Stan Lee, the late Marvel Comics creator, had an undeniable presence in the world of superheros even after his retirement in the '90s. As Marvel Studios transformed his greatest creations into on-screen epics, he also became a core part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Lee's 22 Marvel cameos are something that Marvel fans always look forward to catching while watching the movies. While we'll miss his appearance in future movies, see below for Lee's best cameos.
“You know I guess one person can make a difference. Enough said.”
Starting at the top of the list is Stan Lee’s cameo in Spider Man 3 when he acts as a passerby to talk to Toby Maguire as Spider-Man. Whether it was done intentionally or unintentionally, Lee’s character refers to Spider Man and states that one person can make a difference. Similarly, Lee was a person to make a difference in thousands of lives with his contributions to pop culture.
“You look great Hefner”
Not only did Lee play his own characters, but he’s also appeared in films as celebrity look-alikes. In Iron Man (2008), Tony Stark mistakes him for Playboy founder Hugh Hefner as he’s surrounded by multiple women.
“Did it work?”
While trying to retrieve Thor’s magic weapon from a ditch by tying it to a truck to pull it out, Lee’s truck's rear end is completely taken off. He turns around to ask if it worked not knowing half of his truck has been torn off completely.
“Superheros in New York? Give me a break”
While Lee has contributed heavily to the creation of many loved Marvel superheroes, in The Avengers 2012 film, he plays a grouchy interviewee in New York who is skeptic of super heroes— the very same ones he created.
In the midst of all the action going on in the world, Lee’s character as an unbothered librarian is him at his best. As Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man battles Dr. Curt Connors A.K.A Lizard, Lee's librarian blasts classical music on his headset.
“Stop trying to scare us. Come on.”
Here, Lee’s cameo gets him a little too carried away. After Thor explains how his planet's liquor isn’t meant to be consumed by regular humans, Lee’s character insists Thor is trying to scare them. Cut forward and Lee is being dragged out by police officers for being too overserved.
“Are you Tony Stank?”
Even superheroes need a little humbling every once in a while, and here comes Stan Lee as a delivery man to get the job done. Package for “Tony Stank”?
“... At that time I was a federal express man…Hey you were supposed to be my lift home…Ah gee I’ve got so many more stories to tell.”
Just a year later, Lee’s character is in space talking the ears off of space beings about how he used to be a federal express delivery man. In both real life and on screen, he certainly had many stories to tell, which makes this scene all the better.
“I'm going to miss him, we were friends you know.”
In the cartoon cameo is Lee as a store clerk talking about how him and Spiderverse Peter Parker used to be friends and was going to miss him after he was killed. In a way, Lee felt like everyone’s friend, making this line the most touching.
“What's the matter with you kids? You’ve never seen a spaceship before?”
As a character who’s seen a lot of life, a little spaceship in the sky is nothing. Lee continues to play the unbothered person we strive to be.
“Make love, not war”
The best advice Lee gave in a cameo is in Avengers Endgame. Dressed as a hippie and driving down New Jersey with the windows down, he shouts out, “Make love, not war.”
Film is forever and Marvel fans can always revisit these films to see the best of Lee. He has more than three decades worth of cameos dating all the way to The Trial of the Incredible Hulk 1989.
Photography by: Getty Images/Valerie Macon/AFP