The Top 10 Stan Lee Cameos – The True Hero of the MCU
It’s Stan Lee’s birthday, and to celebrate the legacy of The Man, we’re counting down his greatest cameos.
Stan Lee’s cameos in the first phases of the MCU quickly became an on-screen tradition. A fan-favorite find-him game for fun and for factoid! But his appearances aren’t really new – The Man has been in Marvel shows and films since 1989. With so many cameos, which one is the best? To celebrate his birthday, let’s count ’em down.
10. Thor (2011)
In the earliest stages of the MCU, Stan busted up his pickup truck pretty good trying to unearth Mjölnir. And he wasn’t the only one! Popular Thor comic book writer J. Michael Straczynski tries, too.
9. Ant-Man And The Wasp (2018)
Apparently, Stan liked to party back in the day. I like to imagine he went on to tell his Uber driver some pretty great stories…
8. The Defenders (2017)
This may not be the first cameo you remember, but it’s still one of the best. Stan is our narrator, and he talks about heroes and their vulnerabilities, both physical and emotional. It packs a real punch and sets the perfect tone for this pocket of MCU stories.
7. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
Aside from just being a part of some stunning animation, Stan gives Miles Morales some important advice when he buys a Spidey suit from Stan’s shop.
6. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Here we see Stan as he prepares to cut the golden locks off of the Mighty Thor on the trash planet Sakaar. Loving the specs, Stan, it’s a good look for you.
5. Captain Marvel (2019)
Back in 1995, we get a peek at Stan as he’s running lines for his role in Mallrats. This isn’t Stan’s last posthumous role in the MCU (that’s Endgame), but when Carol gives him a nod of admiration, she expressed gratitude on behalf of comic book fans everywhere.
And Stan isn’t the only writer cameo in this movie. KellySue DeConnick, the writer of Carol’s iconic Captain Marvel title, also makes an appearance.
4. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 (2017)
Guardians 2 is a cameo that pokes at the imagination a bit. That’s because Stan is telling the Watchers about his own guest spots in previous movies! Some fans have speculated that MCU Stan, as himself, has been working for the Watchers the whole time. But if that’s the case, the least they could do is give the guy a ride home.
3. Ant-Man (2015)
I’ll be honest, this cameo makes the top three because of Luis’ storytelling. This is one of my favorite bits of the movie, and Stan fits perfectly right in the middle of it.
2. The Ultimate Spider-Man (2012)
If you’ve never watched The Ultimate Spider-Man, you’re missing out on some of the best team-ups Marvel has to offer. Some of the best fights actually feature Stan the Man himself! Peter Parker is a student at Midtown High, where Stan is the wise-cracking janitor who keeps the halls clean. An expert with a mop, Stan saves Spidey’s webbed behind more than once.
1. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Easily the funniest cameo, Stan’s line “Are you Tony Stank?” kills me every time. Stan’s cameos in Iron Man 1 & 2 both have him portraying celebrities: first Hugh Hefner, then Larry King. Now, we know that Tony likes to nickname his team members after celebrities and pop-culture figures, but in Civil War, it looks like Stan gets the last word.
Until next time, kids. Excelsior!