It would be incredibly rare to find a person today who has not heard of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The incredibly enticing films have helped make Marvel comics a household name over the years. The characters from these films have made their place in the hearts of many, many people today, and we have their magnificent creator, Stan Lee, to thank for it! Let us take a look at the top ten Stan Lee cameos over the past years:
Top Ten Stan Lee Cameos
The Avengers (2012)
‘The Avengers’ (2012) opened in theatres back in 2012, exactly 10 years from now. The film brought together all of our favourite heroes together, to face an extraterrestrial threat for the very first time. The movie also set up the main villain in the entire MCU, Thanos, 7 years before the heroes would have to face him.
In many ways, ‘The Avengers’ (2012) was the real beginning of the MCU and its lovable band of heroes. After this, the superheroes’ paths would cross again and again, and they would form meaningful connections with each other, almost resembling a family.
Stan Lee’s cameo, which comes in the aftermath of the Battle of New York, is unforgettable. He shows up on the news, being interviewed by a reporter and says, “Superheroes in New York? Give me a break.”, which is ironic, because, in the years to come, this would not be the last time New York would see superheroes.
Marvel Studio’s ‘Thor’ (2011), stars Chris Hemsworth in the titular role. It serves as an origin story, for Thor, whom we meet for the very first time as the reckless Prince of Asgard. This movie marks the beginning of his journey to become the worthy God of Thunder, we all know and love.
Thor, due to his recklessness, is cast off of Asgard, along with his magical hammer, Mjolnir, to Earth. Thor, without his powers, has to prove himself to be worthy of Mjolnir again and cannot lift it until he does.
While Thor goes through his transformation, the locals of the town attempt to pick up the strange hammer in the desert that seems to be impossible to lift. This is where we see Stan Lee, trying to pull Mjolnir off the ground by tying it to the bed of his pick-up truck. While he does not succeed in getting the hammer off the ground, he does succeed in producing a laugh when he asks, “Did it work?” as the bed of his pick-up truck breaks.
Avenger: Age Of Ultron (2015)
In ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ (2015), The Avengers come back together a long time after their first mission together. This time, they have to fight off the threat of an artificially intelligent robot, Ultron, when Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) creation for the protection of earth goes awry.
At the beginning of the movie, Stan Lee is seen at a party thrown in celebration of the Avengers, before things go bad. During a conversation with Thor, he claims he can handle Asgardian liquor because he fought at Omaha beach. Later, the scene hilariously cuts to Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and Chris Evans’s Steve Rogers carrying a very drunk Stan Lee to safety as he mutters his catchphrase “Excelsior”.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
‘Captain America: Civil War’ (2016) is unlike the other Marvel movies, because, instead of facing a bad guy, the beloved superheroes fight one another. The movie successfully created a rift not just between the characters but the fans as well, as they were forced to pick sides between ‘Team Cap’ and ‘Team Stark’.
The consequences of this argument between the two fan-favourites would be seen in many future films to come. However, Stan Lee’s cameo at the end of the movie as a postman, delivering a package to Tony Stark and mistakenly calling him ‘Tony Stank’ provided a much needed comedic relief and will go on to become a running joke in the fandom spaces for years.
Spider-man: Homecoming (2017)
‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ (2017) is the first film in the MCU reboot of the trilogy. This is not the first time we see Tom Holland’s Peter Parker (he makes his first appearance in Captain America: Civil War (2016), however, it is the first time we see him confront an enemy on his own.
Stan Lee makes his appearance as a frustrated neighbour when Holland’s Spider-Man accidentally sets off the alarms of a car causing some chaotic ruckus. Lee delivers an iconic line, “Don’t make me come down there, you punk” and then engages in a conversation with a fellow neighbour as Spider-Man tries to fix his mistake.
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Taika Waititi’s ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ (2017) is certainly distinctive from the Thor movies that came before it. The balance of amusing, comedic and witty mood alongside the previous dark and gritty plot makes it an interesting watch. Waititi’s effect is evident from characterization to the storyline.
When Thor is taken to the planet Sakaar, ruled by the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), he is prepared to be thrown into the arena for a battle. During these preparations, Stan Lee makes his appearance with a scary-looking device to cut off Thor’s hair, as Thor pleads and begs him not to.
X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
‘X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) features many of the beloved characters from the franchise, such as Michael Fassbender’s Magneto, James McAvoy’s Charles Xavier, Sophie Turner’s Jean and the fan-favourite Quicksilver played by Evan Peters amongst many others as they all band together to fight a centuries-old mutant.
The X-Men have to find a way to stop a mutant with unimaginable power as he sets out to destroy the world even as turmoil boils between them. This cameo stands out because Stan Lee does not appear in it alone, but with his wife, Joan Lee beside him. They both look up at the rising nuclear weapons, witnessing the end of the world, as they hold on to each other.
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ (2012) is the first movie in the second reboot of the Spider-Man movies and features Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker. The movie covers the origin story of how Peter Parker became Spider-Man, from being bitten by the spider to his uncle’s death, which put him on the path of justice.
Stan Lee appears as a librarian at Peter’s school, putting aside books, and listening to music through his headphones completely oblivious to the fight taking place just a few feet behind him.
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018)
‘Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse’ (2018) is an animated film, focusing on Miles Morales, who takes on the mantle of Spider-Man when the Peter Parker of his universe is killed. It also features different versions of Spider-Man from other universes coming together to defy the villain, Kingpin.
Though the story features many versions of Spider-Man like Spider-Ham and SpiderGwen, it ultimately is the origin story for Miles’ Spider-Man. Stan Lee makes an appearance, posthumously as a salesperson who sells a Spider-Man costume to Miles. When Miles doubts whether the costume will fit him or not, Lee responds with “It always fits, eventually.” This appearance is incredibly meaningful given Stan Lee’s connection to the character of Spider-Man.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
‘Avengers: Endgame’ (2019) truly was the end of an era in more ways than one. It was a beautiful yet sad goodbye to a story that had begun 11 years ago. While fans said goodbye to some of the older characters, they also hoped to see the new characters grow into new legacies. This film is the very last of Stan Lee’s appearances in any MCU movie or Marvel-related content. He appears as a man driving past a military facility saying, “Hey man, make love, not war.” It is truly incredible to have been able to witness Stan Lee’s creation alongside him all these years, and there is comfort in knowing that his work will live on for the years to come, inspiring a new generation of heroes.