Stan Lee’s 15 Best Marvel Movie Cameos
For the last 15 years, Marvel has made a tradition of sneaking comic book creator Stan Lee into just about every Marvel-affiliated film. Fans love watching each film carefully, waiting for Stan The Man to make his appearance, and Stan no doubt enjoys being involved.
From his background appearance in X-Men to his role as bartender in Ant-Man – wherever there is Marvel, Stan is probably there. In celebration of his 93rd birthday, we chose 15 of our favourite Marvel movie cameos (in chronological order).
1. Spider-Man (2002)
Stan appears during the first battle between Spider-Man and Green Goblin, pulling a little girl to safety as debris falls from the sky.
2. Daredevil (2003)
Stan reads a newspaper while walking through Hell’s Kitchen and almost steps into traffic, but is saved at the last minute by a young Matt Murdock.
3. Fantastic Four (2005)
One of my early favourites and the first time Stan appears as a comic book character he created – Willie Lumpkin, the mailman who greets Reed Richards at the Baxter Building.
4. X-Men Last Stand (2006)
Both Stan Lee and famed X-Men writer Chris Claremont appear in the film’s prologue as Jean Grey’s neighbours, who witness some strange happenings thanks to Jean’s telekinesis.
5. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
Possibly the only cameo where Stan is referred to by his real name. He appears at Reed and Susan’s first wedding and is turned away by security for not being on the guest list.
6. Iron Man (2008)
Back in 2008, Stan said this was his favourite cameo. He appears as himself at a gala and Tony Stark mistakes him for Hugh Hefner.
7. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
A random citizen with unfortunate luck who drinks a soft drink contaminated by Bruce Banner’s blood, which leads to the military tracking Banner down.
8. Thor (2011)
He appears at Mjolnir’s landing site, chaining the hammer to his pickup truck in an attempt to move it. The character is credited as “Stan the Man”, one of Stan Lee’s popular nicknames.
9. The Avengers (2012)
At the end of the film, Stan is seen on the news being asked about the Avengers saving the city. Of course he finds the idea of superheroes in New York to be ridiculous… despite being one of the guys who put them all there.
10. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Probably one of his most amusing cameos, Stan appears as a high school librarian listening to classical music who remains completely oblivious while Spider-Man and the Lizard battle it out behind him, destroying the library in the process.
11. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Here he’s a mental ward patient whose shoe Erik Selvig “borrowed” for his demonstration of the Convergence. (I personally find this cameo even funnier when considering he idea that maybe this is the same character from the first Thor film, deemed “unstable” after everything he saw in New Mexico.)
12. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Another personal favourite – Stan is a security guard at the Smithsonian with (again) unfortunate luck, as Steve Rogers steals his old uniform while he’s on watch.
13. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
Stan Lee appears as a guest at Peter and Gwen’s graduation, pointing out “I think I know that guy” upon seeing Peter arrive on stage.
14. Big Hero 6 (2014)
This time an animated character, Stan appears as the father of superhero-enthusiast Fred. Although he was not involved with the creation of Big Hero 6, this was a fun nod to the team’s Marvel origins.
15. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Appearing as a military veteran at the Avengers’ victory party, Stan thinks he can keep up with a Norse God and Super Soldier when it comes to Asgardian liquor. The drink proves too much as he’s carried out mumbling his real life catchphrase “Excelsior”.
Honorable Mention: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season 1 Episode 13)
I couldn’t help but mention this special Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. cameo. While Simmons and Coulson are playing father and daughter as part of a distraction, Stan appears as a witness and steps in, telling Coulson to step up as a father.