief to the film as a World War II general who mistook another man for Captain America.
16. The Avengers (2012)
In this cameo, Stan portrayed a member of the public that didn’t believe superheroes existed in New York.
17. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Stan Lee was completely unaware of the fight going on behind him between Spider-Man and the Lizard, while he jammed out to classical music on his enormous headphones.
18. Iron Man 3 (2013)
Stan appeared as a beauty pageant judge who enthusiastically gave a contestant a perfect 10 mark.
19. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Stan played a patient—who wanted his shoe back—at the same mental hospital ward astrophysicist Erik Selvig was admitted to.
20. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Another funny cameo where Stan played a security guard who’s afraid he’ll be fired when he realised Captain America’s uniform was missing.
21. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
While attending Peter Parker’s graduation ceremony, Stan spotted him in his Spider-Man mask and remarked that he recognised the young man.
22. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Stan got caught flirting with a beautiful young woman.
23. Big Hero 6 (2014)
Animated to appear with his signature sunglasses and moustache, Lee was the voice of Fred’s dad in this post-credit scene.
24. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (2014)
With two gorgeous women flanking his side, Stan told Agent Coulson off for making Jemma Simmons upset.
25. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Stan’s favourite cameo where he played a World War II veteran who needed help leaving the Avengers’ celebration after drinking too much—all the while mumbling “Excelsior” to himself.
26. Agent Carter (2015)
Stan landed a short role in the show’s first season, borrowing a newspaper from Howard Stark, Tony Stark’s dad.
27. Ant-Man (2015)
Stan was a slick bartender in Luis’ flashback, describing a woman as “crazy stupid fine”.
27. Deadpool (2016)
Stan appeared as an emcee at a strip club in his most explicit cameo ever.
28. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Stan hilariously mispronounced Tony Stark’s name as Tony Stank when he made a delivery as a FedEx worker.
29. X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
Stan Lee held on to his real wife, Joan, while they trembled with several other bystanders as they watched nuclear missiles launching into space. This was Joan’s last film appearance before her death the following year.
30. Doctor Strange (2016)
Stan reportedly filmed three other cameos on the same day he filmed this one: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Thor: Ragnarok. In this one, he’s a bus rider so engrossed in a book that he didn’t notice Doctor Strange and Mordo falling onto the side of the bus.
31. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (2017)
Dressed as an astronaut, Stan told celestial beings stories about his life, including the time when he was a postman—a reference to Stan’s role as the FedEx deliveryman in Iron Man 2, which caused fans to theorise that Stan actually played the same character in every MCU film.
Kevin Feige confirmed this idea, saying, “We thought it would be fun to put that in there because that really says, ‘So wait a minute, he’s the same character who’s popped up in all these films.’”
32. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Stan yelled out of a window at Spider-Man for causing a commotion in true old-man style.
33. The Gifted (2017)
Based on Marvel Comics’ X-Men, Stan Lee appeared in one of the episodes in the series. He’s seen leaving a bar just as Marcos entered.
34. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Equipped with blades instead of a right hand, Stan was the intergalactic barber who cut Thor’s beautiful blonde waves.
35. Runaways (2017)
Stan was featured as the limo driver who took the teens to PRIDE’s gala.
36. Black Panther (2018)
A thirsty gambler, Stan grabbed T’Challa’s winnings at the casino in South Korea.
37. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Ever the unfazed observer, Stan played the bus driver who told a group of startled kids off for being scared of a giant spaceship floating above the city.
38. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Stan’s car got shrunken by a particle disk just as he’s about to get into it. He reacted by saying, “Well, the ‘60s was fun, but now I’m paying for it.” LOL!
39. Venom (2018)
Stan played an insightful man walking his tiny dog, during which he told Eddie Brock to “Don’t give up on her… either of you,” as Eddie left his ex-fiancé, hinting that he knew about Eddie’s Venom persona.
Venom was the latest film to be released with Stan Lee before his death. But, luckily for us, we’ll have at least one more Stan Lee cameo to look forward to. Back in April, Joe Russo told BBC Radio Scotland that Stan Lee has already filmed his Avengers 4 cameo and will indeed appear in the film, so watch out for him then!
We’re gonna miss this legend! Did you manage to spot Stan Lee during all these movies?
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