The Marvel Cinematic Universe is chock full of characters, with the upcoming Infinity War films set to include a rumored 60+ Marvel characters. Fans already speculating about which characters/actors might appear, but there’s one that’s certain. You can be sure, if he’s able, Stan Lee will be in there.
Lee, the closest thing Marvel has to a real-life superhero, has appeared in several of the films based off his creations. From A-Z, here’s a list of Stan Lee’s Marvel cameos in chronological order.
Marking his first appearance, Stan Lee appeared in this TV-film as part of the jury that would judge a wrongfully convicted Bruce Banner.
2000 – X-Men
Following his accidental escape from Magneto’s prison, Senator Kelly washes up on a beach and makes his way to the X-Mansion after noticing a news broadcast about the UN summit. The TV he sees it on is resting comfortably on a hot-dog cart manned by our favourite comic creator.
2002 – Spider-Man
When Green Goblin attacks, people panic and run for cover. More jostled about than actually panicking, Stan is just another face in the crowd that gets a few seconds of screen-time for the camera.
2003 – Daredevil
Although the hero of this piece looks somewhat like a certain bat, this is Daredevil, the blind hero (blind, bat – I think I should make a joke). Following his incident, young Matthew Murdock is learning to use his new senses and stops an engrossed reader from walking into traffic. Ironic that the blind kid saved somebody not using their eyes.
2004 – Spider-Man 2
Back to the web-slinger, Stan Lee saves the life of an innocent bystander when rubble from Doc Ock’s attack almost kills her. Just another unsung hero.
2005 – Fantastic Four
Probably in the business of setting up his own postal service for fan-letters, Stan portrays the Baxter Building’s postman and has the unlucky responsibility of giving final notice’s to Reed Richards.
2006 – X-Men 3: The Last Stand
Actually on his day off, Lee has the unfortunate luck of living on the same street as the telekinetic Jean Grey. When she inverts the flow of gravity, his hosepipe starts showering in the wrong direction.
The only time that he actually breaks the fourth wall, Stan Lee almost gets to the wedding under his own name. Sadly, the bouncer doesn’t believe him and refuses to check the list. Sorry Stan, somebody else will catch the flowers this time.
2007 – Spider-Man 3
Still sore over missing cake, Stan Lee bumps into Peter Parker in times square as they examine footage of Spider-Man on a screen. Stan reaffirms Peter’s belief that one man can make a difference and disappears into the crowd.
2008 – Iron Man
Skipping straight from weddings to parties, Stan Lee cuts a sharp rug as he chats up the ladies whilst attending Tony Stark’s fireman’s ball. With his back to the new hero, Tony mistakenly calls him Hugh Hefner as he walks past.
2008 – The Incredible Hulk
After Bruce cuts his finger and a single drop lands in a drink, a certain elderly gentleman has the misfortune of drinking said mixture. Dosed with gamma radiation, whenever he’s mad or enraged, his doctors at the hospital he’s whisked to hear about it.
2010 – Iron Man 2
Stan later bumps into Iron Man at the Stark Expo in 2010 but – even with a face to go by – Tony now calls him Larry King. This is why you were poisoned, Tony. You don’t bite the hand that created you.
2011 – Thor
Only because he’s using a truck, Stan is one of the other unlucky pedestrians to fall prey to Odin’s prank. You don’t see Thor using a truck. Stan could probably have replaced the arrogant fool (how awesome would the MCU be if that had happened?) if only he had used his bare hands.
Messing about with the fabric of space-time, Lee is now a retired general in what should have been a Captain America press conference. Sadly, Steve is out at a bar with his friends. Following Tony’s example, Lee made sure Hydra would follow Steve to the future.
2012 – The Avengers
Stan appears in a newsreel following the Battle of New York but he actually had a second cameo that was cut from the final edit. Out-of-date Steve accidentally flirts with a waitress and Stan tells him that he was meant to give her his number.
2012 – The Amazing Spider-Man
Crossing universes at a whim, Lee is now a librarian who comes inches from death as Spider-Man and Lizard-Dude duke it out in the background. Grooving out to classical music on his headphones, Stan will eventually return to a destroyed library off-screen.
2013 – Iron Man 3
Upset at the destruction of his library, he ends up judging a beauty contest with a perfect 10.
2013 – Thor: The Dark World
Thrown in the loony bin for claiming to be the creator, his humiliation is furthered when Erik Salvig steals his shoe for a science demonstration.
Eventually breaking free, Stan finds work as a security guard at a museum. Steve makes the mistake of costing him his job after a robbery so Lee curses him with the Civil War and leaves the planet.
2014 – Guardians of the Galaxy
Taking only his snappy dressing and limitless charm, Rocket spies him flirting with an alien beauty on Nova.
2014 – Amazing Spider-Man 2
Maybe he struck out with the aliens because we next see Stan attending Peter’s graduation. Peter stands him up and later ends up cradling his dead girlfriend. Seriously, don’t mess with Stan Lee.
“What if God was one of us? Just a stranger on the bus?” Actually, a train. Suave Stan, a lovely woman on each arm, arrives to chide Coulson about taking better care of his daughter (Jemma) after hearing her emotional outburst. (“Prostitutes? Really?”)
2015 – Marvel’s Agent Carter
A short appearance in a short-lived show, Stark Senior has the enormous privilege of talking with Lee.
2015 – Avengers: Age of Ultron
Keeping with the Stark trend, Lee appears at the ‘We Got Loki’s Staff’ party and convinces Thor to let him try some Asgardian liquor that has been aged for a thousand years. Staff are on hand to help the shaky Lee away as he mutters a somewhat slurred “Excelsior!”
2015 – Ant-Man
Featured in one of Luis’ rambling explanations, Stan is probably the best-ever grizzled but friendly barkeep we could ever meet.
2015 – Daredevil/Jessica Jones
2016 – Deadpool
2016 – Captain America: Civil War
Apparently, that postal service Stan started up back in Fantastic Four really took off and got brought by FedEx. In this cameo, Lee delivers the apology letter from Cap to his now frenemy Tony Stank.
2016 – X-Men: Apocalypse
In quite a foreboding atmosphere, we see Stan and Joan Lee watch the rising nuclear weapons launched by Apocalypse. Unfortunately, the film isn’t out yet on DVD but here’s a photo of the pair when the world isn’t being threatened.
I know I said Marvel cameos at the start but I had to throw this one in. In the Sci-Fi channel’s Eureka, Stan Lee makes a brief appearance as a scientist who wants to test the effects of gamma rays on the human body using slides from the Incredible Hulk TV series. Although his work has merit, he’s turned down for being too old. Before leaving, he warns Fargo not to make him angry as he wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.
Despite popping back and forth across realities, there is a relatively simple theory circling around the internet that actually makes sense for Stan Lee’s character: he’s Uatu, the Watcher. Sworn not to intervene, the Watchers observe all life across the universe and share the knowledge with each other. It could be that this seemingly old gentleman is actually an omnipotnet being studying us on our scale.
Stan doesn’t just randomly turn up for these things though. He actually has a contract stating that every time a new work is based on his creations, he has to be offered a role. But if Stan Lee was to rock at your door and invite himself in, who in their right mind would turn him away? (And if any Marvel big-wigs stumble across this, Stan Lee has admitted he has always wanted to try his hand at J. Jonah Jamesson. That’s one less person to cast for Spiderman: Homecoming. Make it happen!)