A legend has passed, at 95 years old, Stan “The Man” Lee, former head of Marvel Comics, creator of legendary heroes like X-Men, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Daredevil, The Incredible Hulk and so many more, has died.
A comic book and pop culture icon, Lee was known for his trademark moustache, big sunglasses, gruff yet soothing voice and for his always welcome cameos in Marvel movies, and often in other movies too.
It’s a sad time for Marvel fans, as the father of our heroes has died, but it’s also a time to reflect, on the man who took racism and homophobia and turned it into a welcoming allegory in X-Men, turned puberty into suspense with Spider-Man and disability into an asset with Daredevil.
Lee will be missed by those who adore comic books and comic media, but Lee wasn’t someone who dwelled too much on sorrow, he was a cheerful, happy guy and one who loved bringing joy to millions. You want to honour the man, carry the messages in his stories, of good people finding the hero within and being the best of themselves. Or, just put on your favourite Marvel flick, and wait for the grinning old guy to appear and remember that it’s all because of him.
We at No Majesty love Stan Lee, and will miss him dearly, we offer thoughts and we offer sympathies to the legions of people who knew him well, and moreover we look back at five cameos of his that linger in our memory. Excelsior! You’re missed already, Stan.
5. Wedding Guest, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
By no means a good movie, and one that failed to do justice to any of them, this cameo makes the list simply because it was ripped straight from the comics. In Fantastic Four comics lore when Reed “Mr Fantastic” Richards and Susan “Invisible Woman” Storm tied the knot in Fantastic Four Annual #3 both Jack Kirby and Stan Lee try to gate crash the wedding only to be turned away for not being on the list. With Kirby dead by that point it fell on Lee to try and make it in, only to be turned away. A moment for fans of comics to rejoice.
4. Apocalypse Witness, X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
Poignant for being a cameo with his beloved wife Joan, in Singer’s overlong Apocalypse the titular character unleashes nuclear weapons on the world having taken over Cerebro. As people from around the world watch in horror as the missiles fly into the sky we see an elderly couple hold each other as the end nears. We see a close up on the sunglasses on Lee himself, and he holds his wife close. It’s touching, dramatic and means all the more considering Joan would pass away not long after the film’s release.
3. Himself, Teen Titans Go! To The Movies (2018)
The ongoing DC or Marvel fight is one that may never have an end, but Lee’s extended cameo in Teen Titans movie is one for the ages. Appearing during a Hollywood excursion with the titular heroes confused as to why he’s there, Lee notes he shouldn’t be in a DC film and leaves, only to return proclaiming he can’t resist a cameo before belting out a trademark Excelsior!
2. Librarian, The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
More comical than referential, this cameo sees Lee as a headphone-clad librarian idly dancing and doing his work while Spider-Man clashes with big baddie The Lizard. It’s a fun moment of physical visual comedy as well as showing Spidey save Lee from a table to the bonce. One of the better joke cameos, and one that elevates the so-so movie into something worth revisiting.
- Time Square Man, Spider-Man 3 (2007)
It seems odd that the best Lee cameos appear in some of the poorer films, but bad Spidey threequel Spider-Man 3 has his best cameo to date. As Peter Parker wrestles with his conscience and his actions thanks to some bad symbiote mojo, he finds himself at a literal crossroads when Lee stands next to him and offers this advice “I guess one person can make a difference” before ending on his trademark “nuff said”. It propels the story along, but it’s a timely reminder that one person can change everything like a good natured storyteller who brought joy to the masses. In that regard, he was right. ‘Nuff said.
1922 – 2018