One of the most treasured Easter Eggs in the Marvel Universe has always been the Stan Lee Cameos. Ever since X-Men (2000) began the reemergence of superhero films that paved the way for the MCU and other comic book style films, the creator/co-creator of many iconic Marvel Comics characters has gone from a whimsical sort of gimmick to become a treasured seal of approval for films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a treasured reference like Jon Ratzenberger’s cameos in Pixar films. This year marks ten years since the MCU debut in Iron Man (2008) and technically 18 years since the first modern Marvel superhero film X-Men (2000) so what better way to celebrate than reference every single Stan Lee cameo in all that time? As Stan the Man would say “EXCELSIOR!”
Honorable Mention: Blade (1998)
Stan Lee was supposed to cameo as one of the officers who come into the club after the blood rave and find Quinn’s body stapled to the wall on fire. It was cut from the film.
- X-Men (2000): The X-Men Co-creator and Executive Producer is a man near a hot dog stand on the beach that Senator Kelly emerges from the water, naked and now a mutant.
2.Spider-Man (2002): The creator of Spider-Man appeared in a scene reacting to the Green Goblin’s attack on the balcony at the World Unity Festival. He sees the attack and helps usher a little girl to safety.
3.Daredevil (2003): The creator of Daredevil finds himself saved from walking into ongoing traffic by a young Matt Murdock. Lee’s character was based on the senior blind man that Matt Murdock saves in the comics but his interjection causes the accident that gives him his powers.
4.Hulk (2003): The creator of the Hulk appeared as a security guard alongside Lou Ferrigno who famously portrayed the Hulk in the Incredible Hulk (1978). Lee was encouraged to ab-lib his lines.
5.Spider-Man 2 (2004): Stan Lee was originally supposed to be the guy who shouted “Hey, Spider-Man stole that guy’s pizza!” But there were problems with the shot, so the scene had to be re-filmed with another actor. Stan was given a different yet more valiant cameo as a bystander who saves a woman from falling debris during a fight between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus.
6. Fantastic Four (2005): Co-Creator Stan Lee made a rare cameo portraying one of the characters from the comics: Willy Lumpkin who was the Fantastic Four’s friendly old mailman. The character was a constant presence at the Baxter Building and even jokingly applied for membership to the Four, his superpower being the ability “to wiggle his ears.” In the movie, his line was originally “Welcome home, Dr. Richards,” but Stan changed it to “Welcome back to the Baxter Building, Doctor Richards!”
7. X-Men: The Last Stand (2006): Stan Lee would cameo (along with fellow X-Men writer Chris Claremont) in the opening of this film as a neighbor whose water hose flow on his front lawn get disrupted by Jean Grey and her emerging powers.
8. Spider-Man 3 (2007): Stan Lee appeared early in the film commenting to Peter Parker about Spider-Man’s sudden high in popularity and how great the character was. When Peter looks at him with nothing to say, Stan adds his signature phrase “Nuff Said!” and walks on.
9. Fantastic Four: Rise of Silver Surfer (2007): Co-Creator Stan Lee made another rare cameo as himself who is refused entry at Reed and Sue’s wedding. Not only is it hilarious to imagine that Stan wasn’t on the list but this is a direct reference to Reed and Sue’s wedding in the comics when both Stan Lee AND Jack Kirby were both refused entry at the wedding, the moment being a rare moment of breaking the fourth wall in comics at that time.
10. Iron Man (2008): Creator Stan Lee cameos in the first official MCU movie at Tony Stark’s party as playboy figurehead Hugh Hefner, accompanied by three beautiful blonde women. Lee would comment that it was among one of his favorite cameos.
11. Incredible Hulk (2008): Creator Stan Lee cameos as a man who accidentally drinks a soft drink that’s been mixed with Bruce Banner’s blood. The beverage proves to be lethal and helps the military zero in on an elusive Banner. To date, this is the only Stan Lee cameo where he dies.
12. Iron Man 2 (2010): Stan Lee cameoed again in the second Iron Man movie as Larry King indicated by his well-dressed clothes, glasses and trademark suspenders.
13. Thor (2011): Although Creator Stan Lee said he always wanted to play Thor’s father Odin, he cameos as an eager truck driver who fails to tow Mjolnir out of its crater
14. Captain America: First Avenger (2011): A rare exception seeing that Lee had nothing to do with Captain America’s creation but honoring the revival of the character that he and Jack Kirby were responsible for in the 1960s, he appeared as an officer both at the medal ceremony for Captain America and at a later ceremony where he continues the running joke about Captain America’s height when he mistakes the messenger as Steve Rogers. I thought he’d be taller, too.
15. The Avengers (2012): The creator of many of the characters featured in this film, he cameos during a montage after the Battle of New York where he sarcastically scoffs at the idea of superheroes in New York. Stan also filmed a deleted scene where he witnesses Steve and waitress flirting at a café and flat out insists that he ask her for her number, you moron.
16. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012): Stan Lee would cameo as Peter’s high school librarian listening to classical library while he worked, oblivious to the fight between The Lizard and Spider-Man going on behind him.
So that’s all for Part 1. Stay Tuned for Part 2 coming soon. And in case you didn’t want to read all of that, here’s all of them in one video!